Hi - I'm writing an article for the BBC News website on workplace discrimination against atheists. I have seen a few stories on this site about people who felt excluded by their co-workers or even lost their job after expressing their beliefs. I would like to talk to people who have been through such an experience. You can contact me directly - my email is brianwheelerbbc@gmail.com - or share your stories in this forum.

Brian Wheeler

BBC News, Washington

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**Moderator's note: After our initial message of caution to all of you we've had an opportunity to confirm that Mr. Wheeler is indeed who he says he is. Knowing this, we'd like to encourage everyone to please share their stories of discrimination in the workplace with Mr. Wheeler. We shouldn't let the opportunity of a BBC News reporter telling the world the story of very real anti-atheist discrimination pass by! He is on a deadline so you must contact him as soon as you're able to.

(Anyone interested in confirming the legitimacy of this Moderator's note may contact Nelson either on TA or by email.)**

Tags: discrimination, job, work

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When I contacted the regional Office of Economic Opportunity, the woman who took my call was aghast that I was complaining about religious discrimination since I was an atheist, she was not in the least helpful

HA! There isn't a single election debate in the US that doesn't include the topic of religion. Sadly, even if there is a law, I think you'll have a hard time finding someone to enforce it!

You can bet your sweet ass that should anyone be fired for being a crapstian, there would be any number of lawyers jumping to the defense of the person.

Like William Walker, I have kept my non-belief to myself as well. I've told a few people - and the shocked looks I get astound me. It's kind of like DADT for atheists. I don't discuss it at work. 

 

Outside the workplace, I'm "out" as an atheist, and I have been stalked and harassed by extreme rightwingers. To be fair, mostly they hate me because I'm a liberal (and I'm very upfront about it), but my atheism factors in to their hatred as well. Members of the group who have been harassing me for over six years now once tried to lose me my job by publishing my name, my employer and my employer's phone number on a public message board - they encouraged people to call my boss and tell them I should be fired. 

I'm a science teacher in the southern U.S. who was told not to discuss biological evolution in the classroom. Then it was removed from the curriculum. No longer an issue ... We are told to stand, hold hands and pray together at staff meetings. I am the only one to walk out. Others complain but go along. Every morning the "under god" pledge is broadcast. We are required to stand and repeat this pledge to their imaginary friend. This is so wrong in a public school. Co-workers constantly remind me that they still love me despite my issues … What issues????

Ugh! I hate the "I I love you anyway... " or "I accept you even though..." statements. It's so invalidating. It's also complete BS. If they really did love and accept me, then my "issues" would be non-issues, and they would never be mentioned. It's really just an underhanded insult. It's like saying, "I pity you" and "I'm better than you, so my approval of you should be appreciated."

What?! The whole point of a public school is there is no religion involved. That makes no sense.

What don't you understand? Having a brain and using it is your 'issue'. lol

It can be so condescending. I've learned to reply (mostly when not in good company) with "And I don't judge you for your ignorance." When they take offense I reply with something to the effect of "isn't it ignorant to be condescending towards someone you respect?"

Well, that's an interesting question and I'm sure that if I had been employed in North Carolina and been a vociferous atheist, discrimination because of my lack of a belief in the dyslexic doG god would have been the order of the day.  I did experience a lot of proselytizing, normally called 'witnessing" in North Carolina and always ignored it until it became repressive.  I never felt outright active discrimination, just passive discrimination.  I found in North Carolina, where my hometown of some 15,000 folks, the vast majority of which were believers in "the one true religion" (that always struck me as funny), there were by actual count 125-churches in its environs.  The math is easy, the entire population could have been put under a church roof of some type at the same time.

 

Regarding discrimination at work.  For about 85% of my professional life I've been self-employed and I make t a point never to discriminate against me, but I do keep religious folk as far away from me as possible, especially if they have an irresistible urge, as many have, to get me to church.  The only exception to that rule is my bride for the past 45-years who is a born-again fundie for 20-years of that time.  However, she respects my right to no religious leanings or beliefs and does not hit on me.  She knows that I associate with fellow atheists whenever possible.  What's more, she tells her friends that I'm a non-believer and to leave me alone.  We have a very successful marriage and if a self professed, very active atheist and a born-again, whose mother is the same way, can live together long and happily, anyone can!  All it takes is a little effort and a lot of respect for the spouse's rights and feelings.

And love!

What a tale!  Beautiful!

No, I was never discriminated at work because of my lack of faith in the Christian God, because I knew to keep my mouth shut about it. Otherwise, I feel sure the Christians would have made my life hell on-the-job. I live in the Bible belt.

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