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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I currently work for a Christian non-profit company and am "in the closet," but I'm too afraid to come out atheist in case they fire me, or if the work environment becomes hostile or unfriendly.

Hi godless girl.  Don't sweat it.  Stay ' in the closet'.  That's what I did until I retired.  THEN I went public, big time.    I have an atheist friend who worked for a church for many years.  In fact, she receives a pension check from them monthly.  We 'met' through American Atheists, Inc. when she retired.   Makes you wonder just how many of us there were / are.  Good luck.

That's one of the basic reasons we're all "here", to find others of the same bent.  I'm in a little north central Texas town where one sees crosses from tiny and unobtrusive to big gaudy things either hanging on necks (some above very nice cleavages I might add) on t-shirts to huge tattoos on arms and necks.  I've often wondered why so many think the display of that symbol of international suppression is necessary.

You are always welcome here and I am fortunate to have found several like-minded people with whom I get together as often as possible to commiserate and speculate and discuss our wonderment at the idiocy we see all around us.

May I recommend a book?  The Story of Stupidity by James F. Welles Ph.D..  The subtitle, A History of Western Idiocy from the Days of Greece to the Moment You Saw this Book pretty much tells the prospective reader about the subject matter's stupidity, religion.  I saw it at my favorite book store, Recycled Books and Tapes in Denton, TX and it was the book's subtitle that brought me in and I paid all of $6.50 for one of the best reads I've had on the subject for some time.  His earlier book, Understanding Stupidity, An Analysis of the Premaladaptive Beliefs and Behavior of INstitutions and Organizations I have yet to acquire.  There's a web site; Google the title followed by the author's name and you'll be amazed.  The book can either be ordered on liine or even read.

Cheers and best of luck.

I was fired from my job when I was in highschool, not because I was an Atheist, but because as a particular type of Christian I worshiped on a Saturday which happened to be the day they wanted to have a mandatory meeting.  I told them the dellima and was subsequently told that I either showed up or didn't return.

 

Needless to say, I didn't show up and I DID return only to be told to leave.  It was blatantly directed at my beliefs (as similar as they were to  theirs), but I didn't fight it for reason two-fold.  I don't want to work around people like that and I was too immature to understand the implications of such simple intolerance.  I still am a Christian.

 

I hope this helps provide some prospective on your topic.

One Christian discriminating against another under the same umbrella with slightly altered "beliefs".  In other words, standard operating procedure that created little things such as The Crusades and the "Troubles" in Ireland where people, including innocents are killed simply because one group of idiots calling on the same deity with a slightly altered name suffer perceived discrimination.

I suggest you Google The Story of Stupidity. and buy the book, it will lay it all out for you.  "Stupid is as stupid does" and all religion is stupidity in action.

I will put that book on my list to read.

 

I think that saying my dissolution with the company is comparable to The Crusades or the Troubles would be similar to saying that either Bush or Obama is like Hitler.  I understand that using extremes to illustrate a point can be useful, but should also be kept in context.  I would say that the use of manipulation in the guise of good faith is a tactic used in many horrible atrocities, but calling two unlike things similar should not deserve merit.

I was not claiming that dissolution within your company was comparable to the Crusades, my statement was that religious dissension between religions that are identical except for a few points, i.e. the sabbath or holy day, was the root cause of murder, rape and pillage down through the ages, with The Crusades and Irish Catholic v Irish Protestant with one killing the other in their god's name is freaking ridiculous.

Atheists don't fly or cause airplanes to be flown into tall buildings, nor do we seek paradise by blowing up innocent people along with ourselves.  I would much rather, and in fact do have more close friends and confidants who are atheists than believers in any holy spook or invisible friend.  We do good without doG.

You are suggesting that Atheists don't have prejudices based on belief of other groups?  I believe Stalin killed a few folks.  Back to a more practical scale, would it have made a difference if my boss was an Atheist having fired me because he didn't want to deal with someone that required a specific day off?  Yet, while I hold a certain belief that is similar to those who have committed atrocities I still don't follow suit.  

What does this mean?  Does a religion commit horrible acts or does a person commit them?  Be sure that you place blame on the hand that pulled the trigger.

Stalin, as do most cult leaders, especially those who ascend to any nation's top leadership role, i.e. Hitler, Pol Pot, and too may others to list here actually seek to place themselves in the godhead role; they see organized religion as a threat.  On a lesser place there are Jim Jones, David Koresh, to site the most egregious examples, who also see themselves  as the godhead, and in the end it all tumbles down to religion.

All the atheists I know, and I know a great many, don't seem to harbor outstanding prejudices.  It's mostly disgust for what we witness each and every day from the followers of supernatural and otherwise weird/spooky belief systems.  We also share a revulsion with and of religion.  However, we do not seek to kill any believers, we just want to be recognized for our equal rights as human beings.  When you bible-pounders claim that we'll be the "Left Behind", should your idiotic rapture come to pass, we'll gladly consider ourselves the "Left Alone".

A religion calls and inspires its followers to commit horrible acts.  Those who believe absurdities can be led to commit atrocities and both the bible and koran are full of commands and directives to do precisely that.  The hand would share the blame, but the belief commands it in many ways.  Atheists do not have such shitty reference books that somewhere therein can be used as justification for warped brains that believe the bull shit..

That grouping of leaders is a very over-used ploy to take the stigma of horrible periods of history.  Confusion between ego and religion does not make one and the other the same.  There is no doubt that Stalin had an ego problem, but he wasn't a religion.  He didn't see himself as God because he didn't believe in one.

There are horrible stories in the Christian bible.  I don't know how to reconcile some of them with what I understand as right.  I don't ignore them or pretend they don't exist.  There are many that are simply not condoned by God, but there are some that clearly state the opposite.  The truth is that I don't know.  I continue to search for the truth, but I am humble enough to say that I don't know why those things would be done.

 

As for religion inspiring evil I can only speak about my belief.  I am beginning to expand my understanding of others, but I am in no position to talk about them as I do not know enough.  I am not inspired to do those things mentioned above.  I know too many who are not inspired to do those things who are Christian.  I also know a few who I would not put it past them.  From my personal experience it hasn't been a religion thing, but an individual thing.  If you want to find something hard enough, then you can usually find it even if its not there.  I know you don't need examples.

Hi Brian,

I haven't been discriminated against but I have a policy that there are 3 things you keep out of the workplace: Religion, Politics and Football (Soccer to the US folk here) and I find that especially true here in Glasgow!

 

I'm interested to know when your piece is being run if it hasn't already? Can you provide a link?

Michelob, shut up & drink the kool-aid

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