During most of my life as an atheist, I have heard a few of the same statements made about discrimination when it comes to being an atheist. “At least no one is killing atheists here”, “You can't get fired for being an atheist”, and “Why can't you just be quiet about your beliefs” are three of the most common statements (which have all been said to me during to course of one 10-minutes long radio interview). I have become proof the second statement is false.
In my day job, I deal with customer relations. I have spent a lot of time building a good working relationship with my customers over the past 5 ½ years. I have had nothing but glowing reviews (which they have to give periodically). Needless to say, I found it quite odd when I was called into a meeting with my manager and informed that the customer no longer wanted me in their warehouse. This happened about 3 weeks after I appeared on TV and the radio, on my own time, promoting the billboard.
I will not divulge the name of the company that kicked me out, mainly because I don't want to be sued, but it is a very large company that produces undergarments. I had my suspicions as to why they didn't want me in their building, but they were confirmed when one of my supervisors pulled me to the side to let me know what happened during the meeting with the customer. They didn't like what I was promoting on my free time. They thought I was doing them a disservice by being in their building and being an atheist, I guess.
This is very serious because in my job, if you are dismissed from a large account, your job pretty much has a 3 month lifespan. The only reason my job is in danger is because I refuse to believe in fairy tales and I refuse to be quiet about it, especially in a place like Charlotte, NC that names every other road or building after Billy Graham. I never talked about my personal life while at work because its personal. I do not talk to my coworkers about my family or my friends and vice-verse.
I am reminded of the radio interview I did with Tara Servatious, our own local Glenn Beck. She made the comment that atheists were just playing the victim and no one every really discriminates against atheist. It's against the law and as we all know, businesses never break the law. Well, here is your discrimination. I now have first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be in danger of being fired at any moment for a lack of belief. No matter what is said, it still isn't OK to be an atheist in America. Land of the free, indeed.
Has anyone else seen this type of, or have been the object of,discrimination like this?