Just ran into my first case of blatant discrimination. I was applying for a job helping resettle refugees in the United States. I was excited to apply since I'm quite qualified for the position and it's always been something I wanted to do. There was a mention that I had to be able to work with "colleagues, resettlement partners, volunteers and Churches in the local community" but in my experience this shouldn't be any sort of problem since many people in churches are doing some amazing humanitarian work around the world.

But, at the very end of the application was a "test" asking if I agreed with "values" such as "The Example of Jesus as we serve those who are suffering from poverty and injustice, regardless of color, belief, or gender, as part of God’s plan to redeem, reconcile, and restore the world. We seek to follow Jesus by living holy, humble, and honest lives individually and corporately." And other such garbage that had completely been neglected from the detail in their job posting which was grounded in reality. If they would have just said "We seek to live humble and honest lives individually and corporately" I would have been all about that, but that sentence was just a few key words too long.

A little research with a friend showed quickly that this is a federally funded organization which has a history of only hiring people who believe in Jesus. It was quite obvious on their website, not not at all in the job posting I was replying to.

So, I clicked the button that said No, I do not agree with their values, thus promising that I will not get the job. Thankfully there was a box that allowed me to explain my values, in which I typed:

In my studies and experience with the international community, I have seen that the best way to interact with people from other ethnicities is to respect the fact that they come from a diverse range of cultures, languages, and faiths. I feel my successes within people from beliefs different than my own are due to focusing on human compassion and morality rather than on religious belief systems. In this position I would not limit myself to helping people of just one faith, but rather helping people because it is the right thing to do. As World Relief is a federally funded organization, I am sure you must agree.

Anyway, a job like this probably requires me to hand out bibles and pray for people, demanding that they convert to Xianity if they want to receive help. As far as I am concerned, refugees have suffered enough and need all the help they can get...this type "help" only makes things worse.

So that's a job I won't be getting. I'd feel differently if they had been honest in their job posting, perhaps saying that "only people who believe a 2,000 year-old zombie Jew will be returning need apply." Still, I'm in a bit of a mood now as this was the first overt case of discrimination that has occurred to me as an atheist.

Views: 115

Tags: discrimination, federal, funding, organization, refugees, religious

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Comment by David W on December 31, 2011 at 8:42am

There is a petition on change.org regarding this. I don't know how effective it is, but I signed it. 

It's called:

Reform or gut the faith based initiative

Comment by Scott A. Hunt on December 30, 2011 at 8:07am

Truly disgusting.

Anyone know if there are law suits attempting to repeal the executive order?  It's clearly unconstitutional.

Comment by David W on December 29, 2011 at 9:16pm

Just read the links. Wow. That's all I can say.

The executive order. 

Comment by mistercliff on December 29, 2011 at 8:34pm

UPDATE: My representative from FFRF contacted me again today and said that it's not an issue they could pursue because it's part of the shitty faith-based-initiatives program (vulgarity mine, not hers). She sent me these links explaining it:

http://secular.org/content/end-employment-discrimination-religious-...

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-03-29/news/ct-met-world-rel...

http://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/bigotry-at-world-relief-...

While this makes me sad, I was really impressed with Freedom From Religion Foundation, both in the timelessness of their responses and their professionalism. I can't donate right now since I'm searching for jobs, but this is a great organization to help out.

Comment by LBGT Atheist/Secular Humanist on December 28, 2011 at 9:21pm

Makes you wanna click 'yes', accept the job, be handed the bibles, religious propaganda and then just throw away that crap when you're supposed to hand it out. Will make them have to print more (more expenses) plus will save countless refugees from being forced to have religion stuffed down their throats - most likely they have their own beliefs and will toss that crap anyway. THAT's why I throw away ALL bibles that are placed in my hotel room drawers...I do NOT pay to have religion shoved in my face when I open a drawer, ha.

Comment by David W on December 28, 2011 at 7:19pm

Yes, please share any personal correspondence you have with the FFRF regarding this issue if you don't mind. I joined the FFRF upon learning of the death of Hitchens.

Comment by mistercliff on December 28, 2011 at 3:06am

FFRF got back to me remarkably quickly and said that they would look into it. If any organization SHOULD get our tax dollars. I think when I am able to find a job (one that doesn't require me to say I believe in the supernatural) that I will donate a little to them for being so awesome.

Comment by Earther on December 27, 2011 at 2:03pm

I agree, email FFRF all your information.  People who use tax dollars for religious beliefs need to be stopped.  There are many civil rights that are being abused but go unchallenged.  I believe it is the focus of the religious people to take control of government.  The Catholic Church has done it and now the Angelicals are trying to do it.  They know that the more they help and convert children and unstable men and women, the more control they have over the populous in the future.

Comment by Pat on December 27, 2011 at 9:26am

Dogly, you are 100% correct.  It's the same as when I heard a theist debate the late Mr. Hitchens. The theist was talking about the voluntariness of accepting Jesus as your savior, and reaping the rewards of a Disney type themed park afterlife. Hitchens jumped down his throat about the voluntariness aspect, and asked him what the alternative of rejecting Jesus was. Eternal damnation. Some voluntary choice! It's like defining rape as unilateral consensual sex. Same thing with this charity. "Voluntarily" accept our superstition, or starve to death, you miserable son-of-a-bitch!

Comment by Scott A. Hunt on December 27, 2011 at 8:48am

@Dogly  Exactly.  How is it charity if you are only doing it to push your own agenda? 

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