In Arizona, Christopher Gleason was nominated to serve on the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission (a powerful body that draws “lines for congressional and legislative districts”). He had the support of Republican House Speaker Kirk Adams. But it turns out he won’t be serving…
Before I explain why, you need to know a couple important pieces of background information:
The commission is composed of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent. The partisan members are selected by elected party officials; the four commissioners then choose the fifth.
That seems pretty fair…
Also, take a look at the pool of candidates for the position:
Last week the screening panel met to pare down the list of applicants to 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans and five independents.
Again, seems fair.
But Gleason didn’t make the cut and now he’s pissed off.
This happened, he says, because he’s a Christian involved in an evangelical organization and he said so on his application. See? They’re anti-Christian!
One question asked by one panelist:
That panelist… questioned whether Gleason could separate issues of church and state.
That’s it. That’s his basis for claiming religious discrimination.
Gleason was asked whether he could be relied on to follow the law — I don’t even know what his answer was, but it’s a completely reasonable question. All he has to do is answer, “Yes, I know how to separate church and state,” and everyone’s happy. But that didn’t happen.
This has nothing to do with discrimination. Even one of the Republican panelists admitted that:
… Dewey Schade, a Scottsdale Republican who sits on the screening panel, said the decision not to nominate Gleason had nothing to do with religion. He said the panel simply had to pare the list of 15 Republicans they chose to interview down to 10.
“Given that pool, he was not in the top 10 candidates, no more and no less than that,” Schade said. “It’s no reflection of the person’s religion or beliefs.”
So there you go. An Arizona Republican just made some sense. Amazing, no?
On a side note, this highlights a major difference between Christians and atheists.
Gleason had his affiliation with a Christian organization on his résumé. He wasn’t afraid of doing that, and he had no reason to be.
When I was applying for jobs after college, I purged my résumé of anything atheism-related because I didn’t want my volunteer and non-profit work to hurt me. You expect there to be discrimination when you’re an atheist — part of an unpopular minority.
When you’re in a super-majority like Gleason is and you’re still whining about discrimination, you’re just a crybaby. He wasn’t the right person for the job and his reaction to not making the cut is just further evidence that there were more qualified people than him in the running.
(Thanks to @beardownblitz for the link!)