Did An Atheist Employer Really Fire a Christian Applicant?

Word out of the UK is that the co-owners of the Prested Hall hotel refused to hire an applicant for the job of creating advertising and promotional graphics… because he was a Christian:

Jamie Haxby

Jamie Haxby said he felt ‘victimised and persecuted’ after allegedly being told he could not design adverts for the Essex venue due to his faith.

Mr Haxby, a regular worshipper at his local church, says manager Celie Parker apologised for inviting him to the interview after discovering he was a committed Christian.

He claims he was then told he would not be considered for the role as his beliefs could upset atheists working there.

Mr Haxby, 24, said his problems began when he showed Ms Parker his portfolio, which included his designs for fliers for his local church and a T-shirt for a Christian charity.

‘However, just over halfway through looking over my portfolio, Celie stopped me and said she did not think we needed to go any further.

My heart slightly sank as I could tell there was something she did not like. She then explained that she thought my work was brilliant, but that she and others on her team were atheists.

‘She said that judging from my work I was clearly a committed Christian, and I understood from what she was saying that it would be very difficult for me to work there.

This is all a he-said, she-said story. The owners of the hotel claim that they hired someone who was more qualified, adding that Christians already work at the hotel and that a potential candidate’s faith is none of their business.

(I’ve reached out to both Haxby and Parker for comment and will update this post if I hear from them.)

If this is true, though, it’s appalling.

Forget non-discrimination laws for a second — why would anyone care about someone else’s religion when they’re applying to do some graphic design for you? How would anyone’s faith get in the way of running a hotel?

It wouldn’t. And that’s why this story seems so implausible to me (not to mention it’s in the Daily Mail…). There’s no benefit to having an atheist-only hotel staff.

It’s funny, though, to hear Christian sites complaining about this when they support companies who refuse to hire LGBT workers because of “religious freedom.” It’s not right when they do it and it wouldn’t be right if the atheists were doing it here, either.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • LesterBallard

    If it’s true, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    • Donalbain

      No. He was not a goose. You should not be punished for something someone else did.

      • 3lemenope

        Seconded with emphasis.

      • LesterBallard

        See my reply to myself.

      • C Peterson

        You should not be punished for something someone else did.

        Although perhaps we should make an exception for Christians. Their god punishes all women for what Eve did. Their god regularly commands that children (unto the seventh generation) be punished for the sins of their fathers. It would be hypocritical for a Christian to complain about being punished for the deeds of others.

      • Patrick

        He wasn’t punished, and no-one else ‘did’ anything. He doesn’t have a right to be given that job; no-one does. As much as you and I wish to disagree with people inclined to discriminate, we can’t force people to like each other, even if the basis for their dislike is abhorrent. Forced acceptance is oxymoronic, and unfair on everyone involved. It’s not our place to tell a private (non-state) entity who they wish to associate with. It is our place, however, to boycott those who choose to discriminate.

    • LesterBallard

      I think I was misunderstood. I mean, if the person wasn’t hired because of his religion, the company should have to pay; like the previous story, where the guy was denied the job for not being enough of a Christian. Is that clearer? My bad.

  • Bob Becker

    Wonder how many of the Xian sites are including the qualifier, “if it’s true”?

  • Glasofruix

    I’m fine working with religious people as long as they leave me alone with their nonsense, on the other hands working with vegans is a real pain in the ass.

    • Owen

      How do you know if someone is a vegan?
      Dont worry, they will tell you.

      • named

        Or, you could make sweeping generalizations about vegans specific dietary choices and potential health risks until someone snaps and starts shouting out corrections by the dozen at you…

        It’s always nice to play the occasional game of “I found the vegan” on the net.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684125632 Aaron Harmon

          Found the vegan.

          • named

            Not even close, sir. Dead animal carcass is my favorite treat!

            Nice try, though.

    • Vukota

      The irony is that you probably hate vegans for the same reason many religious people hate you – because you buck tradition, make people think about their choices and are not afraid to speak out.

      • Glasofruix

        Vegan spotted.

        PS. I never said i hated vegans.

      • Vukota

        Nm.

    • Valancy Jane

      I’m trying to think of a single vegan I’ve ever worked with who volunteered a word about their dietary preferences. Even the vegetarians I’ve worked with didn’t tend to make a big deal out of it. Maybe I’ve just had a very fortunate 20+ years in the workforce in a dozen or so multi-national companies. What on earth field do you work in?

      That said, on their own message boards, vegans can be really negative and hostile about meat-eaters, but that’s not the same thing to me.

      • Glasofruix

        You’re lucky, i have a shitload of pamphlets on my desk everyday and they never miss a chance to “educate” me about their healthier than thou lifestyle (quite odd, because most of them make more smoke than a locomotive), even the shoes i wear seem to be offensive to them.

        • Gus Snarp

          Ah, the toupee fallacy.

  • Owen

    Employers should be able to hire or fire anyone for any reason anytime.

    • coyotenose

      Like for being black, or for being an atheist who blogs about religion from home, because things have always been more civil whenever scapegoated minorities are dumped on and prevented from improving their lot by bigoted majorities. The Civil Rights Movement clearly ruined everything by delegitimizing systematic oppression.

      • Owen

        What about the business owners property rights and freedom of association?

        • Patrick

          Moreover – if it really is a bigoted majority, the democratic system isn’t a particularly reliable check against them. You can’t legislate morality, nor opinion. Bigots will be bigots, why force them to pretend otherwise?

          • Kengi

            The Civil Rights Act doesn’t legislate morality. It protects the rights of minorities.

            • Patrick

              By legislating morality. Forcing someone to consent to another person’s use of their property is, in effect, to legislate morality. No-one has the right to use another person’s property without their freely-given consent.

              • Kengi

                Balancing conflicting rights of two different people isn’t the same as legislating morality unless you consider all laws to be “legislating morality”.

                And you are wrong, at least in regards to the US. The Civil Rights Act does say people have the right to use another person’s property without their freely-given consent. I thought that’s what you were complaining about! Did you miss the entire Civil Rights Era?

                • Patrick

                  In this instance there are no conflicting rights.
                  I should make a distinction between legal rights and natural rights. Yes, the CRA does say people have the right to use another person’s property without their freely-given consent. You’re right, that’s exactly what I’m complaining about. While it is legal, it should not be. Can you honestly read that back – “The Civil Rights Act does say people have the right to use another person’s property without their freely-given consent” – and say that it’s morally correct?

                • Kengi

                  Yes, because, unlike your claim, I’ve already pointed out the conflicting rights. The right of free travel by African Americans was restricted in may areas of the country. Not by the government, but by businesses operating as a public accommodation. They refused to allow African Americans to by food, gas, lodging, and other products and services which are required to allow for free travel.

        • Kengi

          The rights of minorities to be free to travel, shop and live a normal life is, rightly, considered more important that the rights of businesses to discriminate when given the privilege to operate a public accommodation.

          Rights must be balanced. Your right to swing your arm ends before your fist can touch my nose.

          • Patrick

            It should not be considered a privilege to operate a public accommodation – or rather, terming them ‘public accommodations’ masks the reality that they remain public property, no different to your home. You have the right to invite people into your home, and bar others from it; the same rule should apply to all private property, no matter what you want to call it. If I want to hold a garage sale, or rent my spare room, I claim the absolute right to do so, and to choose who I deal with based on criteria I choose.

            Rights do not need to be balanced. Your assertion is that I have the right to enjoy the use of your private property without your consent (that is, with your consent given under duress.) I absolutely do not have this right, no matter your grounds for denying consent.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              You are incorrect. Legally, private non-residential property is treated very differently from residential property. “Castle Laws” only protect a home, not a business. Business insurance and homeowners insurance are priced differently and sold by different companies. You get a ton of tax breaks for buying a house that you do not get for buying commercial property. Homeowners associations and cities have different guidelines for how neat properties must be before they incur fines, depending on whether property is residential or commercial.

              Would you argue that I can do whatever I want on my private property? I can make smokey fires, pollute the ground, build rockets and shoot them off, have loud parties, etc because it’s my property? I have no obligations whatsoever to my neighbors?

              • Patrick

                I agree there are legal distinctions. My overarching point is that there ought not be.
                You have the absolute right to use your property in any way you choose, so long as you do not infringe on my right to do the same. You may pollute your own property with smoke/noise/anything else, so long as you do not pollute mine. Of course there’s a certain amount of common sense and courtesy involved here; as your neighbour I might agree that it’s reasonable for you to make noise during the evening, but I can expect to be allowed to sleep at night. I’d argue that this entire example reinforces my point – you have absolute rights to your own property, and I have mine. Neither of us has the right to impede the other’s use of their property, no matter what that use may be.

                • Kengi

                  In modern societies there are always shared resources (such as air and water). Your smoke and waste affects the shared resources of others.

                  Rights (like the ability to travel freely without restriction from anyone, not just the government) always need to be balanced against the rights of others, since they are often in conflict.

                  As I said, you have the right to swing your arm, but not to swing it into my nose.

                  Did you just read Ayn Rand for the first time? Let me give you an important insight: her books were fiction.

                • Patrick

                  There are some shared resources. My home, land, food, gas, are not included. If I can demonstrate that your actions destroyed my property – maybe one of your aforementioned rockets went awry and set fire to my house, or maybe your generator leaked chemicals into my garden, poisoning my food any therefore me – then I have grounds for recourse.

                  You are right, you have the right to swing your fist – to set off fireworks, for example – but that right ends at my nose – that firework burning down my house.
                  I have not read Ayn Rand, and do not intend to.

                  This thread it taking a tangent. I’m fine with that, unless there is a point you’re trying to make that I’m missing?

                  Your increasingly hostile comments (Stormfront? Really?) indicate that you believe I wish to discriminate. I do not – I abhor discrimination and I would join you in boycotting any discriminatory business. But I defend their right to do so.

                • Kengi

                  I’m not talking about damage to your personal property. i’m talking about damage to shared resources such as water tables and the air. Yet you seem to think that everything boils down to your home.

                  At least you finally admitted you were wrong about conflicting rights. At least now you may understand why such situations need to be balanced.

                  As for Stormfront, you can’t blame me for thinking so when you use their arguments, almost word for word, right down to the same denials about the differences between a business operating as a public accommodation and your home.

                • Patrick

                  I do not think that everything boils down to my home. And I agree that if we can demonstrate someone has directly caused harm through their actions – i.e. pollution of the water table or air – we certainly have grounds for recourse.

                  I’ve never read any argument by Stormfront; I know the website by reputation only. My argument isn’t wrong just because Stormfront agrees. I’m arguing as an individual, and treating you the same. As an individual I would never discriminate against someone for anything other than character-based reasons, and in those cases I don’t think it counts as discrimination.

                  I apologize if I seem flippant or dismissive of suffering, and I understand that would be upsetting, but that was not my intent. I only try to leave my emotions out of my comments, as I’m attempting to argue an absolute moral point. I acknowledge that discrimination exists. I agree that it is disgusting. But I do not agree that legislation is the answer, and I maintain that the initiation of force – including coercion – is inherently immoral.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I’ve had this argument, over and over, with an Objectivist friend. In the end, it comes down to he doesn’t give a shit if people are hurt. He supports the right of people to oppress, but not the right to be free from oppression. You are the same, and your lack of empathy disturbs me greatly. I hope one day you taste, just a little, what it feels like not to be the privileged one, what it feels like to be on the outside, to be a Them instead of part of We. It might open your mind a little to why discrimination isn’t an abstract principle to stand up for but rather a real harm that hurts actual people.

                • Kengi

                  Without coercion to maintain a balance of rights, minorities are the only people who ever suffer widespread discrimination.That hurts everyone in the nation in the long run. No society has ever remedied discrimination without a strong government to enforce a strong set of rights for everyone.

                  Guaranteeing rights for all people, in a balance which includes the rights of minorities, is the most important function of any government according to enlightenment philosophy, which our government was based upon.

                  You don’t like that, yet don’t offer an alternative beyond taking rights away from minorities so a privileged majority can have more rights.

                • Patrick

                  I doubt that we’re going to agree. No amount if coercion is acceptable. There will be suffering – honestly if you could point me to a solution which peacefully eliminated all suffering, then I might be tempted, but that’s not going to happen. I agree that everyone’s rights should be guaranteed, but we disagree on their definition. Ultimately our only rights are to self ownership (including ownership of the product of our labour), and the right not to be aggressed against. All other rights stem from these principles. Any ‘right’ which conflicts with this is no right at all.
                  Luckily we live in a world where there are myriad people like you (and me, believe it or not) who will not tolerate discrimination and other forms of suffering and will always fight against it. All I disagree on is that force is necessary to solve our problems.

                • Kengi

                  We tried your method for 100 years. It didn’t work.

                  The Civil Rights Act isn’t perfect, but you can’t expect anyone to believe that African Americans aren’t WAY better off since the enforcement of that act. For the previous 100 years, without that enforcement, African Americans suffered terribly even in states without Jim Crow laws, making no progress on equal rights.

                  You are not fighting against discrimination. You are justifying the continuation of discrimination and even fighting for regression back to conditions which would create more widespread discrimination.

                  People will try to maintain their privilege and fight to keep it at all costs. You are fighting with them, not against them. You support conditions which lead to and perpetuate discrimination. That is the same as supporting discrimination.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  “All it takes for Evil to triumph is for good [people] to do nothing.”

                  You don’t want to discriminate, but you’re A-OK with other people discriminating? That makes you A-OK with discrimination. You don’t get a cookie for turning away from people doing bad things and shrugging it off because, hey, you aren’t doing it. The bystanders in Steubenville are not good people because they didn’t rape the girl; they are in fact shitty people for watching and doing nothing. You abhor discrimination? Great, get involved in actually making it stop instead of mouthing platitudes about how it sucks but private property means you just couldn’t possibly do anything about it.

                • Kengi

                  He doesn’t abhor discrimination. He’s using the standard Stormfront playbook to defend discrimination, all in the name of “rights”, while refusing to admit that other people’s rights were, and are, being denied for his rights.

                • Valancy Jane

                  I admit, I keep wondering where he’d fall on this issue if he were black, or a woman. It seems like it’s only those with privilege who bleat about the “right” for a business to discriminate.

                  When a business is allowed to discriminate, it does. And when that business is the only one in an area providing that good or service, like that lights store the other day that got nailed by the EEOC for discrimination, that effectively prevents the people being discriminated against from the opportunities presented by employment with that company and from the services and goods provided by that company. It’s hard not to think as well that society takes a lesson from seeing this discrimination and subsequently thinks of, and treats, the group being discriminated against as less than fully human.

                  I’d rather help those who’ve been downtrodden and end discrimination than worry about a business’ nebulous “rights.” It’s worrisome that someone conflates personal opinions with a business’ much greater responsibility to the public and its own employees.

                • Owen

                  The right to discriminate is an important right which we all practice every day.

                • baal

                  Weird globalist statement is weird and globalist. The context matters Owen. When you’re asking someone to go to a movie, yes you are likely discriminating (unless you rolled a die and took whoever #6 is). When you have a hotel and someone asks for a room, you are not allowed to deny them that room unless you have a clear business related non-discriminatory reason to do so like you have no cleaned rooms or the person is falling down drunk.

                  When we leave society with out anti-discrimination laws, the history and current examples are clear. Minority groups get barred from or have unreasonable burdens to carry out simple tasks like taking a 2 day car ride to see the grand canyon (it wasn’t that long ago in the use that if you were black, you needed to find a series of private people willing to host you in order to travel since gas stations, restaurants and hotels would deny you access).

                • Patrick

                  I am not saying we should do nothing, and I am not okay with discrimination. I am saying that legislation is not the answer. Boycott is an appropriate response to hatred; the initiation of force is not. Legislation is not the only action we can take and any suggestion that it is limits both our options and our potential. In fact I’m arguing that we DO do something about it, directly, as individuals, rather than delegating all our hard work to the force of government.
                  (I’ll take this opportunity to clarify that I’m talking about the discrimination issue and not the rape issue, before I get branded as a rapist too. Any witness to a violent act MUST use any and all tools to intervene. Discrimination is not an act of violence. Rape is.)

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Discrimination isn’t violence? Not inherently, but it sure does lead to it. Discrimination is a symptom of dehumanization. Once you’ve managed to remove someone’s humanity, it becomes acceptable to hurt them through violence because “They’re not like Us. They’re not real people because they’re different from Us”. What was Jim Crow but the systematic implementation of the idea that Black people were sub-human? What is rape culture but the idea that women are sexual objects, not real people? Would you argue that leering and wolf whistles are fine and dandy because they don’t leave bruises, even though they’re symptomatic of a larger problem?

                  Not all harm causes bruises and broken bones. Psychological harm is real. Discrimination produces definite psychological harm. One of the biggest reasons for Brown v. Board of Education was studies showing that Black children, even as young as 5 and 6, said they weren’t as good as white children. They looked at their dilapidated, overcrowded schools and “knew” that they weren’t worth more than that. They’d already internalized the racism all around them. When you say that discrimination should be legal, you’re saying that wounds to the psyche don’t count because they aren’t visible. You’re saying that emotional abuse isn’t really abuse. You’re saying that bullying doesn’t happen unless someone gets physically beaten. And you’re saying that government, the single most effective means we have to handle violence and abuse, is “coercive” when it tries to put a stop to it.

                • Kengi

                  Boycott is a form of democracy, which is majority rule. Under any majority rule system, minorities will be the ones who will always suffer from widespread discrimination.

                  A boycott by African Americans and their supporters in a majority white area of the South in the 1930′s would not have had any effect at all on discrimination in that area. The rights of those minorities would still be taken away while the majority would not be affected.

                  In fact, when boycotts were tried in the 1950′s, many businesses in the South stood together to support each other to limit the impact of any boycott. Some businesses often claimed to have a spike in traffic from other bigoted people in the privileged majority when a boycott was announced.

                  Does that sound familiar? It should. It still happens today.

                • baal

                  ” Any witness to a violent act MUST use any and all tools to intervene”

                  You’re really not up on U.S. law. In the U.S. there is -no- obligation to help anyone for any reason unless you have a ‘special’ relationship to them. You do have a legal duty to not be negligent once you help (if you do).

                  There is a legal duty to not discriminate. We, as a society, have tried your approach and simply put, it fails. Empirically, boycotts and post hoc law suits do not stop discrimination.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You can always build sound baffles on your property if you don’t like what I do on mine.

                  My point is simply that private property ownership is NOT absolute. We have rules on what you can and cannot do with it. Building permits, homeowners association rules, anti-pollution laws, sound ordinances, all kinds of things. We have even more rules on businesses, including minimum wage and labor safety laws. Given that private property rights are not (and ought not) be absolute, why do you put anti-discrimination laws into the impermissible pile? You mentioned common sense and courtesy- why does that not include serving any of the public who wish to exchange money for a good and/or service in a public venue but does include preventing me from having loud parties at my house?

                • Patrick

                  If I – a stranger from afar – pull up outside your house and ask you to keep the noise down, you absolutely have the right to tell me where to stick it. Maybe you’d point out that all your neighbours – everyone who lives within earshot – has been invited, and is having a whale of a time. You are not infringing on my ability to enjoy my property.

                  But maybe I’m your neighbour who wasn’t invited. I don’t have the right to be invited, I get that. Maybe you forgot, or maybe you just don’t like me. Up to you. Courtesy would be to keep the noise to a reasonable level, allowing me to sleep, and in the overwhelming majority of instances all that would be required is a conversation, neighbour to neighbour. You can choose to be rude, but if your violation of my property is directly affecting my health, I have a legitimate complaint.

                  I’m contending that private property rights ARE absolute, and that while you can do what you want with your own (homeowners associations, as voluntary agreements, are the exception), you ABSOLUTELY do not have the right to destroy my property through pollution or any other means.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You’re still conflating business and home. At home: why does your right to sleep trump my right to an awesome party? I have absolute rights to my property, after all. And remember, this is a home, which is different than a business. It’s unquestionably discourteous to my neighbors to be loud. According to your logic, it shouldn’t be illegal. Privacy concerns are much, much stronger in domiciles than in businesses- we sleep, eat, cook, walk around naked, have sex, and relax in our homes. We act in ways we don’t act in public (usually, most of us).

                  Businesses are considered public: we’re allowed to be videotaped, for example. They are, by definition, open to the public. They have far different rules as I’ve already established above. When allowed to be discriminatory, they infringe on people’s rights (see Kengi’s discussion of how discrimination in the South effectively cut off Black people’s right to travel). When sex discrimination was allowed, women never became upper managers. Ever. I assure it’s not because they were incapable or because they didn’t want to. Ivy League universities used to have quotas for Jews, so they wouldn’t admit too many of them. Once they’d admitted that number, they’d just turn down any additional applications from Jewish students. They used to just not admit anyone who wasn’t white. Being private universities, they made the exact same arguments you’re making about private property and freedom of association. It was bullshit then and it’s still bullshit.

                  What about every person’s right to be treated as a full human being, accorded recognition for their abilities and treated equally to every other human being? Abstract “property” rights should not, can not, trump human rights and the actual human beings who are hurt by your inability to understand that standing idly by is not taking a neutral position.

      • Patrick

        The Civil Rights Movement achieved two things. The first is the repeal of the Jim Crow Laws, which were completely abhorrent. But there is a difference between abhorring mandatory segregation, and recognising the rights of private individuals to freely choose their associations.

        • Kengi

          African Americans couldn’t travel across certain parts of the country. They have the right to travel freely, and businesses which the state has granted the privilege to operate as a public accommodation were actively preventing that. Congress as well as the Supreme Court balanced those conflicting rights.

          Just claiming you are afraid of African American (or LGBT or Christian or atheist) cooties is less important than more basic rights such as being free to travel.

          • Patrick

            And as I mentioned above, state-sponsored/state-mandated discrimination is absolutely unethical. The repeal of the Jim Crow laws was an ethical necessity.
            As long as the government does not practice discrimination – and you and I agree, it must not – all are free to travel.
            See my comment on the other thread regarding public accommodations.

            • Kengi

              Travel requires the ability to purchase food, gas, tickets, etc. Denying people access to those basic needs prevents the right of travel.

              And you really expect me to go hunting for your other posts? Sorry, but I don’t visit the Stormfront website, so won’t be able to do that.

              • Patrick

                I deny you access to my pantry, my garage, on your travels. You may not have my food, nor my gas. Does that mean I am denying your right to travel? No. You may travel, but you may not use my property. Maybe I’m on the brink of starvation, and have only a little food left; maybe I need my gas to get to work; or maybe I have loads and just don’t feel like giving it to you, maybe I only want to give it to other people called Patrick. You’re right, that would make me an asshole, but that’s all. Just an asshole. It doesn’t give you the right to take it from me, or have someone else force me to share.

                The other post was a direct reply to a comment of yours; unless you’re wilfully simple (and you don’t seem to be) you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding it, and should be able to talk to me without resorting to unfair ad hominems.

                • Kengi

                  We aren’t talking about the pantry in your house. You know that, but are being purposely obtuse. We are talking about businesses operating as a public accommodation which you already admitted were different from your home. Such businesses get special rights and privileges you don’t get for your home, and are subject to different standards than your home.

                  If you, and everyone else operating a public accommodation, in an area refuse to sell me food, gas, and lodgings, then just how do you expect me to travel through that area? On foot carrying all the food I need for hundreds of miles? It’s illegal to poach for food, so I’d need quite the backpack for me and my family.

                  Again, you are being purposely obtuse, and just copy/pasting ideas right out of the Stormfront playbook.

                  As for post searching, if you want me to read it, then either copy/past or post a link. I’m not doing your work for you, I hate it when freeloaders won’t do their own work and expect everyone else to support them.

                • Patrick

                  Yes, public accommodations are (under law) different from one’s home. I have been arguing that this distinction should not exist.

                  I’d also argue that you have the right to poach for food, but that’s a side-issue. Your example conflicts with what we know about the world and about human nature. It’s a matter of personal responsibility to plan one’s journey ahead, or to adjust plans accordingly. I wouldn’t hitchhike through the Bible Belt wearing my “Atheist” tee shirt without making sure I was wearing my best walking boots, because that’s clearly going to be a long and lonely journey. I wouldn’t walk down a Pakistani street in my favourite pedophile prophet costume and expect to get a hotel room. I could always get a bus, train or plane from A to B instead. In addition, such widespread and intense discrimination is increasingly limited, proportionately and geographically. In those societies inclined to anti-discrimination laws, such ubiquitous and uniform hatred is unlikely, if not impossible. Were it to reach the level of your example, it’s unlikely any legal protection would exist or suffice.

                • Patrick

                  What if there are no public accommodations for hundreds of miles. Do you then have the right to enter people’s homes for shelter, or to take their food or gas?

                • Kengi

                  Sorry, but that level of discrimination was reached in many areas of the South, which is why the Civil Rights Act finally gained enough support to be passed. If it hadn’t been, there is no reason to assume discrimination wouldn’t have continued, since it had already been that way for a hundred years.

                  And do you really (honestly) expect a family with small children to get enough food in backpacks so they can hike across areas of the country to get from one place to another? While white people can just load up the family car and travel through the same area?

                  That’s asinine, and I suspect you know it.

                  I also have no clue why you are now talking about Pakistan. Do you think they are a rile model we should strive for?

                • Kengi

                  By the way, you do understand that insults aren’t the same thing as ad hominem arguments, don’t you? I’ve clearly explained the fallacy of your faulty logic while also insulting you in a passive-aggressive manner That’s not an ad hominem argument.

                • Patrick

                  Insults, ad hominems… it’s 3am. Forgive me.

    • RedGreenInBlue

      If could just I stop you there, Owen? I’m afraid we won’t be needing your services as a commenter any longer. Why? Oh, just that I really don’t like names with the letter W in them.

      …What do you mean, that’s not a reason to fire you?

      • Patrick

        This is a case in point. If Hemant decided to remove Owen from the comments because he didn’t like names with the letter W in them – or for any other reason – that would be his right. And if I disagreed with his reason for doing so, I would be an ex-reader of his blog.

        • Owen

          Exactly. Glad to see someone gets it.

          • Patrick

            Wi-five.

        • Kengi

          But the analogy is inapplicable to the situation otherwise being discussed. So yay! You are correct about Patheos being allowed to censor conversations on their blog, but that’s because this blog isn’t operating as a public accommodation.

          Try learning about the actual issues involved in the Civil Rights Act rather than just regurgitating what you read on Stormfront.

          • Patrick

            Not my analogy.

            • Kengi

              I didn’t say it was.

      • Owen

        If you owned this blog I would accept your right to refuse my postings for any reason. Since you are not Hemant Mehta you lack this authority. Property rights are a wonderful thing.

        • RedGreenInBlue

          Owen, I *know* I don’t own this blog and I rather suspect that you realise that. I was trying to take your statement that an employer really could fire you “for any reason whatsoever” to its logical conclusion. Are you saying that you would not fight an employer’s decision to fire you for having a W in your name?

      • Kengi

        It’s a bad analogy. Patheos isn’t selling Owen a service, so they are not acting as a public accommodation.

    • MattFromChitown

      Aaaand the voice of privilege pops up.

    • Patrick

      Going to have to agree. As individuals we have (and exercise) the right to discriminate for any and every reason on a daily basis. We have the right to exclude people we don’t like from our private property; our reasons are our own. There is no coherent reason why businesses should be forced to act any differently. A much fairer, freer and more just system would be to allow all to enter voluntarily into any relationship they choose; under such circumstances, I’d be glad to join the other 90% of people who turn their backs on those businesses, and individuals, who choose to discriminate against broad swathes of the population.
      Considering this is an atheist blog, the readers of which (especially in the U.S.) face the possibility of discrimination daily, Owen’s comment cannot be immediately dismissed as privilege.
      Freedom of association should be an absolute and universal right.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Business and private associations are different. I, as an individual, can choose not to spend time with anyone I damned well don’t want to. I, as a (theoretical) doctor, am obligated to treat whoever comes in and needs help. I, as a theoretical pharmacist, am obligated to dispense medicine to whoever comes into the drugstore. I, as a theoretical restaurant owner, am obligated to serve whoever comes in to buy food.

        We have anti-discrimination laws for a reason. “Free association” also means that minorities don’t get served, that women are shut out of country clubs where networking and wheeling and dealing occur, that “No Irish Need Apply”. It means the one unbigoted person in town being given hints that if ze doesn’t change hir ways, that lovely shop might burn down. Or the dog might get shot. Or the house might get bombed. But, ya know, it’s totally free choice, amiright?

        • Patrick

          I assure you I considered the implications of my comment before I posted. And I assure you I don’t agree with any discriminatory practices.
          While yes, doctors and pharmacists are obligated to treat/serve all comers, they are so obligated by their respective boards. Failure to comply results in their being struck off. If their employer (as in the UK) is the state, then this is absolutely correct; no arm of the state can be allowed to discriminate.
          In the case of the threatened shopkeeper – if those threats are credible and imminent, then of course that is intolerable. Violence always is. If on the other hand the townspeople collectively decide to boycott the business, thus driving it out of town or into the ground – while you and I will both disagree with their actions, we ought both defend their right to do so.
          As with your country club/Irish examples, I’ll reiterate that there is no difference between business and private association. Like homes, businesses are private property; there’s no more reason to force faux-tolerance on a business than on a homeowner, and it’s no more right to force a business to open its doors to someone than an an individual to open their home.

          The initiation of violence (under which I include threat, fraud and coercion) is always wrong. This includes threatening to harm someone based on their race, gender identity, etc. It also includes threatening to imprison or confiscate property from someone who refuses to associate with someone else for any reason.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            That’s privilege talking, because you’ve never been the one shut out. It’s only “oh that’s too bad” when it’s too bad for Them. Actions have consequences, and what we allow sets the tone for the society we all live in. I’m female and have never been Christian- while I’ve had a lot of advantages in my life (Caucasian, straight, cis, upper middle class, born to educated parents, etc), I’ve also been on the outside due to my religion, my sex, or my race (I lived in Japan for awhile, where being Caucasian is very much a racial minority). It hurts. A lot. It also does serious damage to the psyche if that discrimination and exclusion is societally accepted. There’s a reason ‘separate but equal’ got shut down and it’s because separate is never equal. Societal exclusion is ‘separate but equal’, or even just ‘separate’, and it is never acceptable. Why does your right to free association trump someone else’s right to an equal playing ground, especially for businesses which aren’t actually people but rather artificial legal entities?

        • Owen

          No one has the right to force someone else to associate with them. As a business owner should I be forced by the government into contracting to do a job for the Westboro Baptist Church? Why or why not?

          • Owen

            I find it interesting and very telling that no one has offered to answer my question so once again Ill ask: As a business owner should I be forced by the government into
            contracting to do a job for the Westboro Baptist Church? Why or why not?

            Perhaps no one has answered because there is no answer to be given that wont betray the hypocrisy and inconsistency that many on here have regarding the right of individuals to discriminate and to practice freedom of association. Anyone care to answer? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              No, because it’s a stupid question.

              IF you are offering services or goods to the public, you are not allowed to discriminate against anyone who comes in and accepts your offer of services.

              • Erp

                Or in other words, Owen, you can’t refuse to sell to the Westboro Baptist Church members simply because they are members of the church. However I suspect you are allowed to refuse if they harass you or your employee and you are perfectly free to wear a rainbow flag during the sale or while carrying out the service. Any discrimination must be on reasonable (or legally required) grounds. For example not selling alcohol to someone under the drinking age or who is drunk.

                • Owen

                  The only reason I need to refuse service to a member of the WBC, or anyone else, is that I dont want to associate with them.

              • Owen

                I would, and do, discriminate against accepting contracts from churches. I will not be forced to work for someone I dont want to no matter what the government says.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Congratulations, you’re violating FEDERAL LAW.

                • Owen

                  Good. The government doesnt grant rights, it either secures them or it doesnt and in the case of freedom of association it does not which is why I ignore these laws. Its actually very easy to get around and since I believe that good people disobey bad laws I feel that I have a moral imperative to myself to ignore laws which would force me to work for someone I dont want to such as a member of the WBC.

                  Freedom, baby.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              You must serve WBC members if you serve the public. You are not legally required to take a job for the WBC Church, as that is a business entity and not a person and as such, not covered by anti-discrimination laws. Ethically, you should take a commission from the WBC.

              • Owen

                I have a natural right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. I can not be forced to work for someone that I dont want to. I dont care what the government says to the contrary.
                I would shut down my business before I would ever be forced to knowingly serve a member of WBC.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  If you serve a WBC member, you’re not working for them. You’re working for your employer, whoever that might be. It might even be you, but if you incorporate a business you have two hats: Owen-the-person and Owen-the-business. Owen-the-business may not refuse service to any member of the public for a discriminatory reason if that business specifically serves the public. You certainly have no “natural right” to anything associated with business other than the right to be treated as a person, same as any other person.

                  If you choose to shut down your business rather than serve people you hate, problem solved! Bigots aren’t running businesses. Yes, the WBC are hateful, awful people, but adopting their tactics isn’t helpful either.

                • Owen

                  Absolute and utter nonsense.

      • Owen

        “Considering this is an atheist blog, the readers of which (especially in
        the U.S.) face the possibility of discrimination daily, Owen’s comment
        cannot be immediately dismissed as privilege.”

        In addition to being an atheist I am gay and I have a physical disability. Not that it matters to me but I know for some of the more PC types reading this those facts are indeed very relevant. I find that many liberals consider me to be a perpetual victim because of these traits although I do not embrace the politics of victim hood.

        • John (not McCain)

          Fuck you stupid crippled pervert. Feel better now?

          • Owen

            Do you?

  • Steve Bowen

    A large dose of skepticism is in order here. This does not ring true as Hemant implies. More data will be forthcoming I suspect…

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

      I think this might be one of these trans-Atlantic cultural divide issues; there seems to be something of a tradition in the US of newspapers trying to get their facts right. This does not exist in the UK. The Daily Mail lies, routinely, on purpose.

      • longpete

        It’s just role-reversal. In the UK, it’s the TV stations that try to get their facts right. The Daily Mail is to UK newspapers what Fox News is to US TV.

  • coyotenose

    When we’ve seen this sort of thing with an atheist victim, there have always been details that substantiate the claim or that at least lend verisimilitude. The tone of the alleged conversation adds plausibility, I think, though some people might say it’s neutral in that regard.

    That the management would be dumb enough to say such a thing during the interview process is unlikely; at the very least, they are savvy enough to not set themselves up for an argument or worse right there in the office (some religious offenders are that blatant, yes, but the ideology that informs the thinking of someone like that also gives them a sense of invulnerability.)

    There’s no defensible argument for discriminating based on the rationalization of incompatibility between employees given the position for which he was being considered. This isn’t a graphics firm, so he wouldn’t be in constant contact with a great many employees. This *might* not even be a regular or permanent position. It loses credibility for that reason.

    The trend of Christians inflating issues or fabricating them to support their persecution complex, to take revenge, or to “make a point” in a Breitbartian fashion make the story suspicious, but of course that doesn’t actually say anything about this man.

    If they have Christian employees, he’s got nothin’.

    Finally, it’s a Daily Mail story. -1000 Plausibility.

    It’s vile no matter who does it. I’m just unconvinced so far. I hope he’s lying, but not to somehow “protect the good name of atheism”, but because people who need work (or anybody else) don’t deserve that kind of treatment.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Why is the Daily Mail seen as a negative? They report facts on US stories that US news sites never do. I check out the Daily Mail every day just for that fact. They also provide some of the best photos of any news site around.

      I’ve read stories on the Daily Mail about happenings in the US long before they are ever reported on, if they are ever reported on by a US news web site.

      The Daily Mail stated Obama had won re-election before any US news web site ever did.

      I just honestly don’t understand why the Daily Mail is seen as a rag news site when they are far from it.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Guys, he thought WND was a reliable source, too…

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

          I never stated it was. I simply copied and pasted a link. You are the one that keeps saying I think it is a reliable source.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Why use it if you think it’s an unreliable source? Also, you never did respond to my explanation of why your arguments from it were entirely erroneous.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

              I was asked for links and I provided one that included a list. I had copied and pasted over 10 others but being that one link had 13 pages of women committing the same offense it seem a tad simpler to do but all some of you wanted to do was destroy the source of the information, not the information provided.

              Just because you see it as unreliable doesn’t make it so and I didn’t respond to you because it was pointless to do so.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                You obviously didn’t read my reply to you then. I did not, in fact, impugn the source at all, merely did a tiny bit of additional research to show that your argument (not your source, but your argument itself) was wrong.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  That post I did read and when I read at least once a week of a female teacher sleeping with a male student I’m going to go with they take the cake. Granted your numbers did prove it is not true I still do read about females screwing their male students more often than I read about males screwing their female students.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  That’s probably because of the “dog bites man” syndrome. We expect men to fuck anything they can, while women aren’t supposed to do that, so when women fuck their students it’s news. When men fuck their students it’s like, oh well, boys will be boys.

                  It shouldn’t be like that. It really, really shouldn’t be. Any teacher abusing any student is awful. But that’s my (admittedly vulgar) analysis of why news media seems to print so many stories about women screwing male students when it’s actually less common than the reverse.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  And you might be 100% correct and that might be why I read a story once a week about it happening around the world. No teacher at all should be fucking their students.

                  I never took the time to look at all the facts, it just seemed from the amount of news stories I read that female teachers did in fact take the cake and I was asked to provide stories of said teachers that have done so and I found one little link that provided a lot of information so I posted that one little link and shit hit the fan because it was from a web site that seems to not lack any sort of credibility.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yeah, the Internet (especially the blogosphere and commenters) is like that. Next time you’ll research things better, I bet! So you’ve learned some things, which is never a bad thing.

                  Just FYI, WND isn’t really considered a credible source because it doesn’t practice fact-checking. Many of its articles are flat-out wrong and it doesn’t even try to check it’s super-fundamentalist, misogynist leanings. I’m not saying it’s never, ever right, but I would quadruple check anything you read there and be aware that even if it’s technically right, it’s probably hiding important facts that contextualize information. For example, that link of yours. 100% correct as far as it goes. What it left out is that male teachers are ~9/10 of reported abusers and that only ~24% of teachers are male. Without that information to put the information they did provide in perspective, you came to a logical and totally wrong conclusion. WND does that sort of shenanigans with a lot of things.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  Next time I will copy and paste the 20 links from elsewhere. Lesson learned.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Nope, not what I meant. I meant that WND only told a tiny bit of the story, shaped to cause their audience to draw a certain conclusion. That conclusion was false and the WND people knew it. Any time anyone tells a bit of the story, leaving out relevant information that might cause you to come to a conclusion different than the one they want you to reach, they’re not credible.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  I understand what you meant. Until the day I posted the WND link I had never once visited their site. Again, my bad and I accept that.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Uh, you posted it as a source, and treated it as reliable… duh!

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

              So each time I post a link to a source I have to clear it with you to make sure it is 100% reliable? Who are you to say it is not?

        • Kengi

          Oh my. He uses WND as a citation to support arguments? OK, that explains a lot.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

            No, I did not but keep thinking I did.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Except that… YOU DID.

              Really, all this would have been avoided if you hadn’t been lazy in your research.

      • Kengi

        “I just honestly don’t understand why the Daily Mail is seen as a rag news site when they are far from it.”

        Because they are regularly caught making crap up and outright lying in stories. Face it, they are the poster child for tabloid reporting.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor
          • Kengi

            I never claimed every story was “full of lies.” I pointed out that they have been regularly caught making crap up and lying. Something like that tends to taint anything they report, which is why I double check when they report the sun rose this morning.

            • http://twitter.com/Regcarolmoore Regina Carol Moore

              Even the style in which they report actual news is full of over-dramatic ridiculous writing style. They are obviously trying to push extreme emotion instead of reporting the facts and letting the reader feel what they are going to feel. Very poor journalism.

      • Bender

        Why is the Daily Mail seen as a negative?

        Because their reputation as bullshitters is legendary:

        http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-easy-ways-to-spot-b.s.-news-story-internet/

    • vincent findley

      And of course Godless Stalinists don’t fabricate anything!

      • MattD

        Of course not, since it’s no more appropiate to call us Stalinists, then it is to call you an Inquisitor.

        • vincent findley

          Well on this site it’s quite obvious you all worship the state you live in. Matt, i see intelligence in you. You could use the word harsh instead of inquisitor.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

            Worship the state? That’s a new one on me!

    • ecolt

      I agree, it doesn’t seem likely. At the least I don’t think we’re hearing the whole story. According to him the manager just saw his portfolio, saw work done for Christian clients, and inferred that he shared his clients’ beliefs and said he couldn’t work there. Maybe it’s more likely that he started talking about how important he thinks god is or made a derogatory comment about non-believers or something? Or maybe the manager asked, in light of his portfolio, if he would be comfortable working with a more secular group? I just find the scenario as presented to be highly improbable.

      I also noticed an inconsistency in the way it was told. First he said he was told he wasn’t in the running because his beliefs would make atheist employees uncomfortable, but the later he says “I understood from what she was saying that it would be very difficult for me to work there.” So did she say it outright or he just apply that famous Christian persecution complex to infer that he wasn’t hired because of his religion?

      And even if it is true, this still plays into that persecution complex. Somehow I doubt that The Daily Mail reports every single time an atheist is discriminated against in hiring, let alone a story with a wistful photo of the poor pathetic hipster, oops I mean victim.

  • John F

    It’s nice to see that Hemant has learnt about the Daily Mail.

  • RecoveringAgnostic

    If true, I think it would be great for atheists to be really outspoken about opposing this, and to be very clear about why. It would even be good to clearly state (as Hemant does) why this *would* be wrong, if true, regardless of the full story. Let’s be clear that discrimination like this is wrong, full stop.

    But then again, it sounds ridiculously unlikely, and the Mail are unlikely to be interested in a sensible response that doesn’t fit their agenda.

  • MattFromChitown

    Hemant said: How would anyone’s faith get in the way of running a hotel?

    Try being a gay couple wanting to get a room with one bed in it. Twice my partner and I were told we had to have separate beds. At a major hotel chain. Both times the person was sporting a cross around their neck.

    • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

      Jerks. I’d tell them that it’s just as possible to have sex on a single bed as on a double. I’d enjoy their reaction.

      • MattFromChitown

        Fret not. I got my way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1220871538 Alan Eckert

    I was going to offer proof of notoriously bad graphic design by Christians, but then I remembered some of the billboards that atheists have produced…

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Ten to one his portfolio was chock full of blatantly CHRISTIAN artwork, and demonstrated that he would not be able to put his faith aside and do his work.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Are you suggesting that an art portfolio is indicative of ability separate faith from work and because of that alone a person deserves not to be hired?

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        I’m suggesting that he is incapable of keeping his faith out of his work.

      • rustygh

        Yes! Why is it so wrong to tell the truth? I’m sick of all the behind kissing. Some xian’s are so deep it interferes with everything they do. I left a job because of it. I know it happens. Its not wrong to point that out.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Alright, I’ll play D.A. for the hell of it here. Obviously, there are laws about not discriminating on the basis of religion (not sure about the UK but I would imagine they have something similar) so legally this is probably wrong from the get-go.

    Secondly, the idea that your other employees might be offended by it is ridiculous. Even on the off chance that they are all atheists, it’s not like they don’t coexist with Christians in every other aspect of their life.

    Removing those aspects though, is it fair to evaluate the decision-making process of people based on pre-existing beliefs? Sure, we all know that most Christians just make their own Christianity and only adhere to the aspects of their book and their dogma that they are comfortable with. Is it up to an employer to figure that out though?

    Let’s say that you’re interviewing someone who is a holocaust denier. It’s not out of some anti-semitic upbringing, they just simply haven’t been convinced that the evidence for the holocaust is true. Could you look at that to predict how they might make future decisions as they apply to their job? What if they believe there’s an alien living under their pillow? What if they believe Obama is actually a reincarnated version of TuPac? If someone has a firm irrational belief about something that doesn’t apply to their job, can an employer use that to evaluate their decision-making process as a future employee?

    So forget about that most Christians are only that because they were indoctrinated into it or just call themselves that to reap the social advantages of being part of the majority. What would be wrong for an employer to just take this guy at his word that he thinks a Palestinian carpenter is the creator of the universe and that he thinks he’s immortal because he believes in the redeeming powers of blood sacrifice and that everyone he’ll be working with has a worthless existence and is doomed for all of eternity for not believing the same thing? If you only looked at what this guy claims to believe on the surface, would it really be wrong to be concerned about how that might affect his performance as an employee?

    • Baby_Raptor

      Fearing that other people might be offended by it isn’t ridiculous at all. If the person in question is one of those types who never shuts up and is constantly “witnessing,” then it’s quite easy to imagine that people could get offended, or feel harassed. (And I’m not saying that person would *have* to be a Christian to be that personality type, either. But Christianity is what’s being discussed in the hypothetical.)

      • Art_Vandelay

        Of course, but like you said, that has nothing to do with being a Christian but more to do with being a general pain in the ass. I’m speaking solely on the basis of being a Christian.

  • Daniel

    Two questions here:

    1) Has anyone ever actually said the words, “From your work, I can see you are clearly a committed Christian” aloud?

    2) Is it that hard to believe that only religious discrimination could explain why someone whose professional photo seems to involve them wearing green pants, a dotted medium sleeved sweater, plaid scarf, and a wool cap might not be picked for a job in creating pleasing visual images?

    • coyotenose

      I think the pic was designed to make him look like a poor freezing, starving victim of Rampant Corporate Atheists. If he’d been wearing the suit he surely wore to the interview, he’d come across as less in need of work.

  • Miss_Beara

    I don’t think people are suppose to take stories that are found in the daily mail seriously.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor
      • 3lemenope

        Not until I see them somewhere else, no.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor
          • 3lemenope

            My excuse? I don’t know what you mean.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

              3lemenope wrote: Not until I see them somewhere else, no.
              I just gave you links to prove that the Daily Mail was reporting on the truth for those four stories.

              • 3lemenope

                But even with those stories (which I glanced at) you have to wade through a whole mess of unsubstantiated rumor and assorted crap to actually get to the story. I, not having fetishized knowing NOW NOW NOW, am not bothered waiting, say, an hour, for papers with actual fact-checkers to publish stories that have a better signal-to-bull ratio.

                Why use a source that sometimes gets it sort of right when you can wait, you know, a minute, and get one that gets it mostly right?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  The Daily Mail if you ever took the time to read it each day provides more truth to stories than most US news web sites ever do.

                • 3lemenope

                  They provide more *content*. If that content actually turns out to be truth is where it gets sticky. I could type five times as many words as you just did. Does that mean that my post has five times as many facts? Does it have 500% more truth?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  Well I will keep defending their articles because I read the truth from them a lot more than I do from US news sites.

                • 3lemenope

                  How do you know what you get from those articles is truth?

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  Take the time to read the 4 stories from the Daily Mail that I posted. Then take the time to read the 4 stories posted from US news sites. You will see a difference.

                • Valancy Jane

                  Daily Mail gets a lot of stuff wrong, though. That you found four stories that were reported more or less accurately doesn’t contradict that DM makes enough mistakes to make anything it says suspect. They ran a story about a super-fat black American lady not long ago that purportedly was an interview with her–and in it “she” was quoted repeatedly as using British slang (“mash” for “mashed potatoes” was what sprang out at me–because don’t all South Central LA women talk like that?). And other stories they run are warped or flat-out made up. I don’t dismiss DM out of hand automatically, but if they report on something polarizing or sensational, I definitely would go looking for corroboration before repeating anything of that nature I saw there.

                  http://www.cracked.com/funny-6484-the-daily-mail/ and

                  http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-easy-ways-to-spot-b.s.-news-story-internet/ (#4 is about DM, with plenty of links and evidence for the skeptic in you)

                  I love DM too, believe me, but it isn’t my go-to for reliable news reporting.

                • 3lemenope

                  Yeah, but you’re still not getting it. If you have two sources of info which disagree, why do you prefer the one over the other? Merely looking back and forth between the sources can’t get you to a justification procedure for that choice.

                • McFidget

                  So what is your response to story’s such as this:
                  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-566481/Why-child-safe-sinister-cult-emo.html
                  It could be straight out of the onion it’s so ridiculous. “Only after her death would they discover how she had secretly
                  chatted online to emo followers all over the world, talking about
                  death and of the “black parade” a place where emos
                  believe they go after they die.”

                  Or perhaps you should consider their regular columnist Richard Littlejohn who regularly mocks homosexuals, trans people and the disabled with gleeful abandon.

                  Or maybe the pervasive xenophobic bias that taints every story they run about anyone from anywhere east of the UK.
                  The daily mail is a disgustingly bigoted rag that seems to have an allergy to fact checking. It doesn’t matter how many stories you cite where they are right there are just as many where they are undeniably wrong.

                • Kengi

                  Check out any of their stories on climate change. They reported on findings they claimed came from the Met Office, and the Met Office had to issue a press release explaining how the Daily Mail lied.

                  They just did another story about climate with a graph to support their conclusion. Only the graph showed the opposite of what the story claimed.

                  They regularly do this, and are, rightfully so, the butt of jokes throughout the journalism world.

                  As has been pointed out above, they really became known for crap journalism when they started releasing wild headlines and stories based on the earliest and flimsiest evidence just to claim they scooped everybody else. They never fact check anything, and instead of issuing retractions, they just dump their old, inaccurate stories down the memory hole when more information comes out.

                  If you really want decent British journalism, The Guardian is about the best you can do. The BBC is good as well, but their website is often well behind their broadcasts. They also make mistakes, but far fewer, and, more importantly they publish retractions and corrections when they do, as well as strive to minimize those mistakes.

                  I’m guessing you don’t like them since the reality they report doesn’t often conform to what you would like reality to be.

                  Al Jazeera is another quality international source. They modeled their journalism on the BBC, so it’s not really a surprise. They had some of the best US Election coverage from their US correspondents.

                • Kengi

                  I will admit that American journalism is not exactly healthy. If you really are interested in the state of journalism, you should look into meta journalism sites, often run by journalism schools, which discuss this. The MIT Knight Science Journalism Tracker is one of my favorite sites for discussing how science is reported around the world.

                  http://ksj.mit.edu/tracker

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                  Oh, you were serious?

                  Let me laugh harder!

                • vincent findley

                  And you want to know why people crank on you? My cousin was right. In need of some chocolate? Why don’t you make like an ostrich you pity party bitch.

        • Miss_Beara

          Even if it does appear someplace else it doesn’t mean that it is true. People in the US do not realize that the Daily Mail is a tabloid.

  • cathouseumbrella

    “Did An Atheist Employer Really Fire a Christian Applicant?”

    lol. No, course they didn’t. You can’t fire someone who doesn’t work for you.

    • baal

      Semantically correct but for a legal stand point, not hiring for a discriminatory reason is much the same as getting fired for it. However, most potential employers know that they are safe if they recite a neutral reason while being utterly discriminatory. (ex I didn’t hire them because they don’t have a car and bus travel doesn’t reach our plant. In reality that employer doesn’t hire more than token number of minority folks but uses lack of a car as a proxy)

  • Mario Strada

    This story stinks to high heaven, so to speak. I happen to be in the graphic design business and while I have not worked at every office or kind of office in the world, a designer’s religion is usually of no consequence, especially when hiring someone for a short term project.

    I also find it very suspicious that they would use the “you are not going to get along with the atheists” line. If their atheism is as important to them as it seems to be, they should also be aware of how many times atheists are turned down, officially or not, for a job because of their lack of faith.

    That they would find it OK to then turn down a Christian for the same reason seems to me implausible. Not impossible, just like there are plenty of christian Idiots, I have to assume there are atheist idiots. However, if these guys hire people on a regular basis, it seems preposterous to me that they would be unaware that discriminating based on religion is illegal. Heck, even if they didn’t know it was, it just sounds illegal.

    I am really looking forward to learning more about this event. It is so wrong that one way or another it needs to be resolved.

    By the way, has anyone looked into this guy if by any chance he has been involved in a similar event? For that matter, what about the hotel? Has anyone checked if indeed there are Xtians working there already?

  • primenumbers

    Maybe his portfolio used comic sans.

    • http://bsoi.st/ bsoist

      or maybe it was similar in style to his outfit

  • Witchgawd

    Hmm, don’t hire him and get in trouble for discrimination or hire him and then get in trouble for discrimination/abuse when other employees mock and ridicule him for his beliefs. Boy, it must be tough being a Christian in today’s world what with all of the discrimination and their “rights” constantly being taken away. My heart bleeds for them.

    Sounds like they hired a more competent person anyways. Life’s a bitch, eh? Next!

  • SeekerLancer

    “It’s funny, though, to hear Christian sites complaining about this when they support companies who refuse to hire LGBT workers because of “religious freedom.” It’s not right when they do it and it wouldn’t be right if the atheists were doing it here, either.”

    It’s funny, and depressing. It really just shows you that people hear what they want to hear. The people they agree with do no wrong and the people they disagree with are horrible monsters.

    To the people who are crying bloody murder there could never be enough atheists to condemn this sort of thing and make them realize that not all atheists are out to persecute them for their beliefs.

  • Seamus Ruah

    If true, pretty dumb…however, given this is the Daily Scum, not so sure the story is factual.

  • Erp

    His portfolio is a bit scanty and he has done a lot of work for overtly Christian groups or people (all his testimonials on his website are from them). I can imagine the hotel asking to see his not overtly Christian work just to see if he can do stuff that is secular (he does have at least one piece). BTW one of the groups he has done work for states “IJM’s staff members are Christians from a variety of traditions who are
    motivated by this call to seek justice for the oppressed. We find
    strength and encouragement in sharing a spiritual life together”
    [1] so he has contact with groups discriminating on religious grounds.

    [1] The New Yorker had an interesting article on IJM and its founder a few years back. They definitely had a Christian only policy for employees (and I think as an explicitly religious charity is allowed to do so). Note all that Mr. Haxby did for them was design a t-shirt apparently as a contractor (and IJM will hire non-Christian contractors) and he may not be aware of that company’s policy on hiring.

  • http://twitter.com/Regcarolmoore Regina Carol Moore

    The one fact that other Christians work there proves he was not refused employment because of his religious beliefs. He’s obviously bitter about not getting hired and believing it’s because of his religion was the easiest thing for his ego to accept.


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