If someone wants to volunteer to help the needy, why wouldn’t you welcome them in? Well, the group Upstate Atheists attempted to volunteer for the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen but were turned away because… they’re atheists. And in case the turndown wasn’t clear enough, the director of the soup kitchen said atheists are banned from joining them.
You would figure that atheists joining a soup kitchen to help the less fortunate would be embraced by good Christians, but Lou Landrum, the executive director of the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen, made it clear kindness and goodwill for all does NOT apply to nonbelievers.
Lou Landrum… told the Herald-Journal she would resign from her job before she let atheists volunteer and be a “disservice to this community.”
“This is a ministry to serve God” she said. “We stand on the principles of God. Do they (atheists) think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is? Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.”
Her objection to the dirty, godless money did not deter the Upstate Atheists from doing good works regardless, and they created care packages to give away to homeless people across the street from the soup kitchen, raising over $2000 for their cause.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish protestors attacked three buses in Beit Shemesh, a city 30 miles west of Jerusalem, in response to the arrest of a couple who reportedly asked a female passenger to move from the front of a bus to the back, which she did, according to The Associated Press.
Though ultra-Orthodox Judaism requires men and women to be separated in public, gender segregation is a voluntary practice on public buses. The issue is a heated one. Reuters noted recently that some Israeli lawmakers have called for public gender segregation to be abolished throughout the country.
According to Israeli news outlet Hareetz, the disruption began this week when one woman passenger approached another woman sitting at the front of a bus and told her to move to the back. After the bus driver reported the incident to local police, two arrests were made: The woman who had asked the passenger to move was taken into custody, as was the woman’s husband. Protestors wielding hammers smashed the windows of the bus where the incident took place and attacked two other buses in the area, reported Hareetz.
Tensions are high between the ultra-Orthodox Jews who reside in Beit Shemesh and those who are secular or modern Orthodox Jews, largely because of disagreements surrounding women, according to The Associated Press.
Protests erupted in 2011 after a group of ultra-Orthodox men spat on an 8-year-old girl and called her a whore as she walked to school in her uniform.
In early 2012, a group of ultra-Orthodox men attacked a woman in Beit Shemesh as she was hanging up posters. The men pelted the woman with stones and slashed her car tires.
The prevalence of these types of attacks against women in the area have given rise to a movement of radicalized Orthodox women in Beit Shemesh. The New Republic notes in a cover story this week that women in the area are becoming increasingly feminist: “They have decided that they won’t tolerate abuse anymore. Their quest for justice has thrown them into the arms of unlikely allies, feminist activists from the reform and conservative movements.”
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Topless Women in Public Not Breaking the Law Says NYPD
Ladies of New York , you are free to walk bare-breasted through the city! New York City’s 34,000 police officers have been instructed that, should they encounter a woman in public who is shirtless but obeying the law, they should not arrest her. This is a good step towards gender parity in public spaces.
This decision means that breast exposure is not considered public lewdness, indecent exposure, or disorderly conduct. It also notes that, should a crowd form around a topless woman, the officer should instruct the crowd to disperse and then respond appropriately if it does not. Relative coverage is no longer a factor.
This policy shift comes after several years of litigation and protest. In the 1992 case People v. Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two women who were arrested with five others for exposing their breasts in a Rochester park, holding the law void as discriminatory. The ruling was put to the test in 2005, when Jill Coccaro bared her breasts on Delancey Street in New York, citing the 1992 decision, and was detained for twelve hours. She subsequently successfully sued the city for $29,000.
In 2007, Go Topless, a national organization supporting gender equality in shirtlessness laws, established Go Topless Day. Dozens of women protest – often topless – in thirty cities around the United States, promoting equal rights to be shirtless. Protests usually include chants of “Free your breasts. Free your minds” and a song “Let ‘em Breathe” to the tune of the Beatles’ “Let it Be.”
While some who have witnessed these events have suggested that “[t]his is extreme liberalism and why America’s in decline” or “[i]t’s degrading to women,” others have been supportive. One man even said he would encourage his wife to join them.
Though bare-breasted women might shock the sensibilities of some in the public, it is encouraging to see the police responding positively to gender bias, even on such a seemingly small scale. After all, no one thinks twice about a man shirtless on a summer day. However, the female nipple or chest is still considered “lewd.” By reminding its officers of this, the NYPD is publicly declaring that it will no longer perpetuate unconstitutional gender discrimination, a standard to which all law enforcement should be held and a decision for which it should be applauded.
Scalia is such a pig.
Discrimination against nonbelievers in America is so overt and widespread that most of us are completely desensitized to it.
If you’re a rational American – religious or nonreligious – you probably roll your eyes when you hear fundamentalist preachers and right-wing politicians rant in the name of God whenever a major tragedy occurs. But do you stop to consider that their comments directly disparage nonbelievers? If these preachers and politicians directly attacked Hindus, Jews, or Muslims the way they attack atheists-humanists, they would be quickly called out for their hateful prejudice. So why should their anti-secular venom be tolerated?
These statements outrage most rational Americans, both religious and nonreligious, but many still overlook the blatant prejudice.
Atheists and humanists find it frustrating that statements such as those of Huckabee, Dobson, and Gingrich are almost never criticized by religious liberals for promoting a hateful prejudice against nonbelievers (who are already the most disliked and distrusted minority in the country).
Let’s be clear about something: Huckabee and company, with very little ambiguity, are claiming that those who live without God-belief are directly or indirectly responsible for violence and moral decline. This is discriminatory, contrary to the pluralistic values of modern society, and provably false.
It’s great that many Americans, even those who are religious, find the statements of Huckabee and company objectionable, but it’s unfortunate that the objections focus on the wrong issue. Rather than argue about whether God is jealous and vindictive or loving and compassionate (or at least in addition to that argument), Americans should be calling out fundamentalists for depicting nonbelievers as agents of evil."- David Niose - Psychology Today - From the article: Would You Know Atheist Discrimination If You Saw It? (via hatefulatheist)
THIS^ People ignore the derogatory implications against nonbelievers and rush to defend the character of an imaginary deity. Pretty shitty.
NOTHING infuriates me more than religious people & organizations controlling & running over people & excusing it with spiritual bullshit!
- Men being thrown in jail for holding Bible studies
- eHarmony being forced to include gays
- Photographer being fined by the Court for not photographing a lesbian ceremony
Are you really trying to equate religious freedom with treating other people like they’re not actually, you know, people?
Like, omg, how dare a dating site actually acknowlege that homosexual people may be looking for love, ooohhhhh totally infringing on your religious rightttsss.
People wanting to be treated equally and be spared your religious discrimination is not taking away your religious freedom. Christians DO have a freedom in their religion that no other religion in this country has.
1 - That dude violated his probation, he got in trouble not for practicing religion in his home but for violating zoning laws and building codes.
Religion doesn’t get to trump other laws when it comes to these things, sorry, that’s not what “freedom of religion” means. Climb down off your cross.
2 - E-Harmony violated discrimination laws, again, religion doesn’t get to trump law in these cases. Deal with it. How is “not allowing someone to discriminate” somehow an affront to your religion?
3 - Oh look. I’m sounding like a broken record, but again, violation of discrimination laws.
Your so-called assault on religious freedom here boils down to Christians having to follow the same laws as everyone else in these cases.
Awwww, poor babies.
From Al Stefanelli.
“It is illegal to treat ‘applicants or employees differently based on their religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – in any aspect of employment, including recruitment, hiring, assignments, discipline, promotion, and benefits (disparate treatment).” – EEOC
The Tulsa World reports that Edward Wolfe was denied employment because he was not a Born Again Christian. Voss Lighting was subsequently sued by the EEOC. The suit claims that during the application process, there were subtle and overt inquiries made by two managers regarding Mr. Wolfe’s religious beliefs and activities.
This included continuous interrogation as to which church he attended, when and where he was “saved,” and a requirement to attend bible study on the premises before “clocking in.”
Heap O’ Trouble…
Of course, the defendants deny doing this, but they are betrayed by their own website, which states,
“…biblical mission is to sell our lighting products so that we may tell everyone we can about God’s soul-saving, life-transforming gospel message as Jesus instructed believers to do.”
The website describes Henry Voss, now deceased, as “the man God selected to found Voss Electric in 1939″ and says other generations have been given the “opportunity to help make America better and also to be used by our Lord to make the Bible’s saving Gospel known.”
Ultimately, the EEOC states that,
“Voss Lighting appears to have a corporate culture that requires employees adhere to certain religious beliefs that have absolutely no bearing on the business of selling lighting products,”
Additional information was provided by “Addicting Info,” which published, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
“Wolfe says he applied to be a supervisor last year at Voss’s Tulsa location, and that it looked like he might have a shot. The person who initially reviewed his resume allegedly told Wolfe he was a “perfect fit.” But that was before Wolfe went in for an interview with the branch manager, Randy Tidwell. According to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Oklahoma’s Northern District Court, Tidwell asked Wolfe “to identify every church he has attended over the past several years,” as well as “where and when Wolfe was ‘saved,’ and the circumstances that led up to it.” Tidwell also allegedly asked if Wolfe “‘would have a problem’ coming into work early to attend Bible study before clocking-in. The suit goes on to allege that “[t]hroughout the interview, Tidwell expressed overt agitation and disapproval at Wolfe’s responses to his religious line of questioning.”
The idea that they can act with impunity toward the law by trumping the civil rights of others is typical of these Fundamentalists. Fortunately, for Mr. Wolfe, these particular douchebags acted in a way that ended up with them getting caught. This doesn’t always happen, though. More often than not, when a manager wants you out – especially in an “at will” state – for whatever reason, you are done.
It’s called “managing them out,” and where the Fundamentalists are concerned, it is business as usual in many areas. I reason that if there were more people like Mr. Wolfe who were willing to go through the process of litigation, perhaps the EEOC would take a closer look at the rampant discrimination against those who do not conform to the religious beliefs of those who hold the livelihoods of others in their hands.