Everything’s not better just yet
In previous posts I’ve talked about how great things are going now that I know some of my friends from before my realization that I’m an atheist are also atheist, that those I’ve told who are not atheists have been understanding, and that I’ve made some wonderful friends in the freethought group here in town. These things are still wonderful, and have helped me immensely over the past three years (wow, it has almost been three years since I admitted to myself…). I’ve loved becoming involved in the freethought group, getting to go see Dawkins, and attending some of the meetings of the local Americans United for Separation of Church and State chapter in that time. However, there are still things I can’t do as I’d like.
Today there was a rally at the statehouse in support of marriage equality, and there has been a campaign on Facebook to change user images in support of marriage equality. This is all to show support for equality as the United States Supreme Court is in the process of deciding whether or not the California ban on gay marriage is constitutional.
I am unable to show my support for fear that I would lose my job were it found out what I believe on the issue. Most people do not have to worry about this, even if they are employed by religious people, the law protects them from religious discrimination. However, that same law does not apply to me as I am employed by a religious institution in a ministerial position. They can fire me over differences of belief without question and I would have no legal recourse. I doubt I’d be able to draw unemployment, either.
So I must keep my head down. When events are high profile, or very public like on Facebook, I can’t participate. I have to let my gay friends, and my friends who also support equality, know that I support them wholeheartedly but cannot make that public knowledge for fear that I would end up homeless in a month. (I could survive a month, probably no longer, on the money I have. I’ve figured that out so I know what the cost of my actions in this regard could be.)
So, to anyone who reads this and isn’t considered equal under the laws of our land yet, I support you. I long for the day when our laws will reflect, not just public opinion, but the moral stance on these matters. I just can’t let everyone know that…