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Everything’s not better just yet

March 26, 2013

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…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2013 9:18 pm

    even though you can’t support publicaly, I’m sure private support with emotional encouragement gets the job done just as well

  2. April 17, 2013 8:14 am

    I’m just now discovering how much more prejudice there is against atheists than I ever dreamed of! It helps explain some of the short tempers I’ve seen in atheist forums. One of the best ways I’ve found to dispel prejudices is with stories like this.

    • April 19, 2013 1:37 am

      For a long time atheists were considered the most hated group in the US. In the past few years we have been supplanted from that position by the Tea Party. I think partly, that is because people realize that the Tea Party is full of terrible people but I also think that in the past couple or three years is has become increasingly harder for any sane individual to see the Christian right’s attacks against atheists, rationalist, and humanists as anything but idiotic. :)

  3. graceone permalink
    August 28, 2013 7:06 pm

    Certainly hope you are able to find another kind of employment soon. Clergy with degrees from seminary are often able to find something in the human service field There is a tremendous need for Children and Youth caseworkers in particular. I’m a committed Christian, and I can’t imagine the stress of being in a ministerial position and being an atheist at the same time. It’s certainly not a good and healthy situation for you or the people that you currently are serving.

    • December 5, 2013 3:47 pm

      Unfortunately, my degrees are both music degrees. The only thing they would qualify me for beyond church work is teaching. I’d have to go through three years of certification and more school in order to be able to do that and I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t be a very good teacher and would hate it and my life were I to go that route. So I’m trying to find IT work. :D

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