Madison, Wisc., leaders took a baffling vote this week to add atheists to a list of the city’s protected classes.
In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the Town Council added atheism to a lengthy list of protected classes that bar discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, color, disability, national origin or ancestry, conviction record, arrest record, military discharge status, refusal to disclose a Social Security number, rental assistance status, political beliefs, citizenship status, marital status, source of income, gender identity, domestic partner status and even physical appearance, WISC-TV reported.
“This is important because I believe it is only fair that if we protect religion, in all its varieties, we should also protect non-religion from discrimination. It’s only fair,” Alderwoman Anita Weier told WISC-TV. “There are many categories that are protected. And it did occur to me that if religion was (there), then perhaps the opposite should be.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which helped push for the classification, heralded the decision.
“It’s really making a big statement that we’re not going to put up with discrimination in the name of God, that being a believer doesn’t mean you can discriminate,” the group’s co-founder, Annie Laurie Gaylor, told the TV station.
Former Atheists Humanists and Agnostics President Chris Calvey spoke at the meeting in favor of the protection.
“It’s actually something we’re commonly very concerned about, just because atheism is viewed as such a taboo in this country,” he said. “And there’s such a stigma with it that people, in my student group for example, are very hesitant to be honest about their lack of belief in God out of fear that they are going to be discriminated against in employment opportunities. If that came up in a job interview, that’s held against them.”
It may be worth Madison officials’ time to simply compile a list of those not protected.
The Twitterverse, of course, had plenty to say.
@theblaze So, we cannot protect christians businesses, but we can protect atheists?
— Keasmom (@Keasmom) April 2, 2015
@theblaze as the worm turns there will have to be protection for Christians at some point. Ten Commandments turned into ten suggestions
— Steve Kitcoff (@SoloVoc) April 2, 2015
@theblaze Did you read that list? LOL. Hey, Cat Lovers were not included. People in Madison are Cat Lover Haters. HATERS!
— John R. Eaton (@JRE909) April 2, 2015
@theblaze This is stupid. If everybody is protected, then nobody is protected.
— Pro-life (@Pro_Birth) April 2, 2015
@theblaze I will move to the first city that protects Christians
— Michael Naro (@michaeldnaro) April 2, 2015
@theblaze sounds like everybody is protected. Lawyers live really well.
— Shinyvelvetgarb (@Shinyvelvetgarb) April 2, 2015
@theblaze “when everyone has super powers, every one is super…then no one will be” (incredibles)
— Kari (@kebazer) April 2, 2015
@theblaze#WakeUpAmericaBy definition ATHIESTS believeReligion! Must believe Itexists to object to it. Therefore they do believe in religion!
— Chugly Chrailer (@ChuglyChrailer) April 2, 2015
- Britney Spears shows off her rockin’ new bod, but had to spoil it with a liberal message about ‘Dreamers’ - December 24, 2017
- Border patrol forget they’re supposed to be heartless, deliver beautiful baby at the border - December 24, 2017
- After scoring tax cut victory, Trump sees ‘tremendous Democrat support’ for his next big initiative - December 24, 2017