Opinion: Religious Intolerance in America is on the Rise as an Atheist Man is Fired for Refusing to Pray

Jax Hudur

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

While it’s unimaginable to be fired for refusing to attend prayers, one atheist construction manager was fired for refusing to participate in mandatory Christian prayer sessions that the company insisted all their employees attend. These mandatory prayer sessions were held daily, and the company asked the atheist man to lead the prayers; they expected all the employees to attend and pray, irrespective of their beliefs. However, when the employee told his boss that he didn’t believe in God and refused to participate, he was dismissed and fired.

According to Title VII of the Civil rights Act, employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against their employees based on religion. While the laws protecting employees are clear on religious freedom, the company violated their employees’ rights when they forced him to pray, let alone ask him to lead.

Surprisingly, another employee was also fired by Aurora Pro Services, which is the company forcing Christianity on employees when she feared the hour-long prayer meetings were becoming cult-like. She was let go when she requested to stop attending the prayer meetings.

However, to make matters worse, the company is owned by a man who is allegedly known for his aggressive nature coupled with a short temper who claims that the prayer meetings are part of the business model. Yet, the same company states on its website,

“We’ll never hire rude people, and we will get rid of anybody not using their best manners.”

Although it’s unreasonable to demand employees pray, it’s equally unfathomable to ask to stop someone from praying, and this is precisely what happened to a high school football coach when he was asked not to pray at the 50- yard line. Fortunately for Coach Kennedy, a Marine Corp vet who served for 20 years, the supreme court ruled in his favor.

Similarly, like an atheist employee, a jury in 2018 awarded $5.1 million to 10 workers who had been forced to participate in prayer and religious workshops. When you put all these cases together, an ugly picture that reeks of intolerance emerges from the ashes of what was supposed to be the pursuit of freedom and happiness, the American dream. But unfortunately, that pursuit is quickly becoming persecution for the Americans who have to endure the egregious harassment and loss of their livelihoods when they stand up for their rights.

The findings of a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center regarding religious liberty in the United States were alarming, to say the least, as 82% of adult Americans said they believed Muslim Americans were subjected to discrimination. In comparison, 64% said Jewish Americans were discriminated against because of their religion.

Though the poll also suggested half of Americans believe evangelical Christians were also subjected to discrimination, atheists like the employee who was forced to pray to make up a certain percentage of America’s rising intolerance. The question is, if American Muslims, Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Atheists face religious discrimination despite the US constitution guaranteeing their religious liberty, where is America headed?

Thus far, those whose rights were violated received compensation or a favorable ruling. While the Atheist man and his colleague have sued Aurora Pro Services for the injustice they have been subjected to, Americans of the 21st century shouldn’t have to fight legal battles for their inalienable rights that are shrined in the US constitution. Unfortunately, discourse on America’s rising intolerance seems to be lacking as Americans of all faiths are on the receiving ends of sorts while going about their business.

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I write about history, politics, and true crime. Not to mention anything else that takes my fancy or is newsworthy.


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