08 April 2008

Apparently in Illinois, it's OK to discriminate against Atheists.

As posted by Pharyngula the other day, an Illinois man was berated by a state representative over his atheistic beliefs while testifying before a state committee:

Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) interrupted atheist activist Rob Sherman during his testimony Wednesday afternoon before the House State Government Administration Committee in Springfield and told him, "What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous . . . it's dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!

"This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God," Davis said. "Get out of that seat . . . You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon."

What bothers me most about this story is the relative lack of national outcry. If Mr. Sherman we berated by Rep. Davis for Jewish faith, or for Muslim faith, people all over the country would be calling for her head. As it is, the outcry has mostly come from groups such as the Council for Secular Humanism. Why then is it more acceptable for her to treat an Atheist like this? A government agent treating someone this way is reprehensible no matter what the reason, especially at a public hearing. When the witness is being berated specifically for his religious beliefs, that is a clear violation of the first amendment, no matter what his beliefs happen to be, and the ONLY acceptable result is the removal of Rep. Davis from office, either by her resignation or by impeachment.

No comments: