Saturday, October 27, 2007

Holier Than Thou

This morning I was following my usual job-search routine when I was surprised to find a job I could actually do in my Careerbuilder job search ‘matches’.

Don’t ask me why, but despite the fact I’ve set and reset my preferences hundreds of times, I still get matches along the lines of “Truck Driver”, “Nursing Assistant” and “Financial Advisor”.

The job I saw was basically Admin at a university.

I checked the requirements and was happy to see that not only did I have all the qualifications the asked for, my previous experience fit perfectly with what they wanted.

I noticed that it was a ‘religious’ university, but I figured that wouldn’t be a problem. I went to Catholic school and a Christian College and University. Plus, their website stated that they did not discriminate based on age, race or religion.

So I downloaded the application form. I even had to use…shudder…Internet Explorer to download it.

I opened the PDF and discovered that as well as not offering online applications, the PDF application wasn’t even fillable.

Isn’t it awesome how people keep up with technology?

Anyway, I digress.

I started looking through the form and was surprised to see that right at the top of the form, before education or experience they wanted to know what church I went to, it’s address, phone number and my pastor’s name.

I thought that was odd. They say they don’t discriminate on religion, but they seem to want an awful lot of information about it.

Further down, I looked at the references section, and right there in big bold type it said:

ONE REFERENCE MUST BE FROM YOUR PASTOR!

…and no, I didn’t add the exclamation point.

At the bottom of the application?

NO PART OF THIS APPLICATION MAY BE LEFT BLANK.

Now, in case my millions of posts on the subject haven’t clued you in, I’m an Atheist. I’m a dyed in the wool atheist. I’m not an atheist because I think it’s cool. I’m an atheist because I simply don’t believe in God, and that’s based on attending a catholic infant, primary and secondary school, a Catholic college and a multi-denominational Christian university.

I’ve looked at all the angles and just decided that religion isn’t for me.

Basically, because I’m not religious, I’m basically barred from this job. Let me be clear here, I’m an atheist, but believe that everyone else has to right to believe whatever they want.

I can’t fill in this form because I’m not a religious man. It might not be their official policy, but it’s painfully obvious that if I completed and sent that application, it’s go straight into file 13…the waste paper bin.

Now this is something that pisses me right off.

Sure, it’s a religious university, but I don’t see what my own religion (or lack of it) has to do with my ability to do administrative work. Is the fact that I don’t go to church on Sunday going to stop me from using a telephone or photocopier?

This is a classic case of ‘acceptable discrimination’. If I owned a business or was head of a University and refused to hire Christians or Muslims there’d be an uproar. However, it’s perfectly ok to discriminate against atheists because we’re godless heathens and deserve it, right?

Anyway, despite the fact that the interviewer reading the words “Not applicable – Atheist” on my application would see him using it to practice his three-point shot into the waste paper basket…I’ve decided I wouldn’t want to work there anyway.

Religion – Causing wars, sectarian violence and driving a wedge between people since time immemorial. The perfect excuse when you just want to look at the rest of the human race and think “I’m better than you.”

2 comments:

The Girl said...

I have to say, I don't think it's "I'm better than you". I think in this particular instance, it's the ethos of the university and therefore must be for their employees as well. I don't think a Muslim school would hire a Christian to work in their office either so I don't think it's just Christian.

If you are truly wanting this job, I would give a reference from your Christian university and list current church as "none".

~TG

amanda said...

No, i believe in this as discrimination. I'm taking a Social Inequalities class now, and we convinced my professor the other day how religion is a master status.. along with race, ethnicity, sex, gender, social class, and sexual orientation.

Atheism is a "religion" to me. It's a belief. A belief in no God. And that in itself is discrimination,... that should not be allowed just because you are athiest and that should be protected by fuckin affirmative action. it's a christian college yes, but they said they don't discriminate? you wouldn't be teaching... booo