Our first case comes from Maine, where the manager of an egg farm alleges that he was fired because his boss didn't like working with atheists. The owner denies it, but an investigator for the Maine Human Rights Commission has concluded that there are "reasonable grounds" for the allegation of discrimination:
Cacy Cantwell says Austin "Jack" DeCoster told him before he was fired that they might have to "part ways" because Cantwell didn't believe in God. ...
Cantwell, who was provided housing he shared with a non-married partner, two of his children and three of her children, said he was criticized by DeCoster, a devout Christian, who didn't approve of the living arrangement.
On another occasion, DeCoster brought up God in a conversation, and Cantwell responded by saying he was an atheist and didn't believe in God.
Source: Seacoast Online
It certainly sounds like DeCoster fired Cantwell for being an atheist and then lied about it later when it looked like he would get into trouble. Different evidence might come up that exonerates DeCoster, but if not then he'll have to pay for this — and rightly, too.
As bad as losing your job is, being attacked by a gang of thugs is probably worse and that's what happened to an atheist in South Carolina:
The victim told police he was getting out of his car in the parking lot of the Crabtree Gym in Myrtle Beach about 8 p.m. when the men pulled up beside him and inquired about a derogatory statement on the back windshield of his car, according to an incident report.
The victim told police he wrote the statement as a "rebellious act against the National Day of Prayer," the report states.
Source: Myrtle Beach Online
After that, the men in the car attacked the atheist and stole his wallet. Readers may feel empowered to say that the victim never should have argued with the men in the car, but we don't know what went on. If they tried to argue that atheist can't be moral or that there are no atheists in foxholes, the victim was entirely justified in speaking out — we can't all live in fear of what might happen when we contradict bigots. Readers might also think that the atheist only brought it on themselves by having something provocative on their car, but when since when is a provocative sticker sufficient grounds for a physical assault?
Who do you suppose these men were, anyway? They certainly weren't atheists themselves. It's unlikely that they were Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists. Statistically speaking, they were probably religious theists — and Christians in particular. We don't have gangs of atheists driving around, beating up, and robbing Christians with a Jesus Fish on their cars, do we? How is it that atheists are the ones without morals or values...?