I found this news report interesting. It says that in a study done with having purported students send out resumes for jobs, those who mentioned having been involved in some sort of religious activities resulted in them being less likely to receive a response.
The researchers tested seven religious categories including: Roman Catholic, evangelical Christian, atheist, Jewish, Muslim, pagan, and one faith they just made up, “Wallonian,” to see what would happen compared to people who made no faith reference.
Fewer employers called back the “Wallonians,” as well as the others, reacting to “a fear of the unknown,” said University of Connecticut sociology professor Michael Wallace who led the studies.
In the South, where researchers sent 3,200 resumes, those with a religious mention got 29 percent fewer email responses and 33 percent fewer phone calls than otherwise identical resumes with no faith ties according to the study, released by the Southern Sociological Society on their Social Currents site.
Muslims faced the sharpest discrimination with 38 percent fewer emails and 54 percent fewer phone calls to the voice mailboxes set up by the researchers.
The study did not look at why employers tend to shy away from people who seem more involved with religion, which will likely be the point of a future study. It does seem a bit surprising, given that the US is an ostensibly religious country and that people who are religious are considered more moral and ethical than the nonreligious.
I wonder if it is because the most visible religious people in the public eye tend to be somewhat obnoxious and no employer wants to have their workplaces infested with proselytizers?
On the other hand, you’ve got to admit that ‘Wallonian’ is a cool name for a religion. Is their god Wally, the slacker in the Dilbert comic strip? I could totally see that becoming a major religion for the cubicle-bound.