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Las Vegas Protest Exposes Wells Fargo Discrimination Against Atheists

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Press Release

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Las Vegas, Nevada
April 24, 2015

For two days last week, a protest in Las Vegas became the center of the secular movement, drawing leaders from 7 national secular groups. They assembled with more than 100 others to protest discrimination at Wells Fargo against atheists.

The protest was led by John Whiteside, who founded a legal church with a funny name to protest how religious organizations get special privileges under the law. His organization, The United Church of Bacon, now has 4,000 members. The church claims no tax exempt status. They pay their taxes. They accept no donations, instead raising nearly $100,000 in 2014 for autism, cancer, and secular charities. In 2015, they’ve already raised more than $30,000 for AIDS patients and another $30,000 for secular charities.

wells-fargo-channel-8-las-vegas-discriminationLast year, Whiteside visited the Wells Fargo branch at 1121 South Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada, to have a church document notarized. The branch refused, and then was backed up by Wells Fargo’s corporate office. While of course the bank admitted no discrimination, they also failed to give any other excuse, leaving Whiteside with a strong case that the bank simply didn’t like his church’s strange name and its atheist philosophy. That is discrimination. Discrimination against those who don’t believe in God, or those who simply want greater separation of church and state, is known as atheophobia or secularphobia.

“Notaries may not reject a customer with a valid ID,” said Whiteside. “Their personal opinion and what the document says are irrelevant. It’s the law, and the National Notary Association makes it clear in their code of conduct. The only explanation for what Wells Fargo did is discrimination.”

Whiteside is far from alone. He was joined by the leaders of six other national groups, the American Atheists, the American Humanist Association, the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, the Secular Student Alliance, Secular Coalition for America, and Secular Policy Institute. Locally, he was joined by Sunday Assembly Las Vegas, Humanists and Atheists of Las Vegas, two podcasts from Hollywood, Ardent Atheist and Skeptically Yours, and numerous concerned citizens.

Media attention

The Washington Post International United Church of Bacon: May the Lard be with you
The Huffington Post International The United Church Of Bacon Accuses Wells Fargo Of Religious Discrimination.
The Daily Mail (London) International Dozens of atheists protest outside Wells Fargo over claims the bank discriminated against the religious views of the ‘United Church of Bacon’
MTV News International A Church of Bacon exists, but people aren’t happy about it
KLAS-TV Channel 8 News Las Vegas Local 2 minutes on the evening news.
KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas Local 1 minute on the evening news
Las Vegas Review-Journal Local Alleged Discrimination by Bank has Church of Bacon Sizzling
Las Vegas Review-Journal Local “Church of Bacon” Protests Bank Policies
Las Vegas Sun Local United Church of Bacon Bank Protest
KNPR, the Las Vegas NPR station Local United Church of Bacon Supporters Rally Against Discrimination – 10-minute interview
Las Vegas Weekly Local Praise the Lard! Enter Las Vegas’ United Church of Bacon
The Daily Dot (London) International The Church of Bacon accuses banking giant Wells Fargo of religious discrimination
The Mirror (UK, Ireland) International Church of Bacon offers weddings, baptisms and funerals to thousands of meat lovers
Radio WCYY (Maine) Regional The United Church of Bacon Is A Real Thing!
Carbonated TV National This Unique Church Of Bacon Is Sizzling Against Bank’s Discrimination
Inquisitr National Church Of Bacon Is Victim Of Discrimination, Wells Fargo Refused To Notarize Affidavit Due To Religious Beliefs
Softpedia National United Church of Bacon Actually Exists, Has Thousands of Members
Shalom Life (Canada) National The United Church of Bacon Believes that “Bacon is God”
San Francisco Business Times Local Wells Fargo fried by atheists’ United Church of Bacon protests
Ardent Atheist International Podcast Interview with John Whiteside
UPROXX International United Church Of Bacon Is A Belief System That Speaks To Our Deepest Food Desires
Religion News Service International May the Lard be with you: Q&A with the United Church of Bacon (yes, bacon)
Virtual Rebel at UNLV Local Church of Bacon Protests Wells Fargo
EntertainmentWise National There’s a church that worships bacon, no kidding
Boston Newstime Local Atheists protest outside Wells Fargo over ‘United Church of Bacon’ discrimination
Georgia Newsday Regional Atheists protest outside Wells Fargo over ‘United Church of Bacon’ discrimination

Documentary Video

The Los Angeles podcast Ardent Atheist posted this video documenting the event, at https://www.youtube.com/embed/qYX2zAWNLnA.

About the Organizations

The United Church of Bacon is a real, legal church that was founded in 2010 to protest the privileges that religious organizations get in the law. They’ve raised nearly $100,000 in 2014 alone for other charities. See http://www.unitedchurchofbacon.com

American Atheist is the premier organization fighting for the civil liberties of atheists and the total, absolute separation of government and religion. The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers educates and trains both military and civilian communities about issues relating to nonbelievers in the US Armed Forces. The Secular Student Alliance empowers secular students to proudly express their identity, build welcoming communities, promote secular values, and set a course for lifelong activism. The Secular Coalition for America lobbies the U.S. Congress on issues of special concern to secular people. The Secular Policy Institute is the world’s largest secular think tank and world’s largest coalition of secular groups.

Click HERE for our media kit.

Media Contact

John Whiteside
info@unitedchurchofbacon.org
702-265-7722

Photos

Below are photos courtesy of Mike Stotts of Backstage Access. Thank you! Contact us for full size images for press use.

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