We heard the other day about Margaret Doughty, the 64-year-old Texas legal resident of 30 years who applied for U.S. citizenship, but noted that she has a conscientious objection to taking up arms. She was initially told that she would have to submit a letter from her church verifying their conscientious objector policy. Since she is an atheist, she is clearly unable to do so.
According to Hemant Mehta’s “The Friendly Atheist” blog and other sources, Texas Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold’s office emailed Margaret Doughty with an update:
“This Service hereby withdraws the request for evidence (RFE) issued on June 7, 2013. This Service accepts your detailed statement in satisfaction of the information requested by the RFE. Your application for naturalization has been approved.”
We could not be more thrilled with this outcome. This was a clear-cut case of discrimination because Doughty is an atheist. It is our hope that one day soon, atheism will be an accepted outlook and that religion and government are separated once and for all.