Atheists outraged after N.J. notary refuses service

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The American Atheists are outraged after a group official says she was denied service by a particular notary at a TD Bank in New Jersey simply because she’s an atheist.

“I was just refused service — because I am an atheist. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and pissed me off,” wrote AA Managing Director Amanda Knief in a Facebook post Tuesday.

According to her statement, Miss Knief and AA President Dave Silverman visited the TD Bank in Cranford to have some documents signed.

The notary apparently had asked Miss Knief what the documents were meant for.

“The documents were charitable organizations registrations for American Atheists in several states,” Miss Knief wrote. “So I told her what AA is about. She looked down, then looked at me and [Mr. Silverman] and said she couldn’t sign the documents because of ‘personal reasons.’”

She said the notary went to find another employee who then helped the pair.

Calling it “the worst slight” of her life, Miss Knief vowed to fight the refusal service that is considered legal under New Jersey law.

“Time to write legislation that won’t let this happen to anyone else. [Expletive] this,” she said. “This is completely unacceptable, and far from over.”

Many commenters emphatically agreed with Miss Knief’s stance and asked if the story would make bigger news if an atheist had refused service to a Christian.

“I wonder what the reaction would be if an atheist refused service to a believer?” asked Miguel Montalvo.

Raymond Formanek Ergo wrote: “[W]e atheists can refuse to serve believers. Give em their own medicine.”

“Get her canned as a Notary for refusing equal service. She is serving the state, not her personal agenda,” said Carl Parker.

According to a TD spokeswoman, the bank values diversity and “is a fundamental part of TD’s culture.”

“We treat all consumers fairly and with respect, and this instance was no different,” Rebecca Acevedo said in a statement to The Times. “Our employee did not understand how to process this particular paperwork and needed help that, unfortunately, led to the miscommunication.”

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