(PCM) John Whiteside, a Las Vegas resident and member of the United Church Of Bacon, has accused his local Well Fargo branch bank of religious discrimination. He claims that a banker at the branch refused to have a document notarized for his church. He feels that the woman at the bank only refused to notarize the document because he was an atheist.
Whiteside’s accusation against Wells Fargo spawned a protest that included leaders from seven national secular groups who showed up at the branch location to show their displeasure with the alleged religious discrimination.
Yes, the United Church Of Bacon is a nationally recognized church that was founded by Whiteside back in 2010. They have about 500 members located in the Las Vegas area and nearly 4,000 members across the nation. Humorously, the church actually has nothing at all to do with actual bacon, they only chose the name to expose how wrong it is for society to give automatic respect and special legal privileges to religions.
The church serves to fight against discrimination of atheists and promote the separation of church and state. The idea for the United Church of Bacon came about during a meeting of atheists that took place a magician Penn Jillette’s home in Las Vegas. Jillette is a member of the church’s congregation and a sanctioned Sunday school teacher for the church.
After the incident Whiteside ended up closing his accounts with Wells Fargo after the banker refused to notarized the document, which was an affidavit one of the church members needed to begin legally officiating marriages. The affidavit was eventually notarized at another branch location, but Whiteside still filed complaints with the bank management and the Nevada Equal Rights Commission.
The protest came about after both the bank and the Nevada Equal Rights Commission failed to further investigate any of his claims. In statement Wells Fargo says, “Wells Fargo believes discrimination of any kind and against any group or customer base is wrong and we categorically deny the claims brought forth by Mr. Whiteside,” the company said in a statement. “We have a long history of supporting and serving the needs of a widely diverse customer base in Nevada and throughout the country. We regret that this organization and Mr. Whiteside have decided to target Wells Fargo as a means to further their agenda.”