Apparently the idea was to stop employees wasting time on websites unrelated to local bureaucracy, but council chiefs seem to have taken the opportunity to filter out a few "undesirable" topics – as well as atheism they've blocked sites promoting witchcraft, the paranormal, sexual deviancy and criminal activity.
For bloggers like myself this poses two problems – firstly I have to hope a sizeable chunk of my readers don't work for Birmingham Council, and secondly while I don't mind being lumped in with witches, devil worshippers and ghost hunters, I'm not too sure about sexual deviants.
The council hasn't stopped workers looking at sites relating to the major world religions, and the National Secular Society has threatened legal action. As the BBC explained, "under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of their religion or belief, which includes atheism."
For my own part I thought I'd put up a poll, as it's a while since we've had one. If you worked for Birmingham council, how would you deal with the blocking of atheist websites?
- Support legal action - this is outright discrimination
- Write a letter to local and national newspapers
- Resign immediately
- Do some work
- Become a Christian - that way I can continue to while away the day on the internet without my favourite sites getting blocked
- Join with the witches, Satanists and sexual deviants to form a bizarre and terrifying new cult
- Set a topless picture of Christopher Hitchens as my desktop background
- Personally I support this action. Atheism in the workplace must be crushed