Teacher fired over Atheist Nexus website account

Another teacher has been fired from her job as a math teacher at a Catholic school after being outed as an atheist. What makes this story interesting is how they found out about her lack of faith:

Abby Nurre said she was called into the principal’s office just before winter break and asked about Atheist Nexus, a social network that bills itself as site for “nontheists.”

She said she registered on the site on her personal computer at home. She noted a New York Times’ article reporting the government had spent $2.3 million on prayer research since 2000 and added the link.

“I never thought something like that would jeopardize my job,” she said Friday from Phoenix, Ariz., where she was applying for teaching jobs.

Nurre was suspended by Monsignor Kevin McCoy and later fired by the school board for violating a policy that prohibits employees from advocating “principles contrary” to the teachings of the church.

After snooping around long enough, the schoolboard also found that Nurre had once filled out a Facebook poll where she answered ‘No’ to a question about whether she believed in God. SUCH HERESY! What’s saddest about this situation is Nurre has basically been forced to renounce her non-belief:

Nurre said when she was hired at St. Edmonds, she was asked if she was a Catholic. She said she wasn’t. At school, she attended Mass and participated in prayer.

“I was fine with that. I’ve always done that,” she said. “I’m not an atheist. I’m not a Catholic. I’m not a Christian. I’m somewhere in between.”

Hmmm. Doesn’t believe in God. Made posts on Atheist Nexus criticizing religion. Sounds pretty atheist to me. I’m not trying to criticize Abby Nurre here about this because Zeus knows she’s already out of a job at a very shitty time – I just think it’s disgusting atheists have to hide and denounce their beliefs or be discriminated against. Go Christian tolerance! You guys are the best. Wait, no you aren’t. You suck.

Comments (14)

  • avatar

    Ryan Harkness

    Do you believe in God?

  • avatar

    Roxanne R

    @Abby I’m sorry you lost your job over such a horrible issue. But if you don’t believe in God, then technically that makes you an atheist. If you do believe in a God/Goddess/entity, and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, then I hope this whole ordeal inspires you to continue taking a stand for separation of church and state.

    We as atheists need to be the better examples of tolerance and understanding. We shouldn’t criticize someone who is taking a stand for freedoms. (hint hint Ryan and Jacob, don’t hate).

    Good luck finding a new job in this horrible economy. Best of luck.

  • avatar


    Well yes she believe in things that can be explained. She is a strong women and our religious upbringing is hard to explain. She was raised catholic but she learned that catholics are judgmental and believe what they are told by the church. When she was hired they knew she didn’t believe in God but they can’t not hire her because of it.

  • avatar


    Perhaps I should ask if anyone knows of a community for atheist teachers in religious schools? I have just been given a catholic school for my first year in teaching and am knee deep in atheism at best. I can do nothing about it and will have to make the best of the year regardless. There must be a support group for such an issue. I look forward to the year but… if I had used my name on here, might it have caused me a problem? Probably.


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