Bank Refuses to Notarize American Atheist Documents

| by Michael Allen

Amanda Knief, of American Atheists, claims that a bank in Cranford, N.J., refused to notarize the organization's documents.

The corporate discrimination happened at a TD Bank, noted

Knief recalled the Tuesday incident on Facebook:

The documents were charitable organizations registrations for American Atheists in several states. So I told [the bank notary] what AA is about. She looked down, then looked at me and Dave Silverman and said she couldn’t sign the documents because of "personal reasons" and went to find another notary who was eating his lunch to come do the authentications.

I have been called names, threatened, hated on and all manner of ridiculed because of my atheist activism, but I think sitting in a bank and having another professional refuse to do business with me because I am an atheist was the worst slight I have ever received. This is completely unacceptable, and far from over.

Knief added that the bank's discrimination is actually legal:

In New Jersey, notaries are not required to abide by any code of conduct or ethics that prevents them from refusing service to people based on ‘personal reasons. Even though we had a valid, legal document and valid, legal identification — she was legally able to refuse me service.

American Atheists is now drafting a bill to outlaw this type of discrimination.

Sources: and Facebook