In a Nov. 19 dispatch, “Human rights commission says Moody’s discriminated,” The Associated Press reports: “An investigator’s report from October says there are reasonable grounds to believe the co-owner (of Moody’s Restaurant) discriminated against (Allina) Diaz because of her lack of religious faith.”

Would the Maine Human Rights Commission, which ruled in Diaz’s favor Nov. 17, please tell us what is meant by “lack of religious faith”?

Religious faith can cover anything from the worship of a God or many gods, Satan or sacred cows, to belief in heaven, paradise, purgatory, nirvana, etc. Do those who do not accept all or some of those beliefs lack faith?

Consider this: Religious faith, by definition, is belief without, and even in spite of, evidence to the contrary. How, then, does insisting on evidence to prove the truth of a claim constitute a “lack”?

Legally speaking, every court in the land (and the state commission) requires evidence to prove claims are true. None of them accept claims “on faith,” and no one is dismissed from testifying because he or she “lacks faith” for not accepting claims without evidence.

So, far from tacitly accepting the term “lack of faith,” which is so often used to denigrate an individual, we ought to reject it. Those who don’t believe without evidence don’t “lack”; they are usually truthful and questioning of unquestioning faiths, even though they may face discrimination in doing so.

Carl Scheiman