Religious demand special rights aat work.
Here is the question. Should an employer, any employer, accommodate employees who refuse to do their job because of their religious beliefs? If so, why?
I am not saying an employer may not choose to make such accommodation but I question whether they must do so. Here is how I see it.
An employer advertises a specific job and with that job come various conditions of employment including work hours, tasks, behaviour, etc. No one should force an individual to take and a job and no one does. It is a contract between the employer and the employee where both agree upon the terms.
But the god addicts among us are now asking for special privileges. They want legal protections that exempt them from having to fulfil the employment contract they entered into. Here are a few such cases of recent weeks.
In Minneapolis a bus driver has refused to drive a bus because an ad on the bus was for a local gay oriented news publication. The local city owned bus service said: “The decision has nothing to do with the content of the advertisements. It has everything to do with the employee’s religious beliefs.” Oh, really. Yeah, I but that. The man attends a church that has a creed about which buses he may drive. I’d like to see the doctrinal statement on that one.
Of course it had everything to do with an exemption because the driver opposed a paying ad on the side of the bus. The local union was amazingly rational, something unions rarely do. The president of the union said: “If you start saying this or that ad is inappropriate, you’re offending other people, and that can create a difficult environment for people to work in. We have Muslim employees. Now if there’s an ad for alcohol on the side of a bus, should Muslim employees be allowed to not drive that bus? And is the next step that mechanics don’t have to work on the bus?”
It is argued that this accommodation is a simple one and that this driver can be reassigned other buses that don’t carry the ad. True. But if the principle is put into effect how do we draw the line? Should the company keep detailed records of the individual prejudices, biases, and beliefs of each driver and then screen the buses in advance so that each and every driver is given the same rights at this one man? In principle the concession to one lone bigot is not particular burdensome. But the concession becomes a policy and then has to be applied to all employees equally.
In Minneapolis as well it is reported that Muslim taxi drivers at the airport are refusing service to customers who are carrying alcohol. My view is that if the taxi owner wants this policy then so be it. But if the driver is imposing that policy unilaterally on a taxi which he does not own then fire his ass on the spot. I don’t care how often he yells, “Jihad.” He’s out of there.
In England Britain Airways has run into a problem with a Christian. Airline rules say that employees in uniform may not wear jewellery or religious symbols of any kind on the uniform. Any such jewellery must be underneath the uniform. The policy applies to everyone and to any kind of jewellery.
Nadia Eweida thinks her beliefs are so special that she should have special privileges denied all other employees. She is on unpaid leave because she refused to comply with long-standing company policy. She says that employees should have “their say in the way they express their faith.” Apparently that overrides British Airways right to determine how employees do their job. Eweida is not on her own time. She is paid by the company to be there. If she wants to express her faith then she should do it off the clock and not at someone else’s expense.
The Airline didn’t say she can’t wear the cross she wanted to wear. They just said it needs to be worn insider her uniform and not on top of it. She refuses.
And Muslim have been demanding that their women be allowed to wear veils in Western nations at all times. Consider the problems this poses. A Muslim woman comes into a country with a passport -- but why bother? You can’t check to see that the person under the veil is the person in the passport and the passport photo would only show someone looking like an pile of sheets. They even want the right to drive while wearing veils and say it is discriminatory if they aren’t allowed to do so. A Muslim woman can cover her face in court, they argue. In all these situations the identity of the person is critical and this stamps out individual identity.
They argue it is bigoted not to accommodate their beliefs. Yet their own nations impose Islamic standards on Western visitors. As far as I can see, like most fundamentalists, their idea of tolerance is: In an Islamic country you must respect Islamic customs and in non-Islamic countries you must respect Islamic customs as well bugger your own values and customs anywhere.
Of course the Islamists jumped into say they supported this woman’s “right” to impose religious symbols on a company uniform because everyone must “respect the right of a Muslim woman to wear the Niqab.” They know that that when companies can’t set their own policies that their own agenda benefits as well.
We already have special laws being pushed through to grant privileges to Christians in various fields. Pharmacies distribute drugs legally to people with prescriptions. But we have pharmacists who are refusing to do their job when it comes to certain medications which prevent pregnancy. Now maybe if they can’t do that job due to their own myths and dreams they ought to seek out another profession? An employer should not be required to hire people who won’t do the job that is needed.
Neil Noesen is a mystic. That is he believes in Jesus and gods and miracles and the supernatural. And his mythical friend tells him that birth control pills are evil. It’s right there in the Bible --- well, maybe it isn’t but it ought to be. He works at a pharmacy at Kmart and a woman came in to fill her prescription for birth control pills. He refused to do it. And he also refused to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy. Typical loving Christian that he is.
Kmart does not discriminate against their customers based on religious beliefs. When this pharmacist refused to do his job he imposed his policy on Kmart. And he insists it is his right to do so. He, unlike all other employees, has the right to set policy based on his invented theology.
In the Theocratic Republic of Texas, once again, a pharmacist was fired because he tried to impose his religious beliefs on a customer. A woman came in with a prescription for a morning-after pill. It was given to her to prevent pregnancy because she had just been raped. Consider that! She had just been raped and was terrified that she might have to conceive her rapists child. And this loving, compassionate, Bible-believing Christian refused to help her because he thinks Jesus was whispering public policy into his ears.
A dozen US states have special laws, or are considering them, that allow pharmacists to not do their job if their religious beliefs conflict. Why are they exempt from their terms of employment due to their religion? Why not also due to any belief they may hold? Why exactly does the absurd embraced in the name of god get precedence over any other absurdity that someone may believe. Why is a bus driver allowed to refuse to work if the bus has a gay ad on it but not if it has an ad showing blacks?
Ah, that’s not religious. It could be. Most the major bigots in the US had theology behind their bigotry. I heard more fundamentalists who found excuses for their race hatred in the Bible than I can possible name. They said this was God’s will. And there are churches that preach race hatred. Every Sunday the worshipers come and hear how white people are the chosen people of God. Can these people refuse to deal with customers who are black when they are at work?
Consider this. What if a Christian Scientist became a pharmacist. Or a pharmacist became a Christian Scientist. Since they don’t believe in medicine are they exempt from handing out all medicines? What seems like a reasonable accommodation may not be reasonable once the nut cases start coming out of the woodwork.
Where exactly does this end? Can an employee at McDonald's who believes in Jesus and other such nonsense refuse to serve customers who he thinks are gay or are “sinners”?
There are federal laws which require US employers to “reasonably accommodate” employee religious beliefs. No such accommodation is required for other kinds of beliefs. One the religious are given the special privilege. And the employer may not even know what these accommodations require of him. He can not question potential employees as to their religious beliefs. So he only learns what the terms of his contract are when the employee decides to tell him.
Why can’t I use my political beliefs to determine how I do my job? Why can’t you? Why can’t a liberal refuse to give customer service to a Religious wing nut? it is a sincerely held belief. It seems that there is only one category of beliefs that get all sorts of special privileges and that is religion. Now I hear the Religious Right say that mere equality before the law for gays is special privileges and that they are against special privileges. So does this mean employers no longer have to accommodate the religious nutters? Federal law granting special privileges to religious employees ought to be repealed.