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Sunday, February 25, 2018


Work is not a religious affair

How would you feel if, while at Starbucks, you heard “Enjoy your coffee …and this scripture verse”?

These types of comments would be expected at private, religious organizations but not at others.

I went to Catholic school. Because I was Catholic, I had to maintain certain principles and follow rules according to traditional Catholicism. Other non-Catholic students were not expected to participate.  All that was asked was that they maintain a level of respect.

That was a private organization where religious affiliations are strict. The idea behind this is simple: if you want to come to us and use our services, you follow our rules.

This kind of thinking allows the Catholic Church exemptions from covering abortions in employee health care.  It is fundamentally against what they stand for.  The organization, not the individual employee, is allowed to refuse certain rights because there are (or should be) alternatives.  That’s key.

In a different situation, say, a Catholic pharmacist refusing contraceptives at his non-religious job – that’s not OK, if for no other reason than economics.  It’s bad for business; the individual is denying a service that is ordinarily offered.  If the pharmacist doesn’t want to do the job, he should look for employment somewhere that aligns with his beliefs.

The right to further your religious convictions at the workplace ends with non-religious employers, especially in government positions.

Obviously, this does not include the employee’s right to practice religion, but when you are at your job, you are an entity of that corporation.  You represent them and must abide by their regulations, and to advocate for your religion on that time is a violation not only of policy, but of trust.  Put simply, as long as you are a compliant employee, your time at work does not belong to you.

This policy has been violated by some, including Texas courthouse clerks who have delayed, or outright refused, same-sex marriage licenses.  As a public servant, it is their job — or dare I say, their obligation — to protect and fulfill the civil rights and liberties of others, even if the Supreme Court-mandated right to marriage licenses may chafe one’s personal ideology.

On the weekends, the county clerks can protest what they please – how they spend their own time is their prerogative.  But as soon as that time card punches, the personal crusading stops, or they can find a different job.

You wouldn’t want your public school teacher giving lessons on her religion, would you? Or favoring students who aligned with her beliefs?

If you work for anyone or any corporation that is not explicitly religious, you give up your right to make religion a part of your job.  Regardless of personal beliefs – that women shouldn’t have abortions or that same-sex couples shouldn’t marry – it’s foremost your duty to uphold rules set up by your employer and by the federal government.

You simply cannot police the lifestyle of strangers because you think it’s immoral, or because it disagrees with your religion.  That’s not your job.

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  • Daniel

    So do you think we should just blindly follow all laws just because a few (5) people say it should be so? What if they legalize incest, will you allow someone to marry their own daughter despite your personal convictions? At what point do you draw the line? For some people they draw the line at homosexuality…

    • Organite

      That’s terrible logic.
      You blindly follow most any other law in this country without second guessing it.

      What if my convictions mandated that I couldn’t drive at any speed lower than 100mph on any road regardless of the speed limit? Sure, my beliefs may break the law and jeopardize the well-being of others, but that doesn’t matter because I draw the line at 100mph.

      No, it doesn’t work like that. And thankfully it doesn’t. I would be rightfully arrested and my license would be shredded.

      The same goes for this County Clerk: if she doesn’t like the job she has to do in order to follow the law then she can resign.

      • Randy

        Your response is not germane. What faith or religion might condone speeding? Hers was a religious response. The Supremes can’t make law either, which is what is assumed that they did. They only issue opinions as to what is brought before them, and what they saw was from a very few states, not all. Therefore, no laws were broken unless Kentucky was a party to the suit.

        • Organite

          There is no religion that says you must go no slower than 100mph at all times, rather it was a parable to the original commentator’s argument. And it’s entirely relevant. It doesn’t matter if you’re christian, muslim, pastafarian, or a hundredmileperhourian. What I’m saying is that faith is a personal thing, and it should never extend beyond one’s own self. As soon as your personal beliefs jeopardize the rights and well-being of others then you’ve crossed the line from free exercise into oppression and tyranny.
          And the supreme court didn’t make any laws. They struck down instituted laws that banned gay marriage as unconstitutional. That’s the whole purpose of checks and balances. It’s why the Supreme Court played such crucial roles in Black rights, Women’s rights, and now Gay rights. They set important precedents and struck down oppressive laws that would otherwise still be enforced to this day.

          • top kek

            randy got rekt

  • Randy

    You DO NOT check your rights at your employers door step!!!!

    • Organite

      Say, what do you think about that flight attendant that refuses to serve alcohol to patrons because she’s a Muslim? Do you think she has the right to go unscathed refusing alcohol to people who are LEGALLY within their right to obtain beverages simply because of HER religious convictions? What if you were a patron on a flight she was serving and you wanted to exercise your legal right to obtain an alcoholic beverage, but she refused you on the sole basis that her religion forbids it? Would you be okay with that? Or would you think she should find a job that doesn’t put her in the position to go against her beliefs?
      I’m just curious.

      • Randy

        Of course she has the right but she must also accept any consequences from her employer. Gandhi practiced civil disobedience, but also accepted the consequeneces.

        • Organite

          Right. And it so happens that as an elected official the consequences for not upholding the law are impeachment or in her case being held in contempt of court.

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