Friday, November 9, 2007

Religion and Discrimination

An applicant applies for a job in a hair salon.  The owner states up front that one of the job duties is for the worker to show off her own hair-do.  The applicant holds a religious belief that she must keep her hair covered in public.  The owner says, sorry, but it's a job requirement and if you're unprepared to perform the duty then you're not qualified for the job.  The applicant then files a lawsuit for religious discrimination.  (link to story
Several cases have arisen recently where pharmacy workers have refused to fill birth control prescriptions because their religion opposes birth control.  In most cases, another worker is available to take over and fill the prescription.  But what if another worker were unavailable?  Would the pharmacy be justified in firing the employee for nonperformance of duties?
Some grocery stores sell wine and beer.  Is a cash-register person whose religion opposes booze consumption justified in refusing to deal with a customer who wants to buy some?
Suppose a job (police officer, hotel desk clerk, airline reservation agent) requires a uniform which conflicts in some way with a religiously mandated item of clothing.  Is the employer required to make a special exception for that one employee?
I think that if you can't or won't perform the job duties, for whatever reason, religion or otherwise, then you're unqualified for the job and have no business applying for in the first place. If you really want the job, then change your religion.
As soon as a few religious leaders start realizing that their strange doctrines render True Believers unqualified to get jobs, maybe they'll start receiving mystic revelations from God to change these doctrines.  Strange things like that have happened in history, you know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Discrimination is commanded by God against the blind, lame, dwarfed,
with broken limb, or "blemished" in any way (Leviticus 21:17-23). And "He
that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall
not enter into the congregation of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 23:1). (The
latter, though, seems to conflict with Jesus' advice about eunuchs, in Matthew19:12.)

There is to be discrimination against the descendants of offenders:
"visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third
and fourth generation" (Exodus 20:5, 34:7, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy
5:9). "His blood be on us, and on our children." (Matthew 27:25).
Bastards may not enter the temple, nor their descendants for ten
generations (Deuteronomy 23:2). As Tom Paine said in The Age of Reason,
all this is "contrary to every principle of moral justice". God killed a
baby because of a sin of his father. (2 Samuel 12:14) Ahab escaped
punishment for murder by making an elaborate apology, and his descendants
were punished instead (I Kings 21:29). This "corruption of the blood", is
forbidden in the U.S. Constitution. (Note that these examples conflict
with Deuteronomy 24:16: "neither shall the children be put to death for
the fathers") Also, slavery is decreed to be an inherited state
(Leviticus 25:44-46).

There is religious discrimination, sometimes violent, throughout the
Bible: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3); "Thou
shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus 22:18); "He that sacrifice unto
any god save the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed" (Exodus
22:20); "He who is not with me is against me" (Matthew 12:30, Luke
11:23); "he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put
to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him" (Leviticus
24:16). Anyone proselytizing for another religion is also to be put to
death, and if that person is a member of your family, you are to strike
the first blow to kill him or her (Deuteronomy 13:1-9). Jesus says about
unbelievers "cast them into the fire" (John 15:6). "Be ye not unequally
yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 6:14). "...withdraw
yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the
tradition which he received of us" (2 Thessalonians 3:6). "And if any man
obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company
with him, that he may be ashamed" (2 Thes 3:14).

And, as we all know, there is lots of discrimination against
women, throughout the Bible.

Ed Pearlstein