Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

June 29, 2005

Fired for Religious Beliefs

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:55 am

There seems to be an increasing trend towards employers — generally large corporations — firing employees for their religious beliefs. Not for trying to foist their beliefs on others, but on merely holding them, or expressing them outside of work on the employee’s own time. If you’ve been paying attention for the last few years, you can guess what religious beliefs are causing so much offense to employers.

AT&T fired one employee for refusing to “value” homosexuality. Not that he was going to discriminate against anyone for practicing it. They wanted him to value the act itself:

AT&T fired Buonanno after he refused to sign a “certificate of understanding” acknowledging he agreed to “value” homosexuality among fellow workers.

The court, in last Friday’s ruling, said AT&T Broadband failed to show it could not have accommodated Buonanno’s beliefs “without undue hardship.”

As a conservative Christian, Buonanno could not honestly value or agree with homosexuality, which he views as a sin — even though he pledged to AT&T not to discriminate against or harass anyone, said his lawyer.

When he refused to sign the certificate of understanding, he was fired.

The court awared Mr. Buonanno $146,269 for lost salary and benefits. But he still hasto find another job.

More recently, Allstate fired a manager — and had security escort him from the building — after they discovered that, on his own time, he’d written a column in a Christian web site expressing the (a?) Christian view on homosexuality. The company claims that by writing this article outside of work he violated the company’s policy on “Diversity and Inclusion.” I guess this means they don’t
“include” Christians.

Also, Kodak fired an 23-year veteran employee for complaining that he found memo sent to him on National Coming-Out Day to be “offensive.” A later company-wide criticizing the employee states, “As you all know, our strategic thrust to build a Winning & Inclusive Culture drives us to behave in ways that value everyone regardless of differences.” As long as those differences don’t include certain views on what constitutes “offensive.” I guess coming out as being offended by certain beliefs on National Coming-Out Day is a fireable offense.

Ironically, the second Kodak memo stated, “we are all free to have our own personal beliefs” — but they fired him anyway. Kodak got a 100% rating as a “gay-friendly” employer, and was listed in “10 Best Places for Lesbians to Work (1999).”

In the 19th century, it was considered acceptable to fire employees for “not voting right.” In the 20th century, this became unacceptable. In the second half of the 20th century it also became unacceptable to fire employees, or discriminate in hiring, because of their race, gender, or religious or political beliefs.

It seems they are turning back the clock — it is becomeing acceptable, even mandatory, for companies to discriminate on the basis of religious or political beliefs.

Only now, discrimination is called “tolerance” and “diversity.”

(Hat tip: Clayton Cramer.)

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