Thursday, July 3, 2014
A Random Thought and "Rant"
There has been a lot of talk on the news channels, Twitter and other social media outlets about the recent Hobby Lobby ruling from the Supreme Court this past week and with it a lot of debate among people. Sometimes hostile sometimes not. I am not going to talk about that specific ruling or the ramifications of it but more on a situation that could and probably has happened and would love to hear what other people like yourselves think and whether you agree with me or not.
I love to debate and like to hear what your thoughts and your views are but I want to keep it civil. You might not agree with my view and I might not agree with yours but that is what America gives us. The right to believe what you want to believe in. It's the American way.
As a reference why I am writing about a potential scenario is that the Hobby Lobby suit "took away" certain "rights" when it comes to the health care for the employees of the company. Again, not going to go over that situation but you can Google it for more information if you like.
Here a potential and probable scenario considering I have heard and seen variances of it in the past :
1st and foremost everyone whether you like them or not we have a right to believe in whatever we want. Race, creed, religion etc can not be used against someone applying for a job and if it is, they can rightfully sue that company. This scenario is for someone that is applying for a job NOT someone that is already employed by the company. If they were already employed then the whole situation changes.
An Atheist ( someone that does not believe in God ) who for the sake of this exercise we shall name Francis is looking for a job and he has the choice of a few. Not just one but he can take any of them. It's his choice. We will use Red Robin as the company. Francis decides he wants to really work for Red Robin as he loves their food and will receive a 30% discount while working there. A job and discounted food, a win win in Francis's eyes.
At the time of his interview Francis is informed that Red Robin is a very religious company and that they believe in God and try to practice what the bible teaches them. During the employee's breaks and lunch many of them can be seen praying together or reading the bible among themselves. It is not mandated nor expected by Red Robin as they do not ask their employees to participate. It is an option not a requirement. During the interview Red Robin informs Francis of the common practices held at their facilities and that he is not expected to participate in any of them but he can do so at his own discretion. Francis informs Red Robin that he is an Atheist and he will not be joining in with his fellow potential employees. Red Robin respects his decision and offers him the job as they have and would never have a policy that states that Atheists can't work there. Francis happens to be the most qualified applicant and Red Robin wants him working there as they believe he will be an asset to the company.
Francis starts working at Red Robin and for the first 6 months he does a great job and he himself is happy that he chose to work there. A couple times during his tenure Francis is asked by his peers if he would like to join in a prayer group. He politely declines and they don't ask him again. A couple months go by and Francis is getting more and more annoyed by the constant bible reading and prayers that he witnesses during his breaks and lunches that he decides it is too much to take for him anymore. He feels that that his fellow employees by praying and reading around him are forcing their views onto him even though he himself is not involved in the group and it is making him very uncomfortable. Francis talks to his manager and is informed that they have every right to do what they do just as Francis has a right to be who he is and if was to read something about the non existence of God around other employees they would have to accept that as well.
Francis is not happy with that answer as he decides he is going to sue the company to make them change their practice and have them not allow them to have prayer meetings or anything religious as he is not comfortable being around that atmosphere. He believes that it infringes on his own beliefs and that he should not be subjected to the constant sight of prayer as he feels its being forced upon him.
So does Francis have the right to do this? I firmly say NO!
If he had worked there prior and then they started this he might a very small case for it but that is still a stretch in my eyes. He knew going in what company he was going to work for and the company knew what his beliefs are so why should the company change its practices and traditions for the sake of one person being uncomfortable? The company is OK with him not to believe in God so why can't he just deal with it? Should he?
I bring up this scenario as too many people nowadays feel uncomfortable in their surroundings and want others to change and not have themselves adapt or leave instead. I believe in the right to have your own beliefs and practices and you should not be hindered in life by your race, gender, beliefs or sexual preference and that everyone should be given a chance to do what they want. If they can't do it then they can't do it. Move on.
So is it fair for someone going into a work situation knowing full well that to potentially expect to be around something they don't like in their own personal life and then to cry foul down the road and turn around and say that their rights and beliefs are being infringed upon? If Francis is uncomfortable why does the company have to change? Just leave if you don't like it anymore. Why should the tax payers ( my pocket and yours readers ) have to foot a civil suit for a person that years ago would have been laughed out of the court? Just because times have changed, and to be fair a lot of good has come about in the past 20 years, doesn't mean that every little thing that offends someone has to be contested. There are a lot of things that bother me in this world. If I walk into a bar and want to buy a drink but there is smoking allowed ( I hate smoking ) do I have the right to say stop smoking while I am here as it bothers me? Isn't it my right to be comfortable when I am trying to enjoy something? We as Americans I believe have gone way too PC and try too hard to accommodate the few and which then forsakes the thousands and/or millions.
If something truly is illegal and infringes on your rights by all means stand up and fight but lets use common sense and chose our battles.
In my view and opinion Francis is 100% wrong and the company should not have to change for him. Some readers might think I am exaggerating but there have been documented incidents that Atheists have had issues with religious billboard advertisements and fought to have them taken down as they should not be subjected to seeing those. Don't the religious groups have the right to put them up?
What say you?
Would love comments and debate but please keep it civil. If you have no comments and chose to read this all the way through thank you for taking the time. It is appreciated.
God Speed everyone and have a happy and safe holiday weekend !