New Rule: If Your Religious Beliefs Prevent You From Doing Your Job – Get a New Job

religious-freedom-35Words cannot express how absolutely sick and tired I am of people trying to force their religion into places it does not belong. The way I view faith and religion is simple: Keep it private, at church or other places of worship. There’s a reason why this nation was founded on the principle of freedom of (or from) religion. That way no person would ever have someone else’s beliefs shoved down their throat.

Now, in instances like what’s going on with Kim Davis in Kentucky, it’s fairly straight forward. She’s an elected official who’s refusing to do her job in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling and our Constitution. There’s no gray area with the situation in Kentucky. She’s completely in the wrong and has absolutely no legal right to deny gay couples their marriage licenses. The bottom line is, she either needs to resign or be removed from office.

But when it comes to the private sector, things do get slightly more complicated.

Take for instance a story that’s been going around concerning a Muslim flight attendant, Charee Stanley, who’s been suspended by ExpressJet for refusing to serve customers alcohol, claiming it goes against her religious beliefs. She has since filed a discrimination complaint against the company.

While I respect everyone’s right to have their own faith, I draw the line with stuff such as this. Her job requires her to fulfill certain duties, one of which is to serve passengers alcohol if they request it. If she doesn’t want to do that requirement of her job, then find a new job.

What’s next, Hindu servers refusing to allow customers to order beef products? What if a Muslim male working at the DMV starts refusing to issue driver’s licenses to women because he doesn’t believe women should drive? Should that be allowed?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people being allowed days off to celebrate certain religious holidays, or even garments such as a hijab being allowed to be worn by women. But when it starts reaching a point where employees are refusing to carry out required tasks of their job, claiming it’s “against their religion,” then I think we’ve got a problem.

Now, I know what some of you might be saying: Who cares, it’s just alcohol – what’s the big deal? 

Well, where do you draw the line?

Take for instance a Florida nurse who sued a clinic that wouldn’t hire her because she opposed all forms of birth control and informed them during her interview that she would not prescribe it to anyone, even if they specifically asked for it. She claimed her “religious freedom” was violated when they didn’t hire her.

Are we now going to argue that doctors and medical professionals should be allowed to ignore medical science when it contradicts their religious beliefs? What if someone dies because they weren’t given proper treatment due to a doctor’s “religious beliefs”?

While serving alcohol and prescribing birth control are two completely different things, both individuals believe that they are within their rights to tell their employers (or potential employer) that they’re not going to carry out certain tasks a job requires because it went against their religion.

Let me reiterate, I’m all for respecting the religious beliefs of other people. But I absolutely disagree with these folks who claim that they should be exempt from carrying out certain duties of a job that are required by an employer.

This isn’t a matter of asking someone to “choose between their career and their religion.” It’s about people voluntarily choosing to work for a company, who are then deciding that they shouldn’t have to carry our specific tasks because it’s against their religion. Then, in cases like the nurse in Florida, businesses are being sued because they don’t want to hire employees who admit during an interview that they won’t perform certain tasks that are a requirement for employment.

If you ask me, we just need to keep religion out of government, school and work. Religion should be something that’s personal and practiced in the appropriate places. If you come across a job that requires you to do things that go against your religion – then get a different job.

Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Cemetery Girl

    We do need to keep in mind that, at least in the private sector, there are laws in place that require employers to make accommodations as long as they do not cause hardship. The flight attendant, she did not have a complaint until the airline cut back to one attendant a flight. Before that her beliefs were accommodated. The nurse, if she was to be the only nurse able to write the prescriptions the clinic could claim undo hardship in having to add an additional, otherwise unneeded nurse to write those prescriptions. Government jobs aren’t held to the same law, but accommodations could still be made. I’m curious that with Davis if they changed the practice so her name was no longer on any marriage licenses, instead just have the name of the county office, if she would comply or still refuse. That would be viewed as a reasonable accommodation. Refusing to issue any marriage licenses and telling people to go to a different county is not considered a reasonable accommodation.

    • Bridgette Rodriguez

      Wow, an informed reader. Bravo! There are also laws covering the federal sector–I know, as I was a union rep there. FYI, here’s a great article covering some of the recent cases and religious accommodation:

      • Judy Jackson

        Davis FORBADE the other clerks in the office to issue licenses. WHY should taxpayers who live in Rowan County have to drive to another country to get their license? Davis has lost every appeal.

      • llcisyouandme

        There is also plenty of precedent for “you can go somewhere else” as an illegitimate argument, almost regardless of the distance involved. Citations for this are in the linked article, which I’d already read and seems quite comprehensive. Evidently, there is room within KY state law for a judgement that Davis need not sign marriage licenses, under their RFRA, as long as others in the clerk’s office are available to sign, and that she make no effort to subvert that process. She was imprisoned for contempt because she has been actively subverting *every* process that might grant SSM licenses, and will very likely go back to jail if she adheres to her promise to continue to do so. It seems that, although there are solutions with Constitutional (federal and state) law to draw a finer line in a gray area and resolve this impasse, Davis, driven by Liberty Counsel, has always instead relied on “God’s authority.” They are so adamant and fixed in their goals because, at the same time they are using the legal process, they have no respect for it.

      • Bridgette Rodriguez

        At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we think–it will be decided by the courts for as far up as her original lawsuit and additional legal actions go. And anyone who has been around the legal system or just watches cases understands that one court can overturn another court’s decision, and it is never over until it’s really over. By the way, I can just about bet that when she comes back to duty, these newly issued marriage licenses (which by law require her name/title) will be the subject of her new actions/filing(s). Her attorney hinted at it yesterday and today, and she is resting up a few days before going back to work, which sounds like she may be resting up before she might head back to jail. (Just my opinion.)

      • Mel Lewis

        I agree with you, but here are some of my own feelings regarding RFRA laws. Fuck RFRA laws. Christians are confusing not getting their way with being persecuted. I’m a strong advocate of ending RFRA laws, as they’re designed to make it legal to discriminate against certain segments of a civil secular society. Hell, we can be fired and denied housing in 29? 34? states. All the current state level RFRA laws are about discrimination, nothing else. We go by the constitution, not the bible. The very people who’re advocating RFRA laws also want to live in a Christian nation, and make laws based out of the bible. That would be forcing others to follow one religion, and continue to make us second class citizens, and adhere to beliefs we don’t hold. That would be holding one religion higher than others, which our constitution forbids. I’m sick and tired of these so called “Christians” forcing their beliefs onto a secular society. I’m sick of them continuing to denigrate everyone in society that isn’t like them and try to hold their beliefs over your own. Some of them simply do not understand that we’re not inferior, we’re just as equal as anyone else based on the US constitution and biology. Some of them think we are are different, they don’t even imagine us coming from families. I don’t know where they think we come from, but a lot of straight people in my past looked at me funny when I would talk about my family, almost like they couldn’t imagine they exist. Most are surprised that I have a straight twin brother. I’ve actually had two people look at me and say, “You have a family?”, and I’m like “Seriously?”. “Where do you think we come from?”. As wonderful as it would be, we don’t just appear out of fairy dust.

      • llcisyouandme

        Given their obstinacy in pursuing all these things you speak about, they may very well one day gain the “discriminated against” status they so fervently desire. At that point maybe we can have real conversations and action regarding how best to separate religion from our secular government. In my estimation, one way to precipitate this would be for everyone to start jumping on that “I’m a religion I deserve (and obtain) tax benefits at the expense of the non-religious” bandwagon.

      • Julie Neltner Reizner

        Davis’ job was to represent the law of the land, which she failed to do. The “they can always go somewhere else” is an extremely slippery slope – how far do people have to drive to earn the rights their government has declared for them? Do they need to get a hotel for the night because it is many hours away? Should they have to?

      • Bridgette Rodriguez

        The courts decide that when there are lawsuits involved — not you or me. However, FYI, 63 miles is generally about a one hour drive from Rowan to Lexington (the nearest other county Clerk’s office from Rowan) and an about an hour drive back.

      • Sieben Stern

        yeah if they want service they can go somewhere else!
        separate but equal worked so well in the past….

      • Cemetery Girl

        Expecting citizens to drive roughly two hours should be undue hardship. Since word has it there is talk of her still planning to prevent marriage licenses from being issued, the discussion of accomodations might be pointless. I would think her lawyer would understand agreeing to accommodations, violating them, trying to agree to further accommodations, and repeating until homosexuals legally can’t marry won’t work. But will increase his name recognition.

      • Bridgette Rodriguez

        Actually, unfortunately, the KY law relating to marriage licenses is plain on its face that the Clerk of the County Court’s name/title must be on all marriage licenses, and Davis’ actually wrote to the Governor and Legislature about 4 months back about this and the expectation that it could become an issue should the Supreme Court rule (as it did) in favor of gay marriage. That letter is Exhibit
        E in her first filed lawsuit. So, the current licenses apparently don’t comport with law and she will challenge that when she gets back to work.
        It was not lost on me when her attorney made the comment he did about “Friday” and then her taking off work a couple of days, that she will be filing additional actions and probably will not be complying with the latest court order. The problem is, in my opinion, is that expecting a law to be amended for someone is also not a reasonable accommodation, since it supresses the automony of the State rep to vote the way they wish. Sooooooo… buckle your seatbelts…it’s not over, in my opinion, by far. However, should she have the energy, legal representation (free) and monies to keep this up, I would like to see the matter settled at the SCOTUS level and at the Supreme Court of KY level (should she file there).

      • Bridgette Rodriguez

        As a follow-up to my previous (last) reply to you, as I felt she would, she has filed on the marriage licenses not being lawful just a short while ago. FYI:

    • Bridgette Rodriguez

      Also, in addition to my reply before and the article I provided, here’s another article on religious exemption, in general, and its backgound

  • paige arch

    …well delivered

  • Osama

    You are all liberal tards

    • TropicDave173

      Well, nanny nanny boo boo to you too…

      See how childish your comment looks? It required one in response. Just a regular “Maurice-Ronald”, aren’t you?