"Persecution" of Christians, Take 3487

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It's happening again...someone insists that their religious beliefs trump all other forces in the universe, and if they're not accomodated, then it must be...(ominous chord) religious persecution!

Yes, a biologist is suing the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for $500,000 for violating his civil rights by firing him because of his religious beliefs. The belief in question? Evolution--or rather, not. The plaintiff, Nathaniel Abraham, claims that he lost his job as a postdoctoral researcher in a biology lab shortly after he told his superior that he did not accept evolution as scientific fact.

There's just one problem with this suit. Abraham was hired to do a job; he applied for that job. The job included studying "the evolutionary implications and interpretations of [the] research" being performed. And after he was hired, Abraham basically said that he would be skipping the parts of the job that conflicted with his beliefs--beliefs he did not happen to mention when he applied for the job.

This is a bit like applying for a job as a barbeque cook, then revealing once you're hired that you're an observant Jew or Muslim, and therefore not allowed to eat pork. So you'll only be cooking the beef and the coleslaw, thank you very much (after all, it's hard to cook something well without the occasional taste). And if you get fired for not doing the job you were hired to do, then it's religious discrimination!

Yeah. Uh-huh. If a person is hired to do a job, then it's discovered that for any reason they can't do it, they are generally fired (minus a few protected classes, like those taking medical leave or National Guardsmen being called up for duty). If your beliefs prevent you from doing a job, then don't take that job.

If you're a pharmacist who refuses to do the job of dispensing prescribed medication because you don't believe in birth control or RU-486, go work at a Catholic or evangelical hospital where no one will ask you to fill those prescriptions. If you're a science teacher, teach science...not Bible stories. Those are for Sunday school, and you're welcome to teach them there on your own time. And frankly, if my occult neo-pagan beliefs mean that I won't wear clothes on Wednesdays, I can pretty much kiss any job that requires working on Wednesdays good-bye. (Even a strip club wants you to start with something on so you can take it off.) Whatever. You're free to believe any wacky thing you want. The earth is flat, it's only 6,000 years old, it's full of Thetans--go for it. But don't ask your employer to do something for you that they wouldn't do for anyone else. Nobody ever said faith was going to be easy.

More facts about the case.


Posted by Hannibal on 2007-12-10 18:38:52

I sense some term mixing here. Evolution IS a scientific fact, but is often lumped in with the Theory of Evolution which is a different thing all together.


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