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Comments about ‘Christians in Britain fear further discrimination after final court ruling’

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Published: Friday, May 31 2013 9:08 p.m. MDT

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Kass
SLC, UT

So, if your religious beliefs prevent you from doing your job, you can be fired for not doing your job? Additionally, if your attire - including religious trinkets - present a risk to you or others and refuse to follow safety protocols and remove them, you can be fired?

The horror!

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

You're no longer letting my personal magical belief system serve as a defense for my incompetent job performance!

Help, help! I'm being repressed!

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@Kass --

They shouldn't be required to do their jobs if it conflicts with their religions! They should be paid to sit there and do nothing, obviously!

;-)

Seriously, though --

"One was a local registrar who refused to perform civil partnership ceremonies"

This person works for the government. Should he/she not expect that he/she might need to carry out the laws of the very government that he/she works for?

"a relationship counselor who was fired for saying he might object to assisting same-sex couples."

Must be at a public hospital or clinic, since he was mentioned as a public employee.

And this highly educated counselor -- working for the government -- didn't realize that he'd be expected to uphold the government's own anti-discrimination policies?

"The third case involved a nurse who was moved to an administrative job after she refused to remove a crucifix around her neck."

Not a public employee, therefore more questionable than the others. Still, she wasn't fired -- and we don't know if the problem was risk of contamination (jewelry holds germs), or giving offense to non-Christian patients, or what.

Overall, sounds like folks playing the victim card!

JSB
Sugar City, ID

Mr. Brown's well-written article illustrates a growing problem. My concern is that one man's "reasonable accommodation" will be viewed as extreme by another person. Someone taking issue with another person's wearing a cross seems extreme but if the jewelry could be a safety hazard in some work situations, then asking the person not to wear it is reasonable. Issues of conscience are a different matter. If a doctor views abortion as taking the life of a human being and refuses to participate, should he be fired? Or can his license be revoked? Can a clerk at a government office refuse to accept the marriage application of a gay couple if gay marriage is legal? Can a private business refuse to photograph a gay wedding? Can an employer fire a woman for dressing immodestly? Or can an employer fire a woman for refusing to dress immodestly? Recently, a department store fired a woman because she wouldn't let a cross-dresser into the women's dressing area. My response was to refuse to patronize the business. This issue will be interesting to follow.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@Kass: Less respect for freedom of conscience is not trivial. A weakening commitment to promote human rights is not a good sign. Regimes that do not respect human rights such as freedom of religion or freedom of conscience are usually starting wars or are having revolutions. That isn't going to happen anytime soon in Europe but the world is becoming casual o n respect for human rights and suggests that the world will become more violent in the coming decades.

In addition, if some people don't like seeing symbols of other people's religion/culture they should not have the right to dictate to the rest of us what we can or cannot see. Most people want to seemore diversity not less.

dell
San Antonio, TX

So a counselor can help 98% of the couples that come to her and refers the other 2% to a coworker down the hall. Same with the clerk. How is that not doing her job?

I'm sure you can back up your claim that crucifixes are dangerous with some proof of necklace related fatalities.

These are all just examples of bad people finding a little loophole to hurt those they disagree with. There will always be jealousies, petty feuds etc at work. The point of tolerance is not to empower mean people to use a persons beliefs to harm them.

This is just another example of the truth of the poem "First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist..." Remember the Muslim headscarf ban in France? There are people out there that sincerely believe in John Lennon's sappy ode to a world of grey where no one is allowed to be themselves (Imagine no religion, no property, no countries) and will work to block any expression of belief.

Tolerance is respect for others beliefs, not finding ways to use the power of the state to suppress others beliefs.

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@dell --

"So a counselor can help 98% of the couples...How is that not doing her job? "

When you work for the government, part of your job is to uphold the laws of that government. And that includes refraining from discrimination.

"I'm sure you can back up your claim that crucifixes are dangerous with some proof of necklace related fatalities."

Jewelry is a known fomite (vehicle for carrying germs) in health-care settings -- especially jewelry that has nooks and crannies for germs to hide in, like a chain on a necklace.

The National Health Service (UK) official dress code recommends that "those coming into contact with patients should ... wear no fake nails or jewelry but for a plain wedding ring."

Clearly, a crucifix on a chain -- or any necklace, with or without religious symbolism -- violates this policy.

Incidentally, some hospital dress-code recommendations go so far as to specifically ban "dangling earrings", even though those are much farther away from patients than a dangling necklace would be.

This **isn't** about anti-religious discrimination. It's about people hiding behind religion as an excuse to not do their jobs.

Wilf 55
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The European Court of Human Rights did not take this decision lightly. Public servants cannot refuse to provide service to people when the requests of those people are foreseen and protected by law. In countries where public servants are expected by law to be neutral in all aspects of their attitude and clothing, they should conform while on the job. Making a fuss about their "rights" being trampled is not wise: it gives an impression of arrogance or intolerance.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

We can only hope this is a preview for the Hobby Lobby et al decision. The fact that we’re even treating these few “conscientious objectors” with hallowed respectability (by our press) says a lot, but the U.K. wisely saw all this nonsense for what it was.

I wonder if these folks would ever be happy unless they can be little religious-law enclaves unto themselves, thereby making the notion of civil law and government a fiction.

Can the once proud Religious Right crawl any lower down the “poor-victimized-me” rabbit hole?

JayTee
Sandy, UT

Sad to see the U. K. apparently circling the drain even faster than the U. S. The liberal mindset is apparently metastasizing throughout the industrialized world.

MrTuscadero
Houston, TX

Since the state religion of he UK is fast becoming Islam, any concern about human rights can be dismised. Aftter all, during the Middle Ages there were no human rights anywhere, and that era is the main mode that most Islamic theology and political science operates within.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@JSB
"If a doctor views abortion as taking the life of a human being and refuses to participate, should he be fired?"

This one has always confused me. If he or she doesn't want to participate in abortions then why would they even get educated on how to perform one? If they're not educated in that particular matter (it's not like I'd choose a brain surgeon to do a heart transplant) then why would them ever performing one ever come up anyway? I'd rather someone who knows what they're doing perform a procedure.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@MrTuscadero
"Since the state religion of he UK is fast becoming Islam"

5.0% of England is Islam.

TA1
Alexandria, VA

I don't see what the big deal is - if you want to operate in the public place then you abide by the rules of the public place. Not so long ago you could not be gay (or LGBT), now you just can't discriminate – to me – that is progress (and I think if Jesus were to return today – He would likely agree).

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