Talking Points

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“The noose has tightened around the necks of Christians to keep them from speaking out on certain moral issues. And it all was embodied in something called the Hate crimes bill that President Obama said was a major victory for America. I’m not sure if America was the beneficiary. … We have voted into office a group of people who are opposed to many of the fundamental Christian beliefs of our nation. And they hold to radical ideology, and they are beginning to put people sharing their points of view into high office. And not only that, they … have control of both houses of Congress.”

— Pat Robertson, speaking last week on the Christian Broadcasting Network about recently passed hate crimes legislation

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news on issues involving the religious right, religious freedom, civil liberties and public education. Subscribe here.

5 thoughts on “Talking Points

  1. With regard to the Home Depot cashier who was fired for wearing a button that said “One nation under God”; What am I missing here? What possible harm can that button do to anyone? She infringes on no one’s civil rights in any way that I can see. I would have the same reaction to that button as I would if it said “I eat bear poop and rainbows fly outta my pockets!”; “Um, that’s great. Where’s the plywood?”

    This is one atheist that is rooting for the Christian to sue the pants off her former employers.

  2. I don’t know the circumstances of the Home Depot episode, but I think any business serving the public has a right to expect their employees to conduct themselves in a manner the company deems appropriate. The company has a vested interest in the image the employees project in the workplace and must make sure the employees do not offend anyone while they are on the job.

  3. I agree, Rocket Mike. I just don’t see the offense. Or rather, I don’t see a degree of offense that rises to anything more than non-agreement with the sentiments expressed.

    I do admit that I must take back my knee-jerk about suing the company, as I didn’t take the time to consider that since they fired her, it is likely because she refused to not wear the button while working. As you say, Home Depot has every right to ensure that their sales people leave any controversial personal items at home. I’d like to know if they received a complaint from a customer or just a tight-ass superior/coworker?

  4. It may be that a complaint was registered by someone at Home Depot or a customer. This once again is that issue of whether Jerry Falwell has a right to come back to life, enter my bedroom window at 3:00 a.m., and preach to me and the missus as we lie in bed. It is also possible that we do not know the whole story with regard to this guy and his behavior on the job. Back in 1996, I worked with a guy who was a Rush Limbaugh type. His entire office door was decorated with far right wing propaganda, and (in my opinion), he became an inappropriate political nuisance in the workplace. Whatever a person’s politics might be, I think setting up your own personal “political kiosk” in a workplace is inappropriate and disruptive behavior that can have negative impacts on team morale and the proper conduct of projects.

    For example, let’s say that a guy named Joe has set up a little liberal political kiosk in his workplace. A big project is on the horizon, and a presentation needs to be made to a potential client in NYC. Joe and Karen are good presenters. However, Joe may be just a little bit better at it than Karen. The wise thing would be for the team to take Joe on the trip, but the team knows they will be harassed with Joe’s politics throughout the 6-hour round-trip drive to NYC and back. It is just more than most members of the team can take (nerve-wise), so they ask Karen to go instead—and they lose the project on Karen’s presentation. If you do not think this thing can actually happen, then you have never worked in the consulting business.

  5. I thought the Hate Crimes bill addressed discrimination against gays and handicapped people; I didn’t know it addressed the wearing of Pledge of Allegiance buttons. Therefore, I didn’t know the bill and this case with the Home Depot employee were related.

    I’d need to know more about this Home Depot case before I can comment. This is the first and only place I’ve heard of it – in this Comment section. Usually there is more to a story than the first report and the details become known only later. At first glance this does indeed look like a case of First Amendment violation. However, I’d need to know more about Home Depot’s policy about buttons and more details about the case in general.