December 1, 2008

Waaah! It's against my religion to do my job!

England: Yet another religious bigot has gone running to the courts after he was sacked for refusing to do his job.

A Christian counsellor from Bristol is to take a charity to a tribunal after he was allegedly sacked for refusing to work with same-sex couples.

Gary McFarlane, a solicitor and former church elder, will allege the Bristol branch of counselling service Relate refused to accommodate his religious beliefs.

Mr McFarlane will claim discrimination on the grounds of religion, unfair dismissal and harassment at Bristol Employment Tribunal Centre.

Counsellor 'sacked for refusing to work with gay couples'The Independent, 1st December 2008.

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England: Almost a year ago, we mentioned the case of Gary McFarlane, an alleged Christian who had been sacked from his counselling job because he claimed that doing it without discrimination was against his religion. Well, the case went to an employme... Read More


I've always had mixed feelings about this kind of thing.

I can't fault an employer for terminating or failing to hire someone for valid reasons pertaining to the job. If you own a big and tall men's clothier you're not discriminating by not hiring midgets or anorexics as models.

On the other hand, I had it out with a boss once, even threatened to sue, because we had a lot of Xian customers and he didn't want me to wear my pentacle. I eventually won the argument because he wasn't willing to tell Xian employees not to wear crosses and fish.

I'm not sure it's the same thing, though. I'm also struck that there's probably more to this story.

I've never had a problem with this. If you are an Earth-Firster, don't take up logging. If you are a Vegan, don't work in a slaughter house. Likewise, if you don't want to council someone you think is "wicked", maybe you should try something more your style; say, Wal-Mart greeter or something. Wearing a cross or a pentacle or whatever has nothing to do with it. It's a question of being a professional and doing your job while NOT crying to the courts when your job entails something you don't want to do. You knew it going in, or you should have.

I have the same problem with "pharmacists" who don't want to give out prescriptions. If it goes against your religion to do your job, time to find something else.

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This page contains a single entry by Feòrag published on December 1, 2008 1:32 PM.

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