Patterico's Pontifications

7/19/2010

Religion on the Job

Filed under: Religion — DRJ @ 10:37 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Central Texas bus driver is out of a job, and he says his religious views caused him to be fired:

“After he was dispatched to take the women to Planned Parenthood in January, [Edwin] Graning called his supervisor “and told her that, in good conscience, he could not take someone to have an abortion,” his lawsuit said. The women’s names, their location and the clinic location were not included in the lawsuit. Planned Parenthood also provides health care services unrelated to abortion.

Graning, a Kyle resident, is “an ordained Christian minister who is opposed to abortion,” the lawsuit said.

His supervisor, who is not named, responded by saying, “Then you are resigning,” the suit said.

Graning denied he was resigning and was later told to drive his bus back to the yard and then was fired, the lawsuit said.”

The law requires that an employer accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs unless it causes a “substantial financial hardship.” A law professor interviewed in the report indicated the outcome might hinge on whether the employer knew in advance of Graning’s religious concerns.

– DRJ

70 Responses to “Religion on the Job”

  1. The Obama health “reform” bill has provisions denying such rights to doctors and nurses.

    MIke K (0ef8c3)

  2. A law professor interviewed in the report indicated the outcome might hinge on whether the employer knew in advance of Graning’s religious concerns.

    That is a good point.

    It is one thing for employees to hide their religious concerns until the job actually asks them to do something inconsistent with their religion.

    It is quite another matter for the employee to have been up front with religious concerns and to be hired with the employer knowing about these religious concerns.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  3. A couple of ways of looking at this:

    1) This is in effect the county providing a service (transporting people), and the driver is simply a cog in that wheel. He has no say in the matter.

    Of course, stretched to the extreme, one could argue that the if the county is providing a reduced-cost ride to an abortion clinic, then it is subsidizing abortions with govt. funds.

    2) If we are going to allow a religious exception in this case, then what does that do to the case of the Muslim taxi drivers in Minneapolis who refused to pick up people carrying alcohol or traveling to/from the airport with their dogs?

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,241527,00.html

    OTOH, many taxi licenses are privately owned, but regulated by the city.

    Dave_in_Reno (058fed)

  4. Come on! You’re driving the bus, not using the scapel. I can see the healthcare worker not wanting to participate in the actual abortion procedure. But I don’t think there is a religion that is specifically opposed to certain bus routes.

    How does he know that a woman going to Planned Parenthood is getting an abortion vs. getting other services?

    Mike S (d3f5fd)

  5. Would he have had the same concern if he was taking her to a regular OB/GYN? A hospital?

    I used to get my BCPs through PP when I was a struggling new career girl – scandolous I know, but unless she volunteered the abortion information, kind of an extreme conclusion for the reason of her visit.

    Non lawyer here, but this seems like a whole lot of overreaction – for all parties involved.

    em (ae4747)

  6. I am conflicted.

    I agree with the cabbie. I could not, in good conscience, deliver the women to the abortion mill either. (I am likewise concerned about doctors, nurses and pharmacists being stripped of their rights of conscience).

    But on the other hand, I have no sympathy for the cabbies who refused to allow guide dogs or alcohol into their cabs.

    Both are issues of faith. My position in the first case is based on the sanctity of human life which is the sine qua non of all other rights. The dogs and booze issue does not rise to that level. Unfortunately, our courts are too stupid to understand, appreciate or recognize the difference.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  7. I don’t see what right he has to sue CARTS. I also wouldn’t be willing to drive someone to an abortion. That seems like a good reason to fire me from a job of driving people where they need to go.

    He should find a job that is compatible with his correct view that abortion is wrong, instead of forcing the government to employ people who can’t do their entire job.

    He should be willing to make this sacrifice of money in exchange for not helping kill kids. No lawsuit required, and no one said being an honest Christian was easy.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  8. This guy is so screwed. If he was a muslim he wouldn’t have to go to the pig farm or the bacon factory, but, Christian–dead meat.

    They could just as easily assigned a route with a pp abortion clinic.

    Jim (844377)

  9. This guy is so screwed. If he was a muslim he wouldn’t have to go to the pig farm or the bacon factory, but, Christian–dead meat.

    They could just as easily assigned a route with a pp abortion clinic.

    Why would Christians and Muslims be treated differently?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  10. Its interesting, a few years back there was a big controversy in minnesota, because muslim cab drivers would not take dogs, even if the person getting in the cab is blind.

    The fact is this christian driver does not and cannot know why she is going there. For all he knows, she might work there. So what all this becomes, most likely, is pregnancy discrimination, or maybe even full sex discrimination. I think I have told you guys before about how I feel about discrimination.

    First, if you work for the state, the state can make lawful work that you morally object to a job requirement. If you are an open borders guy, the state can still require you to enforce immigration law, and if you can’t tough on you. If you work in a state-owned hospital and it says, carry out abortions or else you are fired, I don’t care if it is a religious stance for you: you do it, or you walk. At least the state is free to take that stand.

    And likewise, I wouldn’t allow cab drivers to exclude the disabled. On the other hand, I wouldn’t require a cab to carry pets, because they have a rational concern for pet hair and waste, claws that might cut the upholstery, etc.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  11. That’s not so. You don’t have to hire a worker who will not do his job — such as handling pork (or beef if he’s a Hindu or any meat because he’s a Buddhist). The law is not that screwed up. Yet.

    Look at it the other way. This guy was imposing his religion on the taxpayers who are paying his salary.

    nk (db4a41)

  12. My comment was a response to Jim’s #8.

    nk (db4a41)

  13. Here’s the complaint which alleges that CARTS violated Title VII, a federal law that prevents religious discrimination. I’m not sure how Title VII would relate to Muslim taxi drivers and dogs and alcohol.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  14. This guy is so screwed. If he was a muslim he wouldn’t have to go to the pig farm or the bacon factory, but, Christian–dead meat.

    They could just as easily assigned a route with a pp abortion clinic.

    Comment by Jim

    It might shock Jim to find out that crazy Muslims are as crazy as crazy evangelicals when it comes to abortion. You can look it up.

    timb (449046)

  15. The passenger might be a process server, trying to close the clinic. Or a writer researching the the clinic and patients and workers. Or a building inspector. Or … the driver is just trying to impose the consequences of his religious beliefs on his passengers, and needs either a new route, or a new job, and in either case, a more tolerant view of his fellow citizens.

    htom (412a17)

  16. nk

    well, if you are talking about ham company you are right.

    but what if its a general meat company and in one room is the ham, another is the beef, and a third is the chicken. if a jew can be reasonably accommodated by only working in the non-pig rooms, that is required.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  17. He refused to do his job. Refuse to do your job… get fired. But, the same should go for the muslims, too.

    DFWlady (323051)

  18. crazy Muslims are as crazy as crazy evangelicals when it comes to abortion.

    Comment by timb

    Do you think it’s crazy to decline to help someone get an abortion? Why is that crazy? It’s not like he started stoning the passenger to death. Just that he refused to take her to get an abortion.

    I’m ignoring the idea that he didn’t know if she was getting an abortion. I think how he knew that just isn’t covered in the story, but that’s the principle he was operating under at any rate.

    There is absolutely nothing crazy about being upset about an abortion. Even if you support the ‘right’ to choose, you can find abortions to be bad (Hillary Clinton’s POV) and want fewer of them.

    Pretending this pro-life view is ‘crazy’ just coarsens the debate. If you really believe in souls and think fetuses have them, you’re crazy not to refuse to make this drive. In my opinion.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. Dustin

    Hell, you don’t have to believe in a soul, just believe in science.

    Look at one point in the gestation process we are just a clump of cells. We are no different than bacteria except maybe we have a soul, and in any case eventually if all goes well, those cells will become a person.

    Then at another point that clump of cells is a living and intelligent being. First it’s a bit silly to draw the dividing line between murder and abortion to be about a foot downward. So what is the difference?

    Well, the court has said vitality—that is the time when one is capable of living on one’s own. But if that is the case, then what to say to a man in Christopher Reeve’s position, who cannot live except by the exertions of others? So the former superman is not a person, after breaking his neck in that fall?

    (and yes, I know Reeve has passed on, I am just using him as an example).

    The founding fathers actually seemed to have a better standard. In statute after statute, they went by a differing standard: “the quickening.” That would be the first moment the child moves. And if you asked them I think this is how they would explain it. they would say that is the first moment that a child demonstrates intelligence.

    So in my book, it should all be judged on the sentience standard: when does the human brain come online?

    By the way, I have a pet theory on the viability standard. Lois McMaster Bujold wrote a series of books focusing on a planet called something close to Barryar. The place was a basketcase and as a result very war-like. In one story they occupied a planet and predictably occasional rapes occurred, some resulting in pregnancy. At the end of the war, the occupied planet gave the Barryarians (sp?) a unique parting gift: artificial wombs containing the children gestating after those rapes. That is the women had the babies removed from their bodies and inserted into these artificial wombs in order to bring them to term without burdening the women, saying to the country where the rapists came from “its your problem now.”

    Someday that science fiction concept will be reality. O’Connor never alluded to that, specifically, but she did say that medical technology can be expected to push back the date of viability until pretty much the moment of conception. And if that is the case, by the logic of the supreme court, on that date, abortion can be fully banned.

    So in short she may have intentionally set the right on the path of self-destruction. Which from a political angle makes a degree of sense.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  20. Dustin, what is “crazy” is moving from your beliefs to others behaviors, and compelling them to use your practices instead of theirs.

    htom (412a17)

  21. htom, I agree, he shouldn’t be suing. Although, that’s consistent with the legal approach others have taken in similar situations, I don’t agree with it.

    I think that falls short of deranged monster… and what I really mean is that when comparing the excesses of evangelical Christianity to, say, the excesses of Islam, I find it strange for timb to suggest parity.

    His losing his job seems fair enough. His taking his grievance to the legal system seems fair enough, though I think he should lose there. His refusal to make the drive seems fair enough.

    We just aren’t discussing a crazy person, in my opinion.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  22. I think the crazy people are the ones who believe a muslim and Christian would be treated the same. Abusing Christianity is ok. Abusing camel jockeys is a no, no.

    Jim (844377)

  23. I just think the guy is screwed no matter what. Texas is a “right to hire” state that also gives you (as an employee) the right to quit at any time for any reason without notice… but also gives the employer the right to fire you at any time for any reason without notice. I think, unless he had previously made his objections known to his employer, in my mind, he has no grounds to sue (I’m not an attorney, nor do I play one). All I can say is I hope he has $$$, this will end up being one expensive suit to pursue.

    JoeC (d0609d)

  24. Abusing camel jockeys is a no, no.

    Comment by Jim

    Go f— yourself, Killgore Trout (or wannabee).

    I don’t think anyone worth spit thinks abusing Middle Eastern folks is ok. And no one is abusing this Christian.

    Also, I would bet my lunch money that if this man was Muslim and refused to make this drive, he still would have been fired and his case would face the same result.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  25. I get a little tired of folks who use religious reasons for not being able to do the job for which they applied, voluntarily, I might add. In Europe you have Muslim bus drivers refusing to take seeing eye dogs and nurses in hospitals refusing to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with disastrous results. If there is ANY aspect of the job that you object to for religious reasons, seek gainful employment elsewhere.

    Gazzer (800a42)

  26. I don’t really feel bad for this driver. I wish I could, but I can’t.

    JD (959071)

  27. yeh, right, dustin. Then he would strap a bomb on and visit his ex-boss.

    Jim (844377)

  28. i don’t know. while i won’t embrace terms like camel jockeys, i will say that there is a double standard when it comes to idiocy when dressed up in islam.

    i mean that was what the everyone draw mohammed day thing was about, wasn’t it. no one ever cared about dipping jesus in a jar of urine. but if JD draws a Dreaded Stick Figure of (Islamic) Blasphemy…

    I would be very curious to see how that minnesota situation turned out. i tuned out when i stopped finding powerline compelling.

    yeah, i said it. powerline has gotten kind of… boring, as a site. and that was before world cup fever took over. I mean they didn’t go crazy like Sullivan or LGF, they just got boring.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  29. i would add that you would never see jews arrested for handing out pro-jewish materials near a christmas parade. but four christians were apparently arrested for “disturbing the peace” by promoting christianity outside of a islamic event in dearborn.

    so don’t tell me our selectively sensitive culture might be, well… selectively sensitive, again.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  30. AW, are you claiming that if a Muslim had done exactly what this Christan had done, he would have kept his job?

    I think that’s not the case, but I’m just guessing. I grant that Comedy Central is ridiculously unfair to Christians. Many are. I don’t think Texas is all that bad, though. The double standard is out there… is it here in this specific case? I don’t think so.

    I think anyone who tolerates that ‘camel jockey’ term is expressing that I am inferior based on my heritage. I am not oppressed just because some idiot hates my irrelevant race characteristic, but those people are morons. Usually when I see that crap, I just assume it’s a Killgore trout type trying to insert racism pretending to be conservative. All right thinking middle eastern Americans appreciate a content of character approach of Republicans like MLK.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  31. he didn’t want to do his job so he got fired… how hard is that?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  32. Aaron, apparently you read and interpret the same things I do.

    How many jihadists does it take to blow up a light bulb?

    Jim (844377)

  33. Actually, Jim, I don’t think Aaron would be seen in polite company with a slug like you.

    Violent Islamofascist Jihadists are one thing, a horrible thing, but your term ‘Camel Jockey’ is a reference to an entire people. It’s stupid to use racial slurs against Middle Eastern folks because it completely misses the point. It’s like condemning the N word when you are mad about Obama’s spending. It’s just stupid, and these days, you really only see that stuff from the morons and the mobies. Which are you?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  34. I will drive them as long as I don’t have to get on the 405 and they can’t touch the radio.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  35. dustin, I know a lot more that sound worse. Sand n… comes to mind.

    Jim (844377)

  36. What’s funny about this is that I’m probably getting under your skin a lot more than you’re getting under mine.

    You’re boasting that you know the term sand n—-r… so you must really hate my guts. You also have little weirdo OCD problems. You capitalize Christian, and the names of other commenters, but not Muslim or Dustin. As if somehow your shift key bestows honor. Pretty silly little character you are.

    The time when people like you mattered much has ended, which is why you have to go out of your way to announce what you are. I don’t think you even understand what you are… basically a propaganda tool for the bad guys. Or maybe you really are a moby.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  37. The shift shows a sign of respect. Which is why I refer to the prez as o–the little zero.

    As far as skin, I think I started under yours.

    “Go f— yourself, Killgore Trout (or wannabee).”

    ah.

    Jim (844377)

  38. Dustin

    > AW, are you claiming that if a Muslim had done exactly what this Christan had done, he would have kept his job?

    Put me down for a definite maybe. I don’t want to be a weasel, but I see some cases where we put up with crap from Muslims in the name of Islam we would never tolerate in anyone else in the name of any other religion. So I won’t say it is definitely a double standard, but I am not ruling it out, either.

    For your information, the story about the Minneapolis problem is here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,241527,00.html

    The dog thing pissed me off, particularly, because I know people who need seeing eye dogs.

    Jim,

    > Aaron, apparently you read and interpret the same things I do.

    Not exactly. I read you as having a problem with Muslims generally. I just want and demand equal treatment, Muslim, Christian, what have you.

    It is an absolute and undeniable fact that a percentage of Muslims take their faith in an intolerant direction. It is equally an absolute and undeniable fact that many Muslims are good people who would literally fight and die for freedom as needed. I have talked in the past of the Iraqi policeman who died in the jihad for freedom and democracy.

    Is Islam generally bad or good? Beats the hell out of me. How could I ever get my head around all Muslims in America, let alone the world? And of course comparing a faith largely followed by people living under various dictators to one largely followed by people who are free, is not exactly apples to apples, you know? The problem with terrorism might have a lot more to do with the distorting effects of tyranny rather than the true nature of Islam. Who knows?

    I’m not Muslim, and I could never be Muslim. I think there are things Mohammed did that exclude him from being the prophet of any divinely inspired faith. But people can belong to outright idiotic faiths and still be good people. I honestly think its more about their own nature than any religious belief. Like maybe Osama bin Laden would have been a psychopath no matter what he believed in.

    So in short, Dustin is right. I wouldn’t associate, well, you get the idea.

    Aaron Worthing (Filling in for Col. Haiku) (f97997)

  39. The shift shows a sign of respect.

    Oh good grief… I was right about that? I was kinda embarrassed to even point it out because it would be so stupid for you to really do that.

    And yeah, Killgore Trout mobies definitely get under my skin. Actual racists are a punchline.

    I agree with most of AW said in #38. There is an obvious problem with extremism in Islam, and there is a problem with double standards. We’re rewarding thugs by treating Islam with kid gloves but ripping down Christmas trees and Ten Commandment displays. Perhaps I’m just naive, but I do think a Muslim would have been fired for similar behavior in Central Texas.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  40. He should be willing to make this sacrifice of money in exchange for not helping kill kids. No lawsuit required, and no one said being an honest Christian was easy.

    Comment by Dustin — 7/19/2010 @ 11:38 am


    I get a little tired of folks who use religious reasons for not being able to do the job for which they applied, voluntarily, I might add. In Europe you have Muslim bus drivers refusing to take seeing eye dogs and nurses in hospitals refusing to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with disastrous results. If there is ANY aspect of the job that you object to for religious reasons, seek gainful employment elsewhere.

    Comment by Gazzer — 7/19/2010 @ 1:41 pm

    Much as I support religious rights I have to agree. I worked for an accounting firm for a while after college, until it became clear that they had a lot of clients who participated in abortions. First I respectfully asked to be taken off those clients (they were great: they agreed). But if they’d said no, much as I wouldn’t have liked it they had every right to fire me or ask me to quit.

    After a year and a half I took a job at 1/3 less pay, helping an inner city medical clinic run by Christian, 100% prolife doctors. Helped poor people AND didn’t contribute to killing children. (Now I work for a church — and the health insurance excludes abortion coverage, so none of my money goes toward that.)

    If I were still at the accting firm I’d be rich today. Was the pay cut worth the clear conscience? Every penny.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  41. I’d just like to know how consistent this guy was.

    Did he refuse to drive people who were going to an adulterous rendezvous?

    Did he refuse to drive people who were engaged in defrauding a mortgage company or bank?

    Did he refuse to drive people who were going out for a night on the town, but didn’t drive out of respect (or fear) of the DUI laws?

    I mean, if you are a Christian, you would be sinning by assisting those people in their sins.

    As a point of general information–a Jew could help slaughter pigs and other nonkosher animals as long as he did not have reason to believe that Jews would end up purchasing the nonkosher meat.
    That may or may not be a practical distinction, depending on the circumstance of the individual case.

    In fact, there is a thriving trade in meat from animals slaughtered according to the rules of kashrut, but who are afterwards found to show signs of illness in the corpse or otherwise disqualified from being kosher meat. As a general rule, unless the animal was actually too ill to use the meat (rabbinical rules about illness are stricter than secular rules, so an animal considered healthy by a Gentile slaughterhouse might not be considered healthy by a kosher slaughterhouse), the meat from such animals is either sold to a Gentile meat processor, or passed on to a subsidiary/sister company of the kosher slaughterhouse which processes non kosher meat for the Gentile market.
    You all may remember the Agriprocessors case; it had a facility and a sub-brand (Iowa’s Best, I think was the name)for exactly that purpose.

    kishnevi (9233c6)

  42. Kishnevi, terminating a person != selling a pork hot dog.

    If you assume or believe a fetus is a person, it creates a real problem for a lot of people doing a lot of things. I admire NOYK’s resolve.

    Is murder worse than other sins, or are all sins equal (And we let God sort this out?). In my book, abortion is so much worse than adultery or defrauding or eating treif.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  43. I have read that Jewish guerilla fighters, fighting the Nazis, sometimes had to survive on rabbit, a non-kosher animal, but used a press to squeeze out all the blood from meat first. ?

    And I’m told that spaying of pets is now common in Israel, even though it’s forbidden by both Judaism and Islam. Jerusalem was being overrun with dogs and cats.

    “Even the gods bow to necessity.”

    nk (db4a41)

  44. i would add that you would never see jews arrested for handing out pro-jewish materials near a christmas parade.
    Comment by Aaron Worthing (A.W.) — 7/19/2010 @ 2:30 pm

    You would never see Jews handing out “pro-Jewish materials” near a Christmas parade in the first place.

    aunursa (78b3b4)

  45. kishnevi – There is probably a wee bit of a difference between driving someone to an abortion clinic and driving someone to a bar, no?

    JD (b812d8)

  46. Matters of conscience are just that, the individual has an awareness that they are being asked to do something they do not want to do. They may be able to think it through with logical principles, they may be motivated by emotions they don’t recognize. In a civilized society one recognizes these issues and tries to make a reasonable accomodation. It is a judgement of wisdom as to what is reasonable to object to and what objections should be accepted and allowed for.

    As someone mentioned earlier, I assume he had reason to believe the woman was going for an abortion (if he didn’t, then he was really stretching the case). I can understand his position, but I’m not sure he has grounds to sue- unless there were especially aggravating circumstances such as the supervisor said something like, “I hate all of you church folk who think you’re better than everybody else, I’m never going to hire someone who says he’s a Christian again!!” His employer says, “His job is to take someone from point A to point B. Simple enough, I can’t have people who in the midst of the job say that they won’t go somewhere.” I think the employer can say that. I think as said above that the driver has an understandable reason behiond his actions. He is saying he thinks the woman is making a big mistake, in fact so big of a mistake he’s not going to help facilitate it. One person said he was pushing his views on her. I can understand that point of view, but he isn’t keeping her from getting there, she is only going to be inconvenienced in her travels.

    I don’t know what kinds of things are in the health care reform that Mike K. suggests, but I’m not at all surprised. There are those who want abortion available, even if they have to order a doctor to do it who doesn’t want to. I don’t know what all of the case law has been, but I know that there is still something to the argument that a person cannot be made to do something against their religious beliefs- but whether that will take the direction of, “Of course you don’t have to do abortions, you only have to do abortions if you want a license to practice medicine”, I don’t know.

    One can say that person X cannot tell person Y they can’t have an abortion, but person Y can neither tell person X they have to do it.

    At least in a civilized and free society, that is.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. Noyk at #40. I too support religious rights, even though I am agnostic, but I think we all agree that no-one has the right to impose his views, or otherwise abridge another’s freedoms, because of them.

    Gazzer (800a42)

  48. Kish

    > Did he refuse to drive people who were going to an adulterous rendezvous?

    What on earth are you talking about? How on earth would he know that is what it is for?

    Plus I would add that if he saw abortion as murder, that would be a tad worse than adultery.

    > Did he refuse to drive people who were engaged in defrauding a mortgage company or bank?

    Same proportionality problem, same problem with how the hell he would know they were doing that.

    > Did he refuse to drive people who were going out for a night on the town, but didn’t drive out of respect (or fear) of the DUI laws?

    > I mean, if you are a Christian, you would be sinning by assisting those people in their sins.

    Okay, seriously, I am calling it. You have a profound ignorance of Christianity, at the very least, and that ignorance is sounding like bigotry.

    No, most Christians do not think drinking alcohol is a sin. I think most of them would say drinking and driving is at least wrong, and would be more than happy to help people avoid drinking while driving. Doubly so if they could make a living at it.

    Aunursa

    > You would never

    Never is a long time.

    Aaron Worthing (Filling in for Col. Haiku) (f97997)

  49. Is murder worse than other sins, or are all sins equal (And we let God sort this out?). In my book, abortion is so much worse than adultery or defrauding or eating treif.

    Worse than eating treif, undoubtedly. I put in that long spiel about kashrut in response to someone bringing up the case of a Jew working fora company that slaughtered pigs–in other words a side issue.

    My point is, that if this driver was concerned about assisting someone to commit the sin of abortion, then he’s being inconsistent unless he refuses to assist everyone who is in the process of committing a sin. Murder may be a worse sin than adultery (or maybe not–see below, in answer to nk’s comment) but both are sins, and a Christian ought to try to avoid helping others commit any sin.

    I have read that Jewish guerilla fighters, fighting the Nazis, sometimes had to survive on rabbit, a non-kosher animal, but used a press to squeeze out all the blood from meat first. ?

    Quite possible, although I’ve never heard of an actual incident like that. There is an extensive literature of incidents during the Holocaust in which Jews were faced with extreme choices, up to and including killing another person (or allowing them to be killed) to save their own life or that of a loved one. Eating pressed rabbit would be a minor thing compared to that. Judaism teaches that almost any sin can be committed if it is necessary to save a human life (one’s own or another’s) except for murder, adultery, incest, and idolatry; if one of those is required to save a life, then death is preferable. (NB; adultery in Jewish law is limited to a married woman having sex with someone not her husband; a man having sex with an unmarried woman is guilty only of the much less serious in of fornication. And pretending to be a member of another religion is not idolatry, unless one participates in the rituals of that religion; and there is some doubt whether Christianity should be classified as an idolatrous religion. Islam is not, since it so adamantly rejects the worship of anything other than God). And if you’re being forced to sin by someone whose main purpose is to force you to violate even a minor Jewish law, you should choose to die instead.

    And the exemption only applies to cases where it is necessary to preserve human life. Extreme hardship that does not involve the prospect of death is not sufficient.

    And, relevant to abortion, abortion to save the mother’s life (but not for any other reason, although saving life could be a very flexible concept) is allowed at anytime prior to the child’s head emerging from the womb. This is codified in the Mishnah, and therefore probably describes the state of Jewish law as it would have been known to Jesus and his followers.

    And I’m told that spaying of pets is now common in Israel, even though it’s forbidden by both Judaism and Islam

    Don’t know about that. I’m not even sure spaying and neutering are actually contrary to Jewish law.

    kishnevi (e88f15)

  50. IF YOU DON’T JAIL JAYWALKERS YOU CANNOT JAIL CHILD ASSRAPISTS OR SERIAL KILLERS !!!!!!!!!!!!

    JD (b812d8)

  51. No, most Christians do not think drinking alcohol is a sin.

    I was thinking in terms of a person getting drunk, especially someone drinking for the sake of getting drunk. (I admit not to being clear in how I wrote it.) I’m under the impression that most Christian teaching on the topic says a little drinking is fine, but getting drunk is not–which is the Jewish view, as well. There are some Christians of what they used to call the “hardshell Baptist” sort who think any drinking is A Bad Thing–and they usually seemed to include dancing and several other things in the condemnation which most Christians view as fine and dandy.

    And while murder may have worse consequences, it’s just as much a sin, and no more, than any other sinful act.

    I sound ignorant and bigoted to you? Sorry for that; I’m basing myself on what I’ve been told, or read, by numerous Christians throughout my life.

    kishnevi (e88f15)

  52. Kish

    Jesus H. Christ, do you actually know any Christians?

    > I’m under the impression that most Christian teaching on the topic says a little drinking is fine, but getting drunk is not

    No, I have never heard anything of the sort.

    > And while murder may have worse consequences, it’s just as much a sin, and no more, than any other sinful act.

    Um, no. For instance if a man is about to commit fraud, you are not justified in shooting him to stop him. By comparison, if a man is about to commit murder, well shoot away.

    Seriously, how do you have so little interaction with real Christians?

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  53. JD @50–
    Crime is not sin, and sin is not crime. Sin is putting one’s own will ahead of God’s; it’s think of oneself as more important than God; it’s the rejection of God. The physical manifestation and consequences may differ, but the spiritual essence is the same.

    And therefore if you are trying to avoid helping others reject God, you need to avoid helping them perform any act that manifests that rejection. But if you are trying only to avoid helping others take a human life, than you are not conerned about whether the action is sinful, and therefore you aren’t really concerned with a religious value.

    kishnevi (e88f15)

  54. kishnevi, my best friend from school was Jewish by race but really had some problems with the faith. And I think if I were to base my arguments on what ‘numerous Jews’ had mentioned, I would be extremely unfair.

    You demand Christians accept that ‘murder is just as much a sin, and no more, than any other sinful act’. You’re repeatedly insisting we hold ourselves up to this. I’ve heard this from many Christians too. Who cares? It’s wrong.

    If this was the way of things, we wouldn’t need God to judge us because judging would be easy.

    Why is it relevant to you that some Christians have a problem with drinking? Some don’t. It’s not like Judaism is free of rules about what is right or wrong to consume. Any sane view will frown on drug abuse. It’s completely irrelevant to your flawed idea that a bus driving Christian is sinning to help a person get to or from an alcohol involved party. We are supposed to forgive and love others, and even help others. There is a tension sometimes between helping a neighbor and helping a neighbor do wrong.

    I think that’s one of the complex issues surrounding Christian inner city mission work and I think you are really short changing the idea with a simplistic and unnecessary analysis.

    You don’t get to decide what Christianity is, generally or for this bus driver. You don’t get to invent ‘oughts’ that make his refusal to help abortion into an absurd hypocrisy. Maybe he is a completely nutcase hypocrite crazy, but there’s no reason to believe that.

    And your idol worship standards for Islam, that they say they are opposed to worshiping anything but God, while seeming to worship the Black Rock and Prophet, is not a standard you are willing to apply to Christianity. I think you should ask yourself why you need to criticize the religion at all. I mean no disrespect, but it does appear that you drop strange comments that cast the religion in a bad light for no apparent reason.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  55. Aaron at 53–
    I know plenty of Christians.

    I’ll try to make this as basic as possible, since I’m obviously not being clear enough.

    If this man is objecting to driving people to PP because it’s a sin, that’s a religious based motivation, and if it is, he should be also objecting to assisting other people to sin, no matter what the sin is, and no matter how trivial it appears to other people.

    If he’s objecting because he feels they are about to murder a human being, that’s NOT a religious based motivation; it a motivation based on morality. a very different thing from religion, and he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with claiming it’s a religious based motive.

    kishnevi (e88f15)

  56. How about this one:

    You can not know God.

    If you do, give me a call. You’ve got the number.

    Ag80 (363d6e)

  57. Dustin–you obviously don’t agree with a number of people I know who think of themselves as Christian. Fair enough. But what I stated before is my understanding of what Christianity in general teaches–an understanding based on what I have heard from Christians in real life and read in writings by Christian authors.

    As to Christianity being a form of idolatry, it’s a very simple matter.

    Idolatry is the worship of one or more created beings. That’s more than worshipping statues–it includes any created being, even if that being is no longer physically present.

    Jesus was a human being. Even if you are a Christian, you believe Jesus was a human being.

    Human beings are created by God.

    Christians worship, in one way or another, Jesus. Therefore they worship a human being, and therefore worship a created being, which is idolatry. And that worship goes far beyond anything Islam does with Mohammed.

    Jewish tradition has ruled that Christianity is not idolatry, but mostly for the sake of not making relations with the surrounding Christian populations even worse then they were.

    And in popular Jewish belief, it is thought of as idolatry. When I was a kid, spending a weekend in New York, my mother took me inside St. Patrick’s with the explanation that she thought I “should see the idols”–meaning the various statues of saints and so forth. To this day I have a hard time going into a Catholic church in Latin America or Southern Europe because they so often have a mummified saint on display behing the high altar or in a side chapel–and people praying to the mummy, on top of that. You’ll find nothing like that in Judaism or Islam. (Nor of course in a Protestant church, or many Catholic churches here in the US.)

    kishnevi (e88f15)

  58. Kish

    > If this man is objecting to driving people to PP because it’s a sin, that’s a religious based motivation, and if it is, he should be also objecting to assisting other people to sin, no matter what the sin is, and no matter how trivial it appears to other people.

    Sorry, but that makes zero sense. People can say “x is more serious than y.”

    > If he’s objecting because he feels they are about to murder a human being, that’s NOT a religious based motivation

    If he is basing it on the belief that a fetus has a soul at conception and thus it is murder, it is inherently a religious motivation.

    And I say that, having said it doesn’t mater, they should fire his ass if he won’t do it.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  59. I guess you could make an argument that conveying personhood on a fetus and condemning murdering those people is not religious.

    But it’s obvious that this man thinks a fetus has a soul and shouldn’t be aborted because of his religious views.

    Insisting that’s not a religious based motivation is just absurd. Again, why insert your views for someone else’s in a way that makes their views absurd?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  60. I think it’s a slippery slope to refuse to stand up to sin because you might miss one.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  61. This case is not unlike the Somali cab driver case in Minnesota, in which Somalis refused to transport customers possessing alcohol (which is contrary to their Islamic beliefs).

    Note that the cab drivers’ religious preferences were accommodated, whereas this guy was flat-out fired.

    Such double standards are becoming routine.

    beer 'n pretzels (3d1d61)

  62. People can say “x is more serious than y.”

    Of course they can. But that’s a judgment based on morality or at least ethics. That’s why you have at least a few atheists who oppose abortion.

    Which is not the same thing as a judgment based on religion.

    Religion and morality are two different things, even when the morality is based on the teachings of a particular religion.
    If you are basing your act on whether or not it will help kill a person, that’s a moral action, not a religious action.

    If you are basing your act on whether or not God “said” to do or not do the act, then and only then is it a religious action. But if you do so, then the important aspect in your eyes is not the physical result, but what God said about it. Don’t kill people because God said don’t kill? Don’t eat chocolate candy bars because God said don’t eat chocolate candy bars? The motivation is the same. Your primary consideration is “God said”, and not whether or not someone is going to die. So killing a person and eating a chocolate candy bar are equally wrong from that point of view.

    And if your primary consideration is “someone is going to die, and that’s bad”, then it doesn’t really matter what God said on the subject. You’d act the way you do even if God definitely approved of killing.

    And I say that, having said it doesn’t mater, they should fire his ass if he won’t do it.

    Well, at least we are agreed on that.

    kishnevi (9233c6)

  63. Dave_in_Reno at 4 – Some of those who were denied service because they had dogs were using seeing eye dogs. This is (at least in my state) a clear cut illegal act, denying a person access due to the use of a assistance animal. At one job I had at a commercial retail complex we were unable to even inquire about the status of an animal if it was in side the building sue to the owners hypersensitivity about the issue.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  64. If you can’t drive the bus route without wondering and feeling responsible for the action of the individual passengers when they get there, then you SHOULD NOT BE A BUS DRIVER.

    How does he know the woman going to Planned Parenthood is getting an abortion? Is that all that is done at that particular clinic? Does he ask the women?

    I’m a strong believer in life, and I oppose Roe and the legalized abortion it mandated. But this is a separate, different issue. If we force transportation companies to juggle drivers schedules around based on their own particular sense of morality or religious duty regarding the passengers who happen to be on their bus, then that WILL inevitably allow such a balkanization of America that it will be the end of us.

    Yes, it’s possible to make a distinction between life issues and, say, the seeing eye dog or the liquor in the suitcase. But don’t we as Christians believe that staying true to our faith is even more important than preserving our own lives? Certainly the Christian martyrs throughout history believed that. So if some other religion thinks that avoiding the promotion of alcohol (and all the deaths and illnesses and other harm caused by people under the influence of alcohol) is a key tenet of their faith, which is as important as life itself, who are we to gainsay them their strong faith?

    You want to drive a bus, drive the bus. It’s none of your freakin’ business what I or any other passenger is going to do at the next bus stop.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  65. PatHMV, I think a lot depends on the specifics.

    I mean: if you say up front “I have religious objections to driving people to [$x, $y, $z]” and they choose to hire you anyway, it’s on the institution which hired you to have a backup plan for those cases.

    If, on the other hand, the first time you say something is when presented with someone who you would have to drive to $x, and you refuse to do it … well, then you’re screwing the company *and* the client, and the company is within its rights to fire you.

    (I’m generally in favor of making accomodations where possible; I think that’s a requirement for a pluralistic society to function. But it depends on cost – it’s not clear how much it would cost the bus company to accomodate this – and springing the need as a surprise when there’s an actual customer being hurt by it reduces my sympathy for the person seeking the accomodation.)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  66. Kish

    What are you talking about, seriously?

    > Religion and morality are two different things, even when the morality is based on the teachings of a particular religion.

    No, actually when your morality is based on your religion, then they are NOT different things.

    > If you are basing your act on whether or not it will help kill a person, that’s a moral action, not a religious action.

    Sure and the fact that God told you not to do it has NOTHING to do with it.

    Seriously, what are you talking about?

    > Your primary consideration is “God said”, and not whether or not someone is going to die.

    Again, what are you talking about? You are acting like the reasons are a zero sum game. For instance, the reason why I don’t go around smoking people like in Red Dead Redemption is threefold. In no particular order, those reasons are… 1) I might get caught and killed or sent to jail and buggered. 2) Its immoral. 3) God told me not to do it and he tends to send people to hell for doing that sort of thing.

    Let’s say I changed my mind about 1 and 2; that is I no longer feared getting caught, or no longer feared the consequences of it. and I no longer had a moral qualm. I still wouldn’t do that, because of #3. Each reason in and of itself is sufficient to keep me from doing it. so no one reason is more important than the others.

    Plus that all assumes a certain separation on the topic that doesn’t typically exist in most people’s minds.

    The question in this kind of case is not about primary or secondary morality, but rather whether you can, consistent with your faith, do what is being asked of you. It doesn’t matter if in his heart his faith is the least of the reasons why he can’t do something. If it is enough all by itself to make him unwilling to do it, then it can be said that his faith prevents him from doing it. duh.

    You really need to work on your clarity of thought, here.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  67. Aaron–it’s the difference between faith and reason.

    You believe killing a person is, in general (ie, where self defense or other similar circumstances don’t apply) is immoral.

    Do you think it’s immoral because God said it’s a bad thing, or do you think it’s immoral because your own reasoning mind has led you to conclude it’s a bad thing in and of itself (that is, without regard to any punishments which might be levied either in this world by the government or in the next world by God)–and you would reach the same conclusion even if there was no input on the matter from God?

    The first alternative is religion, and is exemplified by those Somali tax drivers who won’t accept dogs in their taxis. It can’t be morality because the heart of morality is reasoned choice, and in that sort of case the choice is abandoned to God. The second alternative is morality–applying your own conclusions about what is right or wrong. And it’s no coincidence that most scripture based religions–not just Christianity but also Judaism and Islam–attempt to inculcate the first alternative in preference to the second.

    kishnevi (44b1e1)

  68. A.W. – Normally, I enjoy Kishnevi, even when we disagree. I do not enjoy him/her (I do not know and it does not matter) in this discussion. At all. Kish has minimized the objection to assisting in the death of a child to the point of comparing it to driving people that may have a beer, or may commit adultery. Silly.

    JD (0ce0dc)

  69. JD-My point is that there is a difference between religion and morality.

    If religion is the basis, then any act that is forbidden by God is equally reprehensible. The only question involved is determining whether or not God forbade the action. The only thing you’re doing is following someone else’s rules (in this case, God’s), not using your own reason to decide if something is good or bad.

    If rational morality is the basis, then assisting in the death of a child is indeed a lot more serious than helping someone get drunk or have an affair–and part of morality is using one’s reason to determine what the differences are, and how they impact on individual cases. What God said on the subject is at best, one data point among a whole set of other data points.

    And just to clarify, it’s “he”.

    kishnevi (44b1e1)

  70. Sorry, not supporting this guy. He’s refusing to do his job based on some vague specification that clearly is withing the identifiable job parameters.

    He’s not being asked to PERFORM the abortions.

    He’s driving a bus which includes the possibility of some riders being taken to a place and doing something of which he personally disapproves.

    Are we to have bus drivers refusing to take patrons to areas where they might drink alcohol or attend a strip club? Are we to have bus drivers who don’t approve of keeping animals in confinement refusing to take patrons to the zoo? The idea itself is ludicrous. Are PETA members to be able to refuse to take people to the restaurant district because they might actually eat meat?

    How patently absurd do you think this idea can be taken?

    Answer: “pretty much into totally absurdity”

    Ed: time to find another job which doesn’t offend your rather absurdly focused religious sensibilities. Like maybe the driver for a school bus for a parochial school.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (79d71d)


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