Workplace religious accommodation is out of control! First, Kim Davis won’t issue same-sex marriage licenses because she’s afraid of going to Hell. Now, a Muslim flight attendant won’t serve alcohol on flights for the same reason. How about everybody just do the job they agreed to do and keep religion where it belongs, in their hearts and souls?
It’s official. I’m sorry to report it, but America has finally lost its collective marbles. First, we had Kim Davis, the mouth-breathing Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who refused to issue not just same-sex marriage licenses, but also all marriage licenses (presumably to avoid being accused of the discrimination she was showing). Her reason: condoning same-sex marriage by issuing the licenses would make Jesus cry and send her to Hell. Instead, she got sent to jail. Now, we have a Muslim flight attendant refusing to serve alcohol. Workplace religious accommodation is out of control!
Note: the author of the source article expresses an opinion of Islam in the last sentence of the piece that we at LegalReader.com neither support nor condone.
Charee Stanley, flight attendant for ExpressJet, is upset. So upset, in fact, that she filed an EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) complaint. Stanley’s ire revolves around her employer expecting her to serve alcohol in-flight. The airline put her on administrative leave for a year with the option to terminate her employment at the end of the leave. Why is Stanley opposed to serving alcohol to passengers? It would make Allah cry and send her to Hell.
Here’s the kicker: Stanley had the job for a month before she chose to convert to Islam. In other words, she knew she had to serve alcohol and did so before she chose to follow a faith that supposedly forbids it.
Unlike Davis, whose religion is not technically clear on the issue of same-sex marriage (indeed, 1 Corinthians 7:1 says, It is good for a man not to marry at all), Stanley’s newfound religion is very clear on the subject of booze. According to the website Talk to Islam!, “Islam makes no distinction between drinking alcohol, and buying, selling, or producing it, even if it is sold or produced for non-Muslims. Sure, she’s only serving it, but that is technically a component of selling it and often, airlines charge extra at the time of purchase or include it in the price of the ticket.
Stanley said, “I don’t think that I should have to choose between practicing my religion properly or earning a living. I shouldn’t have to choose between one or the other, because they’re both important.”
Prior to the administrative leave, Stanley had other flight attendants handle alcohol orders. As the story goes, her coworkers got tired of this and reported her to their boss, resulting in Stanley’s leave. Counsel of American Islamic Relations Michigan (CAIR) attorney Lena Masri said:
“We notified ExpressJet Airlines of its obligation under the law to reasonably accommodate Ms. Stanley’s religious beliefs. Instead, ExpressJet close to violate Ms. Stanley’s constitutional rights, placed her on administrative leave for 12 months after which her employment may be administratively terminated.”
Frankly, enough is enough. If we allow everyone who has a “religious” objection to doing his or her job an accommodation, nothing would get done. Picture it:
- It’s Saturday in your hospital’s ER and a 12-car pile-up just occurred. Tough luck, the surgeon on call just converted to Judaism.
- It’s Sunday and the same type of situation arises. Again, tough luck. Christians can’t work on the Sabbath, either.
- You’re female and need your driver’s license renewed. The only clerks on duty are Muslim and believe that women shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Sorry, you’re out of luck.
You get the idea, I’m sure. While I very rarely trot out the term “slippery slope,” this is the perfect time to do so. Like potato chips of which you “can’t eat just one,” if you grant “religion ‘X’” an accommodation, you have to grant them all. How about these:
- A blood transfusion will save your life. Too bad your doctor is a Jehovah’s Witness. They’re not allowed to deal with transfusions.
- Same situation, only this time your doc is a Mormon and the only available donor is an African American (you’re Caucasian). Not only could the doc object to doing the transfusion, but…
“Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith, stated: ‘Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain [African Americans], the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so’ (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10).”
At what point do we draw the line and just say, “Do your damn job!”? If you know that your religion forbids you from going into a particular career, avoid that career! If, in the middle of your career, you decide to convert to a religion that forbids you from performing your duties, either make peace with that or find a new job.
Personally, I have had it with these ridiculous religious accommodations. However, since I know how the system works, I think I’ll just ask the entirety of the religious population of the U.S. for the following accommodation:
My belief that I have the right to good service from those who set themselves out to be service providers is deeply offended by your refusal to do your job, yet still be allowed to have the job. Therefore, I demand that when I enter your establishment, you put your religious beliefs where they belong (in your heart and soul) and do your job. Failure to comply so deeply offends me that I might have to hire a lawyer.
So, what’s your take on religious accommodation now?