Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Your Christian Faith Could Cost Your Job


He seemed like a shoe in for the job of Director of Public Health for the state of Georgia. A medical doctor and PhD, Dr. Eric Walsh had been thoroughly vetted for the position in over 100 pages of documentation praising the doctor being hired by the agency. That is, until Dr. Walsh’s Christian sermons were uncovered.

In a law suit filed by Liberty Institute on behalf of Dr. Walsh, it is alleged that Department of Public Health, DPH, Human Resource decision-makers decided not to hire the doctor after viewing You Tube recordings of his sermons. Dr. Walsh’s Christian faith and his sermons came under investigation following complaints about his Christian beliefs, one complaint coming from the co-chair of the county Democratic Party and a gay activist who threatened to arrange protests if Walsh was hired by the state agency.

Subsequently, several high-ranking employees of the DPH listened to the sermons and decided to withdraw their offer of employment to Dr. Walsh. Believing that the offer was withdrawn solely because of his Christian beliefs, Dr. Walsh filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC. Under United States law, discrimination in hiring based upon religious beliefs is unlawful according to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Increasingly, the careers of American military personnel are threatened because of their Christian convictions. After Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk objected to the planned punishment of a Lackland Air Force base instructor’s religious objections to homosexuality, Monk was also questioned about his personal views on the practice. Following this inquiry, Staff Sgt. Monk states,” I was relieved of my position because I do not agree with my commander’s position on gay marriage. We have been told that if you publicly say that homosexuality is wrong, you are in violation of Air Force policy.”

The Liberty Institute has also filed a religious discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Monk. The accusations against Monk are a court-martial offense, which means this 19-year veteran, with an otherwise spotless military record, if convicted, could face discharge from the military, solely for expressing his Christian principles.

In British Columbia, Canada, Bethany Paquette applied for a position with Amaruk Wilderness Corp., as a wilderness guide in Canada’s North country. An avid outdoor adventurer, Bethany was a qualified applicant and an experienced river-rafting guide, with a biology degree from Trinity Western University, a Christian college that requires adherence to the Christian conviction of traditional marriage and sexual morality.

Bethany was shocked when she received an e-mail that not only rejected her as an applicant, but went on to denigrate her Christian convictions and Trinity Western University, stating that unlike Trinity Western University, Amaruk Wilderness Adventures “embraces diversity and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want.”

In subsequent e-mails, representatives of the company went on to blame Christianity for most of the world’s problems and to make derogatory remarks concerning Jesus Christ. In response to the degrading e-mails, Paquette retained an attorney who has presented her case to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal based upon Canada’s anti-religious discrimination laws. Paquette’s lawyer, Jeffery Trotter, is asking the tribunal to send "a really strong message" that "it is not acceptable to discriminate based on what somebody believes or where they went to school and that it is not 'open season' on Christians in Canada.”

These stories represent a few of the instances of Christians facing discrimination by employers or potential employers based on their beliefs, but these represent only a few of such allegations and pending lawsuits. Stories reporting employers denying workers the right to wear crosses, honor the Sabbath, share their Christian faith, and of course, the stories of Christian merchants facing litigation for refusing to bake cakes, cater, or perform wedding ceremonies for same sex unions, have become common in the Western press.

In fact, according to a Tananbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding’s study from 2013, six out of ten white evangelical Christian’s say that discrimination against Christians is just as prevalent as is discrimination against minority religions, and one in three evangelicals report having experienced or having witnessed such discrimination. In the present dismal Western job market, this sort of discrimination can cause Christians to experience real anxiety.

Organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Christian Legal Defense, the the American Center for Law and Justice and the Liberty Institute, are busy defending Christians against illegal workplace discrimination in the U.S. and in other nations as well. Since the persecution of Christian’s was predicted by Jesus Christ, we can expect employment discrimination, as part of that promised persecution, to intensify as the the culture becomes increasingly secularized and opposed to Jesus Christ and His followers. (John 15:20)


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