Individual rights suffer when corporations have religious rights.
I embrace any and all opportunity to expand my knowledge of whatever topic, and World Religion has actually been a subject that I have always found fascinating. So, when I realized I needed to brush up on my understanding of the different faiths thanks to SCOTUS, I was elated. What a great way to promote religious understanding and empathy than to theme each workplace based on the specific beliefs of the owner. With the turnover of employees, within a few years, millions of people will have experienced the diverse religions of this land thanks to our freedoms to believe in whatever we want, just as long as we follow the beliefs of our employer at the time.
What is SCOTUS? The Supreme Court of the United States, whose ruling basically says businesses can pick and choose what benefits they provide to their employees based on the employer’s religious beliefs. As I don’t know where I might end up in the future, and even less what religious denomination my future employer might have, I have decided to polish up on my theological knowledge. We have to commend the courts for supporting the religious right of one person to pick and choose what’s available to his subordinates, especially considering how this country was founded by people running away from exactly the same thing.
So, let’s start with the issue that SCOTUS specifically tackled—birth control. I can relate to that from being raised in a Catholic environment. Condoms, and any form of contraception, are basically murder in most conservative minds, because they interfere with the creation of life. The big question here is, can HR take disciplinary actions if they find out I have a condom? If I have a Vasectomy, should I inform HR during the interview? That IS a permanent interference with “the creation of life.” Will I be required to prove I CAN create life? What if the person masturbates? They are throwing away the potential for the “creation of life.” Can they be fired for being careless with their seeds?
What about the homophobia that many conservative churches have? Wait, did I say homophobia? I meant, religious liberty of not liking people of the L.G.B.T. community. Didn’t we just go through an entire judicial debate that determined how religious beliefs cannot be used to discriminate. Well, as long as there is no actual picking and choosing of what applies to whom specifically, and the same rules apply to everyone in the company, I guess it’s all good. It’s not like they are going to make any difference between birth control methods for women than they would for men, right? That would be discrimination, not to say pretty hypocritical, which is something that the Bible condemns extensively.
And what about divorce? That’s not acceptable based on the Bible? Or did that change? I really need to catch up with the new edited Bible that these churches use nowadays. Can being divorced disqualify me for a job? Can I be fired if I get a divorce? This is starting to get complicated.
But what about other religions and their own requirements? I live in a pretty diverse city, with not only Christian churches of various denominations, but also Mosques, Synagogues, and Temples, not to mention a few natural spiritualists, and possibly a Jedi-ism Center, but I’m not sure. For the first time in my life, being in a diverse community has a drawback.
So, during the time I might work for a company, I have to make sure I don’t need a blood transfusion if the company is run by Jehovah’s Witnesses, antidepressants if it’s run by Scientologists, medications derived from pigs, including anaesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin if I work for certain Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu groups. I sure hope that they hand out Cliffs’ Notes, of the appropriate Holy Book used by the company, to prospective candidates before the interview.
Wait, is this limited only to medical insurance? Could they get rid of lunch breaks during the fasting of Ramadan? I really like those Fourth of July company BBQ’s. Would I be required to “whip it out” in front of the HR department just to prove if I have, or don’t have, a circumcision? That might be embarrassing. What about the dress code? I really like wool suits, but I have yet to find such a thing as a wool shirt, and last time I checked, mixing threads IS a sin. So is eating lobster and crab, so I can’t order the seafood platter during business dinners? Maybe a lot of that got removed in the new edited version of the Bible.
Now that I think about it, I really shouldn’t be stressing out so much. For me, all these changes have little if no effect. Why? Because I am a Straight Man. These rules don’t apply to me. Who cares if they apply to every woman and gay man I know. Unless I have a mother, a wife, or a daughter, or stop being straight, I’m good. So, long live convenient religious freedom.
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