Which of These Religious Accommodations For Employees Do You Find Reasonable? December 23, 2013

Which of These Religious Accommodations For Employees Do You Find Reasonable?

From the U.K. Independent:

[Retailer] Marks & Spencer has told Muslim staff they can refuse to serve customers who are trying to buy pork or alcohol.

[Cashiers] who do not want to handle certain goods for religious reasons have been given permission to politely ask customers to go to another checkout, or wait for another member of staff.

Are you fine with that?

  • If so, you would also defend a Jewish checkout clerk for refusing to ring up your honeyed ham, no?
  • You’d give two thumbs up to the right of a Mahayana Buddhist waiter to only bring you vegetarian meals, correct?
  • You’d fully support the Islamic cab driver who leaves a blind man and his seeing-eye dog standing in the rain, right?
  • Furthermore, you’d stand firm for the right of a Catholic pharmacist to decline to sell you birth control pills, yes?

Or — crazy, I know — shall we decide that a person’s religious beliefs shouldn’t excuse him or her from normal work obligations that other employees carry out without complaining?


(Bacon portrait by Jason Mecier via Laughing Squid)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ali

    If I were the customer, I think I would leave my groceries and exit the store

  • gg

    You forgot to add, “you would support laws legalizing the religious discipline of women and children, even unto death”.

  • KMR

    No. I have less and less sympathy for accommodation of religious beliefs when it involves putting other people at a disadvantage. Muslim women should have to show their faces on driver’s licenses. Christian pharmacists and businesses owned by Christians should have to supply birth control. Sure it can definitely be argued in the above mentioned case that the disadvantage is slight if even at all but the principle still applies since somebody is being put out. If your religious beliefs are that important to you then find another occupation or do another action. But don’t put the burden of your rules and beliefs onto someone else.

  • WallofSleep

    Ya know what I do when I happen upon a job that necessitates duties that I find objectionable? I either grow the fuck up and get over it, or I look for a different job.

  • Kira

    None. If peoplr find themselves incapable of doing the job for which they were hired due to their religious beliefs why should employers and customers be the ones to suffer? Let the zealots find employment that doesn’t conflict with their beliefs instead of expecting everyone else to make accomodations.

  • $84687101

    At most restaurants I’ve been to, wait staff must be over a certain age to legally serve alcohol. Which basically means that places that serve alcohol don’t hire anyone under that age to wait tables. Grocery stores get around similar laws by having an underage cashier call over a legal aged cashier to swipe the alcohol. I’m fine with either of these approaches, but someone must be easily available without complaint and without reticence to sell you any product the business carries. So if the Muslim waiter won’t sell alcohol, fine, but when I order it I must be given a waiter who will sell it to me. Same for pork, birth control, etc. And I don’t mean send me to another pharmacy or tell me to come back later, if you’re open for business, someone has to be there who will sell me the pill.

  • Dan Weeks

    I’ve never heard of any of these situations actually occurring, except for the christian pharmacist refusing birth control and emergency contraception. I’m also unaware of any religious rule that says you can’t touch these things, I thought the rules were about consumption.

    But anyway, all that being said, I find none of these really acceptable in the general workplace. And I place the blame squarely on the employer for not only failing to clearly explain the job requirements, but also for hiring someone who would be unable to meet them for no apparent physical reason.

  • Reader

    Eh, atheist in the UK and not so bothered by this. The M&S situation was one where the cashier–who is not normally on a till–just got someone else to handle the alcohol, just like she would have done if she had been under 18.

  • $925105

    People who refuse to serve people based upon religious reasons are merely assholes who use their religion as a justification to be an asshole. I’ve had friends in the service industry who are Muslim who had no problem serving booze, who were vegetarian and had no problem serving meat, why? Because they were responsible adults who knew they were hired and part of the contractual agreement to do their job was to serve the customers their orders, not to be assholes.

    If someone is paid to do a job and refuses to do it because of some BS religious reason aren’t only just assholes, but they are liars and should be rightly fired for breach of contract.

  • Reader

    And the queues in M&S are such that waiting for another cashier takes literally a matter of seconds, and they sit next to each other so someone else handling alcohol isn’t a massive issue.

  • WallofSleep

    I wouldn’t take a job at a mega-church and then get all bent out of shape when they object to me being all atheisty all over the place. I just wouldn’t take that job.

  • pianoman

    i know there are businesses out there that try to be accommodating to religious quirks, but i think it is a difficult, perhaps impossible, task to maintain. It seems it comes down to the point that if the religious employee understands what the responsibilities will be and objects to them on religious grounds, then they should try to find employment elsewhere.

  • poose

    Actually the cab situation did pop up in Oz. The company was fined as there, like in the US it’s a huge no-no. I think you can guess the reason the cabbie gave…

  • lonbo

    If so, you would also defend an atheist book store checkout clerk for refusing to ring up your bible? This makes me want to get a job at Barnes & Noble. I could torch my new profession in about an hour. Sounds like fun.

  • Brian Macker

    I’m against all these religious exceptions.

    I wouldn’t mind that a muslim refuse to sell me bacon at a store that doesn’t have bacon for sale, or a jew refusing to sell me honeyed ham at a kosher deli, or a Mahayana Buddhist waiter refusing to bring me a meat dish at a vegan restaurant, or a Catholic pharmacist to declining to sell me birth control pills at McDonalds.

    I do however see a problem with a Muslim getting hired by a pig farmer then refusing to feed the pigs. I’d also have a problem with an Amish man enlisting in the Army, getting paid, and then refusing to fight in a war. I would also have a problem with a high caste Hindu refusing to serve an untouchable if he worked at McDonalds, or was a doctor or nurse in a hospital.

    You see I’m unreasonable that way. Expecting people to take jobs that align with their religious beliefs.

  • Bernadette

    If this is allowed than I am going to have a religious belief that requires me to be paid a livable wage.

  • Martin Williams

    I say this. If they didnt want to sell alcohol, If they didnt want to sell Pork Products, or any of the things you have said, then they shouldnt be working there.. To work in Marks and Spencers It is a choice they made.. They cant go around and say i want to work there, but i wont do this, wont do that. If your Belief is So strong then you should leave the place and work at a place that is more suited to your beliefs.

  • Oranje

    Oh, you’ve hit that one a long way. Waaaaaay out of the park!

  • 2012 and all that

    Absolutely absurd. Other supermarkets here in the UK have no such policy and nor should they.

  • Rob P

    Having worked in a cusomer service position, I have more and less patience for customer service people. If there is a line out the door, but the cashier is working their best or there is a problem beyond the cashier’s control, I have all the patience in the world. If I have to wait even 2 seconds while the cashier finishes their chit-chat with another employee, I fume. Waiting a few seconds because the cashier won’t touch a bottle or a can would make me angry.

  • GeraardSpergen

    >People who refuse to serve people based upon religious reasons are merely assholes who use their religion as a justification to be an asshole.

    Doubly true as in the case of the Muslim cab drivers who had to ask if their passengers had alcohol in their baggage.

  • Brian Macker

    They pay the underage wait staff a lower salary, in part because they cannot serve alcohol. You fine with paying Muslims a lower wage if they refuse to sell alcohol? An all Muslim staff would be problematic so this would also serve as a rationing mechanism. If a staff were 50% muslim the non-muslim half would have to do all the drink serving work. Which could mean we have to put the Muslim staff on part time, while non-Muslims work full time. There are transaction costs with each employee, after all, and with Obamacare these fixed costs are rather high. Even if Obamacare is avoided by making everyone part time, it still makes economic sense to give Muslims less hours. At some point it makes sense not to hire at all. There are all sorts of ratios of liquor revenue for businesses. Some earn near 100% from liquor, while otheres only a few percent. Those in the 50% range have a lot of incentive not to hire muslims at all full time.

  • Brian Macker

    They’ve been in the news. One Muslim family moved in next to a dinner and sued because they could smell the bacon being cooked.

  • Lw

    Yeah I don’t think this is right, and agreed it opens door to so much more, Buddhists don’t have to sell you insecticide, Jews don’t have to sell u shellfish? this is not a personal choice issue but how u affect others. U shouldnt be restricted from practicing ur faith or be made to do things against ur faith but sorry, if u don’t want to handle pork don’t work in a food store.

  • Lindy4

    Anybody ideas for products that the non-religious can refuse to sell based on religious (non-)belief? Maybe bookstore employees who don’t want to sell, “Heaving is for Real”? Grocers offended by pastafarians might refuse to sell folks ziti? There’s got to be more such products…

  • Howard

    If you’re not comfortable with serving other people pork or alcohol – maybe you shouldn’t, you know, take a job that involves serving other people pork or alcohol? It’s kind of like a pacifist who joins the army, and then demands to not have to open fire on the enemy.

  • Mike Hitchcock

    The only time it would be acceptable taking religious sensibilities into account like this would be if the conditions of employment changed AFTER the employee was hired. If a Muslim takes a job where there is no requirement to come into contact with, say, alcohol and is later asked to, I think s/he would be perfectly entitled to refuse.

    If it’s part of the job when you sign on, live with it or get another job.

  • TychaBrahe

    But it’s the principle of the thing, and no matter how little it inconveniences the customer, it should not be tolerated.

    Last spring there was going to be a debate at University College between Leonard Krauss and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis on whether Islam or atheism made more sense. When he arrived, Krauss discovered that couples and men were being seated in front and women alone were forced to sit in back. Krauss said he wouldn’t debate where women were being discriminated against in this matter, and left. He only returned to debate when the segregation policy was lifted.

    The University argued *for months* about the ethics of allowing Muslim-organized events like this to be segregated in such a manner. Would it work, they asked, if women were to sit on one side of the aisle? They completely missed the point that “separate but equal” is a lie.


    This is the kind of crap you get when one person’s sensibilities are allowed to override another’s.

    Handling pork and alcohol is not a mandatory part of life. Millions of Muslims, Buddhists, and Hare Krishnas, along with people who voluntarily assume a vegetarian and teetotaling lifestyle, manage it every day. Working at Marks and Spencer isn’t a requirement in life. Anyone who doesn’t want to handle part of their stock for any reason is free to seek employment elsewhere. Once you enter into a contract to do your job, you do your job, so long as its aspects are reasonable.

  • $84687101

    Short answer: Yes. But to be more clear, I think that’s all part of the business decision. Businesses have the right to not hire anyone who won’t partake in some aspect of the business, or to accommodate them in the manner I described, but no one has the right to say they want a job, but they aren’t willing to do something that’s a major component of that job. The government certainly should not be involved in this in any way (with the exception of the pill, which is a matter of medical necessity).

    [Edited to add a very important “not”]

  • Stev84

    So what happens when you put your stuff on the checkout line and it’s not immediately clear that you have pork, but then some pork product appears underneath the other stuff? Will the cashier leave in the middle of the process and waste time getting someone else?

  • Brian Westley

    I would tell them if they didn’t ring up my purchase, I’d say that means they are giving them to me for free, and take my groceries and exit the store.

  • TychaBrahe

    And in the US, particularly in Detroit, where there is a large Muslim community. People with service dogs and people exiting the airport with duty-free alcohol were being refused passage in taxis.

  • regexp

    Target deals with this by simply reassigning the employee to other type of work.

  • deepak shetty

    A slippery slope argument is a bad one. Not bothered by this , the inconvenience and the belief doesn’t represent an issue to me.

  • TychaBrahe

    Judaism gets very complicated. It’s not just pork and shellfish. Anything with gelatin, including many yogurts and marshmallows, any hamburger made from the back end of the cow (so ground round), rabbit, grape juice not prepared in a kosher manner, hell anything not prepared in a kosher manner. Some aluminum and steel cans are made with metal rolled with lard as a lubricant, which makes them unkosher.

  • $84687101

    I’m inclined to agree with you. It’s the store’s decision to make as far as I’m concerned, and if the customer was promptly rung up by another cashier, who cares? But if it’s really that important to anyone that Marks and Spencer run their business the way they want, or they feel that they had to wait too long for their champagne or ham sandwich, then feel free not to patronize Marks and Spencer. I’m sure their stock will plunge dramatically in the days ahead.

  • Brian Macker

    Wow, they must be real efficent because whenever I get a new cashier who doesn’t know how to do things it holds up the line, especially when three people in a row need something unusual. Plus the people on the other line are now waiting while the checkout person moves to the next register whie your food is on the belt. Of course, we solve this problem in the US by not selling hard liquor in grocery stores. So the kids manning the lines can handle any item. New cashiers get paid less of course.

  • Reader

    It’s not really the principle. In this case I find the exception reasonable for the reasons stated; in a different case I might not. A world built entirely on principle wouldn’t have need for the “Friendly Atheist” of course. We live in a flawed world where we have to get along with each other’s messy ways.

    Also I think part of the problem is that people are thinking of M&S as some massive superstore with huge wheeled trollies and long automatic conveyor belts. It’s really not. Someone under 18 would have to get someone else to scan the alcohol; M&S’s setup makes it so easy that in this particular case I can’t see any actual problem. The question was “which of these do you find reasonable” and this is one I do find reasonable, in these specific circumstances.

  • Brian Macker

    BTW, the Kevin Bacon picture is probably not fair use.

  • Reader

    That sounds like escalating the unreasonableness.

  • TimF

    As well as a Jehovahs Witness who owns a business and refuses to allow insurance to pay for an employees blood transfusions.

  • David Pearce

    I strongly disagree – it is about the principle, not the level of inconvenience. This time it is handling products, but what if next time a cashier refuses to serve someone because they are not clad in a burka, or are showing their shoulders or wearing shorts? The law concerning the age for handling or consuming alcohol applies equally to everyone, and there are good policy reasons for constraining the handling and use of alcohol under a certain age. The same can not be said for handling pork.

  • Reader

    The queues in M&S don’t work the way you are imagining.

  • A3Kr0n

    Did you see Pat Condell put up a new video a few days ago?


  • Mark W.

    FFS! The prohibition is against consuming pork and alcohol not fucking touching it.

    Get a pair of latex gloves, and a life.

  • Mark W.

    Why would an atheist refuse to sell the Bible? Unless it’s a non-fiction only bookstore.

  • Jeff

    Ah yes, the “should we accommodate people’s goofy superstitions if they call those beliefs ‘religious’?” argument. Yeah, these people need to grow up and do their jobs.

    One exception: if a person could explain, without any reference to religion, why they should get an exception. For example, it makes sense to deny picking up a person with a dog in your cab if you’re allergic to dogs. That’s a real reason that’s based on real-life reality. But if your entire argument is based on “my invisible friend will be mad at me” then you should just deal with it. Because really, why should we worry about making invisible non-customers happy when there are very real people with very real money to spend?

  • Sweetredtele

    Somebody should have told that to Desmond Doss’s draft board. Medal of Honor recipient, never fired a shot in battle. Medic.


  • mikedave

    I disagree; employers have a right to change job
    descriptions in reasonable ways to match business conditions. It would
    place an unreasonable burden on small business owners to have fixed forever
    business plan to accommodate every employee’s religious sensibilities..

  • WallofSleep

    “Maybe bookstore employees who don’t want to sell, “Heaving is for Real”?”

    Hold up. Heaving is fake? All those lusty bosoms, deceiving me all these years. *sigh*

  • Mairianna

    “Atheisty”….I like that!

  • Dave The Sandman

    None. Do your job or get another.

  • Black Leaf

    Good luck getting them to give you that one.

  • Rob P

    Oh, I don’t raise a fuss or anthing. But it does make me angry/annoyed

  • Rob P

    What happens if all the casiers on a shift are Muslim?

  • Lindy4

    That was a pretty good Freudian slip right there…

  • Black Leaf

    Presumably the same that would happen if, say, all the florists in an area refuse to serve gay people, which is part of the reason why that’s illegal.

  • WallofSleep

    I do love to find humor in typos. It’s the little things that make life worth living.

  • Black Leaf

    It’s like the thing with Christmas displays. If people are going to ask for ridiculous religious exceptions, atheists can ask for equally ridiculous exceptions to point out how stupid it is.

  • Mary Ciulla

    I once worked with a person who was of a certain Jewish sect. She insisted on Saturday off because of the Sabbath, but she used to go dancing at clubs.

  • Ida Know

    If an employee at a store or restaurant refuses to sell me something because that item or service is forbidden in their religion, basically they are forcing their beliefs on me. They are saying that I’M not allowed to have the thing because THEY’RE not, even though I don’t share those beliefs.

    That is obnoxious and wrong, and I’m mystified as to why anyone is even contemplating letting employees at a place of business dictate what customers can and cannot buy from that business.

    If someone refuses to do certain parts of a job that they are physically able to do, they should not be hired for that job.

  • Greg

    Minneapolis has a large Muslim Somoli population (a few of whom played the pirates in the Tom Hanks “Captain Philips” film), and there were issues a few years ago with those who drove cabs not picking up people with dogs (including Seeing Eye dogs), people carrying liquor packages (I don’t know how they knew, either), intoxicated people (you read that right–drunks denied cab rides), and women dressed like–women. I wish I knew how they sorted this out, becase it has not been an issu in a while. But it sure was.
    Generally I’d be in favor of employers having discretion in how much religious accomodation to extend, but I think they should be required to post these kinds of rules so I know not to shop there.

  • Alex McDowell

    None of us get the right to hold our free speech clause of the 1st Ammendment sacrosanct in the workplace, but those that believe in myths get to use their religious clause? Actually, almost the entirety of the Bill of Rights gets thrown out at work, for the job, but this one iota gets respect only if an employee has some twisted idea about reality. There is something extremely twisted here.

  • Guest

    Sometimes I put bacon in the halal section. The devil makes me do it. It’s the only spiritual experience I have had.

  • Alex McDowell

    If you’re talking about restaurants, you have a little bit to learn. If you’re old enough to serve alcohol, and work for tips, it’s more than likely that you are getting paid LESS than an under age person. Minimum wages for tipped employees are sub-minimum wage by federal law, though some states have over-ridden that. Current federal law states that tipped minimum wage is $2.13/hour. Tips are expected to make up for the difference.

  • TheRealRandomFunction

    Why not let people vote on it? Either with their pocketbooks, or through the legislative process? Crazy thought, I know.

  • arensb

    I’d go so far as to say that if, say, you’re a Muslim who doesn’t want to get within three feet of pork for religious reasons, then you should be able to discuss it with your supervisor and see if there’s a way to give reasonable accommodation. In the same way that if you’re a vegetarian, you can ask not to be assigned to the butcher section. A little flexibility on everyone’s part can make life a lot easier.
    Beyond that, if you and your management have failed to come up with a good solution, it seems that you need to do your job. If you were hired as a cashier, and your sincere convictions prevent you from dealing with 5% of your customers, then you can’t do that job.

  • jdm8

    Yeah, that’s strikes me as playing morality police on their part. What’s in a customer’s effects is not their business, and if they’re that worried about things they don’t know about, I think a different line of work might be in order.

  • ScottG

    So, you’d say she wasn’t working, but was “working it”? 🙂

  • Brian Macker

    Sounds reasonable.

  • Mike Hitchcock

    “In a reasonable way” – agreed. But if you are a strict Muslim, suddenly being expected to handle alcohol is not reasonable. The number of times this will happen anyway is minuscule – the point I was trying to get across was it is entirely UNreasonable to take a job and then complain about its duties.

  • jdm8

    They might get ornery if an employee starts poking holes in their dogmas.

  • Brian Macker

    You are mixing apples and oranges.
    I have worked for tips. I earned more per hour in salary (around $3.00) at my McDonald’s job, but left that job to work for one where the salary was only $1.55 an hour plus tips yet made twice as much money per hour. Why? Because I was pulling in between $15-$150 in tips per day. So no only did it “make up the difference”, it more than doubled my take home.
    Just imagine the tip you’ll get when you refuse to serve your table any alcohol.

  • Brian Macker

    You’d be arrested.

  • Brian Macker

    Yeah, I took that into account. I expected an explanation of why it was more efficient in handling troublesome employees.

  • Bob Jase

    Withhold my bacon and I’ll withhold my tip.

  • Bob Jase

    Hey, the store refused to take the money – how is that the customer’s fault?

  • CottonBlimp

    Yes, wouldn’t it be terrible if religious people had to moderate their beliefs? We can’t tell people to compromise their arbitrary customs with the reasonable expectations of civil society! They might their religious affiliation doesn’t exempt them from the rules and obligations that apply to everyone else.

    Did you know that there are more militant fundamentalist Muslims among British-born citizens than immigrants? I think there might be an explanation for that.

  • Brian Macker

    Are you trolling me? I don’t want to waste my time explaining this unless your IQ is really less than 80.

  • disqus_K29vzian2O

    It’s a bit more complicated. The worker wasn’t normally assigned the checkout: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25488259

  • Bob Jase

    Hey, if I offer the money and the store’s representative refuses to take it how is that my fault? Its not as if I refused to pay.

  • Sandrilene

    And sometimes it’s converts who are the extremists. Lee Rigby’s killers were both converts to Islam.
    Perhaps it’s easier to be moderate if it’s just the way you were brought up and converts are more likely to take everything literally.

  • Brian’s being kind of a tool, but he is nonetheless correct. The store can refuse to complete the sale, which does not entitle you to the goods for free; in order for the sale to be completed both the seller and the purchaser must successfully complete the transaction, so if the seller refuses to accept payment the transaction has not occurred and ownership does not transfer to you.

    It would only be more complicated if they were refusing to sell you the goods because of some feature about you (race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.) that triggers a protected category. In this case, in contrast, it is a feature of (an employee of) the seller that is getting in the way, and that is perfectly legal, if incredibly stupid. Generally speaking, the seller of a good or service has the right to refuse to transact with anyone for any reason, with the anti-discrimination protections making up the most prominent set of exceptions to that general rule.

    The appropriate way to retaliate is to call over the manager, and tell them that you will no longer be shopping at their store because of their stupid accommodation policy, and that you will be telling all your family and friends about the incident (add Twitter or Facebook for garnish).

  • joshuaism

    This sounds worthwhile if I have a shopping cart full of goodies at piggly wiggly and I’ve got the means to shop elsewhere. But what if I were just buying a bag of pork rinds at the local bodega? What if this is the only pharmacy within a reasonable distance of my only mode of transportation?

  • WallofSleep

    Someone (on this blog, I think) mentioned something about someone being an atheist.

    Someone else responded with something like “No, Richard Dawkins is the atheist, the rest of us are just atheier than average.” Damn near broke my funny bone.

  • WallofSleep

    “In this case, in contrast, it is a feature of (an employee of) the seller that is getting in the way…”

    So you’re saying that religious superstition is a feature, not a bug? Man, it’s like I don’t even know you anymore.


  • This is why expansive accommodation policies are such an unbelievably bad idea in the first place. There is no easy answer for people who don’t have transportation and need the goods at the only local shop that has the dumb policy. This gets really nasty when the subject turns, for example, to contraceptives and small towns with just one pharmacy.

    For what it’s worth, the Supreme Court of the US tried to cut this stuff off at the knees back in 1990. In response, Congress in its infinite wisdom shoved through the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to save these crazy accommodations. SCOTUS slapped down that effort on unrelated separation of powers grounds, which led to what might best be described as an orgy of state legislatures passing what are often called mini-RFRAs. As a result, this practice of bending over backwards to religious sentiment when applying otherwise generally applicable laws is now deeply entrenched in many areas of the law in the vast majority of states. Leading to such foolishness today as corporations themselves seeking religious accommodations.

  • Brian Westley

    Regarding airport cabs, the Metropolitan Airports Commission added a 30-day/2 year airport license suspension for the first/second incident back in 2007.

  • moose

    I (unfortunately) know plenty of people who would say a Christian pharmacist should be allowed to refuse to carry birth control because, you know, anything else would be oppression. Of course, those are literally the same people who freak out at the idea of allowing a Muslim cashier to refuse to sell pork. The hypocrisy is stunning–and they don’t get it when I say anybody with religious objections to certain tasks should, you know, find another job, regardless of what sky daddy they worship.

  • There is no zealot like a convert.

  • Rod Haney

    Religious beliefs don’t belong in the public market place.
    If you know going in that these jobs may conflict with YOUR beliefs, then don’t apply for that job.
    Keep your beliefs out our reality.

  • Georgina

    Speaking as a vegetarian: If I applied for a job in a butchers shop, and then could not do the job because, let’s be honest, raw meat stinks; can I sue them for firing me?

  • Rod Haney

    At that point they are also perfectly entitled to quit.

  • Bob Jase

    Ah but they are refusing to sell the goods to me because i don’t follow the employee’s religion. You’re right, I shouldn’t take the goods, I should sue their asses for religion based discrimination.

  • allein

    Ugh, I saw the trailer for the movie Heaven is for Real on the big screen (before The Book Thief) yesterday. It was bad enough the first time in my little youtube window. 🙁

    On a side note, I worked in bookstores for 8 years and there have been many books I wish I could have said “No. I can’t let you read this.”

  • Richard Thomas

    It’s funny…
    Born gay? Fuck you, we can fire you anytime we want!
    Choose to adhere to religion? Well, of course we wouldn’t want to DISCRIMINATE…

  • That doesn’t make any sense.

  • allein

    Doesn’t the sabbath end at sundown? As long as she goes after dark she’s not breaking any rules.

    So, I looked this up on wikipedia and it says “observed from sundown on Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night”…soooo, what happens if it’s cloudy?

  • islandbrewer

    Yeah, I want to see the phlebotomist who converts to a Jehovah’s Witness and claims they should keep their job.

  • smrnda

    I think the problem with accommodation is that in the a person can allege *any* belief that prevents them from doing all or most of the duties of their job and then ask for the free pass, because I can’t exactly see why the objections based on *more popular religions* should be seen as more legitimate than more idiosyncratic individual beliefs.

  • smrnda

    True. I mean, I haven’t heard any stink about vegetarians objecting to serving meat in the States, it seems to *usually be related to things having to do with sex* since apparently, people can’t live in a world where they can’t show disdain for people who don’t ascribe to their puritanical ethics.

    I guess this is the first time I’ve heard it come up with alcohol and unclean meat.

  • Okay, so is that register going to be labeled clearly (so that it is visable from quite a distance) or am I going to stand in line for 20 minutes only to find that I have to wait in another line to buy bacon? I would not go to another register: I’d go to another store.

    I’ve never had a job that accommodated such desires. It would be one thing to arrange the break schedule allowing for prayers. I might even be willing to schedule around religious holidays (having employees from a variety of religions would be useful in that regard, actually) but if you are going to refuse to sell any of the store’s merchandise for any reason, you need to find another job. Muslims who are that strict should look for a job in a Halal market.

  • smrnda

    Also, being refused a cab ride is no small deal, especially in a place like Minneapolis where it gets rather cold in the winter.

    I wonder how these Muslim cab operators would feel about right-wing Christians refusing to give them a ride because they believe in a false prophet and false religion. I mean, it’s part of common human decency not to have to pass judgment on every single person you come in contact with, and it’s kind of necessary in a pluralistic society.

    Perhaps the private cab companies should be replaced by some sort of city-based mass transit system that, as part of the government, could not discriminate.

  • I mean, it’s part of common human decency not to have to pass judgment on every single person you come in contact with, and it’s kind of necessary in a pluralistic society.

    If schools could teach just one lesson and make it stick, I would pick this.

  • smrnda

    Are you sure that you just aren’t a bit on the angry side? Cashiers are human beings doing a boring job more fit for a robot. I find *excessive* socializing a bit annoying, but a few seconds isn’t going to bother me since if a few seconds is going to set me back, need to plan my trips better.

  • LesterBallard

    If their pay is docked.

  • smrnda

    Um, where on earth do you live? Hard liquor is sold in every major grocery store that I’ve been to in my area, outside of chains that have limited offerings or don’t want to bother with alcohol at all as a business call. The local big box retailers sell hard liquor as well.

  • They wouldn’t, which is the point. I don’t really care if Muslims eat pork or not. It’s none of my business. But if the store sells it to me and they won’t do their job by ringing up the sale that would piss me off. But I would never refuse to ring up a religious book for sale. I’d even ring up something idiotic like Sarah Palin’s latest book. it’s for sale and the person wants to buy it. They have every right to buy and read any book they want and in fact refusing that would imho be a restriction on their rights without any benefit to me.

    Sometimes people will give me the “you’re just as bad as the other side” nonsense. (I just got it over something I said about the Duck Dynasty guy.) I think this is proof that it isn’t true. I can’t imagine an atheist doing that. I can easily imagine a fundamentalist Christian having a fit over having to sell a Richard Dawkins book. The respect for rights is not equivalent in any way.

  • smrnda

    Just wondering, is there some general prohibition against handling treif, or any particular rules for what to do if it become necessary as part of a job? I’m not well informed on that one, mostly just since my family didn’t work to hard to keep kosher.

  • smrnda

    Good point. I don’t like arguments based on the idea that ‘you can go somewhere else.’ Yeah, maybe if you live in some thriving, diverse metropolis, but ‘other options’ might be just 1 other place (or none) in some areas.

  • smrnda

    I like the idea of people trying to make accommodations, but if you have lots of workers with lots of accommodations, this can become difficult really fast, and then you have a problem with The Boss making the call on who gets accommodated, which means they can be granted or denied in a capricious and arbitrary fashion.

  • smrnda

    Totally. If you can’t stand the idea of people having sex you don’t agree with morally, then you should not operate a hotel. If you can’t stand to transport drunk people, drive a school bus for a grade school, not a cab.

    Funny, I never hear of Christians refusing to sell guns because of Jesus.

  • Greg G.

    How is not selling bacon or alcohol to someone with different religious beliefs different than not selling wedding cake for a gay marriage? In each case, the customer has different religious beliefs than the seller.

    A person’s right to swing hir fist ends where another person’s nose begins. A person’s right to practice hir religion ends when it infringes on another person’s rights to exercise their own convictions.

  • Jonas

    Wow. Well by that logic, even if you don’t meet minimum wage, you’re getting paid more than beliefs require. You don’t seem to realize how little you need. Get rid of your computer, cellphone, get a bike instead of a car, move into a cheaper apartment…

  • Funny, I never hear of Christians refusing to sell guns because of Jesus.

    There’s always an out.

  • Brian Macker

    Being a tool? Really do I have to explain the concept of theft? If you don’t pay for goods you can’t walk out of the store with them. I’m literally chuckling to myself. I guess all those who think this is an option should try it. There are all sorts of reasons they might refuse to sell to you, computers down, out of change, closing, etc. If you think you are owed stuff you didn’t pay for in those cases, or any other, I highly suggest you sue them in court, not walk out of the store with the goods. They will call the police.
    Oh, and BTW, if you find something in the street and you don’t own it you also cannot just walk off with it. You have to make a good faith effort to find the owner before you can keep it in order to establish that it was not lost. Obviously, with stuff you found in a store it will be easy for you to tell who owns it.

  • Brian Macker

    They aren’t refusing to sell to you because of your religion. They are refusing to sell because of their own. In either case you should NOT walk out of the store with goods you didn’t pay for unless you want a shoplifting charge.

  • Jeff Chang

    Simple. Who owns the store or business? If it is a Halal or Kosher store than the owners cannot be FORCED to sell products. If it is a regular supermarket, than I would show them the contractual job requirements, show them the door, and let them choose.

  • Brian Macker

    In both Massachusetts & New York you can’t sell any liquor in grocery stores.

  • quasibaka

    Imagine joining a butcher’s shop and claiming to be a vegetarian- Best job ever 🙂

  • Being a tool?


    Really do I have to explain the concept of theft?

    No, you don’t. And even if by some twist you did, I saved you the trouble, since you have enough time to complain about not having enough time to explain and I am a helpful sort of fellow.

    If you don’t pay for goods you can’t walk out of the store with them. I’m literally chuckling to myself. I guess all those who think this is an option should try it. There are all sorts of reasons they might refuse to sell to you, computers down, out of change, closing, etc. If you think you are owed stuff you didn’t pay for in those cases, or any other, I highly suggest you sue them in court, not walk out of the store with the goods. They will call the police.

    I managed to explain that earlier in about forty-five seconds of typing, only more clearly and with less self-indulgent tooling around. Like chuckling to yourself. That’s kinda creepy.

    Oh, and BTW, if you find something in the street and you don’t own it you also cannot just walk off with it. You have to make a good faith effort to find the owner before you can keep it in order to establish that it was not lost. Obviously, with stuff you found in a store it will be easy for you to tell who owns it.

    Not entirely sure why you’re bringing this up, but yes, you are also correct about this piece of trivia.

  • Brian Macker

    Yeah, it took me about forty five seconds of typing too. You do understand that there are trolls who act like idiots to waste other people’s time forty five seconds at a time.
    The second part was not “trivia”. It relevant because apparently these people think they just get to keep shit because it’s not “their fault”. As in “Its not my fault if he lost his shit”, or “Its not my fault if he left his Ipad where I could take it.”

  • Matt D

    I find nothing reasonable about going through the all the motions to get employed, only to have an objection to the work/job itself. Only someone with poor work ethics would pull such a stunt on an employer.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    1) Yes, I would be fine with that. So long as, as stated, another employee was nearby who could ring it up with minimal delay.

    Same with the others. If another waiter is available, I would be happy with a personnel change. Etc.

    In a pharmacy, it is much more unlikely that another pharmacist is available at the same time in the same pharmacy. “Go find another pharmacist in the next town, 30 miles away” or “Come back in the midnight-6 AM shift so another pharmacist can serve you” would not be a reasonable level of accommodation.

  • You do understand that there are trolls who act like idiots to waste other people’s time forty five seconds at a time.

    Right. The part that’s confusing me is where you decided, given this, to respond at all. Nobody compelled you to do so, but you’re acting as though you were being put upon to deliver an explanation when you could have just walked away whistling.

    If you think it’s a waste of time, why not let people who are more willing to waste theirs do so? Me, I get quite a lot out of explaining seemingly simple things; it helps me hone my didactic skills, it helps me perfect my own conception of what I attempt to describe, and as often as not the act of answering questions reveals the seemingly simple thing to me to be not so simple after all. Also, many misunderstandings and a large quantity of ignorance in the world could be ameliorated if “simple” questions weren’t treated as some mark of deficiency or stupidity, and I don’t want to be part of the problem. So, what is to you a waste of time is to me a worthy endeavor.

  • Either:

    A) You don’t understand what a livable wage is; or
    B) You’re a libertarian asshole who gets off acting like a self-righteous asshole and felt like getting some holiday trolling in.

    Hmmm. *hands pantomime scales balancing*

  • Jared Elmond

    As long as the have someone else available to ring my stuff up I don’t give a shit.

  • Bernadette

    What if a religious belief requires you to live an extravagant lifestyle? Should your employer be expected to accommodate that belief?

  • Brian Macker

    I don’t mind discussing with someone who’s being reasonable. Right now I’m talking with you. Although I’m starting to wonder why. I actually started commenting to improve my writing skills. My point is that it’s a waste of my time to talk with trolls, althought sometimes I find them interesting too. Right now I’ve got a health issue that’s preventing me from doing much of anything useful anyway, so I’ve got plenty of time. Who however doesn’t understand that you can’t take things out of a store without paying for them?

  • Rob P

    Annoyed is a better word than angry. a lot of time too, the finishing the chit chat also means not acknowledging my presence. And that is just bad customer service.
    Sure ringing up groceries is not the most glamorous job and the pay stinks, but a big part of the job is interacting with people. Acknowledging the customer immediately is common courtesy in addition to being good customer service.

  • Rhode Island as well.

  • kielc

    But if an atheist refuses to sell someone a crucifix or nativity scene, RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION!!!

  • Frank Mitchell

    Although it’s not quite the same thing, where I live cashiers under drinking age can’t even touch alcohol long enough to run it through the scanner. They have to call a colleague over 21 to scan and bag it. No idea why. (It’s Texas.)

    If it’s a religious problem, though, Muslim and Jewish cashiers can just wear rubber gloves and a sterile mask when handling awful pig products. Everyone else can just hold their nose and do their damn job.

  • Jeff

    Monty, we’ll choose what’s behind door number B….

  • Jeff

    Yes, I would ring up Sarah Palin’s book. But I would shoot the buyer with a dart, and put in a tracking tag in their ear so we knew where they were at all times.

  • smrnda

    Interesting. I should consider myself fortune that I live somewhere that I can get hard liquor from the same place I buy socks, groceries and power tools.

  • smrnda

    I just think the gun issue proves how full of shit some people are. They can’t sell a cake to a same-sex couple or allow an insurance company to provide coverage for contraception or rent a room to 2 unmarried persons if it has one bed, because ‘we can’t in any way support evil’ but GUNS? “Totally, whatever happens with this gun once I sell it to you is not on me.”

    I think that’s just a byproduct of conservative Christianity being more a right-wing political movement than a religious one.

  • Whitney Currie

    I’d just like to point out that I’ve worked several jobs where I had to be in on weekends, holidays, and any other freaking time the employer felt like.

    Non-issue. I knew where the door was, and how to use it. I walked in that door every day. If I decided for any reason, religious or not, that the job didn’t hold to my standards, I was always free to use that door and not come back. I’ve worked Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and pretty much any other holiday you care to name. This year, I’ll be in on New Year’s Day. I’ll be doing mandatory overtime for probably the next three months after that.

    I’d love to have the same livable wage rule. Truth be told, for the most part, I’m pretty happy with where I am, I just wish I could have some of those holidays off. Still, I can always choose to go elsewhere, and that’s probably the best thing about the modern working world. There’s somewhere else to go if you’re not happy for whatever reason.

  • smrnda

    How do you know what lifestyle the religion mandates? I mean, not every religion is all like Jesus saying to give away all your $$$. Maybe being a member in good standing in some religions requires a certain *image* or practicing the religion requires expensive artifacts, or a solid gold graven image of Cthulhu?

  • smrnda

    Actually, given the existence of unemployment, there are more people than available jobs, and given the pigeonhole principle, that means *some people don’t have somewhere else to go.* And realistically, more and more employer are demanding more and more holidays on.

    Choices might exist in some areas, like say, a large city, but imagine people living in the middle of nowhere where you’ve got very limited choices in where to work.

  • Timothy R Alexander

    I dont support any of these but I have to ask about one. “You’d fully support the Islamic cab driver who leaves a blind man and his seeing-eye dog standing in the rain, right?”

    Is this a real thing? I dont actually use cabs and I havent heard of this before so I thought I would ask like what the reasoning is behind it.

  • Brian Macker

    Oh it’s worse than that. I can’t even get certain liquors unless they have applied for distribution in my state. I found this great port wine in NY, Solace (Imagine Moore Winery) and I bought a case. Gave bottles out as gifts but had quite a few myself. Everyone raved about it. The guy excavating a ditch for me wanted to buy a case himself (I usually make on dinner or lunch for contractors). I ran out and tried to order some. They cannot deliver to Masschusetts address. Not only can’t they deliver to me but they can’t deliver to a liquor store. I’d have to have it shipped to someone in NY close to MA and then go pick it up.

  • tsig

    I’m a Rasta Man, mon and the Weed is Ja and I need to communicate with Ja every hour so I get an exception, right.

  • I think that’s just a byproduct of conservative Christianity being more a right-wing political movement than a religious one.

    I think it is much simpler than that, more a byproduct of people being very unwilling to examine the moral cost of something when that examination might lead to actual cost to themselves.

    At a certain level, everyone participates in evil. There are very few–if there are any at all–products for consumption on this Earth that did not get produced and delivered while not furthering some injustice. Diamonds, cell phones, grapes for FSM sake. But to act on it all would be utterly paralyzing, so we draw lines (quite arbitrary ones, most of the time) that cause us to judge culpability by the remoteness of the injustice; how many steps removed from my using this good, how many individual person’s decisions away from mine in buying it, how close to active awareness I am brought to the injustice that aided in producing it. Most people would not think of the plight of immigrant grape-pickers when choosing produce, nor think of buying grapes as a(n im)moral act. This changes when the nightly news delivers reports of the grape-pickers striking and organizing.

    So far, so normal. The costs of doing business in an international Capitalist economy. And giving up grapes for a while to support the efforts of grape-pickers to organize is not some terrible hardship. But these blinkers are intensified when one’s own livelihood is jeopardized by acting on those same moral precepts; the psychological incentives are much higher to be willfully blind to people getting shot when you own a gun shop than they are if you don’t. Not many people can face the idea that they facilitate murderers in order to feed their families, and so they artificially add distance between their act and the consequence, putting extra emphasis on the free will of the perpetrator in order to relieve the guilt of having been the one to provide the means.

    I wouldn’t put that on any political wing or any religion, but just on humans having a harder time bearing moral judgments (especially obvious ones) than we have in producing rationalizations for why we don’t have to.

  • Bernadette

    yes you are free to go and the people who refuse to sell me alcohol, pork, or birth control can also be free to go. If employers start to make accommodations for religious beliefs then you have to accommodate all beliefs.

  • Adrian Kleinbergen

    They can do the job they were hired to do or they can quit.

  • Ryan Hite

    I would wonder how that would even be monitored. I don’t agree with the new law under the premise that it does not sound reasonable and would be hard to regulate. Also, they may get sued.

  • ha2

    They aren’t even refusing to sell to anyone. They’re saying you should go to a different register to buy those goods!

  • Mike Hitchcock

    Why should they have to? Don’t get me wrong, I’m the last person to be an apologist for ridiculous myths, and I’m appalled by what M&S have done – but employees – at least in the UK – have certain rights which would not apply if they just quit.

  • Pitabred

    It’s not hypocrisy when I do it!

  • pete084

    The licencing conditions should cover this, a withdrawal of the cab drivers licence should make them think twice about discriminatory practices.

  • anon atheist

    I don’t know what your problem is peaople! What you can visit here are the result of left-wing ideologies’ like feminism and atheism + contstant demands for diversity. In a rational world the muslim woman would just have been fired but because diversity companies are bending over backwards to accomodate even the craziest demands.

    And the irony: if the woman had done her job and sold the alcohol but told the customer that he should receive 40 whip lashes for drinking it she would have been fired immediately just like the guy from the duck dynasty.

  • Dan Weeks

    Link, please?

  • Dan Weeks

    He was black?

  • Randay

    I am not so sure about it being illegal to take something you find in the street. Some people put things out they don’t want anymore. You can see other people taking them home. I’ve picked up some good furniture that way and even an old computer that still works after adding some memory. Then there are people who go through trash bins to find useful things and supermarket bins to find still good food.

    As for the superstitious asshole who would refuse to sell me alcohol or pork, I would stay there and block the line until he did. If the manager didn’t replace him, I would sue the store saying that my civil and FSM religious rights were being violated by refusal of service.

  • sonofkenny

    Obviously no legal implications (except perhaps the pharmacy situation). Bad business though….alienating clients. There are plenty of alternatives for everything. If a customer is inconvenienced at one place they will simply go to the next.

  • spitz

    Considering that the religion is built on a mythical history of punishing humans, most Christians fantasize about a ridiculous end of the world doomsday scenarios and believe post doomsday life will come with ample amounts of punishment for everyone but the chosen ones, a fascination with weapons is not surprising. It’s not like the history of Christianity is the history of peace and love, spoiled by naughty conservative Americans. There’s an extremely casual acceptance of far worse than anything that can happen on Earth, as well as the idea that what does happen here ultimately can’t be avoided, and indeed, may be part of their god’s plan.

    Jesus, the hippy, is as much of a political device as any push for guns. Some people aren’t happy with the apocalyptic exorcist who threatened people with hellfire, so he’s run through a contemporary “good person” filter. Even then, he’s detached from reality. No one can possibly be as awesome as he, so they get to be satisfied with sucking and begging for forgiveness everytime they do something stupid.

  • spitz

    Wouldn’t work. Their reasons for refusing the ring up bibles wouldn’t be unreasonable enough. They’d have to pretend a ghost told them the books were haunted to have a chance.

  • lonbo

    Silly Spitz. The vast majority of atheists are also naturalists and therefore do not believe in the existence of ghosts or hauntings.

  • Brian Macker

    So a living wage means you get a computer, cell phone, car, expensive apartment, etc. ???

  • Brian Macker

    If they put a piece of property in the trash that is an explicit abandonment of property rights, so you can take it. No cop should arrest you for taking someones garbage.

    If it were not illegal to take things you find then these police stings would be pointless because no one could be charged:
    The police don’t always get it right however. It’s not a crime to pick up a lost item to try to determine the owner and return it. They seem not to get that point in some cases.

  • Brian Macker

    Again, why the down vote for ha2? Just a factual statement. This voting stuff is pointless if you aren’t going to explain yourself.

  • The Starship Maxima

    Touchdown, Bernadette.

  • The Starship Maxima

    Disagree with the first one. Okay with the second.

  • paulalovescats

    No. It’s still stealing. They can claim they have the right to refuse to serve you. They can say you got obnoxious or abusive. The customer is not always right. There are cameras. Better, you show the money to the camera, put it down, and walk out.

  • Wildcard

    I don’t see why. He doesn’t have to eat it. Would you be okay with a Fundamentalist not ringing up a Christmas card for you because “Christmas is an evil pagan ritual”.

  • Wildcard

    Some beliefs harm others some don’t. If they were all harmless I wouldn’t have a problem with them.

  • Madison Blane

    Then you become a minister/preacher and go on TV!

  • Bob Jase

    They are refusing to sell to me because I don’t follow their religion – its still religious discrimination and still worth a lawsuit.

  • Bob Jase

    So I have to go to the back of the bus, I mean line, because they disapprove of my non-religion?

  • raveries

    You could also tell the manager that you were perfectly happy to ring up any item that the store sells, thus saving the company time and money, so you should get the cashier’s job (why yes, I am looking for work in the middle of our economic ‘recovery’)

  • The Starship Maxima

    If he has some strange religious thing against touching the card, I don’t want to make him do it. Especially, if he’s simply having someone else ring it up.

  • UWIR

    While I certainly would not rely on bustrggi’s position, it is not completely without legal merit. Security personnel are generally trained to wait for a suspect to decline an opportunity to pay for the item. If you fail to provide a shopper with an opportunity to pay for an item, that does weaken a shoplifting case. Furthermore, if one presents legal tender in attempt to discharge a debt, and that legal tender is rejected, the debt is discharged. Therefore, if one views taking the item as incurring a debt, presenting money does discharge that debt. Furthermore, if you don’t merely offer the money, but leave the money there, how can you e charged with shoplifting? If you have a five dollar ham, and the clerk refuses to ring it up, you can simply leave a five dollar bill on the counter and walk out with the ham, and the store would have to be quite foolish to try to arrest you for shoplifting. Or, you could walk out with the ham, then come back in, say “I took a $5 ham, I owe you $5, here is a five dollar bill”. If the clerk refuses to take it, the debt is discharged, and you’re in the clear.

    Generally speaking, the seller of a good or service has the right to refuse to transact with anyone for any reason, with the anti-discrimination protections making up the most prominent set of exceptionsto that general rule.

    That’s not quite true. If an item is advertised as being for sale for $5, the store is legally required to sell it for $5. In many cases, if they refuse to sell it for $5, then it’s free.

    Cites regarding security personnel training:


    Assuming you have met the first four elements of proof, the final step is to allow the subject to pass all points of sale and exit the store without paying. The reason behind this step is to show intent. You gave them every opportunity to pay and they failed to do so.


    You must see the shoplifter fail to pay for your merchandise. Typically, a shoplifter will walk out of your store, past all cash registers, without making any attempt to pay for the concealed merchandise. This is an important element to prove “intent” later in court, if necessary. Sometimes, shoplifters will go through the checkout line and pay for other items but not for the concealed item. It is important to observe that the concealed item is not retrieved and paid for at the checkout. It is also important to verbally confirm with the cashier that the concealed item was not paid for either. For example, a shoplifter may get a change of heart and tell the cashier that they consumed a candy bar worth .75 cents and the cashier rings it up.

  • arensb

    This is true. But the more reasonable people are willing to be, the more likely it is that things will work out in a rational and equitable fashion.

  • UWIR

    How did they know what bacon smells like?

  • Wildcard

    Hmm…fair point.

  • UWIR

    That sounds to me like it might be unconstitutional: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granholm_v._Heald

  • imjustasteph

    Religious beliefs can be respected and accommodated as long as they don’t harm others. So, yes, you can refuse to bring me my wings, IF there is another waiter who will do it. And yes, you can refuse to handle my alcohol, as long as it doesn’t make for more than a couple of minutes wait while another cashier steps over. In fact, it doesn’t have to be a religious belief. If the smell of peanut butter fudge makes you actually ill, it’s fine with me if you have someone else ring it up. (Semi-but-not-really-relatedly, I have a story about an incident when I was a cashier and a customer opened his jar of peanut butter and shoved it under my nose and laughed at my reaction. That gives me some sympathy for people having to handle things they’re uncomfortable with, regardless of the reason, and despite that it’s somewhat different.)

    But once it crosses that line where the job *can’t* get done, or causes undue difficulty to the customer or other employees, just no. You can do your job or get one you can do.

    Again, sometimes you can do most of the duties of your job. Maybe my cashier is 8.5 months pregnant and can’t lift my bag of dog food. Maybe she can’t stand for long periods of time and is permitted to sit, even though store policy says sitting while serving customers is rude, Maybe he is 16 and has to get a co-worker over to sell alcohol.

    All that stuff is okay, as long as the job *does* get done, in a reasonable manner and time. There is such a thing as reasonable accommodation- hey, maybe some religions should be categorized as a disability, that would make the decision easy. It’d be covered.

  • UWIR

    Isn’t that supposed to be “RIchard Dawkins is the athiest, the rest of us are just athier than average”?

    That post seems to be suffering from the same problem as here: http://xkcd.com/745/

  • UWIR

    “Libertarian” means “opposing unjustified government interference”, not “ascetic”.

  • Jonas

    Perhaps “food, clothing, shelter, transportation” (my definition of a livable wage) is insufficient for YOUR definition, but it works for me. It’s a simple truth though, you can easily live off of much less than most people suspect. Besides, such low wage jobs should be stepping stones to better jobs in the first place.

  • Jonas

    Personally, I don’t think employers should accommodate your religious beliefs in the first place. Don’t work at a store if you object to selling alcohol. Don’t work as a butcher if you don’t want to handle pork. Don’t work at a tanning salon if the idea of a woman in a bikini fills you with hate. Take some personal responsibility and don’t apply for a job that you won’t accept doing.

  • In truth one could argue that for paying people a dollar an hour. After all, they could just go live under a bridge and eat crap out of the garbage. Hey, if it’s just a stepping stone to bigger things…

    My definition, by the way, is one that doesn’t allow for wage slavery. I’m not about to hide from that, because I’m not a self-important savage.

  • Abbé Faria

    And what if those pork rinds were morning after pills and the bodega was the only pharmacy within a reasonable distance?

  • Derrik Pates

    No one’s making them eat anything they don’t like. All you have to do is PUSH BUTTONS. If the fact that someone’s buying something you don’t like is too much for you, you need to find another job. Sorry, but this is ridiculous.

  • Derrik Pates

    Same deal in my state (South Dakota) as regards the selling of booze. That I can understand. “My religion say it’s bad, so I won’t sell it”? Do your job, or find another.

  • $84687101

    Someone downvoted you for saying “sounds reasonable”. Downvotes are weird.

  • brianmacker

    It must have been a grammar nazi downvoting it. I should have written “That sounds reasonable to me”.

  • Greg Murray

    Sorry but none of those accomodations are reasonable. While individually they may not seem like much collectively they are anything but reasonable. They place undue demands on society, and in the case of the service dog, are discriminatory

    Greg Murray

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