Canadian Wilderness Guide Denied Job Because Employer Says She Went to an Anti-Gay Christian School October 8, 2014

Canadian Wilderness Guide Denied Job Because Employer Says She Went to an Anti-Gay Christian School

Usually, when I hear stories of Christians being discriminated against, it’s complete bullshit. They probably did something wrong, they were punished for it, and now they’re hiding behind their religion. But in this instance, it actually looks legitimate.

Trinity Western University is the Christian school in British Columbia that recently made headlines after a few provinces said they would not allow graduates of its law school to practice in the region. The reason? Trinity won’t allow gay students who embrace their homosexuality to attend the school.

Bethany Paquette went to their undergraduate campus, which works the same way. The river rafting guide recently applied for a job at Amaruk Wilderness Corp. where she figured her experience could be put to good use… but after sending the company her cover letter and resume, she was surprised to see the response from the hiring manager:

Ms. Paquette.

I do not understand the purpose of your application considering you do not meet the minimum requirements that are clearly outlined on our web site.

Additionally, considering you were involved with Trinity Western University, I should mention that, unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want, and this is reflected within some of our staff and management. In addition, the Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition, and way of life.

Since they didn’t explain which requirements she didn’t meet, you can understand why Paquette would think her rejection was entirely due to her faith (and what her Christian ancestors apparently did). Which is weird because it’s not like she said she wanted to proselytize on the job. The company seemed to be punishing her, not for her actions or intentions, but simply for which school she attended.

The emails after that didn’t get any better. Paquette tried to explain her frustration…

I do not understand the purpose of your response considering where I attended University and my religious belief should have nothing to do with whether or not I meet your company requirements.

God Bless,

Bethany Paquette

… to which Amundsen wrote back:

… “God Bless” is very offensive to me, and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me. I do not want to be blessed by some guy who was conceived by a whore, outside of marriage, and whom has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuses and human right violations in the history of the human race. If I was to meet the guy, I’d actually fuck him.

Just to be clear:

Normal employer: “You’re not hired. Good luck with your job search.”

This guy: “You’re not hired. I would rape your God.”

I find Paquette’s views abhorrent. But to hold her responsible for the actions of her college (or ancestors) — or to suggest she would treat gay customers any differently from straight ones when she implied nothing of the sort — is at best irresponsible and at worst illegal.

Paquette filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and has secured a lawyer:

[Attorney Geoffrey] Trotter said if the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal concludes his client was discriminated against, he will seek compensation for lost wages and “for injury to feelings and self respect.”

“The main thing that she’s been asking for is to order this company to stop discriminating.”

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. That it is not ‘open season’ on Christians in Canada.”

I really don’t understand it. If the company didn’t want to hire her, they could’ve just said that and been done with it. They didn’t. Instead, they dug into her faith and what they assumed she believed. Then they went even further. They didn’t apologize in a statement to the CBC either, telling them:

“As per rejection letter attached, Ms. Paquette was not considered for a position with our company solely based on the fact that she did not meet the minimum requirements of the position.

Any further discussion after that, including the fact that we strongly disagree with the position that gay people should not be allowed to marry or even engage in sexual relationships, would have been a mere expression of opinion.

Olaf Amundsen
Wilderness Guide/Instructor”

Even if that’s true, and her beliefs have nothing to do with her dismissal, it’s still a despicable way to act. I don’t know if the B.C. legal system will feel the same way, but I hope they do. She doesn’t deserve to be treated like that.

(Thanks to Janice for the link)

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