Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Freedom To Hate

I figure one of the first things the Supreme Court will have to deal in a couple of years (with a new President in the White House) is a case defining whether or not "religious freedom" allows you to nullify anti-discrimination laws. It might even be this case.

A Christian engineer who was fired for violating Ford Motor Company’s policy against harassment based on sexual orientation is suing the company, claiming his religious rights were violated. 
In a federal lawsuit obtained by The Huffington Post, Thomas Banks explains that he was fired after posting a comment in response to an internal Ford intranet article that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the LGBT workers rights group GLOBE. 
“For this the Ford Motor should be thoroughly ashamed,” Banks wrote. “Endorsing and promoting sodomy is of benefit to no one. This topic is disruptive to the workplace and is an assault on Christians and morality, as well as antithetical to our design and our survival.” 
“Immoral sexual conduct should not be a topic for an automotive manufacturer to endorse or promote,” he continued. “And yes — this is historic — but not in a good way. Never in the history of mankind has a culture survived that promotes sodomy. Heterosexual behavior creates life — homosexual behavior leads to death.” 
Banks was fired two weeks later on the grounds that he violated the company’s policy against harassment. 
“I was stunned to realize that I was fired over expressing my faith in a single comment,” a statement from Banks said. 
The lawsuit alleges that Ford Motor Company and Rapid Global Business Solutions “acted intentionally out of malice or reckless disregard of Banks’ federally protected rights.”

So, can you claim anti-harassment policies and laws are impinging on your freedom of religion? We've already seen the Supreme Court say that your employer's religious freedom trumps federal health care law in the Hobby Lobby case.  Where does the Supreme Court draw the line, if at all?

I'm pretty sure we're going to get an answer from SCOTUS on this, so one would hope that the next President nominating justices would be a Democrat.

If not, well...

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