Just Bake The Cake! Just Deliver The Beer! What’s The Crucial Difference?

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You tell me, citizen.

See, a friend of mine posted a story up on his Facebook wall. Something about a trucking company getting sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The firm was having trouble getting a few employees to haul loads of beer. The truck drivers in question were Muslims who apparently believed that hauling beer to market was a material cooperation with evil.

The EEOC website is where I found this quote,

Everyone has a right to observe his or her religious beliefs, and employers don’t get to pick and choose which religions and which religious practices they will accommodate.

–John Hendrickson, EEOC Regional Attorney, Chicago District

Sounds right to me.

Thoughts like that seem out of sync, though, with what seems to be being pushed on bakers, florists, and photographers these days. But Mr. Hendrickson has been about his business with the EEOC since 1981, so he’s got a lot of actual experience to back up his arguments. Arguments like this one,

 If an employer can reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practice without an undue hardship, then it must do so. That is a principle which has been memorialized in federal employment law for almost 50 years, and it is why EEOC is in this case.

You know, he’s got a point! So what’s with all the fear and trembling, virtual lynch mobbing, and RFRA-induced hysteria ? Maybe Counselor Hendrickson didn’t get the memo?

Perhaps the difference is because nowadays Caesar (aka the State) suddenly wants to pick and choose which religions, and which religious practices, l’état will accommodate. For the longest time, nigh on close to 240 years, the state stayed out of this tricky business. Wisely, I might add.

It will be interesting to see if the EEOC prevails in this case.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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