Who Would Jesus Fire?

The Religious Exemption That Allows Catholic Hospitals to Discriminate Against Employees

Comments

1
Wait -- Christians acting like douchebags?!

Well now I really have heard it all.
2
So...Christians LOVE! to bring up Leviticus when talking' bout S-E-X [te-he] because it has all the rules about sexual relations and stuff that Jesus never said. Let's review a few more rules from Leviticus:

19 “‘Keep my decrees.

“‘Do not mate different kinds of animals." YOU MEAN LIKE MIXED BREED DOGS?

“‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. YOU MEAN LIKE MY BACKYARD VEGGIE GARDEN?

“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. YOU MEAN LIKE COTTON/POLY BLEND HOSPITAL SCRUBS?

27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. LIKE EVERYONE, EVER?

28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord. OR NOT!!!

What's the point of this? The point is that if religious institutions want to blatantly discriminate against people and fire them based on their "Christian ideals," then perhaps they shouldn't pick and choose which ideals to which they are adhering so strictly. And when the one Christian who reads this comment correctly points out that Leviticus is Jewish law, they have made my point for me and I will thank them for doing so.
3
Personally I think it should be illegal for religions to discriminate. If they get protected, people should most certainly get protected from them.
4
NEXT: Will Catholic hospitals be required to allow visitation rights to same sex spouses when their policies only allow "immediate family"?
5
@3: Thank you! I wholeheartedly agree.

Here's hoping the for-profit hospitals and institutions run by the insanely corrupt go broke. There's a glaringly obvious reason why nurses are outside picketing St. Joseph's in Bellingham.

6
Can someone please list the Hospitals where it's safe to go for assistance? I don't ever want to be admitted somewhere where my family can't see me because of what someone else thinks happens to you when you die.
7
While I'm sure it's somewhere, Loraxx there under the plus sign @6 has a point. A list of places not part of The Inquisition would be nice.
8
Thank you big time for this story. I am in the process of changing docs and I never occurred to me to ask a clinic if any of their personnel had AIDS.

9
University of Washington. C'mon over...we're a fully secular organization. Alas, Swedish has merged with Providence as is the trend for struggling medical centers in need of cash...
10
What a mess. The law AND the article.

You wasted 3/4 of the article's "analysis" based on what one lawsuit's defendant is LIKELY TO claim in their answer?

"It seems likely that Providence will reference its WLAD exemption in its legal response, as is its right under state statute."

Likely to? Couldn't you use another case where it was ACTUALLY done if it's so common?

Protip: If you're going to pass a law (WLAD) offering broader protections than the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, maybe try and write the law properly.

After all, I'm sure the public has NO PROBLEM at all having their HIV pos surgical tech experience the "routine job hazard" of a needle prick while handling their instruments. Because EVERYONE is as ethical as Humphry right?

A one arm security guard? No problem. Of course that would disallow the job to even my APARTMENT BUILDING concierge who must be an ACTUAL certified security guard, not a clerk.

Yes HIV and strokes hurt. Operating enormous businesses properly with common sense controls is hard too. What hurts worse is moron politicians drafting laws WRONG for an entire state.

Oh and lawyers throwing in stupid allegations of race discrimination in a disability case is not helpful either. Or did Ockletree turn African American from the stroke?

11
I always find different peoples ethical views entertaining. So you don't want those Christians forcing their views on you? Did you ever ponder the thought that by making them provide abortions you would be forcing your views on them? Forcing a hospital, doctor or nurse to participate in a medical procedure they consider murder? It doesn't matter that you don't, but that they do. Most likely this is not something you have thought about, but then it isn't about them, its about you, your views, your inconvenience. I hate to burst your bubble, but the world doesn't revolve around you, or me for that fact. There are a lot of other people around who don't share your point of view or mine. If you want an abortion, go where they provide it. If you want birth control as part of your benefits working for a religious organization that is against birth control just doesn't seem like a good idea, stick a crowbar in your own wallet and pony up. Don't try to force someone who is morally against something to provide that service to accommodate you. If you don't like Catholic or Christian views or policies, then don't patronize their businesses, don't go to their hospitals, don't work for them. It's that simple.

One of the large software publishers out here had a moral turpitude clause in their employment contract. Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States and some other countries that refers to "conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals." The example my business law professor provided us in college was a 35 year old man sleeping with a 17 year old girl. Now that isn't illegal here, the age of consent is 16 in Washington, but it could be considered an act of moral turpitude. Had one of their employees done that, that software company could fire someone on those grounds, and that is despite it not being a religious organization and it not being illegal.

Religion, in case you have forgotten, it protected by the constitution. A religious organization may have a morality clause or who knows what else in their employment contract. Look at what you are planning to sign, be it an employment contract, mortgage documents, whatever. If you don't understand what you are signing, guess whose fault that is? If you don't want to subject yourself to that kind of scrutiny or those kind of morals, don't work for them. Last time I checked, deciding to work for a prospective employer was "your" decision if they offer you the job. Getting pregnant outside of the bonds of marriage may not be a big deal to most secular organizations. It is to a lot of religious organizations, because they most often expect their employees to behave according to biblical standards. If you don't like that, don't work there! Or at least abide by their rules until you can find something else.

With regard to the security guard, I know several who work at one of the malls in the area. If they lost use of one of their arms they would get removed from the site. The reason being, they must be CPR certified to work that site. I can't speak for you, but I don't know anyone who can do CPR with one arm.

And an HIV positive surgical tech assisting in an operation on me would be an "absolutely not." It is not that I am prejudiced, a friend of mine died of AIDS back in the early 90's and I have no problem being around people with AIDS or HIV. I just don't want to take the chance of going for a surgical procedure knowing that a simple mistake during the operation could infect me with a lethal disease, regardless of their viral load.

Why don't people take into consideration anyone else's views, beliefs or rights other than their own. It seems it is only about their inconvenience, their rights and their beliefs. But then that seems to be the order of the day, if you disagree with someone you are intolerant, a bigot, a racist or choose your favorite pejorative. "Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." - Rick Warren
12
Although the Supreme Court has ruled otherwise, corporations are not people. Or at least they shouldn't be. To talk about a Catholic organization and how they shouldn't have to provide certain services is bordering on lunacy. A church? Sure. But when you have such giant entities like HOSPITALS, you should be required to start providing service in accordance with science, not religion.

We say that religion is protected by the constitution. But where do we draw the line? In the old testament it's said that we should stone people for certain "crimes"...but we clearly don't allow that under religious exemption do we? We have people who've claimed that their religious beliefs allows them to marry and have sex with children. We don't allow that either. But religion can be used to justify withholding legal, at least under present law, medical care? It can be used to fire you when you'd otherwise be a protected class?

Where do we draw the line? Can my religious employer ask to see my bank statement to make sure I'm not buying anything they consider morally, ethically or religiously objectionable? They seem to have the right to decide what I can do with my health insurance. Surely that means they can fire me for buying birth control with the money they paid me right?
13
One of the huge problems with organizations like Catholic hospitals and laws like this is that they pick and choose who they discriminate against. And that is decidedly not ok. They pick and choose who is a good enough Christian and who isn't. A woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock is a clear target, but a man screwing around before marriage will never be fired. How is this right? How can they blatantly ignore entire sections of the Bible as they please and thump them when it suits their needs?

If they, as a Christian organization, are going to use the Bible as their basis for firing people, then they need to make sure that EVERYONE at their hospital is above reproach. Short of this, they cannot claim exemption from anti-discrimination laws. Or they shouldn't be able to.

Now, as far as asking a Catholic doctor to perform procedures/prescribe medicine that go against his beliefs, said doctor needs to only practice on other Christians. And in that case the christian hospital probably shouldn't be open to the public. A hospital and it's staff has a duty to its' patients first. If it is going to be a public hospital, they must behave like one and treat the patients accordingly. A patient in an ambulance cannot control where he/she is taken; it is not that person's fault and they should to be punished by a doctor claiming moral objection.

Don't be a doctor if you are too big of a douchebag to perform your duties. It's as simple as that. If you are going to be a doctor, be a doctor, not a fucking priest.
14
Why would you not fire a security guard for being too old? What good is a guard that is too old to perform his duties?
15
The public policy issue here is that the State of Washington subsidizes these hospitals by allowing them access to guaranteed bonds issued by the State of Washington for construction of new hospitals & clinics, such as the new Providence Everett Hospital
16
@14: If he can't perform his duties, it's a legitimate reason to fire him, irrespective of his age. The point is that age is not indicative of individual ability, even if there are differences between age groups' averages; if one is concerned about ability to perform a job, regulate and measure that directly. Don't use proxy measures that may or may not be valid in any given case.
17
just as Edith said I can't believe that anybody able to make $6400 in four weeks on the computer. did you read this website Snap11.comisthe webpage
18
Employees of Catholic hospitals are not necessarily Catholic. I work at one and I don't know that many. I see lots of different kinds of Christians, quite a few Muslims and many non-religious, like myself.
A lesbian couple that I know had their baby at Swedish and had a terrible nurse that was horrible to them, while wearing a large crucifix. My Swedish story happened before it got bought out by Catholics. There are tons of anecdotal stories about being treated poorly at the hospital, any kind.
This article even hits close to home, having had recent exposure to HIV at work. Could I get fired? But what does that have to do with being Catholic?
We know that there are horrible people out there that will discriminate. Sometimes they are managers that violate HIPAA/privacy. This is correlation not causation. It really has nothing to do with being a Catholic hospital. Makes for embarrassing writing. I really want to agree with you but you just don't have it here.
And by the way, he was probably supposed to go to the Emergency Department if the employee health office was closed. If he resumed patient care before doing so he might have been in violation. I really feel for the guy and wish him well.
19
It will be many years before this loophole is closed. In fact, it may never be closed.

America is a deeply religious country. Our national religiosity comes and goes in waves, or at historians call them, Awakenings. The name itself is ironic, since these Awakenings feel more like a retreat from the principles of the Enlightenment and a decided step toward the Dark Ages.

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaiden's Tale is not too far off the mark of where we might go if the current Awakening continues to flow. Even if it ebbs, it is doubtful that the retreat would be enough to abolish discrimination in the name of faith.
20
Remember, not very long ago, when so many of the Christian right could muster only the most specious of reasoning to support their odious bigotry?

[All together now]

"No 'special rights' for gays!"

How far we have come, and still so far to go.
21
To: #10. I Just wanted to point out, I am a licences security guard and we only have to do written work to pass or test. I work In an 300 unit apartment building and they don't even care if your licensed they just call you a Concierge. Mind you I am in Canada, but I would be surprised if they are required similar or no training.
22
Isn't it always the case you hit submit then notice a typo.

This: ...pass or test.

Should be: ...pass our test.