osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,
osewalrus
osewalrus

I get annoyed at some obnoxiously religious folks

Got the link from this from holzman
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/15/AR2006071500846.html


For those who don't follow the link, it is about folks in the medical profession demanding a "right of conscience" to not do things they think violate their religious principles. These pretty much all appear to be about birth control, morning after pill, etc.

Allow me to explain something to religious people used to being members of the majority religion in the United States, and who therefore feel they should be accomodated in all things.

God doesn't always make it easy for you. Sometimes, to stay good with God, you gotta make some sacrifices. That means not doing what you really want, puting up with what you don't like, etc. etc.

If performing certain tasks in your job are abhorent to you, then chose another job. I'm sorry. At the least, you need to declare in advance your religious needs and have a frank discussion with your employer about whether the employer can or cannot accomodate you. If the employer cannot accomodate you, then sorry. You chose between your religious principles and keeping your job.

Mind you, I think empoyers _should_ accomodate people's religious preferences where possible, just as they should try to accomodate family demands, illness, and other employee concerns. And I agree that saying you can't work, even if you are ready and able to take a job, just because you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, whatever, is an actionable form of discrimination -- because we in the U.S. have made a value judgment that the fact that you *wish* to practice a faith does not justify firing/not hiring you. But if performance of your job duties and your religious faith are incompatible, then you have a choice -- even if it isn't a pleasant one.

We Orthodox Jews have lived this way a very long time. You learn from an early age to consider career choices carefully. If you want a particular career that makes observance of Sabbath difficult, or conflicts with one's moral values, you think long and hard about it. When my wife interviewed for jobs, she lost many opportunities because her potential employer wanted her to commit to working weekend rotations like everyone else. She would frequently offer twice the number of Sundays in place of full weekends (so, for example, two Sundays a month instead of one weekend a month). A lot of employers said no, for no better reason than it would be a hassle to mess up the schedule and other employees might complain.

So we struggled. Because being religious means, among other things, making choices and sacrifices to live in the world in accordnace to your perception of God's will.

The people in the above article don't seem to get that. They want to exercise their religious conscience -- well and good. But they don't want to have to make any sacrifices. Worse, they want other people to make sacrifices for the sake of their religious principles.

Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. You want to live right with God as you see it? Then you take the steps necessary to make it happen. Want to work as a pharmacist but don't want to dispense "Plan B?" Then tell your employer and let him or her see if that's reasonable. But if the employer says "you're the only pharmacist on duty, so either you dispense drugs as requested or you need to go work at a hospital or some larger drug store where they can cover for you," then the "pharmacist of conscience" has a duty to quit and go find a nother job that allows said pharmacist to live right with God.

And here's another hint -- if you find your religion DOESN'T challenge you, odds are good you aren't doing it right. But that's just my opinion. I don't think God gives us a road map to life so that we can be His nifty little enforcers and bullies on Earth. I have a moral obligation to live my life in accordance with how I perceive God's will. If it didn't take effort, it wouldn't be meritorious. Yes, "deracheha darche noam", Her (the Torah's) ways are ways of pleasantness. It's not about the suffering, any more than the purpose of physical exercise is to cause oneself pain. But if you think living a moral life gives you license to shift the burden of your morality to others, I'm not very impressed with your morality or piety.
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