The Flawed Premise Behind Discrimination Laws

by | Sep 8, 2015

The flawed premise is that the supposed right of people not to be discriminated against trumps the individual rights of the employer to hire whom the employer sees fit.

A Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended by ExpressJet for refusing to serve alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith.

In a bid to get her job back, Charee Stanley filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday for the revocation of a reasonable religious accommodation. [cnn.com 9/6/15]

Think about it. One of the central tasks of a flight attendant is serving alcohol to customers. Does an airline have a right to fire her, if she will not perform one of her basic job responsibilities?

The story notes that Ms. Stanley started working for ExpressJet a year before she converted to Islam.

If Islam is so against people touching or being around alcohol, then why did she not quit her job upon becoming a fundamentalist Muslim?

“What this case comes down to is no one should have to choose between their career and religion and it’s incumbent upon employers to provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely,” said Lena Masri, an attorney with Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Is it the job of an airline to provide career fulfillment, and to prevent psychological turmoil in its staff, and to make the work environment a comfortable place to practice one’s religion? Or is it the job of an airline to safely, and with comfort, profitably fly people from one location to another?

I bet that the vast majority would answer the second. But I also bet that the majority, when asked, “Should a business discriminate against its employees for any reason, including religion?” will usually answer, “No.” Also, when asked, “Should a business respect the religious liberty of its employees?” a lot would answer, “Of course.”

You can’t have it both ways.

Militant Islam is taking advantage of America’s anti-discrimination laws, just like it takes advantage of other American contradictions such as, “Turn the other cheek,” and “Love your enemy.” And they’re having a field day with it.

Most of us claim to believe moral ideas (“Love thy enemy”) that are inconsistent with our own survival; that’s how we got President Obama and that wretched, dangerous deal with Islamic Iran. We claim to believe that government has a right to override any business decisions that a private company makes, so long as that private company can be accused, by some indefinable and subjective standard, of “discrimination.”

America’s anti-discrimination laws are based on a flawed premise. The flawed premise is that the supposed right of people not to be discriminated against trumps the individual rights of the employer to hire whom the employer sees fit. When you subscribe to that false premise, you pave the way for Muslims to sue their way through the private sector.

Asserting a right to give this woman a job she’s unwilling to perform does not only hurt the airline owner. It also hurts the airline customers, who will now have to pay more for flights as the company fights off this potentially very expensive legal challenge. It will affect the service customers receive on other airlines, as those companies fear the same kind of lawsuits. Lastly, it’s unfair to the employees of airlines who are willing to do their jobs — including serve alcohol. They will be expected to do part of this woman’s job for the same pay they currently receive. And Allah forbid Ms. Stanley gets a pay cut for only performing part of her job. That would deny both her “religious liberty” and her politically correct right never to face “discrimination.”

The only way to head off challenges like this is by asserting the moral and property right of the airline to fire and hire whomever it chooses.

But that’s not the prevailing thinking of our day; nor is it the content of our laws. The prevailing thinking and laws tell us that it’s morally and therefore legally wrong to discriminate.

People who want to enable employees to sue for reasons of race, gender, sexual orientation or transgenderism cannot, with any credibility, oppose this case. If a person can legally assert, “You must give me this job because of my race or gender,” why can’t a person legally assert, “You must give me this job because I’m a Muslim”?

Neither can all the people who now claim that “religious liberty” trumps individual rights. If a Christian county employee has a right not to give marriage licenses to taxpaying citizens who are gay, or has a right to “faith based” programs funded by public schools, then why can’t a Muslim have a “religious right” to compel an airline to do his or her bidding?

The moment we set up laws against discrimination is the moment we set the stage for lawsuits like this.

Islam has America where it wants it, in so many ways. Our religious leaders insist we must love and tolerate our enemies. Islam says, “Go ahead. I’ll chop off the heads of any non-believer. I dare you to challenge me, you enemy-loving, cheek-turning infidels.” Our secular leaders insist, “We must tolerate all points of view; America is no more exceptional than any other system of government or society.” Islam says, “Go ahead. I dare you to permit a private airline to fire someone who will not do her job, if the reason she won’t do her job is Islam.”

It will not end here. The more we kowtow to Muslim  bullying, the more they’re going to bully. That’s what bullies do. They intimidate and cajole, pecking away at your good will and self-respect until there’s none left. Unless or until you stand up to them, that is. But that would require rejecting two thousand years of Christian thought such as “turn the other cheek,” not to mention decades of anti-discrimination laws.

The proverbial barbarians are at the gates. Fundamentalist Islam represents the most grotesque, obvious and righteously determined of those barbarians. They’re winning, not because they’re stronger or better. Islam is a tribute to irrational primitivism, not the prosperity, individualism and respect for rights that made America great. They’re winning because of our own weakness, our own contradictions and our own self-effacing humility — the only things that could ever make their victory inevitable. And they know it.

Watch what happens in this case. It could be a metaphor for just how far American society will allow itself to be victimized by the most savage and irrational bullies the world has ever known.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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