Christian Company Fires Employees After Insulting Them… and It’s All Caught on Tape

I’m no expert on running a company, but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to insult your staff if you want them to work hard for you.

Tate Publishing puts out Christian books and music. After finding out that the company was going to expand into other countries last week, rumors began to circulate among staff members that they were going to be the victims of “outsourcing.”

Good CEOs would probably respond to the rumors head-on — tell employees what’s actually happening and whether or not the rumors are true.

Instead, CEO Ryan Tate and his father, company founder Richard Tate, gathered the employees to give a speech.

CEO Ryan Tate (left) and Founder/Chairman Richard Tate (via newsok.com)

The best part of the story?

The whole speech was recorded and put on YouTube (the good part begins at 3:36):

Many of you in this room, whether it’s Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, blogs, anonymous emails, stupid comments, have been approached and asked to make changes, to remove things. I should have fired you on the spot… This final email is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Things are going to be different. The reality of it is people in this room are responsible for it. Cowards in this room were a part of it.

“Learn in God’s name what the word ‘outsource’ even means! What we’re doing in the Philippines, what we’re doing in China, what we’re gonna do in Australia and I hope all over the world, is in addition to what we are doing in Mustang, Oklahoma. You morons that sat back and wanted to create and generate conspiracy theories on the ‘what-ifs’… are stupid.

The Tates then fired 25 employees — and hired 7 new ones the next day. (It was the Christlike thing to do.) It doesn’t appear that they had evidence that all 25 of those employees were spreading the rumors (which don’t even seem far from the truth), but, you know, why not.

From listening to that recording, those 25 employees probably got the better end of the deal…

When their boss acts like that, it’s not hard to imagine why the employees don’t enjoy working there.

Why bother posting about this? Because when a company has a statement of beliefs revolving around Biblical principles, the implication is that it’s a better company to work for — employees are treated better, making money isn’t the only priority, etc. This story just shows that that’s not always the case. Christian companies, like most companies, do what they have to do to make money — and their owners can be just as vindictive and spiteful as everyone else.

(Thanks to Emmett for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/SwamiHenderson Swami Henderson

    sigh.

  • Michael

    It’s okay. They went to confession, none of the guilt of this rests on their shoulders anymore.

  • articulett

    They can be slimeballs– Jesus pre-paid for their sins.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Bandsma/1539649418 Judith Bandsma

    They’re not perfect, just forgiven. By their wives maybe (MAYBE) but if their employees forgive them they’re better people than their ex-bosses.

  • Nickolas Johnson

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Capitalism trumps Christianity any day.

    • The Captain

      I used to like to say that US christians in fact have two saviors Jesus Christ, and Adam Smith. And when the two come into conflict they always go with the latter.

      I “used” to like to say that, but lately US christians have gone way beyond what even Adam Smith would find morally expectable. 

      • John F

         Interestingly enough, Adam Smith was an atheist, and far more moral than people give him credit for.

    • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

      Christianity is the most successful capitalistic venture in history.

  • http://nadiawilliams.wordpress.com/ Nadia Williams

    Is this legal? The way they treated their employees, I mean. 

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

      I was wondering that too. It seems completely barking to have people able to be fired without any sort of cause at all. Even if you were nuts enough to try to run a system without any sort of explicit employment rights, you’d think simple contract law should do it.

      • Dan

        At will employment agreement, I haven’t found a place that doesn’t make you sign one. “Any reason or no reason”

      • judith sanders

        The Tate Co. is suing some of the employees they fired for contract violation.  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in court.  There’s already an uproar over the “rights” of institutions such as hospitals and schools that are owned by churches to deny their employees the protections that secular businesses must offer; I suspect the Tates will also try to wrap themselves in the “religious freedom” blanket.

        • Thalfon

          Do they need to here? From my reading of the linked Mustang Times article, it sounds like their issue (at least publicly and formally) is with the spreading of rumours about the company or perhaps the leaking of information. If there were any sort of contractual clause about keeping company information private, the Tate Co. has a case without having to mention anything related to religion at all. To be honest, aside from what the company actually does, there doesn’t seem to be a religious issue here of any sort.

          Here is the relevant quote:

          “These employees violated their employee contracts by leaking business information, spreading rumors and recording business meetings and submitting them to the public,” Tate said. “This is protecting our business plans and models.”

          Note that I’m not speaking to the truth of their claims (we’ve obviously only heard one side), but rather to the nature of their claims.

          • http://twitter.com/moother moother

            Have to agree with you here… 

      • Guest

        Unfortunately Oklahoma is an “at will” state, which means any employer can fire you whenever they feel like giving no cause at all. Basically the only way someone would have a case against it is if they can prove they were fired for some discriminatory issue. The law was set in place to protect unionized workers, but vultures like this are unfortunately the people who take advantage of it.

  • Fsq

    Wait, what?

    There are literates in Oklahoma? That is the bugger story here…..

    • Fsq

      Errrrr….*bigger……not bugger…..

      • Dickybow

         No ‘bugger’ sounds about right!

    • Elizabeth

      We’re all literate, and most of us aren’t even cowboys. I live in a house just like yours with running water and everything. I even go to a great university here! You should come visit our beautiful state so you can get rid of your stereotypes. Though as I commented above, I went to high school in mustang, that place is warped. Good schools though, everyone’s literate there as well!

      • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

        Liz…

        I visited.

        Every TV in every public place was tuned to Fox news.

        I’ve visited Asia, and nowhere in the world did I feel more out of place than Oklahoma.

        To be fair, I only saw one town, but what I saw chilled me.

        • Elizabeth

          Well, you only saw one town! You could find that one town in any state in the U.S.

          • Fsq

            I have not been to Oklahoma, it is true, but theagain, I havent been to Somalia either, but I am not signing up for obvious reasons.

            • Elizabeth

              Oklahoma=Somalia. Gee, thanks.

              • Fsq

                no, Somalians are much better looking….

  • Wade

    Seems like more and more “Christians” I meet put Capitalism before the religious teachings of Christ. I was surprised that this post was on Friendly Atheist instead of I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists (another blog I’ve been following, they have quite a few examples of Christians not being Christlike). 

    • The Captain

      I find it sadly amusing that the people who are the most adamant against believing in darwinistic evolution are the biggest proponents of social darwinistic economics.

      • amycas

         I noticed this as well. They are also the ones who claim that teaching evolution will lead to social darwinism, and then they advocate for social darwinism without realizing that’s what it is.

  • Renshia

    Sounds to me like an office full of busy bodies that got what they deserve.

    Yeah the guy was a dick. But when your inundated by stupidity sometimes it is easier to wipe the plate clean. To bad for those caught in the collateral damage, but sometimes a guys gotta do what a guys gotta do.

    See even christians believe in feeding christians to the lions, sometimes.

    • Guest

      Yeah…  Listening to the beginning of the audio, that sounds exactly what it is.   

    • Patterrssonn

      Holy crap! They were busy bodies!? WTF! No wonder he fired them. Employees with their own minds and opinions, outrageous!

      • Renshia

         So I guess this guy just woke up on Monday and thought, Hey, what the hell, I know my company is right in the middle of a large expansion, but, lets just fire 25 people because they have their own minds and opinions.

        Nobody is that stupid. You really think that any business owner would do something like without good reason. Not even bible thumpers are that stupid.  Sure he was rude and showed no class. Yeah, he said some ignorant things, But the guys pissed. You don’t do that without good reason. All he is is a bible thumping business owner that snapped. I’ve snapped said some things I later wish I hadn’t, doesn’t mean they weren’t true Doesn’t mean  they didn’t need to be said. If you listen real close, you don’t hear anyone denying what he saying.

        Your wrapping it into the religion, when really that’s just context that’s irrelevant, the religion is just what would be expected in that environment. Someone is stirring up the shit. Sometimes you have to cut a wide swath.

        • Patterrssonn

          “sometimes you have to cut a wide swath” of human beings.

          • Renshia

             If it was bird flu, it would be a wide swath of chickens. No one said life was fair.

            • Patterrssonn

              So you agree that these two guys are shitbags with all the moral standing of a disease.

  • Dtenrec

    The far right republicans making more jobs…….yea right!   I’m voting the other way this election!

  • Elizabeth

    Oh geez. I went to high school in Mustang, Oklahoma. I know these men and their wives and kids, though I purposfully havent had contact in years. Small world. Mustang is a town with one bar and about 40 churches in 7 square miles. However, most of the population goes to the one big baptist church, which I think is a cult. They’re all cults, I know, but this one is “cult” even by a religious persons standards. I wasn’t Christian, but hadnt yet applied the term “atheist” in high school. I never talked about it and if anyone asked I said I was Methodist. But I didn’t belong to cult church, so I was still pretty much given hell. Younger Mr. Tate’s wife once even gave me a book on Christian marriage! Such happenings in that place do not suprise me. There are small religious towns, and then there’s Mustang, Oklahoma. On my way home to visit from college I go out of my way to drive around it.

    • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

       one bar and about 40 churches

      My immediate reaction was that the ratio was surely the wrong way around, but I suppose that’s just one of the differences between Ireland and the USA.

      TRiG.

  • Jbrock

    company [...] beliefs revolving around biblical principles

    Well, yeah. No surprises here, considering that the underlying principle of the whole Bible is “might is right”.

  • Tinker

    I take offence at the ‘vindictive and spiteful as anyone else’ comment. From what I see of Christians nowadays, I get the impression that vindictive and spiteful is what is taught in the sermons.

  • Hanson05

    Christians run or own companies but there is no such thing as a “Christian” company. And as for these people running this company who claim to be christians…true not a christian thing to do. Running a business is not easy, but no excuses for these guys, honestly as a follower of Jesus I am embarrassed.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Are you are aware of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy? 
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

      It’s worth reading if you’re going to be a regular here, as it will save some time and effort.  And I for one am happy to see you stick around and provide input.  

      • Hanson05

        Hi Rich, I would like to stick around and offer my input, thanks for the encouragement.  I’ll let you know though, it’s not easy.  If you spend all your time on sites like this your world can get very small very fast. But for me, honestly, it is interesting to learn more about atheists and how christians are perceived by them. I will say  I am somewhat shocked at the apparent anger and even hatred that is written by many on this site towards christians.  That is why I say it is not easy.  I will not respond to any of the immature and ignorant christian bashing comments, but I would like to provide some honest input from a christian who is trying to be true to the teachings of Christ.  
        Thanks for the reference to the “no true scotsman” fallacy. 

  • ortcutt

    It’s sad that Christian vanity publishing even exists. Did you see the dreck they publish?

  • MG

    Why do all these douche-canoes look like Voldemort?

    • Onamission5

      LOL, Voldemort. I was just staring at the photos wondering if it’s just poor quality photography or if father and son really do share the creepily dull eyes of highly driven people with no real sense of empathy. Then I wondered if that was relevant to the conversation. Then I had to look away, because I was getting the willies.

  • Justin Miyundees

    I have a button that says “Jesus, save me from your followers.”  I think this guy fits the bill.  He sounds not only condescending and arrogant- he sounds paranoid.

  • http://twitter.com/moother moother

    I hate to say this but, whether or not this guy is a religious dick is irrelevant. He’s running a company and his staff is blogging and surfing and posting on company time.

    I’ve had my fair share of wack-jobs getting paid a first-world salary and delivering fourth-world results.

    Why should companies have to put up with sub-standard performance and fork out major payments for the “honour” of having home-grown employees?

    Fuck that! A third of my productivity comes from Asia nowadays and these slitty-eyed mongrels are prouder to work for me and more loyal than anyone I can hire back home.

    Oh, and, when I go over to Asia it feels great to work with them and also to share our lives together. We trade tales of our spouses and children and hopes for the future and we are grateful to know each other and work with each other… More than I can say for the over-privileged, self-entitled crap I get to hire back home.

    For me, giving jobs to the “less fortunate” is a rewarding business decision in itself. My Asian employees can use the money I pay them to educate their kids and improve their collective futures.

    At least I know that the wages I pay are being used in a positive way and not just to buy another unnecessary car or redo a bathroom that was already redone two years ago.

    I am from Holland btw.

    • Sharon Hypatia

       “slitty-eyed mongrels”? Srsly? At least now I have a data point if anyone claims that Dutch people  can’t be ignorant asshats.

      So tell me, moother, do you sell the products you manufacture to your loyal “slitty-eyed” workforce, or to your fellow first world slackers? I suspect not to your 3rd world workers – you don’t pay them enough to buy the junk they make – so it’s probably the 1st world the slackers.
      You pay 3rd world salaries and sell at 1st world prices and fill your pockets with the difference. The nice little Adam  Smith circle where the worker’s’ salary becomes
      consumer’s purchasing power gets short- circuited in your model, doesn’t
      it? It works for you; it works in the short run; but it is a rot that eventually destroys economies.
       

      • http://twitter.com/moother moother

        You’re obviously not smart enough to realise that the SEM label is a jest towards racist bigots…

        Do you really think that I could have a great relationship with my colleagues if they knew they couldn’t afford to buy the products they were designing/manufacturing/marketing? They would resent me… and my goal toward my employees is to make them (all of them, 1st, 2nd and 3rd world alike) feel like the work they produce makes them an integral part of the development and future of mankind. Not just the company.

        I deal in water purification products and an upcoming market (although not profitable) is the 3rd world.

        My products are sold below cost to my staff in Indonesia, Thailand and Kenya.  

        Over and above the benefits my colleagues receive, I run a charitable foundation that deals with water purification for water purification’s sake… not for profit.

        Best part is, my SEM colleagues are also the largest staff compliment of the charity. Many (though not all) give generous amounts of free time to the charity because they too realise that a group effort delivers a better result. My western colleagues are always too shy/busy to go dig boreholes in Myanmar.

        And they (SEM’s) also understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are… which is what this post is all about: employees thinking their employers owe them something whereas it is really the other way round. 

        And when one of my colleagues asks me what they can do for me in return for “what I did for them,” my answer is always, “I have done nothing for you for which you have not done yourself… but if you wish to, please bestow your gratitude on someone less fortunate than yourself.”

    • Onamission5

      I think this comment falls into the category of ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

      Helpful hint for the future: Racial slurs do not help you make your point about how wonderful you are.

      • http://twitter.com/moother moother

        you’re an idiot.

        • Onamission5

          Please do tell us more, oh great white hope, about how you have helped the simple savages. I am rapt with awe.

          • http://twitter.com/moother moother

            ever leave your home state? your country? your continent?

            if you had, you might have a story of your own to tell

            thought not…., just another internet wannabe…

            • Sharon Hypatia

              Congratulations, moother. What you are doing is truly admirable.
              Amazing that when you don’t post like an asshat, you don’t get treated like an asshat.
              (And, yes, moother, I moved from my country to live in another country. )

              • http://twitter.com/moother moother

                Thing is, what you consider to be “posting as an asshat” might be considered normal discourse in some countries. You might understand the difference - being of international disposition yourself.

                I mostly try to assimilate my text so as to ruffle as few feathers as possible but opinions still need to be expressed. And feathers still need to be ruffled.

                So, for interest’s sake, from where to where have you been displaced?

                • Fsq

                  moother, I think you are my new favorite around these parts. Finally, a voice of reason in a sea of bias and hypocrisy!

                  Stick around bud, you are a welcome voice!

                • Angel12

                  Jeez…………You really are from the Netherlands… Your posts are like the song of arrogance. 
                  Greetings from the paradise of mongrels, Aruba.

          • http://twitter.com/moother moother

            oh, i’m not white btw… i was born in a tiny village in the backwaters of Zaïre…

            the first GWH i ever met was d’Estaing

            read into that what you will………………….

            go fuck yourself you racist cunt…

            what have you done for us lately?

            • Onamission5

              I offer apologies for my assumptions. When I am wrong, I am really wrong, and when I step in it, I really step in it.

              • http://twitter.com/moother moother

                Oh, hell no, apologies not needed (lest I need to apologies for something myself? omg!)

                But srsly, we ALL live in the same fucked up world… We’re in it together… Parity is the God of the 21st century! 

                Hugs :)

                • Onamission5

                  Thank you for accepting my apology. I took my own issues and read them in to what you were saying, then jumped to some pretty presumptive and ignorant conclusions, which was not fair of me to do at all, and then I acted like a pompous ass. I am very embarrassed.

                • Fsq

                  You should be embarassed. You showed your true interior and your racism and bigotry. You don’t even have the stones to come out and admit you have that color-coded racism.

                  Sickening.

              • Fsq

                you are such an insincere hypocrite.

                I gurantee that if moother had revealed himslef to have been a white biy birn in the suburbs of Toronto you would have doubled-down and continued to deride him for his comments, instead, when you find out moother is from a small backwater town in Zaire you get yerself a fresh case of the PCs and start tripping all over yourself to issue a Mea Culpa.

                You know what makes you a worse racist than the overt ones? The fact you are ready to sell out a whole demographic based on nothiung but campus feminit bullshit, and misandrist nonsense.

                You make me sick.

                • Onamission5

                  I fully expected you (specifically) to take the opportunity to jump all over me because I am vulnerable. You have successfully kicked a person when they are down.  Well done.

                  When I make wrong assumptions and behave badly, I apologize for those assumptions and that behavior. That’s it. Nothing else to see. 

                • Fsq

                  and again, you miss the point entirely.

                  You who claims to be such an aware and progressive person is as bigoted and color-coded as the next person, yet you are the most insidious of racists and bigots. You try to hide behind a wall of white-male hating BS, and when you thought moother was a white man (be honest, you did) you crawled so far up his rectum you could have checked him for ployps. The NANOSECOND he came out and disclosed his “secret identity” you couldn’t backtrack fast enough, all because OF HIS COLOR.

                  You sicken me with your hypocrisy and racism.

                • Onamission5

                  Yeah. Never once have I ever said I hate men.  Ever.  Explaining how sexism affects me is not the same as hating men.

                  I did however assume things about moother which were apparently not true and then own it.  Which, when I’m wrong about something, is the least I can do.  Quite literally.  It’s the internet. We can’t see each other. We all have our issues and make assumptions. Sometimes, we’re wrong.  If admitting I was wrong about a specific thing to another person, after taking an hour to mull it over and reread the second part of his comments thoroughly instead of skimming and jumping to conclusions, is to you the same as crawling up someone’s ass, so be it.

                  You have assumed many things about me which are not true. Care to return the favor?

                • Fsq

                  and you, who gets truly uppity with any slight or wording you feel is not PC, has excused moother’s SEM comments, all because OF HIS SKIN COLOR.

                  You are a hypocrite and bigot. You have racist leanings and are truly hypocritical. Then, you have denouced and yelled fervently against the “It’s the Internet” argument more times I can count without removing a mitten, try the old “It’s the Internet” defense. Again, HYPOCRISY. But you now want to just go the route of “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown”.

                  Does your hypocrisy and racism know no boundaries?

                • Onamission5

                  No I did not. They became a secondary issue to my own idiocy. I chose not to deflect his criticism of my assumptions but to accept it and own it, and that alone, and then back away from the conversation because I behaved from the start in a way I wasn’t fond of and I figured I should take some time to think about whether or not I wanted to re address my problem with his SEM comments.

                  You know, thinking things through before talking this time, since the first time didn’t go so well?
                   
                   

                • Fsq

                  The bigger issue is your underlying racism and hypocrisy. Call it or spin it like a Christian GOP politician, but you have shown your true colors.

                • http://twitter.com/moother moother

                  Teh internetz is so, like, white and stuff…

                  Can’t we make it, like, khaki background and, I dunno, what coulour text would show up nice on a khaki background?

                • Fsq

                  why bother to even bring up color in the first place? Or make assumptions on someone’s color? Onamission5 made an assumption that you were white and was ready to tear you a new puckerhole, but when she found out your color was not white, she was ready to give that puckerhole of yours a nice rim-job. Hypocrisy, thy name is Onamission5.

          • Fsq

            And sweetheart, before you go and get all uppity, as per your norm, let me explain that I have had to work in the CAR – Central Africa Republic – as well as DRC. And you have no idea what kind of world it really is, so you need to step back and realize just what an insular world you have, and it is that insulation that gives you the platform to make your snap judgements.

            Facts as sweetheart, you haven’t been out there in the trenches and you are so ready to apply your whackadoo ideas of how to talk/what color is proper etc….and yes, you are racist. You have an OBVIOUS racism and bias against white males.

            • amycas

               Wow, she makes an invalid assumption, is corrected and then she admits she was wrong in her original assumption…so then you call her a hypocrite. This does not computer. Why can’t we all just admire the fact that somebody somewhere finally admitted they were wrong on the internet?

              Also, per our discussion in the women’s rights threads, using faux-endearments like “sweetheart” is condescending. She has a name, use it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/photomstr N. Obody

    much evil is perpetrated in the name of some god

  • Guest

    Point of fact from a current employee: Most of the 25 people who were fired in fact quit of their own volition because they were tired of dealing with his BS and bullyism. I’d also like to point out the employees are about the hardest working nicest people you’ll meet, we just work for a twisted son of a bitch.

    • kullervo

      Do employees have any familiarity about how publishing works, or do they not know and therefore are not bothered by taking money from would-be authors at a point where a legitimate publisher would be paying the writer and a legitimate agent would charge nothing at all?

      • Guest

        The production staff at the very least knows it, which is why they have such a high turn-over rate. As soon as a person finds out exactly how amoral this business practice is, they get out as fast as possible. It’s unusual to see someone working there for more than 2 years. The people signing the contracts and selling the book clearly aren’t bothered by it, though, because otherwise this business would have tanked years ago.

        • kullervo

          The people signing contracts are driven by one of the strongest desires in the world:  to have their work recognized and valued. To be published. To tell their families that they have succeeded at something singularly difficult. To know they have talent and have not wasted their time. Tate is every bit as bad as Publish America with their “we’ve decided to give your work the opportunity it deserves” line, which they send to everybody who queries them. Actually, Tate also takes cash up front from people who can usually scarcely afford it. Publish America merely milks their writers afterward for overpriced copies and nonsense publicity schemes.

          Most Tate victims don’t know anything about the publishing. When they find out they’ve been taken they are heartbroken. And if anybody says it’s their own fault, that they should have done their research ahead of time— well the same can be said of the employees who keep the doors open.

          • Guest

            I think I may have mislead you. When I say “people signing the contracts,” I mean the actual employees who are sending out the contracts. Like you say, the would-be authors putting their names on these contracts and forking over their hard-earned cash have no idea what they’re getting themselves into because they’re sold the lie of “making your dream come true.” Everything you’re saying and everything about this article is completely true, I’m just here to corroborate it. 

            I completely agree that those of us who work (and worked) at Tate should have done their research and steered clear, but a lot of the people coming here are fresh out of college, and are frankly too ignorant and eager to be employed to do it. Unfortunately unless you have a time machine you want to share with us, there’s nothing that can be done about it now other than walk out the door and never come back.Trust me, the doors aren’t going to stay open much longer, because those of us who are still employed by these pirates are just as fed up as those who already jumped ship, and are already looking for something — ANYTHING — else. I have personal friends waiting tables now because it’s better than working for Tate. At least then you know you’re doing something good for your fellow man. The Philippines can have this company, because my colleagues can do way better.

  • Renshia

    opps

  • Renshia

    I would have to say, that with the evidence presented, the guy acted like an ignorant jerk. I honestly do not feel the evidence is sufficient to make judgment on his moral standing although it would not surprise me if it were true.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TLS4XGPC6QLGJ2JL6HIP3TBPT4 C

    Power stuff.

  • Ladythornfield

    Most of the Christians I know are hypocrites, especially my last boss.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X