Telling an Employee He Can’t Wear a Tie with Bible Verses on It Isn’t Anti-Christian Persecution

Here’s a simple rule: When you work at a retail store, you’re not supposed to be a walking billboard for your faith.

At a CVS (pharmacy) store in Orange, Virginia over the weekend, a woman went to go pick up her medication and realized that her pharmacist was no longer wearing his usual Bible-verse-patterned tie. She asked him why he wasn’t wearing it and he told her his superiors had told him he couldn’t promote his religion that way during work hours.

A tie with Bible verses (via Zazzle)

She flipped out, called corporate offices, and then left this Facebook note that has racked up more than 129,000 shares since Friday night:

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say she’s a Christian, too. (Can you spot the giveaway…?)

By now, we’re all used to hearing Christians cry “Persecution!” after discovering that they have to follow the same rules as everybody else.

CVS tried to politely explain their policy in a comment on another thread:

… we want our stores to be a place where all customers feel welcome and where our colleagues can work in comfort. We greatly value the diversity of our communities and have complete respect for the religious beliefs (or lack thereof) of our customers and colleagues. Our company dress code is not intended to exclude all religious attire, but to avoid messages that could lead to confrontations or discomfort, regardless of the subject matter. In Orange, VA, we recently received a customer complaint about a colleague’s attire and we acted to address that complaint, not to support or oppose any particular religious belief.

It makes perfect sense. Unless, like Betty J. Mellton, you think Christians are somehow above the law. (Oh, wait. I’m sorry. I meant BETTY J MELLTON.)

Needless to say, there was no anti-Christian persecution here. It was a combination of an employee who (at best) didn’t know any better, was told about the policy, and adapted to it, and a customer who doesn’t know any better, was told about the policy, and is still complaining about how CVS could possibly “strip a person of there rights.”

I reached out to Mellton for comment. So far, no response.

(via Snopes)

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.