Which of These Religious Accommodations For Employees Do You Find Reasonable?

From the U.K. Independent:

[Retailer] Marks & Spencer has told Muslim staff they can refuse to serve customers who are trying to buy pork or alcohol.

[Cashiers] who do not want to handle certain goods for religious reasons have been given permission to politely ask customers to go to another checkout, or wait for another member of staff.

Are you fine with that?

  • If so, you would also defend a Jewish checkout clerk for refusing to ring up your honeyed ham, no?
  • You’d give two thumbs up to the right of a Mahayana Buddhist waiter to only bring you vegetarian meals, correct?
  • You’d fully support the Islamic cab driver who leaves a blind man and his seeing-eye dog standing in the rain, right?
  • Furthermore, you’d stand firm for the right of a Catholic pharmacist to decline to sell you birth control pills, yes?

Or — crazy, I know — shall we decide that a person’s religious beliefs shouldn’t excuse him or her from normal work obligations that other employees carry out without complaining?


(Bacon portrait by Jason Mecier via Laughing Squid)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.