“Have a Blessed Day,” She Said; So They Fired Her

Polly Neace had the same message for every customer at the Walton, Kentucky branch of U.S. Bank where she worked as a teller:  “Have a blessed day,” she would say with a smile.

And so they fired her.

Neace, who had worked for U.S. Bank for more than twenty years, began offering her greeting in 2009.  Bank officials claim that they had received customer complaints, and they had issued repeated warnings to Neace to avoid any mention of faith.

According to a report in Christian Today, Neace was first issued a warning and a Code of Ethics violation was placed in her file in 2011.  The public notice read:

“Effective immediately you will no longer discuss the subject of faith or religion with customers and co-workers alike.”

But when a customer told Neace to have a blessed day, she responded, saying “Thank you.  God bless you, too.”  Shortly after that, following an incident at the bank, Neace joked with her supervisor, saying that she might as well start saying “have a blessed day” again.  That, says U.S. Bank, was a violation of policy; and the following day, she was terminated.

*     *     *     *     *

Neace has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Security Commission.   Her attorney believes the bank’s policy is, in itself, a violation of her First Amendment rights.

*     *     *     *     *

With regard to the termination, U.S. Bank has issued a statement which says:

“At U.S. Bank, we hold our employees to high ethical standards when interacting with customers and co-workers, and take violations of these standards seriously…. While we cannot provide comment on pending litigation, we believe that this lawsuit is without merit and believe the facts presented in future legal proceedings will justify our actions.”

 *     *     *     *     *

I actually enjoy being served in a store or business establishment by a cheerful, faith-filled person.

But what do you think?  Should employees be permitted to use a greeting such as Neace’s cheerful “Have a blessed day”?  Or should that be prohibited?


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  • Every business has to decide whether their customers are offended or pleased. I personally enjoy hearing it too. Frankly I don’t see why “have a blessed day” would offend anyone. I could see if she said “in the name of Jesus Christ, have a blessed day” or “God be with you today.” Just a simple “blessed day” is generic. Would someone be fired for saying “God bless you” to a sneeze?

    • blondein_tokyo

      Actually, it would annoy me to hear it, because it is rather presumptuous on the part of the speaker to assume that the person they are talking to shares their beliefs. If you don’t know someone shares your faith, why would you use religious-based greetings, blessings, or any other remarks? Isn’t it better to be neutral, particularly when you are in your workplace?

      What if, for example, you went into a business and the clerk told you “allah akbar”? Wouldn’t that make you feel just a little bit uncomfortable?

      • Allah Akbar is not the same as a blessed day. Look up the definitions of blessed. It means to have contentment. I said above that I could see if someone said “God be with you today” or “In the name of Jesus Christ, have a blessed day” they might have trouble with that. Just a “blessed day” is innocuous.

        • blondein_tokyo

          1a : held in reverence : venerated the blessed saints
          b : honored in worship : hallowed the blessed Trinity
          c : beatific a blessed visitation

          2: of or enjoying happiness; specifically: enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person

          3: bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune

          4: used as an intensive never had one blessed minute of instruction — Charles Scribner Jr.

          1 and 2 both have religious overtones. 3 doesn’t, but as it is a derivative, when used by a religious person it would have the same nuance. 4 is a sort of curse, so I think it is quite safe to assume she didn’t mean that usage, LOL.

          While you might be able to make the argument that she meant #3 in a non-religious way, I don’t think it would not be a completely honest assessment considering knowing what we know about this devoutly Christian lady and her predilection for proselytizing. What’s more likely is that she was expressing her literal hope that God blesses their day.

          Allah Akbar is, by all sources I checked, translated directly into English as “God is great”. But as you said, it is usually used as a greeting, a blessing, an expression of approval, and so on, and is religious in nature. Therefore I think my comparison is valid.

          So then….would you be comfortable with a store clerk in a hijab telling you “Allah Akbar?”

          • Thanks for reply Blondein_Tokyo (cool name, BTW) Look carefully at the definitions. Clearly number 2 cannot apply to a day. It’s reserved for a person, or at least a creature. So let’s look at number 1. 1a, “held in reverence” does not have to imply a religious connotation. 1b, “honored in worship” does not apply to the context of Ms. Neice’s phrase; she’s not telling you to worship the day. 1c, also is outside the context of Ms. Neice’s meaning. Potentially all you are left with is 1a, “held in reverence,” which may or amy not imply religiosity or 3 contentment.
            So if you want to be picayune and stretch it to say the connotation contains religiosity, I say so what? People who are picayune over little things like this are really jerks. Only a jerk would get upset if someone said God bless you after a sneeze. Now I don’t think you’re a jerk. I hope not. But I will sign off by saying, have a blessed day. I leave it up to you to take that as you wish. 😉

          • blondein_tokyo

            Let’s keep this in perspective. We know this woman is religious. We also know she was warned for giving out religious literature and for lecturing a customer on salvation. Her penchant for openly speaking in religious terms is well known.

            Therefore, I do not think it is unreasonable to say that when this person said “Have a blessed day” she meant it in a religious way.

            As for how I personally take the phrase, I assume the speaker is religious and is telling me that they hope my day is blessed by God. As it’s meant well, I don’t find it offensive. However, I do find it rather presumptuous.

            But it is rather beside the point, as this is not what she was fired for. She was fired for violating the company code of ethics, which her employer had her sign as evidence that she knew and understood them.

          • The discussion here pertains to her use of “have a blessed day.” If you don’t find it offensive, then why are you against people using it? Why would you be annoyed? If anything the person using it is trying to provide you with a positive wish for you. If you don’t find any efficacy in that wish, so be it. It certainly doesn’t harm you in any way. Why are you trying to deny that person their individuality? Someone could turn that denial of idividuality to something you have a preference with. Now that I think of it, you are being a jerk.

          • blondein_tokyo

            I’m not “against” people using it. I don’t feel I have the right to dictate how other people express themselves. Whether someone chooses to say “Have a blessed day” “Namaste” “Allah Akbar” “Have a nice day” or even “Go F yourself” is totally their prerogative.

            Only speaking for myself, I feel annoyed because I find it presumptuous of people to assume I share their religious beliefs. I find it to be rather arrogant.

            However, I do recognize that they very likely are sincere in their good wishes, so I would not be offended and would take it in the way it was intended, and just say “Thank you.”

            In the grand scheme of things, it is not the worst thing I might hear and I don’t see the point in getting out of sorts over it.

            Does saying “Thank you” despite feeling a bit annoyed make me a jerk?

          • No, and I apologize for my comment. Sometimes I just don’t get why atheists get upset/annoyed over such things. No one is assuming you share in their religion when someone says have a blessed day. If they mentioned Christ or even God or Allah, I could see how you might. But even there, are they really doing anything to you? If God doesn’t exist as you see it, then what harm have they done to you? “In the grand scheme of things, it is not the worst thing I might hear…” Why is it even a negative thing? It’s either neutral or a positive. But negative? How?

          • blondein_tokyo

            That is a very good question, and since you asked honestly and sincerely, I will do my best to reply honestly and sincerely.

            It is annoying because whether or not it’s meant as one, this type of comment feels like a microagression from someone who is so privileged that they don’t even realize that there are people who do not share their views.

            You have to understand that non-Christians (whether they are atheists or of another religious persuasion) are quite literally constantly bombarded with Christian messages every single day. None of these Christians seem aware of or acknowledge in the slightest that not everyone in the USA is Christian, nor do they understand that this lack of understanding and acknowledgement makes non-Christians feel marginalized and ignored.

            Keep in mind that we do realize these day to day comments are meant in a kind way and do our best to be charitable to the speaker in assuming they are not purposefully ignoring or trying to marginalize us . Nevertheless, over time these messages add up to a cacophony that can be quite overwhelming and rather deafening, so it becomes very hard to ignore them. On top of that, there is also a subset of people who really and truly are hostile to non-Christians, and in whose hands these microagressions become macroagressions.

            For example, in this thread I was told by numerous people “Hey, blondein_tokyo, HAVE A BLESSED DAY!” not as a sincere expression of goodwill (as I believe you meant it as) but as a way to say “fvck you, I’ll say what I want and too damn bad if you don’t like it.” It’s quite similar to the sanctimonious way a believer will sometimes say to a non-believer, “I’ll pray for you.” after the non-believer has expressed non-belief.

            It seems to me that if a believer respected a non-believer’s right of non-belief they would politely refrain from making such an announcement. It’s fine if they still pray, obviously; but to announce it in that way it becomes an act of disrespect and rebellion against the non-believer’s right to be free from having religion pressed upon them.

            And, I have to admit, over time one becomes rather, let’s say, overly sensitive to such comments because it becomes so very tiring to deal with these things on a daily basis. So yes, even when someone says, with sincerity, “I hope you have a blessed day” my reaction is an internal eye roll. Of course, outwardly my only visible reaction is a smile and a thank you.

            Does that make sense?

          • First let me say thank you for the detailed and honest answer. It must have taken a bit of time. Yes it makes sense.

            Second, I wonder where you live where you are bombarded with Christian messages. Where I live (New York City in the US) we are bombarded with the opposite: constant secular messages that attempt to undermine people of faith. It’s not just average people one might meet; it’s all over the media. Our media is aggressively secualr. So it’s possible that we are reacting the same way toward atheists as you are to Christians, only from opposite ends.

            Third, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the prominant atheists (Hawkins, Hitchens, others) mercilessly attack and ridicule people of faith. It’s gotten to the point that we associate all athiests as bigotted and meanspirited. What you must be seeing is the backlash from it.

            Fourth, that some Christians here poked you with “Have a blessed day” is more a function of internet snarkiness than hating you. If you come across any controversial issue on the internet, religious or otherwise, the response is usually sharp and attacking. Catholic Patheos is extremely tame as far as internet sites go. But I agree with you, they are not being very good Christians. I apologize. I told you to have a blessed day too in one of my replies to you.

            Fifth, let me give you an insight into Christianity that you may not have. At its core Christianity is about love; God is love, and Jesus Christ is both our model of love and love itself. When someone gives you a Christian blessing they, whether they realize it or not, are expressing love for you as a human being and it is a sign of ultimate respect for you. Perhaps it’s trivial (I don’t think it is) but when Ms. Neace wished people to have a blessed day, she was just trying to spread love around. With all the hate that goes on in the world, with all the meanness that people have, spreading love makes the world a better place. So instead of inwardly rolling your eyes next time, instead of thinking it a microaggression, can you at least understand it’s an attempt to make the world a little more tolerable?

            Sixth, let me tell you, and this may surprise you, I was an atheist at one time myself. I have no ill will toward you. You seem like a very nice person. Peace be with you.

          • blondein_tokyo

            Here is something that might surprise you. I don’t live in the US. 🙂 I have lived in Tokyo (as my sig indicates, LOL) for the past 20 years. And it was only after I’d left the US to come live in Japan that I noticed how pervasive religious messages really are in American culture. You see, Japan is one of the most secular countries on earth. There is rarely, if ever, any mention of religion in either pop culture, on TV, in newspapers, or even in daily life. Barely anyone believes in a god, and very few people talk about it even if they do.

            In the US, however, religion saturates the culture. It’s on TV, in newspapers, on billboards, in movies, people talk about it in daily life, and some people even stand in plazas and preach to anyone who walks by. It is even intertwined in politics. It is pervasive, and the only reason you haven’t noticed that is because you are immersed and therefore inured to it.

            it has only been with the advent of the so-called “new atheists” (the aforementioned Dawkins and Hitchens, among others) who have become prominent in the past ten years or so that religion’s place in society has been challenged. Now, people who formerly were uncomfortable with religion but who never said so are speaking out and asking that religious people please keep their religion to themselves. That is the media steadily pushing secularism that you mentioned – it is pushback against the pervasive press of religion that has gone (mostly) unchallenged for a very, very long time.

            And yes, I agree with you – atheists are getting backlash for their pushback. It’s becoming a sort of tug of war between atheists who say “Keep your religion out of my life, please.” and the religious who say “I have the right to my religion.” The problem is, some religious people, like this bank teller, refuse to allow a line to be drawn. They want to press their religion upon people even when they have been politely and clearly asked not to.

            That is why I admit to being somewhat sensitive to religious messages. I don’t like the arrogance of someone who doesn’t stop to think that maybe this person isn’t religious, maybe this person doesn’t want to be told about God, maybe this person is tired of hearing things like “Have a blessed day” and “God bless you” or “I’ll pray for you.”

            Sure, it’s done out of love, but it is misguided at best and sanctimonious and overly aggressive at worst.

            What also might surprise you is that I’m originally from the Bible belt, and grew up religious. That, and having religious friends and relatives whom I greatly respect, help me to have great tolerance for religion and religious expression. However, what I will not tolerate is a person who insists upon my participating in religion with them, and that includes expecting me to accept a greeting such as “Have a blessed day.”

            That said, I really do feel bad for this lady that she lost her job over this. I wish she had stopped to think a bit about what she was doing before she decided to cross that line from simply greeting a customer (annoying, but harmless) to actually proselytizing.

          • No, I’m sorry, that is wrong. Religion does not saturate the culture. Just the opposite. It is antagonistic to relgion. Perhaps there are a few places in the bible belt where it may be so, but by and large it is aggressiviely secular. You are overly sensistive.

          • blondein_tokyo

            I’m sorry, but I am not wrong. If you would like an outside perspective, ask anyone who is not from the USA.

            I may be from the bible belt, but I have also lived in other states and traveled extensively throughout the US. On highways in Seattle, I saw billboards with messages of Christian salvation printed on them. I was quite bemused when I went to NYC and saw that they are there, too. In San Francisco, I saw street preachers and people standing holding signs with religious messages on them. And in every major American city, there are protestors outside abortion clinics with similar signs. Kansas is home to the Westboro Baptist Church. Texas has a governor who used a football stadium as a prayer hall to gather people to pray for rain. On TV, there are shows such as “Touched by an Angel”, and in other TV shows, religious themes, such as people going to church, “getting right with God”, Good battling Evil, and other religious references are common. On the TV news, people constantly talk about how God stepped in at the last minute to save this or that person from a tornado, a fire, a car accident, and so on. It is ubiquitous.

            Just ask any European or even any person from the UK or even Australia, and they will tell you the same thing – that the US is THE most religious first world nation. You do not see these things in the cities of Europe, such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, or Berlin. And you certainly do not see them in Tokyo.

            FYI, I’ve traveled around the world, and the only other first world nation I’ve been to where religion is as much a part of the culture as the US is Israel.

            I’m sorry to say this, but you need perspective to see this because it is such a common part of everyday life that you don’t even notice it.

          • Pulease. I wasn’t born yesterday and I’ve been on both sides of the issue. You don’t even live here and you’re telling me about perspective of what is here? Haha, now that’s a joke. . Religion is generally attacked by the media. The general public might have religion in their hearts (God bless them) but the predominant media culture despises religion. So what’s your problem if you don’t live in the USA? You don’t even get to see it and you’re complaining? Sounds like you’re no differnet than the Dawkins or the Hitchens, trouble makers who hate. We love, you apparently hate. If you don’t like it don’t frequent businesses that endorse religion. You have that freedom. I have the freedom to say have a blessed day.

          • blondein_tokyo

            First off, I keep up with what is going on in the US by making frequent visits, as well as watching US tv shows and news programs, by reading blogs, newspapers, and following social media. I also keep up on political issues because I vote. 🙂 So actually, I do know quite well what is going on over there. I keep up, and I care this much, because I do plan on coming back to live in the US in a few years.

            Secondly, there is no monolith called “the media” that acts as a single source of agreed-upon information for all Americans. The media is made up of individual entities, and those entities each have their own particular characteristics. For example, if you use MSNBC as an example, then yes- you can say it often attacks religion. On the other hand, I can counter that just by saying “Fox News”. 🙂

            Then of course, there are the various other media – newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc, which, as I said, very often have religious themes or religious references. Religion is part and parcel of life in the US, and as I said, it is one of the most religious first-world countries. (2nd only to Italy; #32 in the world according to Gallop). Religion is important to most Americans; so you really just cannot make the claim that most media outlets are anti-theist. That would be a glaringly large exaggeration and demonstrably false.

            You also can’t equate me to either Dawkins or Hitchens, as you don’t actually know what my feelings towards religion actually are, as we haven’t even discussed the various issues. But I can assure you that I don’t simply “hate”. If you are interested in knowing what I think on any one particular issue you are quite welcome to ask, and I promise to answer honestly.

            As for being a troublemaker, that depends on how you define the word. If you think what I have done here – that is, make straightforward logical and reasonable arguments using facts to disprove erroneous statements, then yes- I am a troublemaker.

            Finally, most businesses don’t endorse religion because they know it would be bad for business. Since there are so few, it is not very difficult for me to avoid them. And avoid them I do. 🙂

            You can say “Have a blessed day” if you like. You have that freedom. However, you should first ask yourself an honest question: am I *really* wishing this person well, or am I using the phrase in a passive-aggressive way to purposefully antagonize her because I know she doesn’t like it? The first is compatible with what I know of Christian values. The second is not.

          • Wait a second, you’ve been away from the US an claim to know the country as well as I do? No, I’m sorry that claim doesn’t hold up. You don’t see the everyday media that’s around. You follow specific media outlets that are point of view geared. I’m not talking about MSNBC or FOX News. I’m talking about the mainstream media of the Newspapers (NY Times, Wash Post, LA Times) and free news channels. When has CBS been positive toward religion? You never see it.
            So, you acknowledge that businesses by and large don’t endorse religion. That is absolutely right, which means again you have no argument. You are just causing trouble. Where is your problem? You claim that religion is everywhere but yet you acknowledge people have a right to their free speech. You acknowledge that businesses don’t endorse religion. So frankly that adds up to you just being a whiner and a troublemaker.
            Finally how can you read someone’s mind and know their intention of whether they are being “microaggressive” or honestly wishing you a good day? do you have special powers? Microaggression is ridiculous. Aggressive to do what? Aggression involves violence. Frankly you have a complex. The problem is with you.

          • blondein_tokyo

            I didn’t make the claim that I know it as well as you do. I’m saying I know it well enough to have an informed opinion.

            I also did not say I follow specific news outlets that are point of view geared. Actually, I get my information from a variety of sources, including the NY Times, the Post, CNN, CBS, the Japan Times (it has US and international coverage), Time magazine, Businessweek, as well as the occasional article from Fox or yes, MSNBC. I believe it is important to see issues from all sides, all points of view, because how can you form fully informed, rational, well thought out opinions when you only see one side of any given issue? FYI, I frequently get annoyed with MSNBC because it is so manipulative. I stopped watching Rachael Maddow completely because her tactics are very often both dishonest and manipulative.

            I gave you several examples of how religion permeates American
            culture. This, I think, is not in dispute. What seems to be in dispute
            is whether religion is treated positively or negatively. It seems to be your position that it is treated overwhelmingly negatively, while it is my position that there are both positive and negative depictions. I don’t see anything wrong with that, because every issue has both positive and negative aspects, and that includes religion.

            I definitely acknowledge that businesses, generally speaking, don’t endorse religion. Most businesses realize that endorsing religion is bad for their bottom line as it tends to draw ideological lines. I’m not sure what argument you are referring to, since I am not aware that I made one in this regard. The only argument I am making at all is that it is impolite and impolitic to presume everyone follows your religion or will be receptive to it. I thought that much was clear.

            I also haven’t indicated I think I can read minds. I don’t need to read minds when a person says, “I can say whatever I want and too bad if it offends you, so HAVE A BLESSED DAY”.

            Clearly, those people who said that to me had other motivations than simply telling me to have a good day. The problem, then, is people who get offended that I don’t like their religious greetings, and then purposely antagonize me by using them. Personally? I find that attitude to be reprehensible.

          • “I gave you several examples of how religion permeates American culture. This, I think, is not in dispute.”
            You gave examples of people expressing their freedom of speech. Like all lefties, you are a totalitarian at heart. Show me where the main stream media broadcasts religion? Show me where businesses force religion on their customers? You ALREADY DENIED this happens. You are a phony. You are a trouble maker. Enough of your games. You’re full of crap.

          • blondein_tokyo

            I’m not even sure what you are accusing me of, or why you are getting so upset. I thought we were having a nice discussion, but it seems to have somehow become about you accusing me of some nebulous plot to take away your freedom of speech, which I not only have no interest in, but cannot even do since only the government has that power.

            When I say “religion permeates American culture” I mean that the US is a very religious country. Why is that upsetting to you?

            My only point is that because religion is ubiquitous in American culture, religious people in the US not only tend to assume everyone else is religious, too, but also assume that everyone shares THEIR religion.

            Religion is, and should remain, private and personal. Religious people should be more cognizant of existence of non-religious people and respect that non-religious people do not have interest in hearing about or participating in their religion, even including innocuous greetings like “have a blessed day.”

          • I’m getting upset because it’s apparent you have nothing to base your argument on, and yet you persist in this deploring of people who are religious. You admit the main stream media doesn’t endorse religion. You admit businesses don’t force religion onto people. You claim you know American culture, and yet you don’t live here. So this country is religious. So what? Even if it permeated the culture (which it doesn’t) so what? If you chose to live here, you have to accept the freedoms of the millions of people around you. You don’t get to dictate what comes out of people’s mouths. As far as I can see there is no problem. You’re creating a problem.

          • blondein_tokyo

            Oh, I see. You think my saying,

            “Religion is, and should remain, private and personal. Religious people should be more cognizant of existence of non-religious people and respect that non-religious people do not have interest in hearing about or participating in their religion, even including innocuous greetings like “have a blessed day.”

            is an attempt to tell people what they can and cannot say.

            Can I ask you a question, then? As a religious person, do you think you have the right to preach your gospel to anyone and everyone around you, even if they have indicated that they are not interested or have expressly asked you not to? Does your right to express yourself trump the rights of other people not to listen?

            I think you would point out that people have the right to walk away if they don’t want to hear about your religion. And I would agree with that.

            On the other hand, is it polite to ignore a person’s request, or is it impolite?

            Is it okay to assume that everyone shares in your religious ideals, or is it better to first find out what someone believes and then respect that?

            I live in Japan, as I said. I can’t assume that all Japanese people share my cultural mores. If I did that, I would wind up offending a lot of people. And since I want to live in a peaceful society and do not want to cause constant offense to those around me, I am careful in my interactions not to assume too much. I ask careful questions to find out what people are and are not comfortable with, and then I respect those differences by not forcing my own cultural mores onto those people.

            I simply think that religious people ought to do the same.

          • I don’t have a right to harrass people. I agree there. Ms. Neace was fired for harrassing and I accept that. The have a blessed day was just a straw that broke the camel’s back. Fine. But people have the right in our free society to speak, and if what they speak has religious connotations, then too bad.
            But by and large people do not force religion on others here in the US. That is most definitely wrong on your part. It does not permeate the culture. I don’t even ever hear “have a blessed day.” And you yourself said that wasn’t so bad. I don’t see it. Either you honestly have been away from the US or you’re making it up or the most logical assumption (since you consider it a “microaggression”) is that you have a complex.

          • blondein_tokyo

            I agree that by and large, MOST people are kind and sensitive enough to realize when their religious sentiments aren’t welcome.

            On the other hand, there IS a subset of the population that completely and utterly resents that there even exists people who are non-religious. I myself have experienced this right here in this very thread, as well as in the reactions I get from people when I tell them I am not religious. They are offended solely by that admission, and they let me know in no uncertain terms that they are.

            And this kind of behavior is not as uncommon as you seem to think it is. As an example, in my hometown about three years ago, the local chapter of American Atheists wanted to advertise their group in the form of an ad on a bus. All kinds of groups and clubs do this, as do churches. But when the ads, which simply said, “Don’t believe in God?” and gave the web address, went up, they were met with such virulent and hostile objections from the public that the bus company was forced to take them down. Of course, the group threatened to sue as they have the right to advertise just as much as any other group, and the bus company reluctantly put them back up. (I’ll be happy to provide links if you would like me to.)

            This example is only a fraction of the cases that I could give you of religious people trying to take away the free speech rights of non-religious people, and the hostility non-religious people face simply by saying, “Oh, sorry, I’m not religious.” So when you tell me that I have a complex, I have to say that you are simply ill-informed of what exactly the non-religious have to deal with in our daily lives. It’s not *just* some day to day mircroaggressions, which are easily ignored, there are outright aggressions, too.

            I’d also like to address this attitude that “I have the right to say what I want and if you don’t like it that’s too bad”. It’s one of the aspects of American culture that I quite dislike. It’s not only religious people obviously, it’s a LOT of people. People are always dismissing others feelings and not caring if what they say or do inconveniences, hurts, or bothers others. It’s just that when it manifests in religious people it takes on an entirely new dimension- that of a feeling of entitlement to preach their personal, private religion to others whether those people want to hear it or not. Really, standing on a crowed sidewalk and following people up and down the street preaching at them? Is this really necessary? Using religious greetings when you know that not everyone is of your religion – is this really necessary? Putting up plaques of the ten commandments in a courthouse? Taking someone to court because you want to keep a prayer banner in your high school gym? Holding school graduation at a church? Leading your class in a prayer, telling your biology students that evolution is false? These are all things that have happened due to the religious feeling that their right to their religion trumps non-religious people’s right to live without it.

            And that is only one example of what I mean when I say religion permeates the culture. If you aren’t aware of these things that are happening, then I suggest further investigation on your part. Do it for no other reason than to prove me wrong. 🙂

          • Hahaha, that was funny. Ok, let’s bring this to an end. I’m not going to convince you and you’re not going to covince me. It was a good conversation except for the fact I lost my temper there in that one comment. I apologize for that. I wish you well.

          • blondein_tokyo

            “Hahaha”? I’d think that you’d be just as concerned about non-religious peoples’ right to free speech as you are about the religious’ right to free speech. In fact, in that bus ad case, the local churches were quite supportive and helped bring public support to American Atheists.

            One thing I can say about my hometown is that the people may be conservative, but most of them have good, common sense and are fair minded and quite practical. Actually, my state was among the first to approve marriage equality. 🙂

            And I’m quite serious when I say I have been roundly condemned for simply saying “I am not religious”. I honestly don’t care what other people think of me, and since I don’t live in the US that kind of thing only happens every once in a great while, so it usually just makes me laugh when it happens. But I am somewhat concerned about what might happen when I go back to live there. There’ve been cases where people were fired from jobs for admitting atheism.

            So, Manny, if you are as concerned as you say about people’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, you”ll no longer be thinking “hahaha” but “that’s unfair.”

            I wish you well too.

          • I was laughing on the challenge to do it just to prove you wrong. I do have a life outside of commenting on blogs. I wasn’t laughing at you. I thought you were kidding, but perhaps you’re not. I didn’t want to get into the details of your previous reply. But I support your atheist’s right to free speech. You’ve got a whole list of things there I could comment on, some of which are valid, some over blown, but there were too many. Let’s leave it that both sides are sensitive to the other infringing on their rights.
            May I ask you, what religion, if any were you raised in? Did your parents have religious beliefs? Did you have any religious schooling as a child? At what point did you become an atheist? I’m just curious. If this is too private, we can leave it at this and we can move on.

          • blondein_tokyo

            Oh, I do apologize for making such a negative assumption about what “hahaha” meant. My bad. 🙂 I’m happy to hear you support free speech for both sides. I think if we had the chance to meet in person, we’d get along well. 🙂

            I don’t mind answering your questions. I was raised Christian, in a non-denominational church my mother took me to. My father was an agnostic, but he never really spoke of his beliefs. He had his own spiritual side, but really disliked organized religion. My grandmother was a Jehovah’s Witness, so I used to go to the Kingdom Hall with her, too. I have read the entire Bible, and know it quite well, actually.

            I kept going to church until I was about 17 or 18, which is when I left home. I still believed, I just didn’t go to church any longer because I didn’t like some of the things they taught. Particularly, I didn’t believe that non-believers would go to hell just for being non-believers. That didn’t jibe with my understanding of a just and benevolent God. Additionally, I didn’t believe in all the sex shaming. I did, and still do, think sex is quite natural and that it’s in no way immoral or sinful to enjoy it with whomever one pleases. But those are just two examples of things I found, as I got older, didn’t seem “right” to me. There were plenty more.

            Then I came to Japan and realized that a lot of people in the world thought the beliefs of Christianity, such as the resurrection, were quaint and rather odd. It isn’t scientifically possible, they argued. How can you believe that? The longer I thought about it, the more I realized that a lot of those beliefs didn’t make any logical or practical sense. I still thought there was a god of some sort; I just didn’t know what the nature of the being was.

            And then….you’re going to love this! I read The God Delusion. 🙂 And God is Not Great, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape (Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris). I slowly dropped all belief in any gods.

            Is that interesting? I’m curious to know how you went from atheist to believer. 🙂 If you don’t mind telling me your story, at your leisure of course, since we both have things to do. 🙂

          • Yes, that is funny you read those books. You probably should read something to see the counter argument. I no longer have a lot of interest in the atheist/theism debates, so I can’t think of a specific books off the top of my head, but if you wish I could find one.
            As to my journey, let’s see if I can do it in a brief manner. I was a science and math oriented student who ultimately got a degree in engineering. I am a mechanical engineer by profession, and still, going on a few weeks short of 29 years. In my twenties, I was surely an atheist, not a hard atheist like Dawklns and the like today, but one who saw that science had explanations for the fundemental questions of existence. And given we don’t see God in every day life, reasonably concluded that there wasn’t one. In my thirties I began to have doubts. As an engineer, I saw that things don’t just come together; it takes a conscious will to design and create. How could things just evolve by chance? That was a question that stuck with me, and I would say it was all unknowable. At that point I started to classify myself as agnostic.
            Then a couple of insights, in my late thirties, early forties, really made me question it further. To observe the incredible order that exists in the universe, in materials, in living creatures, in sub atomic elements drove me to ponder what the probabilities could be for all this to be by chance. (Since then I would now add DNA structures to the list of incredible order.) Statistics in a way led me to God. Around that time I remember being in a meeting with a company that was trying to pitch a software that predicted outcomes. They were not talking about God in the least, but their example was on the probability that the materials of an aeroplane could come together by purely natural forces. What were the odds of digging up an aeroplane that was formed by itself? I don’t remember the numbers, but it was something like mega trillions to one. So if the odds were that extraordinary for an aeroplane to be created by nature, what would it be for the entire universe? HUGE. It would be like winning a dozen lotteries in a row. So what was the logical course? That it randomly came together from those types of odds or that a creator had a hand in it? At that point I realized I believed in God. And by the way I found out that this line of thought also changed the mind of a famous athiest, Antony Flew. Look him up if you haven’t heard of him.
            So what changed in my life? Not really that much at the time. Since I now believed in God, what religion should I pick? If one believed in God, then miracles were possible, and then any was as good as any other, so I settled back into the Roman Catholicism that I had been raised. But for the most part it was still rather routine and overly rationalized.
            And then I had a series of what I can only describe as religious experiences, starting in my mid forties with my father’s health problems and suffering and prolonged death, followed by love of children, an adoption of a son, real Christian love, the pity I felt for aborted fetuses, culminating in what I could only describe as Christ calling me and entering into my heart. True devotion to Christ is an existential experience. Reason will only lead you to a theistic understanding of the universe. One ultimately has to feel Christ calling you.
            I don’t know that much about Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I might assume it’s a fire and brimstone type of Christianity. I never cared for that type of Christianity, and I think it’s counter productive. True Christianity has to inspire mercy and pity (Christ suffering on the cross) so that one can reach that second of Christ’s commandments: love your neighbor as yourself.
            Hope you enjoyed that. It was good for me to put it down in writing.

          • Anton B.

            You have never been outside of the US Manny. That is obvious. Religion plays more of a part in the US than in almost any other country in the world. South America probably being an exception.

          • blondein_tokyo

            South America, the Middle East, and some parts of Asia like Thailand, Cambodia, India, etc, which are VERY religious.

            Strictly speaking, that is why I said “first world nation”, because as a rule, the more advanced a country is the less religious it is. Look at Nordic countries such as Sweden and Norway, European countries such as Denmark, France, and the Netherlands, and Japan as examples. Japan is a great example, actually, being part of Asia where religion is usually part and parcel of everyday life, it is both almost totally free of religion and one of the most atheistic counties in the world.

          • Hahahaha! Obviously you’re wrong. Not only was I born outside the US but I’ve been to many places outside. So don’t make dumb assumptions. But what the heck are you referring to? I was talking about the US above?

          • irena mangone

            Can I respectfully ask have you read the book bells of Nagasaki. There are Catholics in Japan

          • blondein_tokyo

            Yes, and there are also Hindus, Muslims, Baptists, Jews, and probably some of every other sect. There are even a few Scientilogists, and I’m approached by Jehovah’s Witnesses once every couple of years or so. What point are you trying to make, exactly? That the existence of religious people in Japan makes Japan a religious country? Well, though there are of course some religious people in Japan, religion just doesn’t play an important part in most peoples’ lives here. They’re solidly in the minority.

          • irena mangone

            Ah sorry misunderstood thought you meant that there were no religious. People i n Japan. Yes knew it was a secular country

          • Cedric Longbeard

            Blondein_tokyo, I would just like to say that I believe you have totally won every debate on this page with well reasoned logic and arguments. It’s a shame more people aren’t as rational as yourself. The world would be a much better place if they were.

        • Anton B.

          She wasn’t fired for “a blessed day”. The journalist here is simply an uninformed idiot or a liar. She was giving sermons to customers, co-workers and managers. She was repeatedly told to stop and ignored this. She was fired because she simply was nuts. A screw loose. Lost her marbles. She was not nuts for being religious, that is a valid life choice, what is not is not being able to shut up and giving sermons at your work place constantly.

      • Conservative Catholic

        There can be no doubt that the second word of the declaration likens the
        character of Allah to a matrix which contains all and gives existence
        to the infinite, to space, to time, to the Universe, to all active and
        passive forces imaginable, to life and to the soul.”

        Why would this offend? “God bless your soul” would be the equivalent for Christians.

        No I am not a follower of Islam. But the greeting is still intended as a blessing, not a curse. Get A Live…

        • blondein_tokyo

          It would not offend me personally, but I would be annoyed because it is quite presumptuous for someone to assume that other people would welcome their religious platitudes.

          It’s actually rather rude make that kind of presumption and I particularly wouldn’t advise doing such a thing at a workplace, where customers are going to be of various religious preferences. It’s showing quite poor judgment, in other words.

      • AugustineThomas

        You should really move to North Korea where no Christians will bother you!

      • Jim Dailey

        I am annoyed at your being annoyed. I find insipid, automaton, politically-correct greetings and good wishes to be devoid of any of the sentiment that presumably accompanies such utterances. As a Christian, I would MUCH rather get a hearty, cheerful “Allah Akbar” from a Muslim, or whatever it is Jews to Jews, or whatever it is pagans say to pagans than a “How are you?” from some passionless, emotionless, could-not-care-less-how I-am-doing from some agnostic, uptight PC creep.
        Bah, Humbug to you! There – that is a greeting YOU can get your head around!

        • blondein_tokyo

          I can understand why you personally would prefer such greetings. What I do not understand, though, is why it actually offends you that other people have different preferences.

          Not only that, it seems that you would even go out of your way to purposefully antagonize those people to satisfy your grudge against them for not agreeing with your preferences.

          I’m sorry, but honestly? I find that attitude to be reprehensible.

          • Jim Dailey

            Hmmmm – YOU were the first one getting annoyed here.

            Your original post was “Actually, it would annoy me to hear it, because it is rather
            presumptuous on the part of the speaker to assume that the person they
            are talking to shares their beliefs. If you don’t know someone shares
            your faith, why would you use religious-based greetings, blessings, or
            any other remarks? Isn’t it better to be neutral, particularly when you
            are in your workplace?

            NOW you are saying “I can understand why you personally would prefer such greetings. What I
            do not understand, though, is why it actually offends you that other
            people have different preferences.”

            Oh snap!

          • blondein_tokyo

            No. I am not at all bothered by people having different preferences. What I do mind, what I find presumptuous and therefore annoying, is that someone would use a particular religious greeting when they do not know that person’s religious preference.

            For example, you indicated that you personally don’t like epithets. Out of respect to your preference, then, I would not use one even though I personally enjoy using colorful phrases. In fact, it is common knowledge that a lot of people find epithets offensive, so the majority of people do not use them with people whom they don’t know, just to be deferential.

            Now consider this: it is also common knowledge that not everyone is religious, and that there is a lot of religious diversity in the US. I think, then, that it is reasonable to say that if you wanted to be respectful of other people, you would not use your own personally preferred religious greetings with strangers.

            And I certainly wouldn’t purposefully, and with malice, use a religious greeting as a way to purposely antagonize someone whom I disagreed with.

            Again, I find that attitude to be reprehensible.

          • Jim Dailey

            You keep changing you story, blondie. First post, you get annoyed by people’s preferences. Then you switch your tune. Which one is it? Are you a tolerant person, or a whiny, control-freak agnostic out to censor everyone’s speech?

          • blondein_tokyo

            I think we’re done here. Now you are simply being both rude and obtuse.

          • blondein_tokyo

            No. I am not at all bothered by people having different preferences. What I do mind, what I find presumptuous and therefore annoying, is that someone would use a particular religious greeting when they do not know that person’s religious preference.

            For example, you indicated that you personally don’t like epithets. Out of respect to your preference, then, I would not use one even though I personally enjoy using colorful phrases. In fact, it is common knowledge that a lot of people find epithets offensive, so the majority of people do not use them with people whom they don’t know, just to be deferential.

            Now consider this: it is also common knowledge that not everyone is religious, and that there is a lot of religious diversity in the US. I think, then, that it is reasonable to say that if you wanted to be respectful of other people, you would not use your own personally preferred religious greetings with strangers.

            And I certainly wouldn’t purposefully, and with malice, use a religious greeting as a way to purposely antagonize someone whom I disagreed with.

            Again, I find that attitude to be reprehensible.

          • blondein_tokyo

            For some reason, Disqus is not posting my replies.

          • blondein_tokyo

            I’ll try once again:

            No. I am not at all bothered by people having different preferences. What I do mind, what I find presumptuous and therefore annoying, is that someone would use a particular religious greeting when they do not know that person’s religious preference.

            For example, you indicated that you personally don’t like epithets. Out of respect to your preference, then, I would not use one even though I personally enjoy using colorful phrases. In fact, it is common knowledge that a lot of people find epithets offensive, so the majority of people do not use them with people whom they don’t know, just to be deferential.

            Now consider this: it is also common knowledge that not everyone is religious, and that there is a lot of religious diversity in the US. I think, then, that it is reasonable to say that if you wanted to be respectful of other people, you would not use your own personally preferred religious greetings with strangers.

            And I certainly wouldn’t purposefully, and with malice, use a religious greeting as a way to purposely antagonize someone whom I disagreed with.

            Again, I find that attitude to be reprehensible.

  • “Good bye” is merely a contraction of “God be with you.” Will US Bank forbid this as well?

    • AugustineThomas

      What will they do when they figure out that our years aren’t actually counting from the time when “Common Era” died for our sins? Ban the calendar?

      • Idler

        I always tell people CE stands for Christian Era.

    • Anton B.

      Don’t belive this story, it is 100% nonsense.

      • Having just spent hours and hours trying to iron out a continuing series of USBank mess-ups over the simple matter of opening a small bank account for some charitable work in another state, I have no doubt that this story is true. They must have an in-house program to teach you how to get in touch with your inner doofus.

        • Anton B.

          Sigh. As your title would indicate, your imagination is more important to you than reality, on the other hand, for those of us who primarily deal with reality, this story is complete nonsense. This girl was told not to proselytize to customers and her colleagues a number of times. She signed papers stating she understood it was inappropriate, but still she would not stop.

          It is the job of a priest or missionary to proselytize. It is NOT the job of a bank teller to do so.

          • And — sigh again — as the beginning of your response would indicate, you seem to have taken the USBank inner doofus charm course…

          • Jeff

            Got to love when “Reverends” start taking potshots at people they don’t agree with. You might want to read the whole story Anthony. She was in fact written up multiple times before she was fired.

        • Cedric Longbeard

          “I have no doubt that this story is true”

          That’s a shame, because the story is actually completely untrue. This is just another case of a pig-headed bible thumper with the usual false sense of entitlement.


          • That actually proves that the story is true and US Bank is attempting to suppress religious expression.

          • Anton B.

            So you don’t know how to read? What US Bank is supressing is proselytizing by their employees to other emnployees and customers. Proselytizing has no place in the work place unless you are a priest. She is paid to be a teller, not a missionary,

            Please go back to your primary school and ask them to give you the basic courses again. Reading is particularly important.

          • “What US Bank is supressing is proselytizing by their employees to other emnployees and customers. ”


            “Proselytizing has no place in the work place unless you are a priest. She is paid to be a teller, not a missionary,”

            That statement is against the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and as such, constitutes suppression of religion.

            The multicultural secular experiment has failed, it has produced a violent culture where the victims are blamed.

          • Anton B.

            >> That statement is against the free exercise clause
            >> of the First Amendment of the US Constitution

            Sigh. I really wish people would read a little bit more than FOX News now and then. Sorry Theodore, you are wrong in all kinds of ways. Yes, you have the right to freedom of speech you have the right to, on your own time, in public or your own private space, proselytize to your hearts content. No problem. The government can not stop you.

            You have no such rights when entering an employment contract however. Your employer can, in the time you have agreed to work for him, make you do or stop you from doing, just about anything. You do not have the right to say negative things about your employer and expect to be allowed to keep your job. You are not allowed to dress any way you wish and keep your job. You are NOT allowed, by most employers, to treat their property and the time you have agreed to work for them as a church and a time to do missionary work. Once you do, they have the right to fire you on the spot if they wish, and you have no legal recource. This is NOT against the First Amendment since the First Amendment doesn’t apply to a work relationship.

            So, again, no, firing someone for proselytizing at work is not against the First Amendment. The fact that you believe it is baffels the mind.

            >> it has produced a violent culture

            Are you saying that the US is moving towards a secular culture? Are you also saying that this is the cause for the violent crime? If this is new, why is violent crime dropping so much? You do know that all crimes, violent in particular, has basically been dropping constantly for the last several hundred years, right? The world is becoming more and more peaceful, less and less violent and more and more prosperous with fewer and fewer problems. You do know that, right?

          • “You have no such rights when entering an employment contract however.”

            Always thought liberals believed this, now I have proof: You have no constitutional rights in public, especially not in the workplace. You are a slave. Nothing more.

            I refuse to work for liberals who want to be slave owners for that reason.

          • Anton B.

            Just a couple of things to your comment.

            1/ I am a fiscally conservative who thinks G. W. Bush should be impeached for his extreme big government spending. The dude was a big government socialist. Just for the record.

            2/ You clearly do not understand US law neither do you understand the basics of capitalism. How do I know? Well, the “You are a slave. Nothing more” comment is entirely socialist. In socialist theory a worker has no option but to work for wages paid by a capitalist. in non-socialist people there is an understanding that the contract between a business owner and an employee is a mutually beneficial voluntary contract. Your statement actually proves that you are a socialist. Only socialist nurture this idea.

            3/ If you do not at all understand how the US constitution works, sorry, I can’t help you, but you are 100% dead wrong. The constitution doesn’t give you the right of free speech, AND protection from being fired for the opinions voiced in that free speech, in a work environment. It never has and it never will. Assuming, for example, you work for Wells Fargo, the constitution grants you the absolute right to say “Wells Fargo is a shitty organization that rips off its customers”. You clearly have that right. Wells Fargo also has the right to terminate your contract immediately if you do. The constitution prevents you from being arrested by the authority for exercising your free speech, but it doesn’t prevent you from being fired from a job. Never has, never will. The fact that you clearly think it does means you are an un-educated ignoramus.

          • “in non-socialist people there is an understanding that the contract between a business owner and an employee is a mutually beneficial voluntary contract. ”

            The problem is, what you have described, a secular, leave your religion at the door contract, is not mutually beneficial. It gives ALL the power to one side, the boss, who even gets to tell you what you can think and say.

            That is not a mutually beneficial contract and never will be, no matter whose law you are under, whose economic system you are under.

            And I’m quite the opposite- I’m a Catholic theocrat who thinks the Pope should pick the King, and that an immoral business arrangement is one not worth pursuing even when it is more materially profitable than the alternatives.

            That goes for socialism, which is only profitable for the state, as well as centralized capitalism, which is only profitable to the investor class that replaces honest labor with risk and usury.

            Wall Street or K Street, I don’t trust either.

            And in the end result, I doubt very much that U.S. Bank will miss my patronage that they would never have gotten in the first place after 2007.

          • Anton B.

            >> It gives ALL the power to one side, the boss

            Thanks for confirming that you are a socialist. You are partly right. If you have no skills, no talent, no training, you may be right. You are beholden to the boss who gives you the cleaning job. The cure for that is easy. Get a skill, develop a talent, gain some knowledge. If my employer and I part, it will be worse for my employer than for me. It will cost him a lot of Money, in the area of half a million dollars or so. I will most likely not suffer, I get unsolicited job offers at least twice a month.

            >> I’m a Catholic theocrat who thinks the Pope
            >> should pick the King

            In other words, you are a deluded nut who believes in impossible sky fairies watching over us. With your apparent lack of skills and your reliance on a magical sky fairy to guide you, I am nor surprised you are unable to create a mutually beneficial contract with employers.

          • Even with a skill, why would you give up your religious liberty to get a job? Of what worth is it to own the world, if you lose eternity?

            You may call them “impossible sky fairies”, I call them “empirical fact ignored at your peril”.

          • Anton B.

            Nobody is. I am just a non-retarded person who understands that a seremon is OK in Church, but only a mentally handicapped person would assume it is OK at work. Reason. I drives my life. Not moronic superstition and the need to push random superstitious views on people who do not want to hear about them. People who are not mentally handicapped realizes that unwanted missionary work at the work place is not only inappropriate, it disgustingly rude. If you don’t understand that using your work place as a preachers pulpit, then you are retarded.

          • Your version of reason, in denial of faith, is ridiculous on its face and is insane.

            And I consider you no different than any other jack booted thug of the 20th century- I’m sure you want to herd any “rude” people into concentration camps and shoot them.

          • Anton B.

            Faith and reason are, by their very definition, opposites. You can’t have reason with faith. Simple as that. It’s not my version, it’s the very definition.

            Also, remember to thank him the next time a Muslim forces you to pray with him in your bank or your grocery store. You support his right to do so. Remember?

          • Faith and reason are not opposites. My reason gives reason to my faith. Only an atheist, in faith, claims that there is a difference- and he has no reason to claim that reason and faith are opposites.

            I have no problem PRAYING with a muslim, I’ve done so many times, in settings both informal, such as a bank or grocery store, and formal, such as a mosque or a Roman Catholic Church (or even the Vatican).

            I’ve prayed with Jews. I’ve prayed with Buddhists. I’ve even, shocker, prayed with atheists.

            I have a problem with the Islamic Jihadist, who is specifically NOT muslim by adding a Sixth Pillar to the traditional five- lining up my family, a bunch of Jews, and my five pillar muslim friends and shooting us.

            Do you understand the difference?

          • Anton B.

            >> Faith and reason are not opposites.

            Maybe not for apologists, but in the real world, by their very definition, they are. Polar opposites. Where there is reason, that is, logic, observation etc, there is no need for “faith”. Where there is faith there is no room for reason. A logical mind has to categorize “God” in the same are as it puts unicorns, santa claus, pink tea pots in orbit outside of Pluto etc. It is not that an atheist believes there is no God, atheism isn’t anti-faith, it is the lack of faith.

            As someone said, atheism is a belief system in the same way that “not collecting stamps” is a hobby.

            Reason procludes the need for a fantasy creature to explain things. Faith IS the invention of a fantasy creature to explain things. God is a fantasy creature no matter how you dissect him. This should not even be controversial, any faith entity is, by definition, a fantasy creature.

          • “Maybe not for apologists, but in the real world, by their very definition, they are.”

            No, they are not. The definitions do not intersect, unless you’re using some strange definition I am not aware of.

            “Where there is reason, that is, logic, observation etc, there is no need for “faith”. ”

            My faith is inspired by observation. For instance, I have faith that you and your ilk are intolerant bigots; that faith is born from the observation that you make faith and reason into opposites.

            ” A logical mind has to categorize “God” in the same are as it puts unicorns, santa claus, pink tea pots in orbit outside of Pluto etc.”

            I have faith unicorns exist. Of course, we usually use the Greek term for them, rhinoceros. And that is born out by observation.

            You are just an intolerant bigot who wants to ignore observation, so you pretend that faith isn’t based on observation.

            There are no “fantasy creatures” in religion, just atheists who deny the observations of the faithful without reason. And that’s why I say atheists *deny* evidence. Reductionism is the absurd denial of observation.

          • Anton B.

            >> My faith is inspired by observation

            That is a contradiction in terms, as I have noted. Faith is defined as “belief without proof”.

            >> I have faith that you and your ilk are intolerant bigots

            You are proving me right all the time. Above you are conflating “faith” with “opinion”. You should sue whoever taught you English, you have a very limited understanding of that language.

            >> I have faith unicorns exist

            I have no doubt you do, but that only shows you are ignorant to the mythical creature that is called Unicorn is.

            >> deny the observations of the faithful without reason

            There are no observations ever that supports the fantasies of religious people. Not one.

          • “That is a contradiction in terms, as I have noted. Faith is defined as “belief without proof”.”

            My faith has NEVER been without proof. I challenge your definition.

            “You are proving me right all the time. Above you are conflating “faith” with “opinion”.”

            More, you’re conflating “reason” with “opinion without evidence”.

            ” You should sue whoever taught you English, you have a very limited understanding of that language.”

            I speak Northwestern Chinook Wawa, not English. But hey, you’re not the hyas muckitymuck of me, nor are you arbiter of what is English.

            “I have no doubt you do, but that only shows you are ignorant to the mythical creature that is called Unicorn is.”

            Defined by Pliny the Elder as a creature with a horn on its nose, the feet of an elephant, the body of a hippo, and the sound of a cow.

            “There are no observations ever that supports the fantasies of religious people. Not one.”

            There are plenty of studies that have been done in the realm of theology, from a variety of points of view. They all exist. The fact that you are ignorant of them tells me that you don’t have the faintest clue what OBSERVATION is, let alone EVIDENCE.

            In other words, you’re just another ignorant bigot, no different than any other ignorant bigot.

          • Anton B.

            >> My faith has NEVER been without proof

            Then it is not fatih. If you are talking about Christian faith you are speaking nonsense. There is no proof for any aspect of the Chrstian faith, not even for the actual existance of the person Jesus (though I do accept that such a person most likely did exist – there is zero proof).

            >> I challenge your definition.

            It’s not my definition, it’s THE definition. If your definition is different then you are not communicating in the English language.

            >> nor are you arbiter of what is English.

            I have never claimed to be. There are excellent Resources out there that do explain the meaning of words though. Check them out.

            >> There are plenty of studies that have been done
            >> in the realm of theology
            Lots of studies have been done. None that proves, or even makes likely, the existance of the fantasy creature at the root of religion. God. There is not even a single piece of data in the world making God likely or probable. All data we have on God shows him to be a fantasy creature of non-existence.

          • “Then it is not fatih. If you are talking about Christian faith you are speaking nonsense. There is no proof for any aspect of the Chrstian faith, not even for the actual existance of the person Jesus (though I do accept that such a person most likely did exist – there is zero proof).”

            Oh, so Josephus never existed either I assume? Nor of course Herod. Or Pontius Pilate. You show yourself to be a reductionist- ignoring evidence.

            “It’s not my definition, it’s THE definition. ”

            Then I challenge THE definition, because it is incorrect.

            “Lots of studies have been done. None that proves, or even makes likely, the existance of the fantasy creature at the root of religion.”

            Except of course for the existence of his creation, and at least I know how to spell.

          • Anton B.

            BTW, Pliny didn’t describe a unicorn, he described a rhino. He never uses a Word that would translate to unicorn. The oldest description we have of a unicorn is from Ctesias: “wild asses, fleet of foot, having a horn a cubit and a half (27 inches) in length, and colored white, red and black”. Not a rhino.

          • The word doesn’t TRANSLATE to unicorn. Unicorn is the Latin for Rhino, and Pliny The Elder wrote in Latin.

          • irena mangone

            We are tought that we all should lead others to God. And saying have blessed day. Is not harm g anyone. Whatever religion you are. And if you feel insulted well poor you

        • Pkmakin

          Then you are a gullible fool. Do some research. “I have no doubt this story is true”.

          But then you adhere to the imagined preferences of an invisible sky-god, so we know you’re a fool.

          • … unlike those who adhere to the dicta of an invisible and anonymous forum-poster?

          • Anton B.

            Nobody is. Anyone can take a look at the actual reality in this case, but then “reality” is not something you are entirely comfortable with it seems.

          • Pkmakin

            What makes you think I “adhere to the dicta of an invisible and anonymous forum-poster?”

            Your title, however, indicates that you happily confuse the gullible with medieval mysticism as a career path and life choice.

          • irena mangone

            Me thinks you protest to much. Maybe scretly you wish you had faith in God. But are scared to surrender

      • Bunny Bixler

        funny but this story is only available on religious and right wing sites

    • Ben

      If any of you dimwits would bother to read the lawsuit the reason she
      was fired was not for saying ”have a blessed day”, it was for flaming a
      customer who ”took the lord’s name in vain” and then preaching her
      personal ideas of salvation.

      You are allowed to be religious in the workplace, but the workplace is not a forum to impose your religious views on others whilst enjoying a salary.

      • The Sassy Arguer

        – “The workplace is not a forum to impose your religious views on others whilst enjoying a salary.”

        – “Amen”

        • Then I for one refuse to be either a customer or an employee of that business. That is my right, since they’re anti-religious.

          • Jeff

            They aren’t anti religious, they just aren’t allowing people to use their workplace as a place to preach to people. As it should be. You get paid to do your job. You can go preach on your own time.

          • That’s anti-religious to me, and I reserve the right to go elsewhere.

          • Which is why I’d refuse to be an employee or a customer of that business.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            That’s an idea… and your right to do so, indeed.
            May I suggest you that while you’re ‘not’ going to this business, you spend this time to learn the difference between anti-religious and secularism?
            The difference between freedom of religion and proselytism might be useful too.

            At the end of the day, I wonder if you shouldn’t consider again your will to boycott all businesses who do not accept proselytism in their code of ethics, because you might quickly be stuck between your home and your church only.

          • Secularism is anti-religious. I consider the concept to be an experiment that has failed.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            Sorry but you failed at the definition of secularism.
            Securalism is the separation of the government institutions from the religious institutions.
            An anti-religious society would prevent any practice of religion, which is not the case in secularism.

            Oversimplifications and amalgams do not become truth just because you use them in an affirmative manner.

          • And once government rules over business, it has stepped over the line into preventing any public practice of religion.

            The HHS Mandate came first, now businesses are reacting by preventing the religious practices of their employees.

            Freedom From Religion- is just code for “take all people of religion who express it publicly to the gulag and shoot them”

          • The Sassy Arguer

            Freedom From Religion- is just code for “take all people of religion who express it publicly to the gulag and shoot them”

            Oh my … Here is quite an accurate, realistic, logic and adjusted argument.

            Thank you much for your participation.

          • Jim Dailey

            You are right of course. These secular dingbats really want religion stamped out. When you call them on it they go “No, we merely want it “seperated” from every part of every daily activity that everybody engages in. Now stop praying because it offends ME!” Then they whine and whine and whine.

      • Good. More people in society should take people to task for blasphemy.

        • The Sassy Arguer

          Be careful of what you wish. It’s not because you’re not blaspheming in your religion that your not blaspheming in another.
          For some, the single fact to not share their believes are blasphemy. And some believe it can be punishable by jail or even death as it is considered as the “greatest sin ever”.

          You might want to go spend some times in the countries where blasphemy is legally condemned and take a closer look to the extend of the freedom of speech allowed there.
          Then, you’ll certainly realise that there is quite a gap between “taking the Lord’s name in vain” and defamation of religion or hate speech.

          Sorry but taking your Lord’s name in vain is considered blasphemy only by your religion, and has no legal support. You can communicate with people to explain your sensitivity and how that might offend you but “take people to task” which means “to reprimand” or “to criticise angrily” would not only make you an incredibly rude presumptuous bigot, but also show an actual denial of freedom of speech (yeah the one you though you were defending, how ironic)

          • That’s what we get for abandoning Canon Law and letting the government have their own law.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            That’s what we get for abandoning Canon Law and letting the government have their own law.

            Exactly: equal rights, that’s what you get… arf, how did they dare, right?

          • Equal rights? We don’t have equal rights. We have special rights for atheists and everybody else silenced, by economic pressure for now, but soon by execution.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            Again: you’re confusing secularism and atheism.
            You should really take some time to learn and understand the meaning of the words you’re using.

            But do you seriously intend to play the ‘persecution’ card?
            Because your reasoning supports already enough fallacies to add ludicrous statements over the top.

          • I don’t need to play the persecution card. You are doing quite an accurate job of that yourself with your radical secularism.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            Ooookkkeeey… I guess that I’m kinda doing an accurate job at playing the persecution card myself with my radical secularism

            Or whatever that’s mean.

            You’re obviously getting emotional and agressive, which wouldn’t be such an issue if at least we could rely on some logic.

            So, except if you actually show some honest intentions to converse in a clever and structured manner in order to really contribute to the debate, I’m gonna end here our conversation if you do not mind.

            But thanks for having sharing your point of view about canon law, secularism and atheism, that’s been … revealing.


          • Emotionalism doesn’t factor in for an autistic. YOU are the one getting emotional about a modern, false idea.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            Whatev’ man. I understand why you want Canon Law back as you’re just unable to have a decent and civilized conversation with someone of different opinion.

            Convincing is quite harder than forcing people to adopt your point of view.
            Keep going this way, that’s exactly why Nonreligious demographic keep growing all over the world and faster than any other group in US.

            Sincerely: Bless you for that !!

          • oregon nurse

            “Again: you’re confusing secularism and atheism.”

            We’re not stupid you know. In the public-square secularism envisioned by the FFRF they are one and the same – a de-facto state religion of atheism. Freedom to practice religious belief only within the 4 walls of a home or church building isn’t freedom, nor is it the religious freedom guaranteed by Constititution.

            If stated accurately, I don’t approve of the actions of this woman either. But it would not surprise me to find out she was over-reacting to what she felt was bullying on the part of her employer and by the public who care nothing for offending others. How would you react if someone took the name of your child in vain because you annoyed them and your employer basically told you to suck it up. How much greater the offense given by taking the Lord’s name in vain is.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            Well I do not take you for stupid you know ?

            As a matter of fact, I do my best to try to have a discussion equal to equal between human beings with a different opinion on this specific topic.

            And I wonder who is the “we” that you are referring to?
            A debate is the confrontation of ideas, not the confrontation of people.
            I do assume that the “we” refer to Christians, if so:
            1. How dare you talking about such a whole wide community which is absolutely not a homogenic group?
            2. How dare you assume than because I am getting involved in an argument with an obvious Christian than I take Christians (or whatever which group you are referring to) for stupid?

            I do not take anyone for stupid, but I sure can recognise by language elements when people are being willful preferring stereotyping and making amalgams instead of sharing opinions with good will.

            The debate is about whether or not proselytism is included in freedom to practice religious believe.

            Again this story is not about having say “Have a blessed day” as the dishonest article state but for proselytism.

            It is just highly ironic that what Theodore is actually saying is: ” Damn Atheists who oppress Christians and take away their right to harass people of different believes as we could do in these good old times when Church were ruling, at least at this time there were real justice… at least for us, with our vision, and our believes, and our way of thinking”

            That it’s quite a great lesson of maturity and tolerance.

            But yeah please, let’s keep talking about ‘freedom’ it’s just fascinating to see how the concept can be manipulated.

            I mean: “special rights for atheists and everybody else silenced”
            Could you give some number about the % of atheists in USA? Just to have a good laugh at such ridiculous statement…

            Come on, I do not take him or you for stupid, but do not give me reasons to believe that maybe I should 😉

          • oregon nurse

            The ‘we’ refers to Catholics. In case you didn’t notice you are on a Catholic blog, engaging Catholics for the most part. So, I take your comment to be pretty disingenous but I’ll bet it made you feel better somehow.

            I’m not claiming any intent to infringe my religious rights that isn’t part of the FFRF ideology. Their bastardization of the intent of the 1st Amendment is right there in the name they took. You’d have to be stupid not to see it.

          • The Sassy Arguer

            Starting by “We’re not stupid you know”
            Continuing by “I take your comment to be pretty disingenous”
            Ending by “You’d have to be stupid not to see it”

            Please go ahead, this is enlightening.

            You might think that proselytism is your right, but you have to admit that you’re really bad at it 😀

  • I think I’m adding US Bank to the list of businesses I’m never stepping foot in again.

  • gtjarruda

    I think, in order to be consistent, people who value religious freedom (for cake bakers and photographers, for example) should also allow the same freedom to employers. In other words, if an employer does not want religious talk in their workplace (or to give the impression that they have religious leanings as a company), then they should be free to make that a condition of employment.

    To answer your specific question, employees should be permitted/prohibited in behaviors that they and their employer agree upon as a condition of their business relationship.

    • Ray

      That is a reasonable position. But we’re not talking about someone giving a sermon. She merely made a comment that is commonly accepted. Is saying, “God bless you” when someone sneezes grounds for firing?

      Regarding the cake/photography issue: There is a difference in objecting to participation in an activity and in simply making a comment as an employee.

      You’re right, if an atheist wishes to have no references to faith from employees, then that is reasonable if that is made clear as a term of employment.

      • blondein_tokyo

        I disagree. Employees have the right to mention their faith in a general way, and even to pray at their workplace. They are protected by law as long as they are doing their job well, not bothering anyone, not using up company time, and not actually proselytizing.

        That’s the problem with this particular lady. She didn’t simply say “Have a blessed day”. She actually had the nerve to lecture a *customer* about using the word “Jesus Christ” and additionally proselytized to her co-workers, who then complained to their boss. The boss gave her several warnings before finally firing her because she refused to stop. So it actually wasn’t her religion that got her fired. It was her inability to understand boundaries.

        • Conservative Catholic

          Being offensive is okay?? Have a blessed day!! In Jesus’ name. Amen.m

          • blondein_tokyo

            This is the third post of mine you have completely strawmmaned and attacked. It really is rather dishonest.
            I thought dishonesty was a sin?

          • AugustineThomas

            Not near as bad as murdering babies and persecuting Gods Church.

          • blondein_tokyo

            Mr. Thomas, you have replied to several of my messages in this off-topic, hostile way. From this, I think it is fair to say that you aren’t actually interested in conversation but are only here to argue and butt heads. In other words, you sir, are a troll. Now that I know that about you, I will not be replying to anything else you post.

          • AugustineThomas

            Give it a rest. You’re the one trolling because you have no higher purpose, thanks to your unfortunate choice to believe in bitter leftist nihilism.

          • Cedric Longbeard

            Oh and what’s your “higher purpose” then? Is it the same “higher purpose” that you have copied from all the other bible thumpers? What’s the matter? Are you so insecure that you can’t think for yourself and instead have to blindly take all of your guidance in life from an instruction manual. I’m sorry my dear but some of us actually grow up and just simply don’t fall hook line and sinker for fairy tales. I’m afraid your “higher purpose” only exists in your imagination. You probably weren’t taught this as a child, but it may come as a surprise that not everything you read in books is actually true, especially when it’s a book that has been cobbled together from so many unknown sources that no-one can even verify the authenticity of the thing. Oh and the fact that that book describes a talking snake and an talking donkey kind of makes you a bit daft for taking it seriously. Does the Wizard of Oz give you a higher purpose too?

            Anyway, Blondein_tokyo has actually contributed a lot to this discussion. You on the other hand have contributed absolutely nothing of value. All you have done is made yourself look like a child who has wandered into a discussion forum by mistake. Now why don’t you be a good little girl and go and read your bible so you can get all excited about the lovely presents and happy fluffy times you will have as a disembodied spirit in la la land. In fact, how about you actually read some of it and then do what it says, such as…..

            “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”
            – 1 Timothy 2:12

            Your Lord has spoken. Now be quiet! 😉

          • irena mangone

            Wonder what you will say to God on judgement day because whether you believe or not there is a God. And we all have to answer to Him for our. Behaviour.

          • Cedric Longbeard

            I also find it amusing that your “higher purpose” has led YOU to troll this forum. Surely God has given you more fullfilling things to do with your time? Surely he hasn’t sent you here just so you can have your highly intellectual comments whooped by an Atheist 😉

          • Cedric Longbeard

            Gods Church? Is that the one filled with child molesting pastors or is it the one that promotes the stoning of gay people? Such respectable establishments.

          • Cedric Longbeard

            “I thought dishonesty was a sin?”

            Since when have Christians ever really taken their sins seriously? Eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and having a divorce are sins in the bible but we never hear them get mentioned. Instead they just focus on the ones that fit with their personal views, which is why most of them are obsessed with gay sex.

          • Faithr

            Are you really Catholic and conservative? I rather think you are merely trolling.

          • Cedric Longbeard

            Well isn’t that what catholic conservatives actually do. They troll people.

          • Anton B.

            You do not know how to read I assume.

      • Anton B.

        You are wrong, though this moron journalist wants you to not know that. She was giving sermons to customers, co-workers and managers. She was repeatedly told to stop and fired when she refused.

      • Cedric Longbeard

        “But we’re not talking about someone giving a sermon. She merely made a comment that is commonly accepted.”

        That’s where you’re wrong. Giving a sermon is precisely what she was fired for. In fact she did a lot more than that, and it went on for months.

        The above article is bullshit. Here is the real story.


    • AugustineThomas

      We should send all the atheists and secularists to certain states and see how long it takes for those states to turn into North Korea!

      • Cedric Longbeard

        We should send all the Christians and religious fundamentalists to certain states and see how long it takes for those states to turn into Iraq…..or China…..or Pakistan…….or any other heavily religious hell hole.

      • Cedric Longbeard

        “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”
        – 1 Timothy 2:12

        Your Lord has spoken. Now be quiet! Go and pray to your God and ask him to smite all the heathen Atheists if you’re so bothered about having to share the planet with rational people. God answers prayers right? 😉

      • Cedric Longbeard

        Oh and I live in a secular country and it’s great, like most secular countries……..something that North Korea isn’t, because they are forced to worship their emperor like a god. That’s basically the sort of set-up you would like, a place where everyone is forced to believe the same thing as you. Yuck! No thanks. You can keep your control freak theocracies. I prefer the freedom to choose and not discriminate against others, which is precisely what I get in my secular country.

        • irena mangone

          But you discriminate against Catholics /Christians. Otherwise you would not be here. Arguing

  • Lorna MI

    The bank is uptight, the employee is an idiot, and the customers who complained are the worst of the bunch.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Why do you say that? I’m just wondering how you would feel if you went into your local bank and a Muslim teller preached to you about Islam, and told you that you would go to hell for not believing in Mohammad.

      Would it bother you? And if it did bother you, would you say that you are too uptight?

      • Lorna MI

        If a Muslim or a Vegan or a Voodooist bank teller was to give me good wishes, I would not march over to the manager and complain, fergawdsake. Get this in perspective. The woman was NOT preaching! I will grant that she probably meant “a day blessed by God,” but why is that worthy of complaint? I guess that I am not sensitive enough and must set a new personal goal to get all prissy about nothing.

        • Conservative Catholic

          blondein_tokyo…Have a BLESSED DAY!!!! 🙂

          • blondein_tokyo

            That’s just passive aggressive. If you have an actual argument to make, I’m interested in hearing it.

          • Jim Dailey

            OK, I have an argument. My understanding of the “Jesus Christ” lecture was that the customer was indeed using the name “in vain” (i.e. as an epithet). So if the customer had spewed – loudly and repeatedly – S*** or F***, do you think THAT is worthy of a bank teller indicating that the customer’s language is offensive?
            I use pretty bad language myself. I have been called on it from time to time and usually in the heat of the moment I feel like lashing out at the person who called me on it.
            Strangely, I think our society has reached the point where there is official condemnation of someone using S*** or F**** as an epithet, but NOT someone yellling “Jesus!” or “Christ!” as a curse-word. That is, had the customer said “S*** or F*** and gotten a lecture, and then had complained to the manager, the manager would have “backed” the teller. No note in the file, the customer is obviously an idiot. Incident forgotten.
            Sorry for the long post. Hopefully you are not using any epithets.

          • blondein_tokyo

            The problem was not that she indicated to the customer that his language was inappropriate. The problem came after that, when she began to actually proselytize to him.

            To quote from the lawsuit (available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nnjqjz5lz3qzlnn/blessed-day-lawsuit.pdf)) she told him his language was inappropriate, and

            “then proceeded to talk to him about salvation and telling him that it would be the most important decision he would ever make. You also quoted bible verses for him to read.”

            The lawsuit also indicates that she had been spoken to before about her habit of proselytizing to customers, and had signed a copy of the company’s code of conduct to indicate that she understood and would follow it. Since she *knew* she wasn’t allowed to speak to customers about her religion, it is her own fault she was fired.

          • Jim Dailey

            The link to the lawsuit did not work. It is kind of irrelevant anyway, as we clearly can not argue the facts.
            I posed a hypothetical question to you in the spirit of the argument. That is, do you think that if the angry customer had used S**** or F****, the teller never would have been written up?

          • blondein_tokyo

            But it IS relevant- it is relevant because you ARE trying to argue the facts. You are trying to argue that she was fired because she reprimanded a customer for saying “Jesus Christ” when in fact she was fired for proselytizing.

            I’m sure you can either Google the lawsuit yourself, or else check the other articles in which it has been quoted. It is not hard to find.

            And you DO need to read it for yourself- there is no point in debating something when you do not have all the facts.

          • Jim Dailey

            So, back to my question, which you seem to want to ignore, since you know you are in for yet another intellectual beat-down if you answer it – do you think that if the angry customer had used S**** or F****, and complained to the manager about being upbraided by the teller, the teller never would have been written up?

          • blondein_tokyo

            I’m ignoring it because it’s nonsensical and has nothing at all to do with the original point, which was why the teller was fired. If you read the details of the lawsuit, which you can easily find if you Google it, you’ll see that she was fired not for reprimanding the customer for the language he used but because after reprimanding him she then began to lecture him on salvation and quoted the Bible at him.

            You’ll ALSO find out that this incident isn’t even the one that finally got her fired. She wasn’t fired until several months down the road after a couple of other incidents of her
            proselytizing, during an argument with her manager wherein she refused to stop.

            But if you insist, I can hazard a guess as to the answer to your question. I think that if the teller had reprimanded someone for saying either S*** or F***, WITHOUT the proselytizing, she would not have gotten into trouble. This is, of course, because (as I have been saying all along; with YOU ignoring it) she was not fired for reprimanding the customer for his language, but for lecturing him afterwards.

            Really, now- how intellectually honest is someone who argues against facts they haven’t even read, and then insists on taking the debate in an entirely different direction that has nothing to do with the main issue?

          • blondein_tokyo

            Trying again to post the link. https://www.dropbox.com/s/nnjqjz5lz3qzlnn/blessed-day-lawsuit.pdf

            If that doesn’t work again, just read some of the articles because the lawsuit is quoted in several.

            Read it, if for no other reason than to prove me wrong, eh? 🙂

          • Jim Dailey

            Neh. You actually seem pretty bright, and the teller probably is a screwball. That is, you are probably right. However, I once stood on a freezing cold avenue in the northeast for two days selling Christmas wreaths for charity. I cannot tell you the number of atheists who thought I actually wanted to hear their opinion on Christmas (as they were doing their – ugh – “holiday” shopping.). So, since YOU are a relatively captive audience, and clearly NOT in the market for Christmas wreaths, I thought I would share some of the profundities that came to mind on those two cold days.
            Peace be with you!

          • blondein_tokyo

            Hahaha… 🙂

            Glad we could end this on a positive note.

            And by the way, a person giving unsolicited opinions to anyone is out of line. Those atheists were wrong to lecture you, if it was as you said and complete out of left field. 🙂

          • Jim Dailey

            So, you recognize S*** of F*** as a “bad word” unfit for public consumption, but using an adored religious figure’s name in it’s place is okay with you? You don’t think religous people would take offense at that, do you?
            By the same token, it is NOT ok with you for a religious person to wish you good tidings in the name of what they hold sacred. Again, you can not see why religous people would take offense at that.
            Instead, you all wander around bellyaching and complaining about simple human greetings and interactions, and cry like little babies at the sight of a creche that you are “offended”!
            See, this is why you atheists are all upside down, It is also why, after you get off your little rants, we all roll our eyes at you as you self-righteously harrrumpph out of the room.
            Again, Bah and humbug to you! Suck on it atheist!

          • blondein_tokyo

            Um, wow. I thought Christians were supposed to be polite and speak kindly to others? Do you think Jesus went around telling people to “suck it?” Do you think Jesus would approve of your ignoring facts so that you could dishonestly score a grudge point?

            Coming back to the point.

            1. It isn’t okay to force your religion on someone who is not religious. That is why it is impolite to use religious greetings with random strangers.

            2. If religious people are offended by the fact that non-religious people do not like religious greetings, go back to number 1.

            3. I did not say it was okay to use a religious figure’s name as an epithet. You are strawmanning again.

            I think we are done here.

          • MichaelInVenice

            My policy has always been that if a customer is behaving in an inappropriate or offensive manner, the response is “I’m sorry, I cannot help you if you continue to use such language.” As manager, I’d back that up 100%, even if the specific language or behavior wasn’t offensive to me personally. In this case, I’d have directed him to another teller or taken care of it myself. In other cases, I might suggest the customer come back when he’s in a frame of mind to be a bit more polite and considerate. But in no case would a reply of “I cannot help you if you continue to use such language” be a disciplinary matter.

            But once you use the situation as a justification for preaching your own moral, ethical or religious beliefs you’ve crossed a big line.

            Generally speaking my attitude is: this is an office, you’re here to work. If you can’t leave your personal agendas at home — be they political, religious or in one case even sports-rivalry related — then you really need to find someplace else to work.

          • irena mangone

            Exactly. Since when has it ever been correct good. To use the words Jesus Christ. As a swear word. You are treating someone who is very dear to us Christians. As a curse And if we don’t stand up and be counted how can an ignorant person be corrected. He she might not have known they were bad mouthing seeing as so much of the world hates the Good Lord

        • blondein_tokyo

          But she wasn’t fired for saying “have a blessed day.” She was fired for violating the bank’s code of ethics, and this was after being warned several times. She was warned for handing out religious tracts to her co-workers, for taking a customer for task for saying “Jesus Christ” and explaining to him about salvation was through Jesus, and yes- for telling customers “God bless you” and “Have a blessed day”. After she refused to stop, that’s when she was fired – for insubordination and violating the code of ethics.

          Personally? I wouldn’t complain about someone telling me to have a blessed day. It’s part and parcel of everyday interactions in our religion-heavy society. However, if a bank teller lectured me on salvation, I’d most definitely complain because that crosses the line. I’m at the bank to get money, not to get an unsolicited lecture from a stranger on religion.

          But of course, I also think that everyone has the right to complain if a service person makes them feel uncomfortable. Customer service is about pleasing customers, and businesses are all about customer service.

          I also think a business has every right to enforce its code of ethics. Since she knew what she had been doing was against the code of ethics, she can hardly complain about being fired for it.

          • Lorna MI

            All of your points are valid. Especially agreed that I don’t want a religious lecture from a stranger because (a) I’m happy with my religion, and (b) I’m here for a transaction and I’m probably in a time crunch! I probably wouldn’t complain unless the person was a frightening nut job as I don’t want to see anyone get fired.

          • blondein_tokyo

            You have a point there, too. I also wouldn’t want to get anyone fired. On second thought, I’m with you. I wouldn’t complain unless the person were actually harming someone in some way.

          • Anton B.

            She was harming someone, she was harming her employer.

          • blondein_tokyo

            That’s a very good point. Still, I do feel sorry for her, considering how difficult it is to find a job these days. I wish she had thought more clearly when she decided to take such a ridiculous stance.

          • irena mangone

            Poor rich bank

          • Ambaa

            Ah! More to the story. I thought there must be!

        • Anton B.

          She wasn’t giving good wishes, the journalist here is an idiot. She was proselytizing. To customers and employees. She was retarded and needed to be fired. The journalist is an idiot.

          • irena mangone

            How dare you call a person retarded

          • Anton B.

            Just pointing out a fact. She knew that what she was doing was inappropriate and illegal. She knew she would get fired if she kept it up. She knew she was not a missionary being paid to convert people to her religion by a bank but a teller, being paid to do her job. Still, knowing all this, and knowing she WOULD get fired if she kept using the bank as a church and her desk as a preachers pulpit. She KNEW this and still she kept doing it.

            If you do something that you know will get you fired and you do not want to be fired, you are retarded per definition.

        • Unwind
      • Nope, wouldn’t bother me. I can have civil conversations about religion, can you?

        • blondein_tokyo

          Look at all my posts in this thread, and judge for yourself.

          • It is this point above that I disagree with:
            1. It isn’t okay to force your religion on someone who is not religious. That is why it is impolite to use religious greetings with random strangers.

            You always have the ability to walk away.

          • blondein_tokyo

            I can always walk away from impolite people, yes. But the point remains that they were impolite, doesn’t it.

          • So what? Freedom of Speech, if you still believe in such a thing (I personally think this constitutional experiment is over precisely because liberals have become intolerant jack booted thugs) demands you accept an impolite society. That’s pluralism for you.

          • blondein_tokyo

            So you agree that proselytizing is rude, then? I’m glad we are in agreement on at least one thing.

            I think something should be noted here. I’ve refrained the entire time (and you can check all the posts I’ve made) from hostility, name calling, and over-generalizations. I’ve been nothing but polite and conciliatory, even admitting when the other side has a good point.

            It’s been overwhelmingly the religious people in this discussion who have been rude, even going so far as to compare me with a nazi (I assume that is what “jack booted thug” means). And so then, I walk away.

          • “So you agree that proselytizing is rude, then? ”

            Not necessarily, but you clearly do.

    • AugustineThomas

      I think you and the other secularist zombies are the ungrateful idiots.

      • Lorna MI

        Ah, but I’m not a secularist – and for that matter, I’m not a zombie. While it’s a kind thing to say, her telling me to “be blessed” does not change my belief that I’m a Daughter of God with all that comes with it.. Do you think the Lord looks down and says, “Well, would you look at that! I’m going to bless Lorna even more because Ms. Neace says so.” I say that If the employee wants to keep her job, then she must follow the directions of her employer. If not, face the consequences. But where does “gratitude” come in here, Augustine Thomas? How am I an ungrateful idiot? From where does your right come to assess or judge me?

        • AugustineThomas

          Yes, I do believe God answers prayers.
          I also believe its demonstrable historically that nations which become Christian prosper and those which give it up or never take it on fail and are full of miserable people.

          • Anton B.

            You are observably and provably wrong. The most religious regions of Europe are the poorest. Northern Germany, secular, rich. Southern. Religious. Poor. Same in Italy. Spain. Religious. Poor. Portugal. Religious. Poor. Scandinacia, close to atheist, richest and best countries in the world. Sorry, you are simply wrong. Better luck next time.

            US is much more religious than Europe. More poverty. More crime. More teen pregnancies. More homicides. Higher divorce rates. More abortions.

            In the US, if you are a Christian, compared to an atheist, you are poorer, more likely to be in jail, more likely to commit murder, have a MUCH higher divorce rate, have a MUCH higher teen pregnancy rate, have a higher rate of abortions etc.

            Reality busts your beliefs. As usual.

          • Jim Dailey

            You are a simple soul, aren’t you Anton? Ever read “A Christmas Carol”? No, you wouldn’t, would you? Well, if you ever pick your simple brain up out of it’s narrow, provincial world view to actually try to see life from someone else’s point of view, please remember your retarded little rant when the line “IIt may be that in the sight of Heaven you are more worthless and less
            fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. O God! to hear the
            insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry
            brothers in the dust!”

            I also refer you to the story of St.Lawrence and the true wealth of the Church.

            I am confident you will learn nothing from either example.

          • Anton B.

            No Jim, I am, as opposed to you, a well educated person who lives my life according to facts, realities and the world as it is. I don’t need, nor understand the need for, a sky-fairy to guide anything at all. But that is besides the point.

            The stats I listed are FACTS, not fantasies. They are REALITY, not fiction. REALITY is that the less religion there is in a society, generelly the better that society is. You can argue The Soviet Union if you wish, but unless you actually get an education, your arguments are going to be worthless nonsense since they will not bear any relationship to reality.

            Reality (generally, with clear exceptions)
            – more religion == more poverty
            – more religion == more crime
            – more religion == more divorce
            – more religion == more teen pregnancies

            In the US, a Christian is extremely more likely to commit murder than an atheist, more likely to be in jail, more likely to be divorced, more prone to having abortions.

            This is REALITY as OBSERVED. What you are muttering about is FANTASIES with no relationship to reality,

          • Jim Dailey

            Anton, for someone who is “well educated” you sure don’t know much, do you? What the hell does the phrase “Reality (generally, with clear exceptions)” even mean? HAHAHAHAHAA. I love how you moron atheists waffle, hedge and stammer out idiotic conclusions made on some limited worldview that you happen to deem “reality”. I’ll tell you what I don’t like, ostrich-boy, is that you would jam my head down in the sand with yours and insist that I live like all there is is sand, because that’s all YOU can see. So, once again, take your worthless “generally, with clear exceptions” statistics and jam them along side your bird-brained little head – down where the sun don’t shine.

          • Jim

            How on earth did you come to the conclusion that god answers prayers? Do you know how many people pray to god for their sick, cancer stricken family members to be cured? How’s that working out? How about all the people praying to god to help the starving, smallpox infected children of Sub-Saharan Africa? How is that working out. God answers prayers? Seriously?

          • Cedric Longbeard

            Augustine I think you’re a little bit touched in the head. It sounds like you’re describing a totally different planet to the one I’m living on. Christian nations prosper while others are full of miserable people? Give me a link to the evidence that supports your claim, because I can pick a LOT of examples of heavily religious countries that are total hell holes to live in. This shouldn’t come as any surprise either as religion is naturally divisive and provides people with lots of reasons to despise each other. Take a walk in the middle east to see the peace and prosperity that religious belief brings. Religion = intolerance = war. My god is better than your god and all that tribal bullshit. Religion only serves the people who are members of that particular club. It alienates everyone else. It’s totally useless for creating a fair and peaceful society.

          • Anton B.

            Even inside the same nation

            – Northern Italy, less religion, less poverty. South? Opposite.

            – Germany, same. North good. Not religious. South. Poor. Religious.

            – US. North (particularly coasts) wealthy and irreligious (comparatively). South., Poor. Religious.

          • blondein_tokyo

            Like Japan? It’s the country with the highest GDP, and the narrowest gap between rich and poor.

            It is also one if the most atheistic countries on earth.

            I know, because I’ve lived in Tokyo for roughly half my life. 🙂

    • kobain

      I would complain too if i went to the bank and the teller started citing verses from a sci-fi book

  • I think that, if a company can claim on grounds of “religious liberty” to be exempt from healthcare laws, then it can also claim on the same grounds to be exempt from EEOC regulations. If Hobby Lobby has the rights that SCOTUS says it does, then U.S. Bank has the right to fire Polly Neace for not complying with company policy in these matters.

    • Test

      Actually the ruling does not apply to them. The Hobby Lobby ruling was concerning businesses that were primarily family owned.

      U.S. Bank, and other major board owned corporations are not exempt.

  • SteveP

    “When I speak of peace they are for war.”

  • fwk

    Merriam Webster:

    blessed, adjective ˈble-səd

    : having a sacred nature : connected with God

    : very welcome, pleasant, or appreciated

    —used to make a statement more forceful —used as an intensive

    : bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune

  • She was not fired merely for her “blessed day” salutation. That was only the mildest form of pushing her faith in the workplace. She was an unrepentant, repeat proseletyser: http://bit.ly/1md3A6b

    • Conservative Catholic

      Love your moniker. So fits you.

  • MMM

    People who are pagan/wiccan will say “have a blessed day” as well. I bet if she was wiccan, that’d be ok.

    • Jake_Was_Here

      Yeah, it strikes me as a fairly non-denominational phrase — and not particularly offensive in any way.

    • blondein_tokyo

      They mean it in an entirely different way, though, don’t they? And while the phrase itself is not offensive, lobbing it at someone who has asked you not to use it is.

  • blondein_tokyo

    According to other news sources, what actually happened was she was warned several times by her manager to stop proselytizing and she refused. This included handing out Bible verses on cards to her co-workers and preaching at a customer who said “Jesus”. There were several customer complaints about her, and when the manager gave her one last warning, she said, “I may as well tell customers to have a blessed day, because that’s the best kind of day you can have.” and generally refused to stop.

    This most absolutely is not a case of someone being fired for being Christian. This is a case of someone being fired for insubordination and not doing their job in the way they were asked to do it.

    • Conservative Catholic

      Really?! You are offended by “Have a blessed day”? You have wayyy more problems than can be addressed here.

      • blondein_tokyo

        I did not say that. You are either being disingenuous, or you did not read what I wrote.

  • Richard Bohler

    Liberal panties wad up soooo easily. For pete’s sake, the lady was wishing her customers well. You’d think she was wishing a pox on them.

    • Paul Burris

      Conservative panties wad up sooooooooo easily. For pete’s sake.. we aren’t all targets for your asinine proselytizing. Derp derp imaginary man in the clouds who needs your money. Spout your fairytales to people in your church, not to me when I’m in line at the store. Thanks.

    • Anton B.

      No, she wasn’t. The article is complete nonsense.

  • Readhed62

    Such a harmless salutation, what’s the harm? People need to relax.

  • David Klecker

    I’m ashamed to even have an account with them. Hopefully the company as a whole denounces this branch. If not, I will have to bank elsewhere.

  • Terry Firma
  • It would help your credibility if you admitted that there was a LOT more to this case than just wishing customers “a blessed day”. As noted in the “Friendly Atheist” Patheos post linked by Terry Firma below, from the court records:

    On Saturday, July 30th, a customer came into the branch to cash a check and when you asked for his signature he exclaimed “Oh Christ!” and you asked him “Did you just take the Lord’s name in vain?” and he answered you with “Jesus”. You again asked him “Did you just take the Lord’s name in vain?” and advised him that you wouldn’t tolerate him doing so in your presence and then proceeded to talk to him about salvation and telling him that it would be the most important decision he would ever make. You also quoted bible verses for him to read.

    There were multiple incidents like this, in which she was repeatedly warned not to proselytize in the workplace, and she repeatedly refused.

    It’s really hard to take these calls of “Persecution!” seriously when (a) you misrepresent the facts and (b) there is honest-to-goodness persecution of Christians going on in Africa and the Middle East, with Christians being killed and tortured for their faith.

  • Kirry

    Well given the facts that Nathaniel has presented, I could understand her termination. I think if she had just asked the customer not to take the Lord’s name in vain (same as if he dropped an F bomb) she might have been okay but trying to convert him in the bank is pushing the limit. While I believe we should be free to evangelize anywhere, that’s not the reality. Businesses serve a diverse clientele and if the bank doesn’t feel that her proselytizing “enhanced” a customers experience then they have a right to ask her to discontinue her evangelizing. Shame though. If only we all had the courage to be so bold.

  • Gilemus Fuscus

    Christians who ally themselves with conservatives should know better, with conservatives it’s the bottom line that counts not an act of faith no matter how small.

  • Cypressclimber

    *If* the facts are as they seem, from this article, I don’t have too much complaint with the bank. The bank does, in my view, have the right to tell its employees how to greet customers, and to tell them not to pass out literature, or to give out messages, other than those specifically designated.

    Restrictive? Sure. But if your job is to be the public face of your employer, your employer gets to give you a script — word for word. That is entirely legitimate, and in no way an infringement of anyone’s rights.

    Is there any claim that US Bank mandated the employee to say anything that conflicted with her conscience? To lie, or to blaspheme, or to advocate moral evil? I will bet not. There is nothing evil about saying, “hello,” “goodbye,” “thank you for your business,” and “have a good day” and similar innocuous things.

    And any business is within it’s rights to tell its employees, they are to stick to these sorts of things.

    If they also said, no jewelry, no messages on buttons or clothing, no visible tattoos…all that would likewise be legitimate, in my view.

    The employee doesn’t get to practice her religion on someone else’s time and property. She gets to do her job.

  • blondein_tokyo

    Actually, I like diversity and I am quite tolerant of other people’s beliefs, so I don’t have a problem with religion in general.

    But if you would prefer to live somewhere without diversity of religion, it is you who should move. Places like Iran or North Korea actually have laws in place that force everyone to follow the same religion. Perhaps you would enjoy living in a Christian theocracy? I suggest then, that you do as the Pilgrims did and find a place where you can forge your own society.

    And no, Islam the religion didn’t build the US. Immigrants from countries as diverse as England, China, Italy, Germany, India, Africa, Vietnam, Ireland, and Mexico did. And with them came their religious beliefs, ranging from Christianity to Catholicism to Buddhism to Hinduism to Shinto to deism, and of course, atheism. 🙂

    There is nothing you can do to change that fact, so I am very sorry if it chafes you.

  • Ambaa

    She was given fair warning to stop. It upsets me a great deal when people at stores use religious greetings and partings. It is a stark reminder that they and I do not share a faith and that they will look down on me if they know that I am not a Christian like they are. Somehow it is only Christians who ever do this in my experience.

  • profling

    Note that the so-called Common Era is contemporaneous with the Christian era. Why don’t neopagans use something like Ab Urbe Condita instead?

  • Jo Joyce

    Try saying it in Spanish – it means GO WITH GOD.

  • Paula Ledbetter Graves
  • Cassafrass

    apparently she actually got angry at a customer for taking the lords name in vein that she proceeded to tell him that he needs to find salvation that it was his only change and then gave him a bunch of bible versus to look up. He was only there to cash a check. I would have fired her too.

  • Anton B.

    I wish journalists would actually research their story before regurgitating what FOX writes. The story above is 100% bovine manure. The story simply isn’t true, and the journalist above should be ashamed at re-printing this nonsense.

  • Anton B.

    If you are a priest your job is to proselytize. If you are a bank teller, it is not in your job description, and if only a single customer is offended, you are doing harm to your employer. This woman was repeatedly warned to proselytize to customer and her colleagues. She refused to comply with her company policies and was thrown out on her ass. As she should be. No business would want a person as retarded as this one doing customer facing business.

    Good riddance, and good job to the bank.

    • Jim Dailey

      Or maybe it was just another bunch of hyper-sensitive atheist dumbbells, who groan and gnash their teeth at the sight of – heaven forfend! – a creche taking umbrage at someone who is not scared to share the joy of their Faith.
      How about we let the court decide, Anton?
      I have had my absolute fill of looney-tunes atheists crying like little babies when someone says “Merry Christmas”. STFU whiners!

      • Anton B.

        Sigh. Or perhaps it was a white knight who slaughtered a unicorn and the blood spatter destroyed a customers coat. Seriously dude. I can come up with thousands of “or maybe it was” stories, but why would I? The court documents are filled with documentation about what ACTUALLY happened.

        She isn’t even suing for what the story says, she is suing because she thinks her not being allowed to proselytize to co-workers, customers and managers amounts to persecution. So, by the basis of her law suit we know the story is bovine manure.

        The court papers also show that she was NOT fired for the “Have a blessed day” followed by a full sermon incident, she was fired months later for refusing to follow the directions of her manager. These are the facts of the case, and they are NOT in dispute. What is in dispute is whether her proselytizing was appropriate or in violation of company policies she had signed.

        • Jim Dailey

          Or whether it was “proselytizing” at all, Anton. Since you whiny atheists start screaming bloody murder when someone says “god bless you”, maybe it is time a sane, rational court listened to the complaints and the arguments, rather than relying on the dopey, out-of-context, idiotic assertions made by shrieking fundamentalist atheists and their buddies in the mass media. Frankly you jerks make al Quadea look like a bunch of slackers in the the extremism department.

          • Anton B.

            According to HER OWN statements, it was proselytizing. I know reality is something you do not understand. Please ask an adult to explain what it is to you,. Again, she has said HER SELF that she was proselytizing. This fact is NOT in dispute in this case, what is in dispute is whether it was appropriate for her employer to fire her for proselytizing.

            In the future, why don’t you try to find out what the REALITY of the situation is before going of on moronic rants that only prove you have no ability to think for your self?

          • Jim Dailey

            Anton, Anton, Anton…. you highly educated Know Nothing – apparently, in a desperate measure to prove how “smart” you are, you are going to rely on the bank teller’s description of the incident? HAHAHAHA. As I advised previously, let’s allow the courts to interpret the facts. I know YOU don’t believe in ephemeral ideas like “justice”, but you will have to take my word for it that it exists.

          • Anton B.

            Sigh.You should go back to your primary school and ask for your money back. You are clearly entirely incapable of the basics, such as reading… I rely on the court documents, which are available to anyone who can read, which among other things, include her own explanations. Among other things.

            Since you clearly are not capable of reading, go ask an adult if they can read it, and explain it to you.

            >> let’s allow the courts to interpret the facts

            We don’t have to. The facts described here are not in dispute.
            Again, read the publically available documents before continuing, you will seem a little less retarded if you acquire the facts of the case.

          • Jim Dailey

            Anton you have proven yourself stupid enough that you could likely misinterpret the Cat in the Hat, much less a legal document. You have proven yourself obstinate enough that if Jesus Christ Himself ran you over with a car (and I wish He would) you would still deny His existence.
            Accordingly it is a total waste of time for me to go read the arguments, and point out whatever bone-headed mistake you made.
            Good day sir.

          • irena mangone

            There are a lot of retarded people in your view is that not an insult . Those who are in actual fact retarded cannot help it and we are cruel enough to them without call g names. On others because they do not agree.

          • Anton B.

            Here is some important information for you. Everybody has the right to their own opinion. Of course. Everybody does not have the right to their own facts though. Facts are facts, no matter what anyone thinks of them.

            Here is a fact for you: This woman was not fired for saying “have a blessed day”. Try that on for a little bit. Let it simmer in your mind for a second. Lots of people have said she was. It has been reported in the news that she was. She wasn’t. The courd documents shows that she wasn’t. Her own statements shows that she wasn’t. She wasn’t fired for saying “have a blessed day”.

            This woman was fired because she used her place of work as a church, she used her desk as a pulpit to conduct cermons. She agressively pursued customers, co-workers and managers and tried to convert them to her own religion.

            Obviously the bank does not allow such behavior, they should not. She was hired as a bank teller, not a missionary for a particular faith. She should do her job and she should not try to give sermons at her place of work.

            For a long time they tolerated her behavior, they warned her not to engage in such behavior, they had her sign the company policy paper where she acknowledged she understood that she was not allowed to do this. Still she kept on. That was why she was fired. Her “have a blessed day” didn’t play any part in the firing AT ALL.

            These are FACTS, as presented in the court documents. Some People seems to think that those facts are irrelevant though, that their own fantasies trumps these facts. That the facts are subject to twisting and turning into something that is no longer fact. Facts are not. Anyone who thinks that their OPINION on a matter trumps the FACTS of the matter is a retard, PER DEFINITION!

          • irena mangone

            I was not disputing the facts only your excessive use of the word retard which I find offensive as there are people in this medical category. And. We should e compassionate and not throw that word around that is just me. But I pull up others in my family re that word seems teenagers like to throw it around not really caring of the originL meaning

  • Cedric Longbeard

    FALSE! She was not fired for simply saying “have a blessed day”. She was a LOT more heavy duty in pushing her religious views on others, and her response to being fired for this (after receiving multiple warnings) was typical of your average devout bible thumper. “What?! I can’t try to aggressively convert people to my religion at work? Waaagghhh! I’m being persecuted!”. Read about what actually transpired here……


  • Rhett J D.

    That wasnt the real reason she was fired 2 faced liar lol and she calls herself a christian! She forgot to tell you about all the times she was forcing religion on others at work and customers.

  • Seaghan

    That wasn’t the extent of her pushing her faith in the workplace though, if you read more details of the case http://richarddawkins.net/2014/07/contrary-to-news-reports-a-bank-teller-was-not-fired-for-saying-have-a-blessed-day/

  • Unwind

    Perhaps you should all look a bit further into the story before coming to conclusions: http://richarddawkins.net/2014/07/contrary-to-news-reports-a-bank-teller-was-not-fired-for-saying-have-a-blessed-day/

  • Pkmakin

    She wasn’t fired for saying “Have a blessed day”.

    On Saturday, July 30th, a customer came into the branch to cash a check
    and when you asked for his signature he exclaimed “Oh Christ!” and you
    asked him “Did you just take the Lord’s name in vain?” and he answered
    you with “Jesus”. You again asked him “Did you just take the Lord’s name
    in vain?” and advised him that you wouldn’t tolerate him doing so in
    your presence and then proceeded to talk to him about salvation
    and telling him that it would be the most important decision he would
    ever make. You also quoted bible verses for him to read.

    There’s a lot more – but the point here is you, patheos.com, lied. You knew the true story and lied to wind up the gullible. Well done. Not exactly Christ-like is it?

  • Futsy

    This is not the whole story, Kathy Schiffer has left out her “Not tolerating” the Lords name being used in vain and her suggestions to customers on what bible verses to read.

    I would have fired her as well, she violating US Bank policy.

    Have a blessed day.

  • This is not news

    Posting half truths is not news, its what tabloids do. Its a shame that all the facts cant be given, rather this “Article” would have its readers bet upset over something that they are half educated about.

  • Gab
  • Bunny Bixler

    blessed be is a wikan greeting…I do not want any religion with my deposits

  • Brigitte
  • Leigh Rich

    Credit Unions are better deal…switch ASAP

  • Roadchaser

    Colossians 3:22, Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart.

    If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. II John 1:10