Oregon man fired for refusing to attend Bible study sessions

Oregon man fired for refusing to attend Bible study sessions August 30, 2018

After Ryan Coleman, 34, was hired as a painter by a construction company in Albany, Oregon, he discovered that the outfit – Dahled Up – required its employees to  partake in regular Bible study sessions led by a Christian pastor during working hours.
According to this report, he went along with this crap for almost six months before deciding enough was enough. He told the owner, Joel Dahl, that the practice was illegal. The deranged Dahl disagreed, saying :

You’re not going to tell me how to run my own company.

Coleman retorted:

I’m not trying to tell you how to run your own company, but you’re not going to tell me what god to pray to.

Coleman’s religious beliefs are indigenous: He’s half Caucasian and half Native American, with Cherokee and Blackfoot heritage.
Said Corinne Schram, a Portland attorney representing Coleman.

This is so illegal. Unless you are a religious organisation like a church, you cannot force your employees to participate in religious activities.

Dahl’s  attorney, Kent Hickam, doesn’t dispute that Dahl requires all of his employees to attend Bible study, but says it’s legal because Dahl pays them to attend.

Mr Dahl feels that it’s unfortunate that he (Coleman) is now trying to exploit Mr Dahl’s honourable intentions for unjustified financial gain.

Dahl struggled with drugs and alcohol and served time in prison for attempted second-degree assault. He said he’s been clean and sober for seven years. He started his company in 2016, with the idea of helping other convicted felons or people who’ve battled addictions rebuild their lives.
Superstition is a big part of Joel Dahl’s life. The company’s Facebook page features photos of recently completed home remodels – often alongside messages of praise to God or Jesus.

Fixing up this old house at times I was discouraged ‘cause there was so much to fix. But Me and God did this together and we got er done.

Another post reads:

Just finished these 2 roofs … Look at God go. He is so awesome.

On his personal Facebook page Dahl posted a picture of himself holding a certificate. The caption reads:

Guess who passed his general contractors exsam [sic] with an 88% ? This guy right here. Thank you JESUS for walking me into and through this challenge. Excited to see what GOD has planned next.

A lawsuit alleging religious discrimination under the Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act, Mr Bible-basher?
Coleman said he’s served prison time for delivery of methamphetamine and child neglect but has now been clean and sober for nearly four years. Earlier this week, he won back full custody of his two children, he said.

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  • L.Long

    “This is so illegal. Unless you are a religious organisation like a church, you cannot force your employees to participate in religious activities.”
    Its completely legal…HOBBY LOBBY!!!!!

  • Lurker111

    Talk about a hostile work environment …
    I’d be tempted to have a New Orleans voodoo priestess make up stuffed dolls of the major players, stick pins in them, and mail them to the company–just for sh*ts and giggles.

  • Rob Andrews

    “He DISCOVERED that the outfit required employees…”
    Sounds lie that wasn’t made clear to him in the beginning. The owner should have made it clear, before hiring anybody. Coleman took the job in without knowing. He’s fulfilling his job as a painter; that’s all he has to do.
    Bible study is extra work. Not agreed to in the first place.

  • Stephen Mynett

    The problem is the Religionists have been emboldened by the odious Trump, who is probably as religious as a spanner but knows the sort of shits who will blindly support him if he gives them a few privileges.
    I have been sceptical about the separation of church and state in the USA for some time but with the present regime I fear it could become non-existent.
    We are lucky here as the regular posters from the USA are literate, thinking people who are willing to accept some things are not right with their country. Unfortunately that cannot be said for many of the Americans I have met on my travels or come across on other fora.
    The Democrats really must get their act together before it is too late or the odious cretin will have it all his way for six more years.

  • AgentCormac

    ‘Excited to see what GOD has planned next.’
    A bit of advice, Joel: go home, sit down and wait for GOD to reveal those plans to you. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. And wait…

  • Broga

    Bad decision regarding his kids. Bible study doesn’t mean bible debate. The omniscient God needs his “truth” to be defended by bigots like this this.

  • andym

    This could get interesting. This is exactly the sort of thing the right mean when they use the term “freedom of religion.” Actually they mean “freedom to impose religion on others.”

  • StephenJP

    Following Stephen Mynett’s comment, it would be interesting to see what might happen if some of the regular commenters here were ‘invited’ by their employer to engage in ‘bible study’…and went along with it. I would wager that most of us are far more knowledgeable about the bible than most pastors. A couple of sessions involving serious, informed discussion of the origin, authorship and meaning of these primitive texts ought to serve to send the pastors back to the safe haven of their captive flocks!

  • barriejohn

    @andym: Spot on.
    StephenJP: It would be a riot!

  • Dionigi

    Reminds me of the old joke of the priest leaning on the gate and saying to the gardener ” It’s amazing what god and man can produce together.” the gardener replied “You should have seen it last year when god had it on his own.”

  • 1859

    Mr. Dahl does deserve some credit for getting his life back on an even keel even if we disagree with his methods. Unfortunately imposing his methods on others in this way is plain barmy. He feels that if religious belief ‘saved’ him, it will ‘save’ everyone else, and he’s unlikely to ever change his mind.

  • barriejohn

    Dionigi: Very funny! A friend of ours used to win the shield every single year for the best garden in town (with his neighbour regularly coming second until our friend decided that it was all becoming a bit too embarrassing), and one weekend when he was working on his front garden the local Christians came along on their door-to-door visitation and tried telling him what a wonderful display of plants God had given him. He lost no time in informing them that it was his hard graft that had produced the results, and not God’s efforts!