Saturday, December 10, 2005

Religious discrimination???


Last week the U.S. based drug store chain Walgreens was accused of engaging in religious discrimination after it placed three (3) Illinois pharmacists under suspension without pay, for refusing to fill prescriptions for the new morning after contraceptive.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which was founded by the terrorist-evangelist Pat Robertson, has now filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Robertson, also the host of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club and founder of the Christian Coalition of America called for the murder of the Venezuelan head of state President Hugo Chavez on August 22nd of this year.

PAT ROBERTSON

“There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.

You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

WALGREENS

Clearly Walgreens was correct in their firing of these pharmacists, under the laws of the State of Illinois and also the United States of America, no pharmacist has the right to refuse to fill an individual’s prescription...unless they believe that the prescription is fraudulent; such as when Walgreen’s refused to fill the fraudulent Xanax prescription of President George Bush’s niece Noel Bush (who is the daughter of Florida state governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush).

Additionally, it is also clear that the American Center for Law and Justice is within its rights to file a religious discrimination suit with the E.E.O.C. However, make no mistake, this situation has been planned for months now; and the most basic civil liberties of all American are now at risk.

There are now two (2) major legal issues a foot here. The first, if these pharmacists had been selling contraceptives to individuals, especially without first asking to see proof of a valid marriage license, how strong were their actual "moral and religious convictions"? The bible states clearly states, and as the pope recently reaffirmed, that the use of contraceptives is strictly forbidden and that sex should only be practiced for the purpose of procreation. As President Bush has repeated stated, abstinence should be practiced outside the confides of a marriage of a man and a woman.

Hence, these Walgreen’s pharmacists should have already resigned their employment positions, as their jobs would have already been in conflict with their “alleged” religious beliefs…so why now? And why would they allow themselves to be represented by the terrorist-evangelist Pat Robertson?

THOU SHALL NOT KILL

The commandment "thou shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17), is better understood to mean "you shall not murder," most modern translations of the Bible now even rend it this way. However, according to the Bible not all killing, or the taking of a life, is murder; rather murder is the unlawful taking of human life. The command not to murder applies to human beings, not to killing animals or plant life for food. God gave animals to mankind for his use (Genesis 1:26-30; 9:1-4). But, this does not mean that humans have the right mistreat animals and the environment (Genesis 2:15; Deuteronomy 22:6-7; 25:4; Proverbs 12:10).

Under the Old Covenant, God allowed the Israelites to kill other humans under very special circumstances; such as punishment for certain sins, for example, murder (Exodus 21:12-14, Leviticus 24:17, 21) and also adultery (Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22-24). God also allowed the Israelites to engage in warfare and even gave them instructions about waging war (Deuteronomy 20:1-20). God also recognized that humans might accidentally kill each other, and he also made provisions for that (Numbers 35:9-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-13).

No where in the bible does it say referring to Fidel Castro as "like a father," or criticizing America for invading Afghanistan are grounds for death. Neither does it says that developing closer relations with Iran, governing a country where 47% of population lives below the poverty line and where there is 17% unemployment is grounds for death. So what was grievous sin committed by the Venezuelan President that warrants that a man should lose his life without ever being given the right a trial of his peers? There is no proof that he has murder anyone, America has not declared war against Venezuela. In fact, Venezuela has enjoyed full and uninterrupted diplomatic relations with the United States of America since 1822.

WHAT ABOUT THE FOUNDING FATHERS

As the religious right is fond of stating, the American founding fathers “Never called for a Separation of Church and State,” which is a subject for a whole other blog posting…for yet another day. However, when James Madison’s proposed wording for the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, he demonstrated that he opposed only the establishment of one federal denomination, not public religious activities. Madison proposal declared: "The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established.

“James Madison had been trained for ministry by Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon, and Madison's writings are filled with declarations of his faith in both God and in Christ. In fact, for further proof of this, one only need read his letter to U.S. Attorney General Bradford; wherein Madison laments that public officials are not bold enough about their Christian faith in public and that public officials should be ‘fervent advocates in the cause of Christ.’ However Madison did often allude to a ‘wall of separation,’ contemporary writers frequently refuse to allow Madison to provide his own definition of that ‘wall.’ According to Madison, the purpose of such a ‘wall’ was only to prevent Congress from passing a national law to establish a national religion.”

Roger Sherman, largely believed to be the most religious of our American founding fathers, argued that the Madison First Amendment was unnecessary because "Congress had no authority whatsoever to delegate to them [states] by the Constitution to make religious establishments."

Thus the second critical issues here are, can the federal courts force an employer to ignore the laws of their state, thus allowing the beliefs of one specific religion denomination to supersede the laws of that state and the beliefs of other religious denominations; including those citizens who claim no affilation to any one specific religious denomination? If so, are we not now walking a very dangerous line of in fact defying our founing fathers by in essence establishing a national religion within America?

The final issue is perhaps even more important, these Walgreen’s employees were aware their employment at times would be in conflict with their own religious beliefs; hell there is a whole wall of condoms at your local Walgreen’s store. Therefore, is not now a “frivolous lawsuit,” seeking to have state and federal judges legislate from their bench?

SOURCES:

The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, 451, 1st Congress, 1st Session. Washington, D.C.: Gales & Seaton 1834; June 8, 1789.

CNN.com - US dismisses call for Chavez's killing - Aug 23, 2005
CNN.com - Robertson apologizes for assassination call - Aug 24, 2005
Pat Robertson's Webpage
Noel Bush - The Smoking Gun
Morning After Pills - Princeton University
The Morning After Pill - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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