I’m a huge, huge defender of religious freedom. I believe in religious freedom for every faith, not just my own; I believe that the First Amendment Free Exercise clause grants broad freedoms that can be limited only in extreme cases (child sacrifice comes to mind). I blog about that regularly.

But that doesn’t mean that every single claim of “religious discrimination” is that: religious discrimination. Case in point: Kimberly Bloom v. Aldi, outlined below.

Judge Sends EEOC Case Against Aldi to Trial

First, here is a lady with skewed “Christian” views. She isn’t part of a local church, which doesn’t disqualify her from having free exercise rights, but it does qualify her from considering her beliefs to be labeled “Christian”, at least in a Biblical sense of the term. This lady is engaging in selective reading of Scripture, holding to hallowing the “Sabbath” (which is not, by the way, Sunday), but having no sense of the importance of a local church. Talk about straining at a gnat while choking down a camel! That might not be germane to the discussion ultimately, but it bears being said. There, I said it.

Second, Aldi made a sincere attempt to accommodate her beliefs. Her argument that she could not switch with co-workers, on the basis of her beliefs, strains credulity and skews Christian faith. If her faith would compel her not to work on Sunday, that’s fair enough, I suppose, but to ask others to fill for her, others who might not be professing Christians, might have no problem with working Sundays, simply makes no sense. Further, if Aldi is erring by being open on Sundays, would she not be more consistent to leave her job and find a more suitable employer?

Religious freedom ought to be broad, but this doesn’t ring true. Unless someone can convince me otherwise, it says here that Aldi ought to prevail.

3 responses »

  1. Ann Hilling says:

    First, you say this is a lady with “skewed” Christian views, I do not believe that anyone should judge someone else’s relationship with God. Second, the fact that she does not attend an organized religion is completely irrelevant. The fourth commandment says to honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy, to a practicing Christian, Sunday is the “Sabbat” (day of rest). Sabbat or Sabbath does not mean Saturday or Sunday, look in Wikipedia, it means day of rest.
    If you are a Christian, your body is the temple of God and the Bible does say that “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20. Also, if someone does not attend a church, but does read the Bible and have discussions about it with their family daily. Who could judge if the person who attends church every Sunday but does not open the Bible the rest of the week is the better Christian. If you have a desire to attend a church building than by all means do. If not, let no man condemn you, conviction must come from within, otherwise you are simply conforming to abstract rules of conduct and your heart will not be in it. I hear some say true Christians will want to go to church. True believers always desire to gather with other true believers, but this may not always take place in a church building. Apostle Paul often met with people in their homes, not always church, Acts 20:20 and also Romans 16:5. Paul states to greet the church that is in their house. Please also keep in mind the current apostasy that affects most churches today. God’s people need only to abide in Christ and he will provide the means for where and how they meet with others. Remember Christ is the head of the Church. We dare not limit or instruct Him on how He heads his members.
    You also stated that her not asking someone to work for her on a Sunday was another “skewed” Christian belief. I thought we were supposed to be Christ like. Christ would have NEVER asked anyone to do something that He believed was wrong. If someone professes to be a Christian how can they knowingly ask someone to do something for them that they know is wrong.
    Last I will comment on what you said about her finding another job. God help us all if it would come down to our civil rights not being protected. So, I guess if your employer asks you to do something that you think is wrong, you should either do it or just leave your job after many years. That does not sound like the America that I would want to live in.

  2. Byron says:

    Ann,

    Thanks for your reasoned response. I believe, however, that on nearly every point, you’re mistaken. Allow me to explain.

    First, you said that “I do not believe anyone should judge someone else’s relationship with God”. This is wrong in any number of ways. One, the argument is self-refuting. You have “judged” my relationship with God to be lacking, in that I take it upon myself to judge others. You find that wrong; that is a judgment in and of itself.

    Two, what I am judging is not, per se, her relationship with God, at least as to its validity; I make no judgment about whether or not the lady is born again. What I do judge–and what we as Christians are required to judge, if we would be faithful to God–is the content of one particular belief of hers. It does not line up with the Bible. Are we not to “judge” the “relationship(s) with God” of Muslims, Hindus, cannibals, etc. on the basis of the truthfulness of their belief systems? Similarly, we can, indeed must, judge the truthfulness of the belief systems of professing Christians, and I can make a strong argument that one of the plagues of contemporary evangelical Christianity is that we judge far too little (that’s how someone like Joel Osteen, whose message at least borders on heresy, can be accepted by “evangelical” bookstores, “Christian TV”, etc.).

    Three, Jesus told us to judge. “Judge righteous judgment”, He said, in opposition to the judgments that the religious leaders were pronouncing, based upon their own opinions and predilections instead of the righteous standard of God’s Word. Please don’t trot out Matthew 7, perhaps the most consistently-misinterpreted passage in the entire Bible, because in its immediate context, it cannot mean that we are to make no judgments. The Bereans “searched the Scriptures daily” to see if what Paul was saying was so; in other words, to render a judgment upon the truthfulness of his words.

    Your next misunderstanding is regarding the Sabbath. The “Sabbath” for the Christian is not a day of the week, but rather Christ Himself, according to Hebrews 4. That does not, by the way, negate the importance of taking time away to rest, refresh, etc.; I do believe that to be a principle (not a legalism) that God has ordained. Sunday is the “Lord’s Day”, on the basis of Christ’s resurrection; it is not my “Sabbath”. You quote Wikipedia; I will as well, and it says that Sabbath originally denoted Saturday, the seventh day of the week, and we certainly see this from the Genesis account. To insist upon Sunday as the Sabbath, with its attendant rules and regulations, is to place ourselves under a yoke of bondage again to the Law. Romans 14 seems to make it pretty clear that we ought not judge people on the basis of whether or not those people choose to observe one day above another.

    Because I’ve got family stuff to do, I’m going to stop here and pick up later with what I believe to be, on your part and on Kimberly Bloom’s, a tremendously-deficient understanding of the New Testament’s teaching about the church. Do understand my comments to be, not critical for the sake of being so, but because I passionately believe that you have bought into some flawed thinking and are reading Scripture selectively (though I’m sure that’s unintentional on your part).

  3. Byron says:

    Now back to my commenting, Ann. Your comments about church contain some truth, but some error as well. First, let me agree with you that being in a building isn’t the issue; church is not a building, but rather people. I didn’t, by the way, refer to church as a building, nor is church a meeting; church is people. That said, you set up a false dichotomy, asking me whether it’s better for a person to read the Bible and discuss it with family (but not be part of a church), or for a person to “go to church” on Sunday but never open a Bible the rest of the week–as if those were the only two choices available. Frankly, they’re both lousy!

    The point is that it is absolutely, non-negotiably essential to the Christian life to be part of a local church, where the gospel is taught, the ordinances are administered, and the fellowship of the saints is obvious. The New Testament knows nothing–nothing–of “solitary Christianity”, and this is, apparently, Ms. Bloom’s idea of Christian faith, that reading the Bible and watching “Christian TV” can serve as an adequate substitute. Under no circumstances can this be the case, and the only reason for “forsaking the assembling of yourselves together” might be incapacitation, not willful withdrawal.

    More later; got to go home!

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