Is this the new front in the War on Christmas? Are we now taking the battle to vicious, soulless corporations who heartlessly force their employees to do their jobs?
A week ago, a Macy’s employee spotted a transgender woman going into the women’s dressing room, and decided to stop her and inform her that she wasn’t really a woman. The company promptly fired her, but now the employee has enlisted the help of a hatemongering conservative organization and is claiming that Macy’s discriminated against her religious beliefs by denying her the right to harass whichever customer she chooses.
Johnson says she told a manager, “I’ve made my choice the other day … I refuse to comply with this policy.” Since she was incapable of complying with company rules, Macy’s fired her. Johnson went to the Liberty Counsel, a conservative organization that’s called GLBT rights “a radical agenda,” then filed a complaint with the federal employment commission. When asked for a response, Macy’s said it doesn’t “comment on personnel matters,” adding, “At Macy’s, we recognize and appreciate the diversity of our customers and associates.”
Johnson says that by mandating that all employees appreciate the diversity of Macy’s customers, the store is forcing her to violate her Christian beliefs.
Right. Here we have the overinflated sense of entitlement multiplied by the persecution complex which American Christians have raised to an art form.
That said, I also think that, Liberty Counsel notwithstanding, most American Christians, including the ones who agree with Natalie Johnson’s rather reductive view of gender, would agree that if you cannot perform your work duties as your employer requires, you can work somewhere else.
You are entitled to your beliefs. You are entitled to practice your religion, but only within bounds that do not encroach on someone else’s beliefs. You are not entitled to have your employer bend its policies around your beliefs. You are not entitled to force customers to live according to the rules of your religion.
Your customers do not have to follow your religion. Your employer does not have to follow your religion. The imperative of a major retailer such as Macy’s is to turn a profit by selling goods, and they accomplish that goal by providing good customer service. If you do not provide good customer service, they will not employ you. No one is entitled to draw a paycheck for a job they refuse to do. I could go to my supervisors today and tell them that duplication of efforts is a violation of my religious beliefs, and rather than re-arrange our department’s workflow so that I never have to deal with duplicate invoices, they’d fire me and hire someone who isn’t too devout to get the job done.
If allowing a transgirl into the woman’s dressing room is a violation of your Christian beliefs, then you can go find a job that doesn’t involve dressing rooms. Meanwhile, Macy’s will employ someone who serves all customers so that they will purchase goods. Problem solved on both sides.