The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
slobodow
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs should be legal in the workplace

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/19/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,701 times Debate No: 8703
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

In many countries it is illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their religious beliefs. (1, 2, 3)

First of all, I should like to make it clear that discrimination in the workplace on the basis of ethnicity or sex should be outlawed because an individual has no power to choose whether to be born black or white or male or female. However, people do have the freedom to choose their religion, or, indeed, to follow no religion at all.

To illustrate my point, imagine you are walking through an airport terminal when you are approached by a pack of Christian evangelists who tell you that if you don't repent of your sins and let Jesus into your heart and give them your credit card details you are going to go to Hell in a handcart.

Then, while you are still digesting these words, a bunch of Hasidic Jews come up to you and tell you that the Christians are talking out of their arses and it's the Children of Israel who are God's chosen people and that unless you convert to Judaism and join their synagogue (basic membership fee $3,000 per annum, payable cash in advance, please note a strict "no pay no pray" policy is maintained) you will be condemned to suffer in the fiery pits of the underworld for ever and a day.

Now, at that moment, a group of radical Islamic clerics wade into the argument and tell you that only pious Muslims who give 2.5% of their annual income in alms and warriors who die fighting in the cause of Allah will be ushered into Paradise and all non-believers will be punished eternally.

Okay, so you duly evaluate the various arguments and decide to sign up with the Jews. So, having agreed to abide by the 'ten commitments' (4) and having handed over a substantial wedge of cash and having made an appointment to get your, er...self, snipped by a knife-wielding Rabbi, you say farewell and make your way towards the departures lounge.

"Oy vey!" cries one of the Hasidic recruitment officers, "Remember the Sabbath day, that you may sanctify it. (Exodus 20:8)"

"You what, mate?" you reply.

"You can't fly today because today is Saturday which is the Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath". (5) the Rabbi says.

"Yes, I see", you say, "but I've got a vital business meeting in Tokyo first thing on Monday morning and because of the length of the flight and the time difference, if I leave tomorrow I won't arrive in time and my company will forfeit a multi-million dollar deal as a result".

"Well, that can't be helped, I'm afraid" the Rabbi continues, "You'll have to call your boss and tell him you can't go because you've converted to Judaism and the Torah commands you to observe the Shabbat".

So you call your boss at home and explain that you have found religion and that the holy scriptures command you to stay at home and do sod all on Saturdays and that he can stick his deal up his Gary Glitter as far as you are concerned and that there's nothing he can do about it because it is a matter of religious observance and that it's illegal to discipline employees for complying with their spiritual obligations.

As a result, you get to go home and spend the weekend relaxing with your friends while your boss calls one of your non-religious colleagues and explains to him that he will have to abandon his terminally-ill wife's hospital bedside, leave his kids with his brother (who happens to live in a crack house with a convicted paedophile, an escaped mental patient and a recovering pyromaniac) and get on the next flight to Japan in order to cover for you.

But would this arrangement be fair to your employer or your co-worker? I don't think so but this sort of thing happens all the time. (6)

Clearly, in a secular society, laws that protect the right of employees to practice their religion should not be allowed to interfere with the commercial interests of their employers and legislation that punishes companies for discriminating against people of faith should, therefore, be repealed.

Thank you.

(1)http://www.adviceguide.org.uk...

(2) http://ec.europa.eu...

(3) http://www.eeoc.gov...

(4) http://www.convertingtojudaism.com...

(5) http://www.jpost.com...

(6) http://www.bsos.umd.edu...
slobodow

Con

This arguement my opponant presented is based on a highly unlikely story.

Its like saying eagles should be hunted because what if an eagle sees a kid playing with his pet mouse, goes for the mouse and accidently bites the kids fingers off, and the kid dies of bleeding to death.

For one lets think of the majority of these situations, most religious holidays that have an excuse from work are not frequent, most religions dont have so many holidays they dont work, in jewdaism its only 8 days of chanuka, still have to work though, yom kipper, where you dont have to work, rosh hashana, dont have to work, and shabbat nights where you still have to work.
as cited here
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.jewfaq.org...
http://www.religioustolerance.org...
Also your argueing "Discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs should be legal in the workplace", meaning you can descriminate other religions, and your arguement that converting causing some one to be late is possible is irrelivant to that.
Discrimination is not disallowing holidays it is allowing people to insult people of seperate religions due to their religious beliefs.
Allowing such would cause for to much controversy, personal grudges, and distracting debates minimizing work flow.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

With many thanks to slobodow for accepting this debate, I should acknowledge that my story in the opening round was indeed "highly unlikely" but was so deliberately in order to exaggerate the perfectly valid point that people of faith enjoy special privileges over other employees in the workplace.

For example, British Airways' rules used to state that employees' "jewellery must be worn out of sight, beneath a uniform" but now certain members of staff are allowed to wear jewellery openly. But who are these specially privileged workers? The senior management? Employees with long-service records? Staff that have received outstanding achievement awards? No, this extra benefit is only extended to workers with religious beliefs - anyone else openly wearing jewellery could be sacked on the spot. (1)

Now let's say you were living in America prior to the last election and you turned up for work wearing a pro-Obama peace t-shirt like this one:

http://shop.cafepress.com...

Your boss might very well ask you not to wear it for fear of upsetting Republican customers, right?

Now let's say you turned up for work wearing an anti-Obama Christian t-shirt like this one:

http://www.christianshirts.net...

Your boss might like to ask you not to wear it for fear of upsetting Democrat customers but he couldn't because it symbolises your faith and you are, therefore, protected by law.

Okay, now let's say you are offered a job as a bank teller and the manager tells you that your hours of work are 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. on Saturdays. Imagine you are a political activist and your committee meetings are held on Saturday mornings and you explain to the bank manager that you are unable to work on Saturday mornings for that reason but he replies that the hours of work apply to all tellers and that they form part of the contract of employment. What are you going to do? Either give up your political activities or turn down the job, right?

Not so if Saturday happens to be the Sabbath in your chosen religion though. You can turn round to your future boss and tell him that you will take the job but he cannot enforce the terms of the contract of employment upon you and make you work Saturdays because contract law is subordinate to national legislation and that if he attempts to either refuse to employ you or penalise you for not working Saturdays you will drag him and the bank through the courts. Now that's not just or equitable, is it?

In response to my opponent's final point: "Discrimination is not disallowing holidays it is allowing people to insult people of separate religions due to their religious beliefs."

Holidays are not the real issue here as, while an employer is obliged to grant a religious employee special days off work in respect of their faith, they normally come out of their annual leave entitlement, which is a fairly reasonable comprimise.

However, when it comes to slurs, employees are insulted at work for all sorts of reasons - it could be due to their appearance, their personal habits, their political ideals or their religious beliefs. In most cases these matters are dealt with by the way of internal disciplinary procedures but in the case of religious insults the Company can be held vicariously liable for their employees' ill-considered remarks in a court of law and suffer substantial financial losses as a consequence.

In the final analysis, someone's life-long, deeply-held political beliefs cannot, and should not, be considered legally less valid than another person's religious beliefs and employers and non-religious co-workers should not be penalised as a result of this legislative assumption.

Thank you.

(1)http://www.thisislondon.co.uk...
slobodow

Con

slobodow forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
Defaulted Pro because of forfeit.
Posted by brittwaller 7 years ago
brittwaller
slobodow... For the love of god start using the Spellchecker!!!

"Jewdaism" was my favourite, I have to say:)
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
butt
Posted by ilovgoogle 7 years ago
ilovgoogle
You guys really need to define discrimination; it's hurting this debate.
Posted by untitled_entity 7 years ago
untitled_entity
way to base your constructive on simple stereotypes.
Posted by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
My opinion is that the workplace should be allowed to hire anyone they want, down with the regulations.
Posted by thisoneguy 7 years ago
thisoneguy
Agreed Brian !!!!!,,,,, Sack all Satanic, murderous, pedophile, lying, manipulating,warmongering, evil, controlling, scheming, and so on...... Freemasons. ! We could start with Brown and Obama. !!
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
I've changed it.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
"You cannot accept this challenge because you do not match the Instigator's age and/or rank criteria."

Again.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
brian_egglestonslobodowTied
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Vote Placed by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
brian_egglestonslobodowTied
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Vote Placed by slobodow 7 years ago
slobodow
brian_egglestonslobodowTied
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Vote Placed by LB628 7 years ago
LB628
brian_egglestonslobodowTied
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