Because “It Made Her Feel Uncomfortable”
The following article is a thought-provoking wake up call by Dan Calabrese. Posted with permission.
Gay marriage won’t affect you at all. Gay rights won’t take away your rights at all. Remember those statements? Seems like a long time ago that the secular left was making those claims, when in fact its was only a few months ago. Before Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Before Memories Pizza. Before Kim Davis. And let’s talk about Kim Davis for a second, because the secular left claims the issue with her is not her faith, but that she didn’t do her job – an argument that implies that as long as she did her job, she could have exercised her faith all she wanted.
Well that brings us to Chris Routson.
Routson had spent the past 13 years as a material handler for Middletown, Ohio-based Precision Strip, and he was well-known for sharing his Christian faith with everyone at the company. So it was not unusual that he did so in the form of a message to a new employee, who happened to be lesbian. Routson and this particular colleague got into a discussion – outside work hours over Facebook – about whether Christians hate homosexuals, and in an attempt to demonstrate that Christians do not hate homosexuals, Routson recommended that she see the film Audacity, which was actually produced for the purpose of addressing that very issue.
And that’s where Routson’s trouble started, leading all the way up to his termination for making her “uncomfortable”:
Routson was told that he was terminated not because of his faith, but for making his co-workers “uncomfortable.” He was first told to stop doing this after he friended one of his lesbian co-workers on Facebook, and recommended the film Audacity to her on his own time from home.
She didn’t seem bothered by this, but the next day Routson was informed he had made a co-worker uncomfortable and he was to stop. He said that he couldn’t stop sharing his faith, and his supervisors said it wasn’t about his faith, just about making co-workers “uncomfortable.”
Two days later, Routson shared his personal testimony with a different co-worker, telling her “Every new person I meet I want to share the gospel with them and if they still want to be my friend then I have gained a friend.”
Later he recommended the film Audacity to her and she never seemed uncomfortable or like she didn’t want to discuss the topic with him, even sharing about her own family discussion on homosexuality.
It was not long after this that Routson was called into his manager’s office and told that he was making an employee uncomfortable and would need to go home. He was told to report the following morning at the usual time, but then was called early the next morning to come in several hours later. Upon his arrival, he was terminated, asked to take his belongings and leave immediately.
I spoke with Routson yesterday, and he told me that he has a practice of always reaching out to fellow employees – Christian or not, straight or gay – and talking about his faith. In this particular case, he was surprised to learn of the complaint because the employee he was talking with had given him no reason to think she had a problem with the discussion. He simply wanted to recommend this film to her.
“I told her it was a film that would squash the stereotypes between homosexuality and Christians – and that we as Christians don’t hate them,” Routson told me.
That was apparently too much for this employee to deal with, and she quickly went to management. At that point, it would appear, management did what many in business have shown a tendency to do in these times – which is to quickly cave to any complaint gay activists might have out of fear they will deal with protests, boycotts, media criticism, etc.
I’ll tell you again what I’ve been saying all along here: The gay marriage/gay rights thing has never been about gay marriage or gay rights. It’s about finding a clever way to effectively criminalize Christianity. You can’t straight-out ban the exercise of religion. Instead, what the secular left has decided it can do is to redefine “discrimination” so that anyone who talks about their faith to others is essentially guilty of it. Now all you have to do is make someone “uncomfortable” and you lose your job.
So how do you justify this one, secular left? Chris Routson was doing his job, and doing it well according to his reviews. His conversation with the colleague in question took place after hours and outside work. And let’s game this out a little bit. When I worked as a full-time employee for various newspapers, it wasn’t uncommon for groups of employees to be invited out to the bar for a drink. I don’t drink, so these invitations weren’t the most welcome thing from my perspective because I knew that by turning them down I was probably placing myself outside the mainstream of the workplace culture. But I would never have dreamed of going to management and registering a complaint that it made me feel “uncomfortable.” Who does that? A workplace is filled with all kinds of different people and if some are not like you, that’s life. You deal with it.
Is the secular left really prepared to see people fired from their jobs for making movie recommendations? Or is that only OK to fire them if they make Christian movie recommendations? And if that’s the case, then why don’t they just admit that their target has been Christianity – and everyone who openly practices it – all along?
Dan Calabrese is editor-in-chief of HermanCain.com, the multimedia site owned by former presidential candidate Herman Cain, and a columnist for the Detroit News. In addition, he is an accomplished business and trade journalist – and is the author of The Royal Oak Series of Spiritual Thrillers, which is available for purchase at Dan Calabrese Books. Dan and his family live in Royal Oak, Michigan.
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