Is Religious Discrimination Wrong?

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  1. marriedwithdebt profile image72
    marriedwithdebtposted 7 years ago

    So, I generally try to stay away from religious topics, but I just got to thinking after reading an article about people who won't vote for Romney or Huntsman because they are Mormons.

    Is it really wrong to discriminate based on religion?

    Let me start out by saying that I'm 110% against discrimination based on things that are beyond people's control: gender, color of skin, disability, sexual orientation, age, etc. I fiercely oppose this discrimination wherever I see it. I DO NOT stay quiet if I witness it.

    So on to religious discrimination...

    Pretend that I'm a hiring manager for a sales firm. (I am not) - this is for discussion purposes. I interview a man and he seems good, but then I ask him if he has any questions for me. He asks "I am a devout Muslim and I will not shake hands with women nor will I sit at a table with them and discuss business. Will that be a problem?"

    Yes, it's a huge problem. Many of the companies I deal with are owned by women. I tell him that I will not be able to hire him.

    I have just committed religious discrimination.

    Another person walks in and when it gets to the point that she asks me questions, she says - "I am a devout Christian and it is my calling to try to convert everyone I meet. Is it OK that at the end of every sales meeting, I do a presentation on the Southern Baptist Church and ask if they have found Christ?"

    No, I tell her. I cannot hire you. I have discriminated again.

    What I am trying to get at is, isn't religious discrimination simply taking a look at the ideas that someone has chosen to subscribe to, and judging them based on their merits?

    Isn't that what we should strive for as a civilized people?

    Let's say I adhere to a religion that believes children should provide slave labor then be forced into arranged marriages at the age of 10. If I tell you this, is it wrong that you refuse to hire me or to be my friend?

    I must also say that I do not believe AT ALL that people should be punished for their beliefs, UNLESS they manifest as criminal acts (i.e. polygamy, child abuse, etc).


    1. A Troubled Man profile image59
      A Troubled Manposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Nope, you have told him the requirements of the position and he has refused to abide by them. It doesn't matter what the reason.

      Nope, they want to use company paid time to further their own personal agendas.

      Not unless the candidate plans to provide slave labor or arrange someones marriage at work.

    2. LookingForWalden profile image61
      LookingForWaldenposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      First, I must applaud your beliefs as I share similar ones myself.

      You go on to pose an interesting question.
      I guess I would imagine that if someone's religion interfered with anyone else's civil rights or freedoms then that is where the line would be drawn. That's why having a secular government seems to be best. The law of the nation trumps laws of religion and protects everyone.

    3. pennyofheaven profile image79
      pennyofheavenposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Discriminating is not a useful exercise in any endeavor.

  2. paradigmsearch profile image89
    paradigmsearchposted 7 years ago

    A person's practices are a legitimate parameter as to hiring decisions. It does not matter what that person's reasons are for those practices. That is the ethical answer. As to the legal answer, who the hell knows...?

  3. marriedwithdebt profile image72
    marriedwithdebtposted 7 years ago

    I don't want everyone to get bogged down on te legal stuff. I'm asking if it is ok to morally discriminate based on religion and ideas.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Hope to have an interesting discussion...

    1. Cagsil profile image82
      Cagsilposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Discrimination isn't and cannot be a moral action. It can only be an immoral action, which is bad.

      However, voting for people isn't solely based on religion of that individual, so there's no discrimination.

      1. marriedwithdebt profile image72
        marriedwithdebtposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        So you never judge someone based on their ideas, or you feel like a bad person when you do?

        1. Cagsil profile image82
          Cagsilposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I don't judge people based on their ideas. I judge the idea based on it's merit. I judge people based on their actions.

    2. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I think maybe you're confusing discrimination with discretion.
      Everyone have (or should have) the right to use their discretion without being accused of discrimination.
      Unlike the rules we're being force-fed these days, it really really is okay to NOT like someone's attitude or actions.  Or even their religion.  It's okay to avoid someone if you don't like them or their actions including their religion!  It's just not okay to persecute them or personally attack them or try to enact some sort of vengeance upon them.  Heck, it's okay to not like someone's hair color or face or clothing.  Is that a new concept?  I don't think so.  It's a human right that's slowly being taken from us in this age of activism and calls for tolerance for anything and everything.

  4. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 7 years ago

    I know quite a few people with what I consider bizarre religious beliefs. I don't judge them by that. But, they don't work for me and they aren't asking that I vote to allow them to represent me.

    I would prefer not to hire the devoutly religious, but that is based on their actions also. I don't think they make good workers.

    I would never vote for one, but that is based on their beliefs. They wouldn't be representative of the people they were supposed to be working for.

    I don't consider myself prejudiced on any of those counts

  5. paradigmsearch profile image89
    paradigmsearchposted 7 years ago


    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      What are you marking?

  6. vintageglamour profile image61
    vintageglamourposted 7 years ago

    i think it's wrong

    beneath most religions is a thread of commonality anyway. people are just too caught up in the labelling of each religion to see that. it's highly unfortunate.

    i'm not a fan of organized religion though. i prefer to read and learn about different religions on my own or hopefully one day through travel.


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