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Buddhist Man Fired for Refusing to Print Bible Verses in Company Newsletter

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 7:57 AM
  • 71 Replies


Buddhist Man Fired for Refusing to Print Bible Verses in Company Newsletter

When a Buddhist man refused to print verses from the Bible in a wireless service company’s daily newsletter, the company fired him.

Now, Jef Mindrup is suing Goodman Networks, where he had worked for eight years, on the grounds that he was asked to violate his “sincerely held religious beliefs” by printing the verses, and was then fired for refusing to do so.

Mindrup was the director of marketing communications. Part of the Texas man’s responsibilities was to write up a daily company newsletter called the “The Morning Coffee.”

He had been executing this task for six years when, in March of 2012, the company’s cofounder, Jody Goodman, asked him to start printing Bible verses in the newsletter. Mindrup was told to begin the change with the following morning’s newsletter.

In his emailed response to Jody the next day, Mindrup informing her that he would be “unable to add quotes or scriptures from the Bible as you’ve requested. I have always taken great care to avoid any quotes that would offend others as well as my own personal religious beliefs.”

Goodman’s initial reaction was to state, “I respect your beliefs.”

However, the lawsuit alleges that on very next day, in an after-hours telephone call, Mindrup “was fired by defendant for his refusal to include the Bible verses in The Morning Coffee. He was fired without any warning or progressive discipline.”

Mindrup took the issue to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The company told the board that the termination of Mindrup’s employment was part of a “pre-planned and well-thought out reduction in force.”

Mindrup’s lawsuit maintains that this explanation was merely the company’s attempt to cover up the illegal discrimination “on the basis of his religion” to which he was subjected.

He is suing Goodman Networks for lost wages, damages for Title VII discrimination and punitive damages for pain and suffering.

Sources: http://www.rawstory.com, http://blogs.dallasobserver.com

Photo Source: http://www.diffen.com

by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 7:57 AM
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crazycane
by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:30 AM
1 mom liked this

"Now, Jef Mindrup is suing Goodman Networks, where he had worked for eight years, on the grounds that he was asked to violate his “sincerely held religious beliefs” by printing the verses, and was then fired for refusing to do so"

Sorry, but Goodman Networks is not a church, or a temple or any house of worship.

Keep religion out of the workplace.

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:40 AM
2 moms liked this
His boss brought religion into it, not him.

Quoting crazycane:

"Now, Jef Mindrup is suing Goodman Networks, where he had worked for eight years, on the grounds that he was asked to violate his “sincerely held religious beliefs” by printing the verses, and was then fired for refusing to do so"


Sorry, but Goodman Networks is not a church, or a temple or any house of worship.


Keep religion out of the workplace.

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colins_mom
by Silver Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:41 AM
2 moms liked this
I agree. It was also not a Christian company so the bible verses shouldn't have been in the newsletter.

If it was a Christian company and always had been I could understand that being there.


Quoting crazycane:

"Now, Jef Mindrup is suing Goodman Networks, where he had worked for eight years, on the grounds that he was asked to violate his “sincerely held religious beliefs” by printing the verses, and was then fired for refusing to do so"


Sorry, but Goodman Networks is not a church, or a temple or any house of worship.


Keep religion out of the workplace.

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:42 AM
2 moms liked this

 You are absolutely correct  he should not have been forced to write bible verses at any time during his employement as religion does not belong in the workplace. Very good point. The company is wrong. Individuals are allowed religious freedom corporations are not.

Quoting crazycane:

"Now, Jef Mindrup is suing Goodman Networks, where he had worked for eight years, on the grounds that he was asked to violate his “sincerely held religious beliefs” by printing the verses, and was then fired for refusing to do so"

Sorry, but Goodman Networks is not a church, or a temple or any house of worship.

Keep religion out of the workplace.

 

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:43 AM
2 moms liked this

Can't wait to hear the religious persecution claims because christians can't force a budhist to write christian bible verses

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:48 AM
I.hope they nail that company to the wall.
romalove
by Roma on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:56 AM
3 moms liked this

The Buddhist guy should put whatever is requested into the newsletter if that is his job.  The company owner shouldn't be putting religious stuff into a company newsletter unless he's running a religious organization, which a wireless company is not.

If your religion doesn't allow you to perform tasks at a job, you shouldn't be doing that job.  But I feel that way about any held conviction or principle.

Small story:  many years ago I worked for Philip Morris at their Manhattan headquarters.  I had some discomfort in working for a tobacco company, but had sort of made it OK in my head, I wasn't in the plant, I was in Communications Research and was typing in an office.  Anyway, at some point they started sending us letters about upcoming tobacco legislation, and would ask that we write our congressmen/senators to ask them to vote "our" way, and they wanted a copy of our communications sent back to upper management. 

I got another job.  I didn't want to advocate "for" tobacco and have someone toting up how many letters I wrote in that regard.  For me, that violated my sense of values and ethics, and I quit that company.

Everyone has what they can and cannot do.  In the situation at hand, we see the insanity of religion in the workplace.  There are now competing issues.

12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Why would printing Bible verse be offensive to a Buddhist?  And what laws prevents a company from representing diversity?  

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 9:39 AM
1 mom liked this
It depends. Were they asking him to insert an already chosen verse or were they expecting him to peruse the bible and grab quotes that the boss might like.
I can totally see the second possibility as a very passive aggressive attempt at conversion. I would likely request equal time for various religions if I had to put in religious quotes
jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 10:04 AM
2 moms liked this

Typically I say if you can't perform the duties of your job, then you should quit or be fired.  If this was TRULY a job duty, then he should do it.  But the company is out of line requesting Bible verses in the first place. 

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