Friday, December 7, 2007

How about another firing

So far the score is one science curriculum director fired for doing her job and one professor denied tenure for not doing his. Notice the trend here?

Let's add to the trend. Mr. Nathaniel Abraham. a biologist was hired in 2004 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Later that same year he was fired because he refused to work on the "evolutionary aspects" of the National Institutes of Health grant for which he was hired, even though the project clearly required scientists to use the principles of evolution in their analyses and writings.

Now three years later he is suing because he feels his civil rights were violated and he was fired based on religious grounds. Now this isn't his first attempt at some sort of restitution
. This article mentioned that "Abraham filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in 2005. The commission dismissed the complaint earlier this year [2007], saying it would be challenging for Woods Hole to employ Abraham because of his request not to work on evolutionary aspects of the project."

Would you fire someone hired to be a butcher because they are a vegetarian and refuse to cut and package meat? Would you fire a doctor who refuses to see patients? I know I would get fired by my college for refusing to teach classes. I would expect it and so should Mr. Abraham! If an employer cannot fire someone who fails to perform required aspects of the job for which they were hired to do, what recourse do they have?

Apparently he
didn't disclose his beliefs before being hired. Now I know Woods Hole didn't ask him his beliefs because that's not a question a reputable agency wouldn't ask. What I am sure they did is spell out the responsibilities of the position before he was hired. I say that for two reasons. I am pretty sure an Institute like Woods Hole would be trying to hire qualified people and Mr. Abraham also shares that responsibility by understanding the job requirements before accepting the position. So I believe it is reasonable for Woods Hole to have an expectation that Mr. Abraham would perform all the tasks required of the position, and I guess the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination agrees with me.

Another article on the subject identifies his lawyer as
David C. Gibbs, III, the general counsel of the Christian Law Association. (Current project: "Keeping Christ in Christmas.") . Take a look at that link. The webpage says "Is it illegal for my community to include religious symbols in its Christmas holiday celebrations?" "Can Christian teachers in public schools legally teach students the true origin of Christmas?" "Can I say 'Merry Christmas' to co-workers at the office?" How can you equate all three of those? I will agree that many communities go to far in the name of political correctness by banning any mention of Christ and religious symbols in celebrations. But the second one is against the law! Teachers are hired to teach specific areas and just because a teacher is a certain religion, it is illegal for them to teach their personal religious beliefs in a public school classroom. My own parochial school teachers would agree. Laymen should leave the teaching of religions to those equipped to handle it. I can imagine the hue and cry if a teacher who happens to be non-Christian started teaching their beliefs! I also believe any teacher that does that in the public school should be fired . . . are you paying attention Mr. Abraham. Such a teacher would be doing exactly what you did . . .they would not be doing the job they were hired to do. If they insist then the school system has the right to fire them! The school system has to have the right to fire them.

OK, back to the trend. Another creationist FAILS to do their job and is held accountable for it. Mr. Abraham can join Professor Gonzales and they can commiserate over a beer their fates and their own role in what happened to them. Gentlemen, the world isn't out to get you, the world isn't even out to eradicate all things religious. In your cases you failed to meet expectation and paid the price for your failure. There are various methods of appeal and even the legal system to help address your concerns, but don't set your own expectations to high. If an organization is allowed to have an expectation of you doing your job, then I hope a court will recognize this and deal with you accordingly. I plan on keeping an eye on this suit and see what happens, I hope we all do!!

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