Our take is that you should exercise your beliefs first through your actions – Jesus said to love your neighbor and that means we need to love those in the cubicle next to us. The Ten Commandments tell us not to steal, so our timecards should be accurate. The Apostle Paul tells us not to slack off just because we are slaves and so on.
Far too many people of all faith groups have substituted an inner-change with external rituals. To be “religious” only means you are habitual in your practices. If your faith is all about external practices and not about the heart, then what’s the point of making a stink at work? Why are we shocked when the world acts worldly? And who are we to demand that they act like we do?
Don’t get me wrong — the workplace shouldn’t be hostile toward religious expression –– but their can be a limit when it comes to allowances for expression. If you believe that a goat must be sacrificed at high noon, safety and health concerns can – and should – trump that. If you must be excused for hourly prayers for extended periods, then you might be best not to saddle your employer with such a request.
There are many jobs out there that I wouldn’t do because of my faith. For example, I would not be a bartender. It would be outrageous to take a job in a bar, and then demand that I not come into contact with booze. I choose to find work in other fields and so should you if you are offended.
So accommodations like the ABC article suggests are fine – allowing private space for noon prayer meetings, providing chaplains, and allowing time off for religious holidays. But as religious people we should less about demanding accommodation and more about working to the best of our abilities so our God gets the glory.
What do you think? Leave a comment below….