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Ovation: I Support The Firing Of Polly “Have a Blessed Day” Neace.

07/09/2014

I Support US BankI have a job, I have a job description and I have a boss.  I do what is expected of me, I follow my supervisor’s instructions and I get paid for my service.  I don’t always like what I have to do.  In fact, sometimes I don’t look forward to it at all.  I think that’s why it’s called going to “work” instead of going to “fun”.  Some people seem to understand the concept of employment differently.  They seem to believe that their faith somehow trumps their paychecks and that it’s ok to defy orders if they believe it’s the right thing to do.  Pharmacists who refuse to sell “morning after pills” and county clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when their job descriptions indicate that they are to do so are, quite simply, insubordinate employees … regardless of their reasoning.

In light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, the U.S. court system will surely fill with cases involving individuals and corporations attempting to use “sincerely held religious beliefs” as an excuse to avoid doing or paying for any number of things.  Or, as in the case of Polly Neace of Walton, Kentucky, to sue an employer after being fired from a job as a bank teller.

Polly NeaceMs. Neace, as a matter of practice, said the phrase “Have a blessed day” all of the time to customers as she worked, Monday through Friday in the local U.S. Bank branch.  Saying this phrase didn’t appear to be an issue at first but, in March 2011, she received a code of ethics violation stating that several customers had complained about her using the phrase.  Neace, who says she lives her beliefs every day, took her proselytizing even further by asking customers if they accepted Jesus as their savior.  The bank found this, also, to be unacceptable and she was reprimanded again but she continued, despite multiple warnings, to use the phrase until she was ultimately fired.

Polly Neace has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Bank claiming she was discriminated against for exercising her religious freedoms.

Sorry, Polly, you were fired because you didn’t do what you were told by the folks who were signing your paycheck.  In the same manner that fast food restaurants can instruct their employees to ask “do you want fries with that”, most companies can instruct their employees to refrain from asking questions or using phrases that do not conform to their standards and practices.

If Hobby Lobby can force religion onto its employees, why can’t U.S. Bank force secularism onto its own?

Surely, U.S. Bank will win the pending lawsuit filed by Ms. Neace as she was not discriminated against for exercising her “religious freedoms”.  She was fired because she didn’t perform her duties as instructed by her supervisor … she was fired for insubordination.

And those pharmacists should be fired, too.  And those county clerks.  I’d be fired if I refused to do MY job.

If Polly Neace wins this lawsuit, will it be just a matter of time before firemen refuse to put out fires at abortion clinics and paramedics refuse to give treatment to unwed mothers?  Before Jewish or Muslim customers are turned away at Catholic-run hospital?  Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination regardless of the underlying reason.  I wonder how Polly would react if the cashier at Piggly Wiggly asked her if she’d found Allah.

I support the firing of Polly “Have a Blessed Day” Neace.  Do you?

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12 Comments
  1. I absolutely support her firing. I am so tired of people feeling the need to say that — I generally tell them I’m not planning to sneeze which gets some confused looks. Otherwise I’d tell them to be damned. It’s kind of the same thought, isn’t it?

    Like

    • If she wins her lawsuit, it could be just a matter of time before employees hear “Sorry I’m late, I was praying.”

      [FYI … I’m receiving quite a bit of negative responses on other forums from her supporters … few of whom appear to understand the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.]

      Like

      • I hadn’t heard of this one, actually. But I fear you’re right. The consequences of her winning are unthinkable – but not out of the question given the crazies on the Supreme Court.

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    • Anonymous permalink

      You’re stupid!!! Plain and simple.

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      • I’m confident that she’ll lose. Ken Paulson, president of The First Amendment Center, appears to agree. He’s stated that “the First Amendment is not involved. You don’t have a constitutional right to say whatever you want in the workplace if you’re accepting somebody else’s paycheck. Whether it is religious or not isn’t as important as whether the employer has set out guidelines. They’re basically saying, ‘You want to come to work for us, here is our policy,'” he said, adding, “If you disagree with that policy, you can decide to change banks and if you’re an employee who disagrees with that policy, you can decide to change employers.”

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  2. thedogs'mother permalink

    When the band in the basement had a show in Seattle one of the moms said she’d pay for their hotel rooms if they affirmed their Savior on stage. So they did – “We’re down with Jesus but we totally party with the Anti-Christ!’

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  3. I know it is a matter of degrees, but saying “have a blessed day” is not as proselytizing as asking if you have been saved. Yet, with that said, the true test would be to gauge the reaction if the teller was Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Agnostic or Atheist. If a farewell greeting were aligned with those belief doctrines, what would the reaction be? Or, let’s use a Star Wars cliché and the woman was saying “May the force be with you.” If someone complained and the Bank said don’t say that, then they would have the right to dismiss her if she did not acquiesce.

    The same issue holds with Hobby Lobby. Would the public reaction to the ruling be different if the company was owned by a Sikh family? Sikhs are very honorable people and their religion is inclusive. Yet, some see a turban and think terrorist as evidenced by the homicides that killed Sikhs in their temple in Wisconsin. So, if a Sikh owned company brought suit, the reaction would not be the same. My main issue with Hobby Lobby is the same with Citizens United – to say corporations are persons is an inane judgment by our Supreme Court. And, even if “deemed” to be a person, you cannot pick and choose which laws you want to follow.

    But, back to the issue at hand. We have a separation of church and state for a reason. Our forefathers saw the problems (even violence) that could be rendered on folks in name of religion. So, US Bank is within their rights to have dismissed her. Yet, like Hobby Lobby, they will find how being tried in the court of public opinion will have consequences. Both will likely lose business as a result.

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    • Great response. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your point of view.

      Maybe, someday soon, folks will start to remember the Golden Rule. It’s really quite simple and I believe it will still work.

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      • I agree. To me, the Golden Rule trumps everything else in the bible. I just read Jimmy Carter’s recent book on helping women worldwide, including in the US – “A Call to Action.” He is as learned a bible studier as you will find, but he notes how things can be taken out of context in the bible to exclude or even demonize folks. It is a good read on an important issue. Take care.

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  4. You know how I feel about Polly … she need’a new job.

    Like

  5. Lilah permalink

    Maybe she can get a job at Hobby Lobby! 😛

    Like

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