Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The One Where People Continue to be Dumb

First of all, I want to share a little story my Mom told me last week that has nothing to do with dumb people. But I want to write it down before I forget it.

My cousin's daughter is staying with my Mom, SDad, and sister this week while she goes to the camp for which Katie is a counselor. Lily is the kid's name, and she's 5.

So Johnny (SDad) is having coffee that morning, and the following conversation took place:

Lily: You're drinking coffee. Only old people drink coffee.
Johnny: Only old people drink coffee? Guess I'm an old person.
Lily: Yeah. Also because you have a young girlfriend.
Johnny: I do? Who's my young girlfriend?
Lily: Aunt BJ! (Betty Jean. . .that's my mom.)
Johnny: (laughs) No, Aunt BJ isn't my girlfriend. She's my wife!
Lily: Nope. She's your young girlfriend!

Ah, kids.

Now, on to the dumb people.

This article was on . .whenever it was I started writing this post:

(CNN) -- A Texas bus driver has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, claiming he was fired for his religious beliefs after refusing to transport a client to a Planned Parenthood office, court documents showed Wednesday.

Edwin A. Graning worked for the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) near Austin, Texas, for less than a year before he was let go in January. At the time, he told his supervisor that, "in good conscience, he could not take someone to have an abortion," according to the lawsuit. Graning is an ordained Christian minister.

Planned Parenthood, a health care provider that offers a range of medical services to women, including those related to abortion, often draws the ire of anti-abortion groups in the United States, where the procedure is legal but fiercely controversial.

Graning's last day of employment was the same day he refused service.

He is seeking reinstatement, back pay, and compensatory damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress.

"It's only because he voiced his religions beliefs that he was canned," Edward White III, Graning's lawyer, told CNN. "Employers have a legal responsibility to at least attempt to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs. ... CARTS clearly violated Mr. Graning's religious freedom."

White, who works for a public interest law group founded by evangelical Christian leader Pat Robertson, said CARTS sent a second driver to collect the client and took her and a friend to the Planned Parenthood office.

"While others may wish to make more of it, to CARTS this is just about our expectation that employees perform the duties they are hired for," David Marsh, general manager of CARTS, said in an e-mail message to CNN.

In addition to rides along fixed routes, CARTS offers some door-to-door service within its rural coverage area.

The lawsuit, in the U.S. District Court for western Texas, Austin Division, was filed on July 14.
OK. So. . .I don't even know. . .where to begin with this one.

I completely respect the beliefs of the people who say abortion is wrong. I, personally, don't really know where I stand on the subject, but I don't think that other people have the right to tell someone who wants to get an abortion (they ARE legal, after all) that they can't. If they were illegal, that would be something else entirely.

Basically, this would be like a waiter saying, "No, I'm sorry, I won't bring you the pork chops you ordered. I'm Jewish." Or a lesbian working at Baby Gap saying, "No, I'm sorry, I can't sell you this overpriced onesie, because I think it's gross that people procreate.

If you take a job, you're expected to perform the duties of that job. The article didn't say whether or not the woman was actually going for an abortion. PP does stuff other than that. . . providing contraceptives, providing the morning-after pill (which, by the way, is NOT the same thing as the so-called abortion pill), etc.

Then there's the guy's lawyer, who said "Employers have a legal responsibility to at least attempt to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs. . .CARTS clearly violated Mr. Graning's religious freedom." Um, how about, they fired him because he was pushing his beliefs onto other people (violating THEIR freedom of religion) and not doing the job he was being paid to do. If someone refused to drive a Catholic to Mass because they were Jewish, you'd better believe they'd get fired. It's the same thing.

I'm now remembering why I didn't finish this post in the first place. Ignorance makes me angry.

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