A McDonald’s employee filed suit Friday against the hamburger giant, charging that “as a matter of conscience” he had refused to sell animal meat products. “Do you have any idea of what’s happening here?” said Wayne Willful. “Animals, cows with no choice in the matter are being intentionally and arbitrarily sent to their deaths, in order that McDonald’s can profit from the Big Mac. I’m against that. I agree to sell salads and Cokes, but don’t ask me to violate my conscience by selling McNuggets.”
Asked why he didn’t simply find work in a vegetarian restaurant, Willful said “It’s my right under the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act to refuse to sell Big Macs and ‘they better not be allowed to fire me for it.’”
Told that McDonald’s was not a health care provider, Willful told this reporter he wasn’t aware of that, but he wasn’t going to sell Big Macs anyway. “Let them prove it’s not a health care product,” he raged. “They were wrong to fire me.”
Contacted at the corporation’s Oakbrook, Illinois headquarters, a spokesman asked “Why are you reporting this perfectly bogus story?”
My purpose is to highlight just how far the religious right has descended into a ‘policy of idiocy’ in an effort, any effort, to connect religion and law. We have, as a nation, defended for hundreds of years your right and my right to practice our religion without hindrance, or to practice no religion at all. The pact we made was to not let our specific belief (or lack thereof) impinge on any fellow citizen’s rights.
Rights that are defined by law, laws written by the state, either federal or individual and constitutionally proscribed from espousing a particular religious belief. The Separation of Church and State is a pillar of our defining freedoms. When you mask religious belief as ‘conscience,’ you make a mockery of law as we know it and foolishly take up the time of the courts.
Gore Vidal, the noted writer, admonishes
“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by
destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”
Two policies of idiocy are recently reported in the papers; one documenting a group of four pharmacists suing the Walgreen Company for firing them because they would not dispense legal birth-control medication that ‘offended their conscience.” No matter that their decision impinged upon their fellow citizens’ ability to receive those medications.
In another case, an Italian judge is preparing to rule on a suit against a Catholic priest, who ‘made the claim that Jesus existed.’ It is as much the right of a priest to allege that Jesus Christ existed as it is the right of a pharmacist to feel his conscience has been offended by selling over-the-counter birth-control medication.
But these are not appropriate matters for the courts.
The Church, if not in Italy then certainly in this country, is protected from laws that define its theology. The pharmacist is protected from discrimination due to his religion, but being fired for failing to carry out company policy is not discrimination. It’s company policy. What’s to prevent his failure to sell any specific item that ‘offends his conscience’ by its profit structure? It may be equally offensive to these particular employees that Walgreen is open on Sunday, but it’s not a cause for litigation.
Go work at another company and stop wasting the court’s time.