Skip to comments.Christian stripped of workplace signs: State agency sued after officials remove Bible verses
Posted on 08/23/2004 10:44:30 PM PDT by JohnHuang2
An employee of the California Department of Social Services filed suit yesterday after state officials removed items from his cubicle they consider "political, religious or social" in nature.
Enoch Lawrence sued when his employer, the Roseville branch of the California Department of Social Services, took down from the walls of his cubicle a bumper sticker that reads "Marriage: One Man One Woman," a small sign that says "Jesus Spoken Here," various Bible verses and two published articles on current political issues.
"Nothing in this employee's workspace warrants this action," said Joshua Carden, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which is assisting Lawrence with the suit. "The Constitution does not allow the department to silence his free expression rights just because they don't like the viewpoint he is expressing."
The federal civil-rights lawsuit contends the state agency unjustifiably restricted Lawrence's free speech and expression rights.
Lawrence, a disability evaluation analyst who is also a 21-year military veteran, says other employees were allowed to post personal material but he alone was targeted by government officials. He says a supervisor told him if he didn't allow the items to be removed, it would be considered insubordination.
According to a statement from Alliance Defense Fund, the department's policy states in part, "Each employee must exercise his or her own good judgement [sic] to avoid engaging in conduct that may be perceived by others as harassment and/or unprofessional, inappropriate behavior."
Said Carden: "The policy is unconstitutional. The department cannot censor Mr. Lawrence's speech because someone might 'perceive' it to be harassment. Furthermore, the policy provides virtually no guidelines for its enforcement. Officials have singled Mr. Lawrence out for discriminatory treatment by removing items from his cubicle that are clearly not disrupting the workplace.
"Mr. Lawrence's religious and politically conservative viewpoint does not make him a second-class member of the department. We intend to make sure that his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights are protected."
And where is the outcry from those so-called "champions of free speech," the ACLU? The silence is deafening.
though they probably are in for a loss if they actually jump in.
Of course, if Mr. Lawrence had posted signs advocating homosexual marriage or "Praise be to Allah," then he would have likely been promoted by the California Brownshirts.
I'm confused. Nobody's told me to remove my Kerry Akbar sign.
Look at the bright side: he's got an opportunity to go out in the real world, find a real job and do something productive with his life, instead of being a government parasite.
Seriously, your California is one really screwed up state, although Minnesota is no more than a couple of steps behind. And the Eighth Circuit is almost as bad as the Ninth, it just doesn't get the publicity.
I work in FEDERAL facility and as long as it doesn't interfere with others and is in you cubicle, you are protected. They even have prayer sessions. I don't have access to info, but on the bulletins board they state case laws. I sure where I'm at they have fought this one and under Federal or FAA guidelines are to show that the government is tolerant to workplace prayer and religious items in personal areas.
The constitution specifically protects our right to religious freedom.
Unfortunately, most Americans are under the false impression that the constitution actually says there should be a separation of church and state. It, of course, says nothing of the kind.
The one thing missing from the article is whether this employee is in a "meet the public" sort of job. If he is, I would think the employer would have more discretion in restricting what he pins up on his board, due to the employer's interest in how the office is perceived by the public. If he only interacts with other employees, the employer would have less discretion.
The man served 21 years in the military, he's not exactly a 'government parasite' imho. If these intrusive government agencies have to exist, it's good to know that at least some of their employees are trying to do the right thing.
Did you fail to read this part of the article"Lawrence, a disability evaluation analyst who is also a 21-year military veteran, ".Sounds to me like he has been in the real world.
This whole thing has become preposterous. Why would the "public" be offended or harmed by this employee's personal beliefs? And even if somebody does feel 'offended' by the little Biblical verses on his cubicle wall, why would anyone else give a rat's tail about the "poor victim's" alleged hurt feelings?
Should we allow our Constitutional rights to privacy and religious freedom to be overthrown by the liberals' pretentious sensitivities? Has everybody been brainwashed by the illogical and self-destructive sensitivity training the government has been saturating us with over the last 30 years? I just can't believe that we've sold God down the river like this, all in the name of fearing a reference to Christ might cause some non-Christian to "feel bad".
This whole thing has become preposterous. Why would the "public" be offended or harmed by this employee's personal beliefs?
It depends on the beliefs, doesn't it? I can think of lots of beliefs that crank me off. I don't want to hear about them in a place of business.
And even if somebody does feel 'offended' by the little Biblical verses on his cubicle wall, why would anyone else give a rat's tail about the "poor victim's" alleged hurt feelings?
Because it's an office. The person across the desk from you is somebody you're supposed to be serving in some way.
Should we allow our Constitutional rights to privacy and religious freedom to be overthrown by the liberals' pretentious sensitivities?
There are offices in the company I work for where you aren't allowed personal mementos of any kind on your desk. No picture of the kids, nothing. Those are creepy offices, I admit, but well within the rights of an employer. When you are at work, your rights are largely what your employer says they are (well, in a real world job, not a government job). Don't like it? They always need a hand at Mickey D's.
Would stand up equally for someone's right to post Koranic verses about beheading infidels? Or pro-abortion propaganda? Think that would be good for business?
Point well taken. However, if a gay guy had a poster "celebrating" gay pride week or month or moment, etc., would that have been an issue with these supervisors? Could you imagin him/her/it being asked to take the poster down? How 'bout if a Muslim had his prayer mat in his cubicle? I know for a FACT (because I was a government contractor in State of California offices) that just about any left-wing cause from environmentalism to minority rights to gay rights, to pro-Gray Davis posters could be openly displayed in most state employee's offices, BECAUSE I SAW THEM DISPLAYED OPENLY THERE!
Why is it that social conservatives must be very, very careful to avoid any possible offense to any possible person, while the political and social left (including many "moderate Republicans") are generally "in your face" about their beliefs and causes.
I'm sorry, but your argument greatly favors those in the political left who would, and do, act in their official capacity to silence any dissent to leftist policies. If you were the supervisor in that situation, you might have run a very sterile environment, avoiding such problems. But in the real world, this guy has been singled out for retribution because of his personal and religious beliefs, and they're da*n well going to make certain he's silent and invisable, or better yet, out of public service altogether. That's what this situation is all about - not the guys signs in his cubicle; they're just the pretense.
This is how you arrive at a 90%+ plurality of leftist running the "mainstream media", why few non-leftist voices are found in major universities, and why most government employees run in lock step with the leftist politics. If I ran a major business where 90%+ of my employees were WASP, I could soon expect a law suit by a radical leftist organization, joined by the government, because of "latent racist" hiring policies. However, a government agency can employ over 90% Democrats, Government Universities can employ over 90% leftist professors, no media professional or actor can MENTION he's a conservative, and yet no one dare ask how in the world such a skewing of the labor pool occurs.
I won't impune your motives. I assume you're sincere in simply wanting a just, fair, level playing field. But the VAST majority of people don't get upset at someone who has a sticker that is pro-(traditional)-family or pro-traditional-Christianity. The only folks who get uptight about that are radical athiests .... and radical leftist who use their office to punish those who they see as "evil doers", i.e. anyone who doesn't think "correctly" like they do.
I hope this guys wins, and takes the California treasury to his bank. (After all, most of the leftist organizations are state funded, why shouldn't he get his "fair share".)
No men shall - - - suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively
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