Sunday, December 7, 2008

Does Religious Tolerance Apply?

So, as you might be aware, there's nothing on TV Sunday nights. The Mrs. and I are watching Joel Osteen, who is just about the douchebagiest douche that ever douched a... nevermind. But he does suck. If you've never watched or read Mr. Osteen, he's a televangelist based out of a "church" which is a converted 20,000 seat basketball arena in Houston. That's your first problem right there.

If you've never listened to a couple minutes of one of Mr. Osteen's "sermons", I'm sure there are some on YouTube. Check out any clip you like, and ask yourself "What is the message he is promoting? What is the fundamental "good" he is arguing for?" I haven't actually gone to YouTube to verify this claim, and yet I feel confident in saying that it's not going to be "love", "kindness", or "charity", or anything else I'd describe as "Christian".

Every time (totalling maybe 3 or 4 hours of material, if I had to guess) I've watched Mr. Osteen, the message he's selling, in his obvious used-car salesman way, is relieving anxiety, regaining control over your life, or achieving financial success. Worthy goals, I suppose, but not anything that anyone should be listening to and thinking it's "church".

He's so obviously preaching a message that bears no resemblence to and is in fact often directly opposed to biblical Christianity that I can't have any respect for anyone who follows him. If I ever met anyone who's a member at Lakewood Church, I would discriminate against them. If I'm staffing a practice, and I've got a choice between a nurse who graduated from University X and worked for Y years at Z Hospital, and a nurse who graduated from University X and worked for Y years at Z Hospital and is a member of Joel Osteen's flock, I'd pick the first one. Is that ok? Should I work on that?



Scott Mendelson said...

Aside from 60 Minutes and The Simpsons (still going strong following a creative rejuvenation back in 2005), if you really must watch something on Sundays, I can recommend any number of rent-able movies. Try Hancock and Speed Racer, two films that are much, much better than the critics claimed. And regardless, they are all better than watching the likes of Osteen.

As for your original question, there are plenty of reasons not to hire someone from that church that wouldn't qualify as discrimination. For one thing, I'd imagine the prescription of contraception would be an issue. And leaving technicalities aside, at the end of the day, you're partially hiring someone based on the 'content of their character'. If the church they belong gives reason to question their character (as every voter had a right to do in regards to Obama and Rev Wright's church or McCain and Hagee), then that's not discrimination, that's finding someone who shares your values.

Alexandra said...

Hmm, should this situation come up, I wouldn't say that's why you're not hiring that person, cause hello lawsuit, but you can discriminate based on personality conflicts, which seem likely with a member of that church.


PoliticalDoctor said...

The legal implications of my hiring decision are obvious and unavoidable. I do worry that by saying I would not hire someone because of going to Lakewood means one day I might not hire a Christian/Muslim/etc.