The story of a man who was unlawfully fired for expressing his religious beliefs is gaining national coverage after Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit on his behalf earlier this month. The lawsuit alleges that a corporate giant and one of its contracting companies violated clear federal and state laws prohibiting religious discrimination against employees.
"We are hopeful that all Americans, both employers and employees, will become aware that the law protects the sincerely-held religious beliefs of employees," said Jeff Mateer, General Counsel for Liberty Institute. "Employees don't leave behind their religious liberty rights when they enter the workplace, and employers must respect these legal rights or face consequences."
The media coverage involves Mr. Thomas Banks, who worked for Ford Motor Company and one of its contracting companies, Rapid Global Business Solutions. Mr. Banks was fired last August after respectfully expressing his sincerely-held religious views in his comment in an online, intra-company forum. Little did he know that exercising his First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and free speech would cost him his job.
"Endorsing and promoting sodomy is of benefit to no one," Banks said. "This topic is disruptive to the workplace and is an assault on Christians and morality, as well as antithetical to our design and our survival. Immoral sexual conduct should not be a topic for an automotive manufacturer to endorse or promote."
He continued: "I was stunned to realize that I was fired over expressing my faith in a single comment."
While the story is appalling, it is not isolated. Cases like this are now catching the attention of news outlets—and stirring the indignation of Americans everywhere.
Since the lawsuit was filed earlier this month, the story has resulted in abundant media coverage from news outlets across the nation. Here's what some of these sources are saying about the case:
Mitch Albom, a local talk radio show host on WJR 760AM in Detroit, Mich.,asked his listeners whether they agreed with the termination. The general consensus among the callers was that it was unjustified.
"If you don't want people to complain about something, why are you having a comment section?" Albom asked, referencing the space at the bottom of the company's article specifically intended for employers' discourse. "It just seems weird to me that you can actually be let go for that [commenting]."
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