In this case study, an employee who had worked as an engineer for a church in Utah had his employment terminated after the church claimed that he had failed to qualify for a temple recommend. A temple recommend is essentially a certificate that verifies that one is a member of a certain church and that he is, therefore, eligible to attend the church’s temples. This document is usually given to individuals who are observant of the Church’s standards in matters that include tithing, church attendance, and abstinence from alcohol and so on. The employee sued the church claiming that his dismissal comprised discrimination that was religion based, and this was, therefore, a violation of his constitutional right (Bennett-Alexander et al., 2009).
As a religious employer, there are several reasons as to why I would hire exclusively from people who follow the same religion. In the case of the engineer, I would prefer that he is from a similar religion.
First, the engineer working premises are the church that is filled with worshippers particularly on worship days. The religion has a particular set of codes in which everyone is supposed to follow and abide by. As a member of another religion or as an individual who is not religious, the engineer can choose to follow the religious code or not. This is not a good picture especially in regards to a religious setting. The engineer may do some actions before some church members that may be considered unholy. This may create disharmony in the church. The church is a place where people are supposed to unite and worship together, and any individual whose actions may bring about disunity should not be in the church at all. Consequently, I would prefer hiring an engineer who follows a similar religion and whose conduct in life resonates with those of other members.
The other reason I would give for requiring a building engineer to be of a similar religion is that such an engineer is very likely to comprehend the dynamics of the church and the decisions on his work are likely to conform with church interests. It is crucial to remember that once again, this is a church setting that is in question. Religion is a very sensitive issue even in regards to things such as building. Some building decisions may be deemed to be ungodly or to be against the doctrines of a particular religion. Consequently, it is important that the person in charge of such decisions be knowledgeable on some of the religious doctrines so that even the building decisions that he makes are in line with these doctrines.
The final reason is that the constitution is very clear on religious matters. It states that the state is not supposed to religious matters and should not interfere (Gregory, 2011). As a church employer, I have the full right to hire an individual whom I feel represents the best interest of the church. Therefore, I have the right to decide that the engineer be from the same religion if I hold the belief that the decision is in the best interest of the church.
In conclusion, although the decision to hire a worker of the same religion, in this case the building engineer may be viewed as religious discrimination, this is not the case. It is merely a decision that is based on an analysis of the best interest of the religion and its associated doctrines.
Bennett-Alexander, Dawn D., Hartman, Laura P. (2009). Employment Law for Business (6th Edition). United States: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Gregory, R. (2011). Encountering Religion in the Workplace: The Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Employers.