Onward Christian . . bus drivers?
Don’t laugh, they’re dead serious about this lawsuit. They are striking a real blow for ‘religious freedom.’ From their perspective, a Christian bus jockey reserves the right to refuse service to anyone they figure out is about to receive an abortion courtesy of their driving.
Bus driver claims abortion views led to his firing
By Steven Kreytak | Friday, July 16, 2010, 10:20 AM
A former bus driver has sued the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, charging that the nine-county transit service discriminated against him based on his religion when he was fired for refusing to drive a woman to a Planned Parenthood clinic in January.
Edwin Graning, who was hired as a driver on April 1, 2009, was “concerned that he might be transporting a client to undergo an abortion” when he was assigned to transport two women to Planned Parenthood, according to his lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Austin.
Graning is seeking re-instatement, back pay and undisclosed damages for pain, suffering and emotion distress. He is represented by lawyers from the American Center for Law & Justice, founded by evangelical Christian leader Pat Robertson.
He was hired to drive people on the bus. When he refused to do it, he got fired. So he’s suing because he should have the right to quit his job but keep getting paid because he’s a Christian. Don’t know, maybe the issues escape me.
Graning had asked his wife to call the facility; she heard a recording directing callers to call 911 in case of abortion complications. “I said, dear God in heaven, this woman’s gonna have an abortion,” he said.
So he refused to drive the bus there.
His supervisor, who is not named, responded by saying “Then you are resigning,” the suit said.
Graning denied he was resigning and was later told to drive his bus back to the yard and he was fired, the lawsuit said.
So he ain’t exactly Dr. King. He’s not willing to accept the responsibilities and consequences of his actions — ‘yes I’m refusing to do my job because of my beliefs, and don’t you dare touch me.’
Therein lies the rub. Graning is another victim of Robertson and other high-profile pastors who have been pushing the flock to throw tantrums. They’re convincing normal folks to turn into big-headed, pig-headed Christianists who should press Americans to do their will.
Why — even though the Constitution clearly supports personal freedom and abhors the abuses of power that come with religious extremism? Because it’s your Constitutional right, people! You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, to whomever you want because it’s your religion. This is the sort of behavior the Founding Fathers, wholly conservative Men of Jesus, would have demanded of them if only they were still around, sure.
When they spoke of freedom, they really meant Christian freedom. When they spoke of rights, they meant Christian rights. And if, legally, some liberal opens up the interpretation to outsiders, just know that the Founding Fathers were all conservative evangelicals and *wink-wink* I don’t need to say another word, do I?
This is the utterly laughable fantasy that’s been leveled like a double-barrel shotgun at ordinary folks like Ed Graning. He’s fallen for it completely.
“I’m not out for revenge or anything like that,” said Graning, who said he felt obligated to stand up for his beliefs.
“I pastored years ago, and I’ve done a lot of things – and normally I wouldn’t have made any issue out of this – but you know, I’m really getting tired of Christians getting kicked around,” he told LSN. “I mean, we see other things as going on in this country, and somebody somewhere along the line is just got to quit bending the knee to Baal and letting this government run over us.”
So, to be clear: applying for, getting and carrying out the responsibilities of the government job of bus driver, a job Ed got without telling his superiors that certain situations would force him to refuse service to riders as a matter of religious belief, is “letting the government run over” him. Never mind that very few people go to Planned Parenthood on any given day to get an abortion, and he certainly had no clue why the woman went there, Ed’s “getting tired of Christians getting kicked around.”
Rational thought, logic, science and technology, modern philosophy, the legacies of the Age of Enlightenment — these things are not essential. Not universal, not cultural, not American, any more than your haircut is. They are the private beliefs of the secular humanists who hold too much sway in the public domain. It’s time for Christians’ private beliefs, Christianity, to eject that pop culturalism and to hold unilateral power.
Freedom, you say? Freedom isn’t some government stab at public transportation. Real freedom is about the practice of closely-held religious beliefs. A government serious about operating in a free society wouldn’t provide buses for the profane to trample those sacred tenets. Get it?