I thought this story about how the federal government is suing Kroger, a far-left grocery store chain, was interesting. You would never see a story like this happening in a Democrat administration. But in a Republican administration, religious liberty is still more important than the feelings of “being offended” of people on the left. Let’s see the story, then I’ll tell a personal story about this topic.
Here’s Christian Post reporting:
A major supermarket chain is facing a lawsuit after firing two employees over their refusal to wear a rainbow emblem that violates their religious beliefs as part of their work uniform.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against the Kroger Company Monday in response to action taken by Kroger Store No. 625 in Conway, Arkansas, against two employees. The employees were terminated after they refused to abide by the new dress code, which required them to wear an apron depicting a rainbow-colored heart emblem.
The women contended that wearing the apron would amount to an endorsement of the LGBTQ movement, which contradicts their religious beliefs. According to the EEOC, “one woman offered to wear the apron with the emblem covered and the other offered to wear a different apron without the emblem, but the company made no attempt to accommodate their requests.”
The EEOC alleged that when the women continued to refuse to wear the apron with the emblem visible, “Kroger retaliated against them by disciplining and ultimately discharging them.”
Kroger’s actions violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, argued the EEOC, which is working to secure “monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory damages” for the two women “as well as an injunction against future discrimination.”
More details about the two brave Christian women:
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, one of the women, Brenda Lawson, worked in the deli department at the store from 2011 until her termination on June 1, 2019. The other woman, Trudy Rickerd, worked as a cashier and file maintenance clerk from 2006 until her termination on May 29, 2019.
The complaint cited a letter written by Rickerd explaining her objection to wearing the apron. “I have a sincerely held religious belief that I cannot wear a symbol that promotes or endorses something that is in violation of my religious faith … I am happy to buy another apron to ensure there is no financial hardship on Kroger,” she said.
In case you didn’t know, Kroger has a reputation for putting LGBT rights above free speech and religious liberty:
Kroger has launched a 2020 Pride campaign company-wide, which includes its 3514 grocery stores across 42 states. The chain is the second-largest retailer after Walmart.
“At The Kroger Co., we embrace diversity and inclusion as core values, and we ingrain these in everything we do,” according to the company website. The site also notes that Kroger recently received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index in recognition of its commitment to LGBTQ-plus inclusion and equality.
Kroger also says:
“We’re one of the few retailers willing to openly advocate for and make real change toward LGBTQ-plus diversity and inclusion, and we’re proud to offer:
—Same-sex partner benefits and transgender-inclusive healthcare.
—An Associate Resource Group that provides an uplifting community for LGBTQ-plus associates and allies.
—Strong alliances with LGBTQ-plus suppliers through our partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Central Division, and seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory damages, as well as an injunction against future discrimination.
The article continues by describing some of the programs that Kroger champions that would make any Bible-believing Christian uncomfortable. But Christians don’t matter to Kroger.
Anyway, I wanted to tell a story about this. I spent about 10 years of my IT career in a large IT company. I was regularly pressured by non-Christians to accept and celebrate LGBT values. Pro-LGBT propaganda was hung all over the building. Diversity and inclusion concerns were made part of the performance evaluation process. And so on.
After the Florida gay nightclub bombing, I remember my manager bringing me a rainbow colored ribbon and telling me to put it on. I told her that I would take it and wear it later. But these ribbons were being dispensed company-wide as a formal effort to promote LGBT values. I have no doubt that my refusal to wear the ribbon was noted and may have affected my performance review and promotion decision.