The Gjallgard Kindred

Asatru/Northern Tradition Paganism

You Have the Right to Accept the World you Live In.

In a recent news story, a nurse is suing Duke University Hospital for failing to accommodate her religious beliefs. She is Catholic, and has a problem with abortions, birth control, and vaccinations. The story has become a bit controversial.

In The Chronicle, a news organization at Duke, it states, “After assuming her position, Pedro—who previously worked as a nurse for eight years in New York—received an exemption from the hospital from receiving vaccines. She later told the hospital that she was also unable to administer abortions and could not provide contraceptives or vaccines.”

Key words here: after and later.

If the hospital hired this nurse knowing that she had these specific religious convictions which they would need to accommodate, and if there were no changes in those convictions, then the nurse has a case. If they hired her in reasonable understanding that she would be able to perform these functions, and no understanding has since been reached that accommodates her beliefs and allows her to perform functions acceptable to her, than she does not.

In the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that employers should avoid interfering with employees’ religious practices. It does not state that they should accommodate and pay a person who cannot do the job for which they were hired.

Simple as that.

I too have religious convictions, and in some ways they don’t agree with the laws of the society in which I live. For example: Hávamál, Stanza 38: Let a man never stir on his road a step / without his weapons of war / for unsure is the knowing when need shall arise / of a spear on the way without.

In Canada walking around with weapons is frowned upon. Sikhs can carry a kirpan, but no religion is actually recognized by the government of Canada. Asatru isn’t something that most have even heard of. If I walk down the street carrying a sword or a spear, or a gun, I am likely going to get arrested.

I can live with that. I can accommodate the laws of society where they do not especially accommodate me. Anything can be a weapon. I wear a waist belt. I wear boots. I often carry a walking stick. Even naked in the shower, a towel hangs close at hand and a strip of cloth can be effectively used as a weapon if you have a little knowledge.

Reason is the key. Anyone whining about things easily rectified with a bit of thought is just a whiner. Either the nurse has a case or she does not. There is nothing complex in the matter, and no reason for controversy.


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