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Thursday, October 29, 2009



Carl, I agree with your general assessment of the state of society, although I find the satirical historical analysis principally confusing. While Home Depot's policy in general is undoubtedly related to these social trends, its application in this instance isn't necessarily a rank injustice. A business has a legitimate interest in the uniform appearance of its employees. It is not improper for it to maintain and enforce policies towards this end. Even a business owner who is sympathetic to the nature of an employee's uniform divergence has an incentive to suppress it. If I own a nice Italian restaurant, I probably want waiters to wear their scapulars inside their shirts, even though I obviously have nothing against scapulars.

Mr. Keezer did not wear his pin as any sort of religious observance (e.g. wearing a yarmulke or scapular, which would be arguably entitled to distinct legal protection), merely as a personal predilection. It's not particularly clear that the action here is viewpoint discrimination---maybe evidence of that could be produced (i.e. non-Christian pins are always tolerated regardless of whether they are company-issued), but it's not apparent on the face. So it doesn't seem removed from a situation in which an employee was discharged for refusing to comply with any other uniform requirement (wrong color apron, not enough pieces of flair, etc). A legal regimen that leaves a business without the freedom to make judgments about the desirability of certain viewpoints may not be preferable, but within that context Home Depot's actions are not independently unreasonable.

Carl E. Olson

Titus: On one hand, my post could have been more clear and more direct. On the other hand, I decided (on a whim and a cup of coffee) to highlight the absurdity of the story by, well, being a bit absurd.

I hope we can agree that the key issue here, as I argued, is the word "God." It clearly wasn't the wearing of a slogan or pin, because Home Depot offered him another pin with a slogan. Which means Home Depot is apparently concerned that a reference to God will possibly upset someone (either a customer or another employee) or even result some sort of legal action. This despite polls showing that some 90% or more of Americans believe in "God", however defined. One of my basic points is that such fear didn't exist prior to this wonderful age of tolerance, inclusiveness, and diversity we currently, um, enjoy. My other point was to highlight the ironies involved re: a phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance (a basic part of American culture for many decades), especially since the federal government (which once supported and promoted such phrases) is now the primary player behind making everyone fearful of referring to God or religion (well, Christianity) in public places, work areas, schools, etc.

Does that help?


Home Depot is a private enterprise, and as such it can decide how to regulate itself and the appearance of its employees. The very same freedoms and protections that give Home Depot the right to prohibit an employee from wearing a button that states "One Nation Under God" will (or should) also give Catholic institutions and other private enterprises the right to decline to host, participate in, or do business for a same-sex union or "marriage" ceremony. Home Depot did nothing wrong, nothing at all. If the employee wants to wear the button, he can do so on his own time; but on company time, he has to follow the company line. I hope that the private property rights that Home Depot exercised will, in the case of the Church, individuals and companies, be similarly respected and protected when they decide not to support the homosexualist agenda.

Christine the Soccer Mom

Carl, that secret societ, the Knights of Columbus, petitioned to get "under God" inserted! It's obviously another evil papist plot!

Those Catholics ... they are SO sinister!

fr richard

I agree that a private business has the right to require a certain type of dress code.

Still, what I find interesting is that the button's phrase, taken from the Pledge of Allegiance, is described by the reporter as a "personal belief", and the store spokesman is quoted, in the first place, as declaring it a "religious belief".

Thirdly, he was ONLY asked to remove the button AFTER he began reading the Bible on his lunch break.

I think these items are more telling than the dress code rules.

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