Faith and Private Business

Your Business Should Be Your Business

In the 2020 landmark Supreme Court case, Bostock V. Clayton County, the gender component of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was judged to include sexual orientation and gender identity.  Though the case primarily involved a local government entity, the ruling regarding the gender component of Title VII also applies to private employers (with 15 or more employees) since Title VII applies to both government and private employers.  For those who are not aware, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was where the federal government began to tell employers what characteristics they could not consider when making hiring decisions.  The five components, or what many call “protected classes of people,” are race, skin color, national origin, gender, and religion. 

In writing the majority opinion for Bostock V. Clayton County, Justice Neil Gorsuch made it clear that it was the ambiguity surrounding the gender component of Title VII that led him to render his verdict.  Many Republicans such as Representative Mike Rogers have consistently voted against attempts to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes of people in Title VII.   The 2020 Supreme Court case left this addition unnecessary since now the gender component of Title VII includes sexual orientation and gender identity.  However, if our representatives in congress such as Representative Rogers really want to stand for the freedom of employers to consider sexual orientation and gender identity when making hiring decisions, they can introduce a bill that amends Title VII to bring clarity to what gender means in Title VII.   

If elected to the U.S. Congress, you will not find me in support of any such bill that does not address the fundamental problem.  Along with Republican office holders in the past, such as Senator Barry Goldwater and Congressman Ron Paul, I believe that the federal government dictating to private employers what characteristics they cannot consider when making hiring decisions was unconstitutional from the start.  It is the one who funds the payroll that should decide what characteristics they consider when making hiring decisions in accordance with their own religious and moral values.  In accordance with the First Amendment, this is regardless of how much I may agree or disagree with those values.

If you read the majority opinion that Justice Gorsuch wrote, what needs to be understood about “discrimination” in Title VII is that to be guilty of breaking the law, it does not mean that a certain characteristic of Title VII is the only reason a person is not hired, but rather that the characteristic cannot be even considered as one factor among many.  Legally, according to Justice Gorsuch, all that discrimination means is “To make a difference in treatment or favor (of one as compared with others).”

As an employer for 18 years, I believe that moral character is just as important to the long-term success of an employee as proficiency in the technical skills of a job or any otherwise “merit” an applicant may bring to the table in the beginning.  Therefore, when hiring, I wanted to be able to consider moral character as I ascertained who would be the best asset for my business for the long term.  For me, it did not mean I did not hire people who did not share all my beliefs and values but rather something I considered “as one factor among many.”   I have talked to countless employers who believe the same way.  However, this is not just about the freedom for employers over freedom of employees.  Granting freedom to employers also grants freedom for employees to work in a business where they share in the beliefs and the values of the employer and those values are encouraged and promoted. 

Bringing home the way these government regulations effect a business, in 2013, based on the religious component of Title VII, a longstanding and very successful Christian business was threatened by an attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an entity of the federal government, to remove faith from their hiring practices or essentially be fined into nonexistence.  This sent a clear message to all employers to “leave their faith at home” when it comes to hiring or face the vengeance of the federal government. 

With Title VII, the First Amendment has been turned upside down and what was supposed to be “freedom of religion” has now become a great deal of “freedom from religion” in the place we spend the majority of our time, which is the workplace. We have now had 58 years of being able to see the results of such federal government interference into private businesses.  Instead of bringing about the promised results of “A Great Society,” the very opposite has transpired, and the strength of our workforce and our society is in decline. 

Religion has and always will be used for both good and evil purposes, such as discrimination simply based on skin color.  If the freedom I advocate for is restored, I believe that an employer who uses their freedom for good purposes will eventually be the most successful and be on display for others to freely emulate.  For example, if an employer hires indiscriminately without any regard to such characteristics as race, skin color, or national origin, they will have a larger pool of great employees to choose from and this will lead to having a greater opportunity for success.  On the other hand, employers who use their freedom for evil purposes will eventually fall behind and their demise will also be on display for others to see. They will have no excuses for it except their own foolishness. 

It is high time to turn away from socialistic policies and return to the principles of limited government that our nation was founded upon.  I believe Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is a good place to start.  Please consider supporting me in my desire to amend Title VII so that it does not pertain to private businesses of any size. 

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