Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thought Crimes in the Workplace

A Utah business owner has fired two employees because they supported Obama. What a lovely example of thought crimes in the work place. There are some cheering the firing but I find the idea repugnant.

Let's put this in slightly different terms. "A Utah business owner says he fired two employees in large part because they supported _____________." Fill in the blank with almost anything and you can see how problematic this could be.

  • "Jesus Christ" - Theoretically illegal because it's a form of religious discrimination. It would be the same if you put "Muhammad", "Atheism" or "The Flying Spaghetti Monster". However, how many times have we seen Christians forced to hide their crosses to keep from "offending" someone?
  • "the New England Patriots" - Understandable, but silly.
  • "the NRA" - Not so fun anymore is it?
  • "Ronald Reagan", "Ayn Rand", "Thomas Jefferson", "Rush Limbaugh" - Do you see where this is going?

It's dangerous when a society starts punishing people for their beliefs. I'm a libertarian working at a small state university which, like most institutions of its kind, leans left. I don't want to have to censor myself and my beliefs to keep a job.

The minute you start to believe it's okay to punish someone for their beliefs, you have crossed into the realm of thought crimes and the tyranny that comes with it.