A Christmas controversy is brewing in Pensacola, Florida where Tonia Thomas, 35, claims that she was fired because he insisted on greeting callers with “Merry Christmas” rather than Happy Holidays. Her former employer, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc., insists that there were other reasons for her termination but outside groups have come to Thomas’ aid in suing the company. In the meantime, Muslims are debating whether they can say “Merry Christmas.”
Thomas explained that “I hold my core Christian values to a high standard and I absolutely refuse to give in on the basis of values. All I wanted was to be able to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or to acknowledge no holidays. As a Christian, I don’t recognize any other holidays.”
She convinced me: she should be fired. A business has the right to determine how employees will greet customers and to make non-Christians will included in greetings. The business insists that it did not hire her over the issue, but what if it did? Since when is a business required to allow employees to use the sectarian greeting of their choice? If someone is Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Baha’i, the greeting would change and prove a distraction to the business.
Nevertheless, Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based legal group supporting people claiming religious discrimination, is representing Thomas before the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
In the meantime, she has found another job, but complains that it pays less and that she is still suffering from the denial of Merry Christmas as a greeting. She should definitely stay out of Indonesia where Muslims are debating whether they can say Merry Christmas without offending their faith.
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