Christian miner who refused ‘Mark of the Beast’ Antichrist biometric hand scanner awarded $150K


#1

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#2

Jane, get me off this crazy thing…


#3

Some more information, but sadly, the gist is the same.


#4

I wonder how this story would sound if his sincere religious belief was a bit more main-stream. Nothing so flaky as the number of the beast; how about if he felt that eating pork was forbidden?


#5

There are not many jobs that require you to eat pork, unfortunately?


#6

Pray tell, do your “scriptures” say anything about the number of Verizon being put into my HTTP headers?


#7

The guy is a nut but it was still a sincere religious belief so I agree with the ruling.

They easily could have let him submit manual records as they did for employees missing fingers, there was on need for him to do something that he found religiously objectionable.


#8

This is sort of equivalent to someone at a meat processing plant refusing to handle the beef because they incorrectly believed there was secretly pork mixed in with it.

I just don’t understand these lawsuits where people win on religious objections even though their objections are based on a misunderstanding of demonstrable facts.


#9

But what he found to be religiously objectionable wasn’t actually happening. How does one deal with that? Where does it end?


#10

How delusional are we allowed to go with this? Can cashiers get out of work because they fear UPC scanners will imprint the Mark of the Beast? I use an ID badge with some kind of magnetic or RFID thing that lets me in some locked doors at work. If I imagine that the black magic inside it will give me the sword-tongues of the Beast of Revelation, can I get $150k? I’d settle for $100k.

No, wait, that’s Jesus who has the sword tongue in Rev 19:15. My bad.


#11

funny how essentially the same concern (i.e. privacy, refusal to submit to malicious interference, whether actual or perceived) may be viewed as anachronistically am/bemusing, where (at least in these waters) a cryptotunnel cyborg would be lauded a hero


#12

Does he own an iPhone? How does he feel about touchID?


#13

Who’s to say he was objecting over something that wasn’t happening, perhaps we’re misunderstanding his religious beliefs about what the mark of the beast means.

If he’s faking the beliefs to shirk work that’s something the court can try to determine, and if his religious beliefs are so extreme that no reasonable accommodation could be made then perhaps that’s grounds for dismissal.

But I don’t see how requiring the company to make some minor accommodation for this guy’s bizarre beliefs is a big problem. What if they took attendance by starting shifts with a big group prayer? Surely most would agree that an atheist shouldn’t be forced to partake and should be offered an alternate way to give their attendance.


#14

Personally, I would be very worried about being in somewhere as dangerous as a mine with somebody as delusional as this.


#15

If I have a “sincere belief” that signing my employer’s time cards would be the same as signing a contract for my soul to Satan, should I get some money as well?


#16

Sorry, but this guy is just plain stupid and his fear was an incorrect mistaken assumption based out of total ignorance, and the court should be ashamed for awarding him anything. Biometric hand scanners don’t make any mark on your hand, they don’t implant anything, they read your hand exactly how it is “as God created it” and don’t change a thing about it. Similar to fingerprinting, which is required by law when you are arrested, which you cannot opt out of.

The guy wasn’t fired for his religious belief, he was fired for being a moron who didn’t understand the technology, didn’t understand the scriptures relating to the mark of the beast, and didn’t comply with the company safety policies.

Do you remember the people who were fired from the industrial manufacturing plant about 5 years back because they wouldn’t wear safety helmets because the helmets wouldn’t fit over their hair/head wraps and they weren’t permitted to cut or uncover their hair? They weren’t Christians, so of course the court ruled against them. If I convert to a religion that requires that I don’t lift a finger in labor, would i be able to keep my mining job and not do any work? Should the company have to accommodate all variations of all religious beliefs? or just this nutter?


#17

In this case it’s pretty straightforward - he thought the machine was printing the Mark of the Beast on his hand. (It seems he eventually conceded that this wasn’t the case, but still objected because he was sure that eventually such a system would be part of the hand-marking.) It’s only a minor accommodation in this case because it was only one person being irrational. (And what if he had objected to the accommodation?)
To me there are two questions: Do we simply accommodate everyone’s beliefs, no matter how irrational, no matter how divorced from reality they are? And is there a difference between the beliefs we accommodate and those we don’t based on some fitting within mainstream religious beliefs? (I.e. does a belief being religious give it extra weight?) The answer to the second question seems to be a definite “yes” in the US. The thing about the first question, is that often seems to be the case, even when it negatively impacts other people - employers being allowed to deny coverage for birth control for employees (costing employees and ultimately health insurance companies more money) because they mistakenly believe that the birth control causes abortions. Don’t want to vaccinate your children because of a “belief”? You can put your own and other people’s children at risk if you’re sufficiently “sincere.”
It seems like a dangerous road to go down to let people with easily falsifiable irrational beliefs force other people to behave as if they’re real, and it seems like we’re going down that road.


#18

The particularly stupid thing here is that evangelicals have been objecting to technologies like this one for decades. Back in the '70s, the idea was first put forward of chipping your kids to somehow discourage kidnapping, and the whole “mark on the hand” thing became an issue. So the manufacturer absolutely should not have been surprised by this. The surprising thing is that there weren’t a lot more suits.

If people have been objecting for that long, regardless of your opinion on their religion, you had damned well better have a reply ready; and “No, I’m not Satan” really isn’t good enough.


#19

It is much harder for me to accept crazy religious beliefs than it is for me to accept crazy speech but they both fall under the First Amendment so give the nut his money I guess.


#20

I don’t know, can you say it out loud without laughing?