Saturday, June 6, 2015

Growing Religious Intolerance in the Tech Community? GoDaddy Accused of Refusing to Hire Software Engineer Because He's an "Obeese Christian"

Radio station KTAR reports:
A software engineer from Queen Creek, Arizona, claimed he was the target of religious discrimination by Scottsdale-based Internet domain registrar GoDaddy.    
Keith Connolly applied for a job with the company in April 2014 after a member of its talent acquisition team encouraged him. 
Keith Connolly
The software engineer said he felt that the application process was going well and he had completed several rounds of interviews; however he eventually received a generic rejection email apparently sent by the company's recruiting team.    
KTAR obtained a copy of that email and attached to the bottom of it is what Connolly believed to be a message mistakenly forwarded to him.
The message said, "About Keith he's great for the job in skills but he looks worse for wear do we really want an obeese (sic) Christian? Is that what our new image requires of us."    
Connolly said he has battled with weight issues for many years and it is the result of a childhood tumor that kept him from being able to walk properly until he was an adult.  
"It is kind of hard to have someone judge you on that level and extra difficult because this is a potential employer," Connolly said.
In addition to the comments about his weight, Connolly said he was extremely offended by what he referred to as religious discrimination.
"I'm a very, very religious person and being Christian is a huge part of who I am," he said "So when you're attacking not only how I look but my faith (too) it's a double whammy."
GoDaddy probably can refuse to hire Connolly because he is overweight.  Discrimination laws generally do not prohibit an employer from refusing to hire someone based on appearance.  But the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits a hiring decision based on a person's race or religion.  The employer is not even permitted to ask about a person's religious beliefs during a job interview.  The story doesn't say how GoDaddy officials found out Connolly is a Christian.  GoDaddy is denying Connolly's claim, saying it is "fabricated."  It is not clear from that assertion whether GoDaddy is also claiming the email is faked.  If the email is legitimate, it would suggest not only that Connolly might have been a victim of religious discrimination, but that GoDaddy had engaged in a pattern of such employment discrimination in the past.

Marc Beniof, CEO, Salesforce
If Connolly's claim turns out to be true it certainly would not be the first instance of religious intolerance among tech companies.  The online crowdfunder GoFundMe removed the fundraising campaigns of two Christian businesses, Arlene's Flowers and Sweet Cakes by Melissa, who were the targets of civil discrimination litigation because of their owners' opposition to providing services in conjunction with a same sex marriage ceremony.  Then, in Indiana, we had the CEOs of two companies, Marc Beniof of Salesforce and Bill Oesterle of Angie's List, leading the corporate parade attacking Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act based on the claim RFRA would create a "license to discriminate" against people based on their sexual orientation.  Of course, neither Beniof or Oesterle, or any other RFRA opponent for that matter, could cite a single case in RFRA's entire 22 year history in which the law was successfully used to override an anti-discrimination law.

Salesforce's Beniof, who went so far as to threaten to not do business in Indiana over RFRA, has no problem having a branch office in China, despite documented abuses of religious freedom in that country:
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2015 annual report, published 30 April, recommends that China be designated as a ‘country of particular concern (CPC)’ based on an alarming increase in systematic, egregious and ongoing abuses of religious freedom in the country. The US state department has designated China as CPC since 1999, most recently in July 2014. 
This year’s report, the 16th since the Commission’s creation in 1998, documents religious freedom violations in 33 countries, makes country-specific recommendations, and assesses the U.S. government’s implementation of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).   
On its report on China, it said “In 2014, the Chinese government took steps to consolidate further its authoritarian monopoly of power over all aspects of its citizen’s lives. For religious freedom, this has meant unprecedented violation against Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, and Falun Gong Practitioners.” 
“People of faith continue to face arrests, fines, denials of justice, lengthy prison sentences, and in some cases, the closing or bulldozing of places of worship,” the report added. 
On its section on Tibetan Buddhists, the report said that “Since 2008, the Chinese government has imposed harsh policies of repression on Buddhists across the Tibetan plateau, including harassment, imprisonment, and torture.” 
The report documented the Chinese government’s campaign of repression involving the destruction of religious structures and restrictions that force young monks out of monasteries.
At least Beniof is consistent.  He does not seem to care about religious freedom in Indiana or China.


Anonymous said...

Your "evidence" is sparse and anecdotal. It provides no varifiable backup for your statement of "growing" religious intolerance.

What's your starting point for measuring the alleged intolerance? How are you measuring the change over time necessary to demonstrate that it is "growing"?

Anonymous said...

That's bad. I hope he sues GoDaddy out of business.

One of the greatest evils destroying America's former corporate advantage is the infection of so many companies with Human Resources losers.

HR losers don't know your company; they are dumb people with an easy degree, and they think their reach extends into the company beyond merely processing personnel paperwork.

Anonymous said...

Typical of left liberal hypocrites is the demand for "metrics" when such "proof" serves their biased views. I've yet to see a left liberal acclaim a copy of the Koran soaking in a jar of urine as "art" the way left liberals accept without a word of criticism a crucifix similarly desecrated. I've yet to see any LGBT couple enter a bakery operated by Islamist disciples and demand on the spot that the Islamists adherents serve them by baking them a wedding cake. Islam, the religion of intolerance and hate and ... Islam, the alleged religion known to demand the murder of gay men and lesbian women simply because they are gay... There are many examples here in America to be cited as the growing intolerance toward Christianity and I am one gay person who regularly sees exactly what Anon 2:17 and the national liberal Democrat media machine refuse to acknowledge. The phony self-appointed in my LGBT community are now famous for the intolerance, hate, and bigotry we fought against for years and that intolerance of liberals includes the growing bullying and hatred of Christians.

Nicolas Martin said...

Just as Christians should be able to refuse employment and service to gays; employers should be able to refuse employment and service to Christians. The issue is not religion, it is freedom of association based on the right to property.