December 6, 2007, - 1:39 am
All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
That’s what George Orwell wrote in his 1945 novella, “Animal Farm.”
And so it goes in 2007 at Target.
The retail giant employs Muslims and Christians (and those of many other religions). But the former is far more equal than the latter at the home of Isaac Mizrahi cheap chic and Archer Farms foods.
Earlier this year, when Muslim cashiers decided to refuse to ring up pork and pepperoni pizza at the checkout lane, Target allowed this to go on. The retailer insisted that it respect and accommodate the extreme religious beliefs of its Muslim employees despite the cost and hassle to the customer and the retailer. The practice held up lines and required double teams of cashiers to keep up with the Muslims do-and-don’t lists of scanning and ringing up items. And the practice is ongoing.
But that was then (for Muslims). This is now (for Christians). And now, Brian Bundy of Swartz Creek, Michigan, is gone from his job at Target. He was fired because, unlike its Muslim employees, Target would not accommodate his Christian religious beliefs. That’s even though–unlike the Muslim cashiers–Bundy informed Target of his beliefs before he was hired by Target Corporation. And Target assured him they would accommodate him.
Bundy is a pharmacist. It is against his religious beliefs to fill prescriptions for the “morning after” pill a/k/a “Plan B,” which is used to terminate pregnancy in the 72 hours after unprotected sex. When he was hired by Target, the retailer told him that he could refer those who wanted the drug to another pharmacy.
But since then, Target changed its tune. At the time, the drug was not available over the counter. Now, it is, and Bundy did not want to dispense it. Target insisted he provide it to over-the-counter customers. He balked. Instead of accommodating Bundy’s religious beliefs like it did with Muslims who won’t ring up pig products, Target fired him. Target’s rationale: It’s bad for business. Customers won’t put up with it, and Target will lose money.
I am not saying I agree with Bundy’s beliefs. But whether or not you agree with Bundy’s beliefs–and many Christians do not–is not the issue. Many Muslims claim they do not agree with the mostly-Somali Muslim cashiers who would not ring up pork and other pig products. In fact, in Muslim-owned gas stations all over Detroit, Muslims sell pig products–even though profiting from that is against Islamic law–to make a buck. The issue is that Target is saying “We will accommodate Muslims and their demands, but we will not do the same for Christians.”
If Target fired Bundy–and it did–it must also fire its Muslims cashiers. Or it must rehire Bundy and give him back pay. But at Target there is no equality of religious faiths. One is “more equal” than all others. And it’s Islam.
And therein lies the problem. How many customers stopped shopping at Target over the Islamic cashiers and their Sharia checkout lanes? How many continue to express their anger to Target over the Muslim indignance once it’s time to ring up? Not enough, because instead of patronizing its customers, Target kowtowed to its strident Muslim employee population and still does. Target probably lost very little in its bottom line as a result of making you wait while another cashier is found to ring up your bacon. When Muslim customers (and moreso fake “customers” generated by militant groups like CAIR) are angry, businesses never hear the end of it.
Now, Bundy is suing Target. He was hired in April 2006 and fired seven months later for his religious beliefs. Target responds that,while it values the “diversity” of its pharmacists and their religious beliefs,
We have an obligation to meet the needs of the guests we serve . . . particularly when it comes to their health care needs.
But what about the needs of the guests Target serves after they’ve been waiting in a long line, and they suddenly discover they must wait again, while an employee is found to ring up their dinner?
Is meeting a Target customer’s immediate hunger needs less important than making sure they kill all life after a night of unprotected sex?
Who’s to say? Different Target customer’s have different needs. And Target is saying one set of religious beliefs–the ones of the 19 hijackers who murdered over 3,000 Americans . . . and their fellow co-religionists who’ve murdered so very many more–are more important than another set of religious beliefs.
That’s nothing short of religious discrimination, and it violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, by failing to make reasonable accommodations for Bundy’s religious beliefs. Why accomodate the Muslims’ religious beliefs and not his? Why are they more important to Target?
This isn’t the first time Target’s picking on Christians while pandering to Muslims. In 2005, it forbade the use of “Merry Christmas” by cashiers. That policy changed because customers got angry and it was covered in mainstream media outlets, like the Wall Street Journal, giving Target a black eye. But Target also banned the Salvation Army (a Christian charity) from raising money for the poor outside its stores during the holiday season. That policy remains unchanged, though Target is now selling a gift package few will buy, the proceeds of which will go to the Salvation Army.
The bottom line is that Target will accomodate Muslim beliefs no matter how extreme, but not Christian ones.
George Orwell’s prescient pronouncement lives on 62 years later in the checkout lane at Target. And Islam is the “most equal” and revered animal of them all, all because they attacked us and we must bend over to make up for . . . them attacking us?!
The more you shop at Target and keep your disapproval to yourself, the more it will go on. And get worse.
The Salvation Army and Brian Bundy, first. You, sometime soon.
Think about that when you decide where to drop your holiday–and everyday–spending cash.
Tags: Animal Farm, Brian Bundy, cashier, Christmas, Debbie Schlussel All, Detroit, gas stations, George Orwell, Isaac Mizrahi, mainstream media outlets, Michigan, pharmacist, pig products, retail giant, Salvation Army, Target, Target Corporation, the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal