July 1, 2022

Two former employees of a North Carolina company say there were fired for refusing to take part in the firm’s daily “cult-like” Christian prayer meetings. Now they've filed a federal discrimination lawsuit. Good for them! Via NBC News:

John McGaha and Mackenzie Saunders said in a lawsuit filed Monday that the owner of Aurora Pro Services “created a hostile work environment, based on religion,” and openly threatened to fire workers who didn't attend the sessions.

“You have to participate,” the owner said, according to McGaha in the lawsuit. “If you do not participate, that is okay, you don’t have to work here. You are getting paid to be here.”

Saunders said in the lawsuit that the prayer meetings “lasted nearly an hour during which, Defendant’s owner, would pray and recite scripture from the Bible.”

“Ms. Saunders describes the behavior as ‘ranting,’” the lawsuit states. “Ms. Saunders began to feel as though the meetings became 'cult-like' after the owner required everyone to recite the Catholic version of the Lord’s Prayer in unison.”

Back in the 70s, I worked in a place like this; oddly enough, it was a scientific publishing company. I wasn't at a high enough level to be forced into it, but several of my editor friends told me if they didn't attend the Tuesday prayer meetings, they would not get raises. (And by the way, the department head who ran these meetings had a PhD. In science.)

But support staff was left alone. Until one day, the department head WENT INTO THE PURSE OF MY SUPERVISOR WHILE SHE WAS IN THE BATHROOM and found birth control pills. We were then all called into the department head's office, while she explained we were "Jezebels" and "whores of Babylon." (There was more, but I stopped listening.) We were no longer permitted to socialize with the editors so as not to infect them, and if we didn't like it, well, we could find another place to work.

So I gathered my things and quit -- but not before taping a swastika to this lovely woman's office door.

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