Fired Deputy Cites Billy Graham Rule as Reason for Firing
In a federal lawsuit filed last week, former North Carolina sheriffâs deputy Manuel Torres says he was fired while trying to practice his Christian faith. Torres, 51, says the Lee County Sheriffâs Office terminated his employment because he refused to train a womanâa task, the suit states, that would have involved spending âsignificant amounts of time alone in his patrol car with the female officer trainee.â
According to the lawsuit, filed July 31 in U.S. District Court, âTorres holds the strong and sincere religious belief that the Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife.â Training a female deputy âviolates [Torresâ] religious beliefsâ and leaves âthe appearance of sinful conduct on his part,â it adds.
Torres, who has served as a deacon at East Sanford Baptist Church in Sanford, North Carolina, says he adheres to the...
His department also provided âfalse and negative referralsâ to other law enforcement agencies, Torres says, preventing him from securing employment elsewhere. Heâs suing for $300,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000 in punitive damages, saying he suffered âloss of income and benefits, loss of quality and enjoyment of life, [and] loss ofreputation.â
Above is of course from the article.
Well, I think it is safe to say that few professing believers would be put into a spot for the above to be a reality.
JAG, your point was very good, thank you. If women werenât allowed to be in patrol cars, then this wouldnât have even become an issue. As I have often said; culture is defining scripture instead of the other way around.
Thanks for book...I mean explanation Chris000. I really appreciate it đ
I see your point well. Especially now that we're nearing almost half a century of women and men working in close contact in the workforce...
Your valid point is that he wasn't asked to do anything sinful or wrong. So the biggest problem here, is not that he was told to do something out of the ordinary or sinful, but that this women is in the workforce. The underlying issue it that women have not been given the authority to work under other men under most circumstances...
Once again, thanks for the explanation. I am sure that took you a moment to type...
...when the task is completely innocent, and a normal part of a job, in every respect?
I just think his expectations were unreasonable as an employee, and that the department had no responsibility to cator to him while refusing direct orders, based upon a matter of personal conscience that wouldn't have, directly, caused him to be in disobediance; putting man above God.
While I salute him, on a personal level, he was expected to do the job he applied for, was hired for, was being paid to do, and a job where he knew how things worked. He wasn't asked to do anything unusual, out of the ordinary, or wicked. Again, how far does an employer's responsibility go on such subjective matters where what's wrong for one, is right for another, and both are perfectly right?
...Nothing sinister, nothing inappropriate, nothing weird about it, out of the ordinary, or out of whack...just patrolling the streets, responding to calls, and training.
My issue, JaG and Herbal Mama, isn't the deputy rolling with what he thought was right for him. I give him high praises for that, and admire his strength and conviction. I think he's a great example for all, and think his wife is fortunate to have such an honorable husband who clearly loves her, but more importantly, loves The Lord, and strives for obediance. My issue is the fact that he's expecting the department to conform, and change-up the way things are done, according to any matters of personal conscience he happens to have, whenever he happens to have them. He's made demands, and refused orders in the past, based upon his conscience. My question is, what is the department's responsibility to an employee who refuses to take orders, citing that it's a violation of his religious beliefs, but based upon nothing but a matter of his own personal conscience? How long can any employer cator to subjective violations of one's faith, and allow an employee to refuse to perform the responsibilities they're being paid to do, based solely upon how a task might cause a person to feel, or look to another, etc.,
...This man would have been absolutely in the right, as well, and not in disobediance, even though the two men made polar opposite decisions, and that's the conundrum in this case...refusing to perform a task that you're being paid, and ordered to do, when the task isn't violating any clear rules or commands we're expected to adhere to as Christians; when the task doesn't call for us to put man above God; causing clear comprimise or sin.
The deputy made a personal judgement call, for personal reasons. Maybe he didn't want to risk inappropriate thoughts, or cause his wife's mind to wander, who knows. However, we're talking about patrolling the streets in a car, with two people sitting in their own seats, and separated by a wide console. They weren't going to be on long stakeouts, alone together in some apartment. They weren't going to be staying in hotels together, or going on any overnight business trips. They weren't going to be using the same locker room, or expected to behave as husband and wife as their cover while investigating some case. They were going to be riding in a car together, and that's it.
Good morning, JaG and Herbal Mama, okay, since you both asked so nicely, here it is:
In my initial comment, I hesitated to even use the phrase, "matter of conscience", but technically, that's exactly what it is, and Frank was nice enough to post the related scripture up.
While we are to obey God above any man, or manmade law, I consider matters of conscience to be very subjective; unique from person to person, and not clear, scriptural violations; sin. Matters of conscience are things that we, personally, don't feel comfortable with or about, or that we're just not quite certain about, so yes, we should err on the side of caution, doing what we feel is right, as we see it. However, one man's conscience is not anothers, and in both cases, strangely, most often than not, both are right, and neither is wrong, because they're subjective situations.
Now in the deputys case, he was exercising his personal right as he analyzed a situation, and decided that, for him, it was a situation that he needed to avoid, as a matter of obediance. Good for him. Maybe he didn't want to risk any inappropriate thoughts. Now, the next born again man in line may have seen absolutely nothing wrong with alone time in a car, doing the job he was being paid to do, and training a female deputy.
Oops, sorry JaG, and HM, by saying that, I didn't mean I thought that either one of you was looking for an argument. I meant that my own personal perspective shouldn't be turned into a heated debate by anyone at all, because I can see both sides. I just lean a bit stronger one way at the moment.
Chris000 says don't consider this topic one to argue over,"
I am personally not an Argument Guy (I prefer to be "Just a Guy). My reason for asking is that anyone who believes in something does a much better job of articulating that belief than the one who doesn't see it the same way...
I have learned just as much hearing about other peoples opinions on things, as hearing someone talk about a belief I hold myself...
JaG and Herbal Mama, maybe I'll post up my personal perspective in the AM. I don't consider this topic one to argue over, but maybe I'll post up what all came to mind for me after reading it, just for the different take.
In my old town the police department had to fire a bunch of cops for having inappropriate relationships in the car while on duty. I can understand why this office desires not to place himself in such a position. Let's not forget that recently a public official was to be thrown under the bus based on he said she said stuff.
Christopher, I too, am curious as to your thoughts.
Christopher000 wrote: I have a completely different take on this, but I guess I'll pass on posting my own thoughts. I guess I really can't argue that, for the deputy, it came down to a matter of conscience, I suppose.
I like your conscience thought and the below could easily apply.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
If this fellow felt it would cause him to lust or even that it would give a bad impression, then he should have done what he did.
Nothing very Noble about it, unfortunately, women have been put on active patrol duty for years. This fellow should have expected this and went into another line of work
I will point out that I do not think women should be on active patrol duty as police officers. It's not often that get killed or injured I suppose but once is once too often.
Ric Hanson wrote: A southwest Iowa woman who was shot and killed more than three years ago while on duty as an Omaha police officer is being remembered in an unusual way. The Omaha Police Department is adding a new horse to its mounted patrol unit named Orozco to honor Officer Kerrie Orozco....daughter, Olivia, was born premature a few months before the shooting â and she was due to come home from the hospital the day after her mother was killed. Hector Orozco said he could no longer care for the horse as taking care of Olivia is his top priority. Sergeant Joe Svacina says the nine-year-old horse has undergone a year of extensive training and entered service last week.
--"Slain Iowa policewoman is honored with police horse"