Bank Teller fired for being too Christian with the customers

It’s an interesting story, and not one about which the facts are terribly clear. Did a bank teller in Kentucky lose her job for wishing customers “a blessed day,” or did she lose it because she asked them if they’d accepted Jesus as their savior?

The first is fine with me. The second, decidedly not.

Is a blessed day necessarily a Christian greeting? Maybe, maybe not. Even on Charmed, a show about wiccans (kinda), they says “blessed” all the time, and they clearly aren’t talking about Jesus.

So I don’t really have a problem with people who say “bless you.” If anything, i find it quaint and sweet.

Image courtesy of Fox19.

Image of bank teller Polly Neace, courtesy of Fox19.

As for asking me if I’ve found Jesus, that’s no one’s business. And I’ve been asked before. My most annoying memory was sitting at JFK airport in New York City, on a 12-hour layover flying from Europe to South America (it was a hellacious trip), when some religious nut sat down next to me in the airport and asked me if I’d found Jesus. This was back in the era when they’d start a conversation with you by saying “I found it.”

I was pretty annoyed, in addition to being supremely tried. And I don’t quite recall what I said or did in response, but it wasn’t terribly Christian.

Back to the matter at hand.  According to Fox 19, citing the bank, the teller also once asked a customer, “‘Did you take the Lord’s name in vain?’ and then proceeded to talk to that customer about salvation.”

Yeah, that would start to annoy.

The teller is now suing the bank for religious discrimination.

If the teller was simply wishing customers a blessed day, then the customers who complained were out of line, IMHO.

But if she was inquiring as to whether the customers had “found Jesus,” and if she started reprimanding them about disobeying God’s law while depositing money, then she gets one warning, and if it continues, she can go find work at Hobby Lobby or Eden Foods.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • kevinbgoode

    perhaps the best response to “have a blessed day” would be that lovely southern expression “well bless your heart.”

  • neddyboy

    I’d complain about “Have a blessed day” too. Not out of line at all.

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  • LumberJock

    They ask me if I found jay-zuss? I’d tell’em “they shoulda kept’im on a shorter leash!”.

    Their freedom of religious expression ends at the tip of their collective nose.

  • LumberJock

    The ONLY thing to tell a veteran is, “Job well done!”.

  • LumberJock

    I love it!!!!!!!!!!

  • LumberJock

    You may very well be too polite. That’s why they keep coming. Untoward approaches by funda-gelicals will continue until they are effectively reproached for being intrusive.
    I’ve tried, “Shut-up!”; I’ve called a manager to make a fuss and hold-up commerce. All that usually happens is my home or car gets egged and some one who is photographed goes to court and skips off with the unique defence that it is justly practicing it’s religious requirement to evangelize.
    We need a change of laws in the US.

  • Silver_Witch

    Exactly LumberJock – as if any of them cared enough to fix the VA, provide armor for the vehicles or even consider what real justification is for sending our children into battle.

  • LumberJock

    Just like, “Thank you for your service.” is a condescending effort from dunce luntz. republi-can’ts took it up to deflect their absence of presence in uniformed service. With a few notable and even more infamous exceptions, republi-can’ts and dixie-canz remain uncivil civilians for their lives.

  • doug105
  • doug105

    When isolated people have delusional beliefs,it’s labeled mental illness.When limited numbers of people have shared delusional beliefs,it’s labeled a cult.When large numbers of people have shared delusional beliefs, it’s labeled a religion.

  • Indigo

    Chapter and verse, please.

  • Scowel

    There is an appropriate time and need to employ this particular barrage of questions, Example: Phone sales-men, Bill collectors, Door to door sales-men, pesky “Can I help you?” guys, at Home Depot, “Know it all’s”, Politicians who want your VOTE, P.A.C. neighborhood canvassers/surveyors, bums at the corner intersections, panhandlers, and people who want to express an opinion (either pro or con) about other presumptuous people who ask the –forbidden– “QUESTIONS” !!!

    Either reconcile yourself to that, to which you perceive to be most at enmity OR : That, will become your own REALITY !!! = Alice, through the Looking Glass … and, “Jesus,” waits, on the other side !!!

  • TruthNotReligion

    No, he didn’t drive them away in a Fury.
    It was in a Dodge Dart.

    DUH

  • TruthNotReligion

    If someone says, “God bless you” . . .
    don’t we have an obligation to sneeze, then ?
    And isn’t that dyslexic ? Or lesdyxic ?

    Anybody know ?

  • UncleBucky

    So she was testing the company to see if she could impose her will on customers. FIRE her then.

  • vickif

    You and me both.

  • vickif

    If that was true, why are priests and bishops and popes and heads of churches always men?

  • vickif

    i have remember that the next time someone asks me that.

  • dcinsider

    My story:
    A handsome young man came up to my teller window recently.

    “Pardon me, but I could not help but notice your wife and children with you, can I ask, are you a heterosexual?”

    “Yes, of course,” the man said.

    “I ask because I was wondering if you wouldn’t prefer to suck dick? You see, I am in charge of recruiting for the gays this week, and I’d like to talk with you about your lifestyle.”

    So, my employer fires me for just expressing my beliefs and trying to assist others to join me! What about the 1st amendment?

    I’m suing!

  • AtticCrazy

    When Christians ask me if I have found Jesus, I always say, “Oh my God, I didn’t even know he was missing! Do you need me to help you hang up some flyers?”. They always go away; it works every time.

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  • Silver_Witch

    Having lived in DC for many years I detest “Have a Blessed Day” so hypocritical and not genuine…it is a code for “I am choosen and special”. Yuck and yuck. I don’t need no stinking God of their’s to bless my ass. In fact, when people say it to me I say “No Thanks”.

    A simple thank you for shopping or banking or eating is sufficient. And if you are my friend and you know me and you actually care about me – well I might be okay with have a blessed day…but of course being my friend and knowing me well they would never say such an offensive thing.

  • http://wicca.com/celtic/wicca/wicca.htm Colin

    Found Jesus? I didn’t know he was lost. Wish he would have taken some of these self righteous loons with him.

  • lilyannerose

    Not me! It’s taken years of christian BS to get me to this point.

  • Butch1

    I always say don’t waste your time; pray for yourself. It usually levels the playing field again.

  • Butch1

    She’s not that kind of christian.

  • Butch1

    One could also respond with, “Check the ‘Lost and Found’ Department. ;-)

  • Butch1

    If Hobby Lobby has a right to do what it has done then that bank has a right to set down the religious rules it wants her to follow as well. If she doesn’t like it either get another job or get fired from this one if you persist in breaking the rules that have been given to you. She chose to continue breaking the rules so she could sue them. She had a religious agenda to pursue.

  • Butch1

    The woman was not so dumb that she knew she was going to be fired and would file a law suit of this. She did this on purpose. I hope the judge dismisses it in which case, she will appeal of course. She wants to take this as high as she can get away with it. Yes, she is a nut case, but a smart nut case. I think this will be interesting because the bank is a corporation and if this even makes it to the Supreme Court they will either be painted into a corner having previous “corporate lawyer” justices on the bench who lean towards bankers and that all five of the right-leaning justices are religious catholics. This will be interesting and the smart thing for them to do would be NOT to hear the case and let the lower court ruling stand in my opinion and leave the hot potato right where it belongs.

  • Indigo

    Regardless, he’s cute.

  • keirmeister

    Well….there may be; but they probably exist in 6 dimensions, and we can’t perceive them unless we take something that opens our doors of perception.

    Pass the bowl.

  • 1jetpackangel

    My aunt was hounding me for a conversation about the Bible because she’d gleaned that I wasn’t a fan, and I finally got irritated enough to snap, “The Bible is a translation of a translation of a translation of anecdotes attributed to a guy by his friends from back in the days when people still shit in the streets.” She became very distressed by my attitude and said she’d pray for me. I just kinda smiled and nodded.

  • 1jetpackangel

    “Oh, Daddammit.”

  • 1jetpackangel

    “You want me to put the hammer down?!”
    Yes plz

  • 1jetpackangel

    *ahem* He’s Castiel, the Angel of Thursdays.

  • redheadedlady

    I live in this freakin’ “bible belt”, and you can’t walk away, hardly, from a cashier without hearing, “have a blessed day”. Makes you wanna puke.

  • redheadedlady

    I like your response…classy, but, still gets the point put through to them.

  • Demosthenes

    Thank you for the clarification and detailed explanation. I hadn’t followed the link. And given the full facts, it is clear she deserved to be fired.

  • Ninong

    That’s not what she said. Follow the link John provided to the very first words of his article. She said a lot more than just “have a blessed day” or “God bless you.” She asked customers if they had taken the Lord’s name in vain that day or if they had “found Jesus.” She preached to them about “salvation.” She was repeatedly warned and told to stop preaching religion to coworkers and customers alike.

    She dared them to fire her. “I was upset with the fact they were stifling me and not allowing me to act on my beliefs,” Neace says.

  • Ninong

    This woman is nuts! Only Fox would consider this newsworthy! She was reprimanded and received detailed written warnings. She deliberately violated common sense work ethics on purpose with the intention of getting fired so that she could file this stupid lawsuit. She’s another Sarah Palin type – dumb as dirt.

    The written warning also states that Neace asked a customer, “Did you take the Lord’s name in vain?” and then proceeded to talk to that customer about salvation.

    FOX19 legal analyst Mike Allen says Neace may have crossed a legal line.

    “Where you actually go and take a step further and actually perhaps try to convert or persuade someone to your religious beliefs, that’s where an employer can step in and take action,” Allen says.

    That Code of Ethics Violation warns Neace that “effective immediately you will no longer discuss the subject of faith or religion with customers and co-workers alike.”

    “I was upset with the fact they were stifling me and not allowing me to act on my beliefs,” Neace says.

    Neace admits she was reprimanded again a few months later.

    Why is it that the fundies can’t get it through their thick skulls that you don’t have an unrestricted constitutional right to freedom of speech or freedom of religious expression at work? When you are at work, you are obligated to comply with your company’s work rules. Those rules sometime set out guidelines for attire and personal appearance. If you don’t like the rules, don’t go to work there. They might also prohibit the discussion of certain topics of discussion, especially if you work for a school system or something similar. Those restrictions might even carry over to your personal expressions on social media, such as Facebook. Again, don’t like the rules, quit and go to work someplace else.
    This woman is clearly a jackass who wanted to stir up controversy!

  • Indigo

    Is that Cassiel? He’s adorable!

  • Indigo

    The classic response to “How are you?” I use when I’m feeling that way is “Bah-humbug.”

  • Indigo

    Thank you, she’s very nice. I kinda had hopes of “doing bad things” with Thor, though.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Considering they let her get away with it for years, after repeated warnings, I don’t really see it as a case of policy changing around her, or her simply not understanding the policy. She consciously decided that imposing her faith on the bank’s customers was more important than having a job.

  • redheadedlady

    “Atheist Universe” is another great book.

  • redheadedlady

    A damn good place to put them, too. I hear more women fall for that insanity than men.

  • redheadedlady

    How stupid! There aren’t any freakin’ “gods”, people!

  • redheadedlady

    If she will trust “god”? There aren’t any “gods”. No person, or power, in the outside world can compare to the power you have within you. Seek the power within, as it knows the perfect way for you.

  • Scott Amundsen

    What Nease did was intrusive and rude and self-righteous; I am sick of people using freedom of speech and religion to justify all manner of unacceptable behavior. If that woman wants to preach let her get a seminary degree and get a church job.

  • Jeffrey Marks

    About 15 years ago, I did the same at a doctor’s office, where one of the nurses had posted reparation therapy information on a bulletin board. I pointed out to their regional office that I felt uncomfortable discussing my health with someone who thought I needed to be fixed. They were gone the next time I went there.

  • UncleBucky

    With regard to Nease, she may have been hired before a policy was set in place that was very clear. So, she THOUGHT she could witness at the same time as conducting business and since she had done it before, what was the problem. When someone rewrote the policy, it was not clearly stated and employees signing off, I would guess.

    In some communities witnessing is expected. In others it is regarded as being rude. I would offer that the community had changed around Nease, including the bank business and its policies.

    :)

    TO ME, witnessing could go two ways: As an innocent personality component, such as saying “God bless you” instead of “Gesundheit” or “Salud”. Or it could be a somewhat unilateral “testing” of the customer to see if s/he’s part of “the good guys” or the “bad guys”, betcha. When Nease’s witnessing became more like the second type, I think she was perceived more than once to be pushy and rude rather than innocently sweet.

    Hm. Maybe she was testing the water, as well….

  • TheRealSocialmedic

    It is the ABUSE of religious freedom, not the use of it.

  • TheRealSocialmedic

    Exactly, nobody ever thought about taking their faith away until they started RAMMING it down people’s throats. If they really want to loose their religious freedom this is definitely the way to go about it!

  • TheRealSocialmedic

    Sorely.

  • johnbales

    “And may the blessings of the Goddess Isis shine down upon you too!”

  • littleguy99

    The line between religions and insanity is very blurry.

  • johnbales

    I am in agreement with the article. Saying “a blessed day” is simply a greeting that some people use. However, the employee steps over the line when they begin proselytizing during company time. That’s not what they’re being paid for and also their personal religious beliefs and opinions (thinking of some extreme views) could well reflect poorly back on the business. One day I found proselytizing ‘tracts’ laying around on the counters of a local branch of a regional bank, the kind promising ‘hellfire and damnation for those that don’t accept Jesus as their savior’. Now, I found these personally offensive in publicly-held businesses (I can give some leeway in a Mom & Pop shop) and made a complaint to corporate headquarters, naming the branch (figuring this was probably a breach of established policy as to what can be displayed in the lobby). The next time I was in there it appeared the tracts had disappeared. There is a time & place for this kind of thing and cornering a customer on business property is not the place.

  • stevesfm

    To this non-Christian, “Have a blessed day” is indeed OK. “Have you found Jesus?” Decidedly not.

  • stevesfm

    It sounds to me like you’re over-thinking it.

  • Indigo

    I’d be delighted with a blessing from Thor. ;)

  • stevesfm

    Or, just do the last two things.

  • stevesfm

    Great book, but honestly, he’s about the only militant anti-theist I can stomach, because he just wrote so beautifully.

  • Indigo

    As I recall, Jesus drove the money changers from the temple in a fury.

  • stevesfm

    Which is also condescending and rude. I’m with the author: “Have a blessed day” is fine, “Have you found Jesus?” is not.

  • littleguy99

    So if Corporations are People would the rule of associative property mean that people ARE corporations?

  • goulo

    Hmm? The statement is NOT asserting anything about what kind of day someone is having or is going to have.

    It’s simply an expression of good will. Like telling someone who’s leaving on a trip “Have a good trip” or “I hope you have a good time”. I’m not seeing anything heinous or insulting or offensive about the concept of wishing someone well. It seems like a simple friendly decent sentiment. (And the world would be a nicer place if more people wished other people well…)

    Getting upset about it seems as arbitrarily misanthropic as getting upset about the alternative thing which you say they should say instead: “Thank you. We appreciate your business.” (Some grumpy customer will respond: “Why are you thanking me? I didn’t do anything for you. My money was not a gift to you. This is merely a business transaction which I’m performing for my own benefit!” or “How dare you you waste my time bothering me with irrelevant personal emotional information about your so-called ‘appreciation’ of my business? Why do you think I care about your opinion of my business?”)

  • nicho

    The problem is that it’s a really stupid convention that slipped into American culture a few years ago. A store clerk should say, “Thank you. We appreciate your business.” You don’t know what kind of a day someone is having or is going to have. It almost implies that they were planning on having a shitty day and you saved them from that with your idiotic comment. The only thing worse is at the Disney abominations where they wish you (or used to) “Have a magical day.”

  • nicho

    Just autograph it, “Dad and I appreciate your interest and wish you the best of luck” –Jesus H. Christ

  • Demosthenes

    Like Mr. Aravosis, my opinion depends upon what this lady said. If she said harmless (and rather pleasant) sayings like “God Bless you” or the like, she shouldn’t have been fired.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Q: Have you found Jesus?

    A: I didn’t know he was lost.

  • bkmn

    The line between religions and cults is very blurry.

  • FLL

    Demanding an answer of personal questions is just a way of stating that the person asking has authority over the other person. You can remind Bible-carrying Christians that they’re in no position to be asking personal questions.

  • DiatribesAndOvations

    She was fired for insubordination. Wouldn’t you get fired if you disobeyed orders numerous times? http://wp.me/p1se8R-4Vw

  • keirmeister

    EXACTLY! When i was a kid, being raised as a Christian, I was taught that if I were persecuted for proclaiming my faith, I would be rewarded in heaven.

    Hmmm…sounds similar to another faith now that I’m thinking about it….

    But anyway, faith in God and His deliverance was all that mattered. So if Neace is being persecuted, she should rejoice in it!

  • dcinsider

    How about Hello and Goodbye?

  • dcinsider

    Another code word: “Hey, wanna bet the shit out of a fag.”

  • keirmeister

    Fair enough. The reason I call it arrogant is because that mentality implies the notion “I am right, you are wrong…period!” Also, I find it arrogant for people to believe they speak for God.

  • dcinsider

    Becca you are usually spot on, but you do need to realize that you do not get to decide who is offended by what. You’re totally wrong on this one, and given that you usually are pretty understanding about such things, I am handing you a “Get Out of Jail Free” pass.

  • woodroad34

    “But if she was inquiring as to whether the customers had “found Jesus,” and if she started reprimanding them about disobeying God’s law while depositing money, then she gets one warning, and if it continues, she can go find work at Hobby Lobby or Eden Foods.”

    As you say, if she had been warned, then she’s going against company policy and her lawsuit is a lie–because they more than likely knew of her religious choices when they hired her or had seen her in action before–so they didn’t discriminate on religious grounds; they fired her for abusive customer service, just as if some bank clerk had told me to go f*ck myself. She’s one sinful, lying and morbid sociopathic religionista. Honestly, they think they have all the rights in the world–bunch of bullies and pharisees

  • therling

    Well, I’m not about to go looking for him in a friggin’ bank!

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    The only response to that question is ‘None of your damned business.’

  • Force Crater

    Why doesn’t she incorporate? I can’t see how they could possibly fire her if she did. If you are a corporation then you can say or do anything you want almost without consequences in this country. When will this be tested in court? This is a perfect opportunity to push the issue to its logical conclusion, I await the clear decision that confirms we are a Fascist state.

  • perljammer

    On those rare occasions when someone asks me if I’ve found Jesus, I usually respond with “What? I didn’t know he was lost!” That usually leaves them speechless long enough for me to make my getaway.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    Not strict Wiccan — my tradition is rather more eclectic — but I’ve been known to say “Blessed be.”

    Although I’ve come to the point where I’m convinced we make our own blessings.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    The guy at the local Persian grocery store used to say good-bye with an Islamic blessing, but was sensitive enough to ask the first time if I would be offended. I just said “I’m never offended at someone wishing me well.” Just as I don’t take offense at the African American ladies on the bus wishing everyone a blessed day. They mean well, and that’s their way of expressing it.

    Which is my way of agreeing with what Becca said: “Interpretation is in the mind of the speaker and the ears of the recipient.” It’s not that hard to read intent; we do it all the time: words are only part of communication; the rest is tone and body language. If you’re missing that, you’re not hearing the whole conversation.

  • mark_in_toronto

    I don’t like “How are you?”
    So, anything beyond that is really irritating.
    Keep those snappy come-backs coming.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    I came close to that in a subway station — guy kept pestering me about Jesus, even after I pointed out that I was perfectly happy with my religion and didn’t feel any need to be saved from anything. He wouldn’t quit, so I just told him “If you don’t get away from me, I’m calling a cop.” He finally got the message.

  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    My understanding was that she went from “Have a blessed day,” which no one objected to, to asking if her customers had found Jesus, which is grossly offensive — as you pointed out, it’s none of her business. And she continued after being warned.

    So now, of course, she’s in the running for Martyr of the Week because she was fired for ramming her religion down people’s throats.

    Oh, and by the way: the usual Wiccan usage is “Blessed be.”

  • olandp

    I don’t find “Bless you” or “Have a blessed day” to be quaint and sweet. I find it condescending and rude. Here in the bible belt it is some what common, but it always surprises me. It is usually said as I am walking away but when I can I reply, “And may you be touched by his long noodly appendage.”

  • HKAnders

    If this woman knew very much about the faith she professes, she would know that we Christians are not supposed to grumble and complain and file lawsuits when we are persecuted for preaching Christ. We are supposed to celebrate. At least that’s what Jesus says.

    “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”

    It’s actually written down in this book I discovered called The Bible. Ms. Neace should check it out.

  • 1jetpackangel

    I choose to believe they meant Misha Collins, which is extra hilarious because he plays a rather sacrilegious angel on Supernatural.

  • joshuabayerjazz

    I prefer to take the high road – if someone wishes me a blessed day, I will say ‘thanks’ or if I am in a great mood ‘you too man!’. when it comes to the preaching, I used to get up in arms about it. But now it just rolls off me like most nutsy stuff. what gets me is when they trap you and walking away takes effort. Had a layover of about 6 hours – got my food, set up camp by a window and outlet and down plops a jesus freak yakking about jesus. He would not let me ignore him so I asked him ‘you know that it took me a half hour to set up stuff here and now I have to move because of you. You picked me because it would be tough for me to move. Is this how you spread the word? Please leave me alone.’ No way – he kept yakking. So I got a cop and got him booted. Cop was happy to do it.

  • joshuabayerjazz

    Keirmeister, you nailed it. But, I think we can’t label Neace arrogant using your reasoning. It is not arrogant to her though it may seem so to us. Perhaps we can label it extremely misguided? Either way, you nailed it.

  • Andy Millan

    Love that book, Hitchens was a great writer, orator and debater, he is missed.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Confession: Whenever I’m staying in a hotel room and there’s a Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer — as there almost always is — I will often give in to the urge to edit and annotate it.

    Leviticus is always good for giggles in this respect.

    Yes, I pack a sharp pocket knife, a pen, and a highlighter in my luggage for just this purpose.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Aye, although I think ‘Holly Hobby Lobby’ was doing us all a favor in showing how religion + patriotism + symbols of violence always add up to the same thing.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I know. There’s another comment with someone avowing there is no ‘wiccan’ (small w) on the entire planet who would ever say ‘Have a blessed day’ — despite the fact (1) I consider myself primarily Wiccan and (2) there’s actually a significant chance that sometime in my 51 year lifetime I’ve used that particular phrasing.

    *shrugs* Brick wall indeed.

  • goulo

    Although it’s literally an imperative sentence, I think it’s pretty clearly not meant as a command telling you how to feel, but rather as an abbreviated form of “I hope you have a nice day” or “May you have a nice day.” I.e. wishing well upon you, not telling you what to do.

  • 1jetpackangel

    Every time I see gospel tracts left in the bathroom at work, the last thing I want to do when I sit down is stare balefully at a paper representation of the culture I worked so hard to get away from (plus the sheer idiocy of thinking anyone can be ‘saved’ just by reading a piece of paper left in the friggin’ bathroom), so I usually stick them in the ‘feminine products’ bin.

  • hockeydog

    Same thing happened to me.
    I called the company’s H&R and told them. I didn’t want the young person fired, I just don’t want anyone tell me to have a blessed day.
    Blessed by who? Zeus? Apollo? Thor?
    The kid said ‘Misha’.

  • hockeydog

    Everyone should grow up and read/listen to ‘God Is NOT Great” by Christopher Hitchens.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You mean this one?

  • PeteWa

    lol, you are trying to have an argument with an insolent brick a wall.

  • PeteWa

    here’s hoping they keep overlooking their overwhelming similarities and don’t band together to wipe the rest of us out.

  • PeteWa

    what???
    you probably don’t believe that you can read the future by looking at goat entrails either!
    for shame!

  • Indigo

    I hear you on that. I’ve resorted to a genteel response and say something along the lines of “fairy tales can be sweet but they’re still fairy tales.” Smile. Walk away.

  • RepubAnon

    I wondered who that bearded guy was on the milk cartons…

  • Indigo

    I’ve done that too.

  • crazymonkeylady

    An election worker once said to me “Have a Blessed day”. I replied ‘Whatever’. She was startled.. I replied ” Not all of us believe that stuff.” The look on her face? Priceless.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    SCOTUS.

    Or, to be more specific, SCrOTUS.

    Medieval Patriarchy and Fundamentalist Christianity go together like peanut butter and chocolate.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    ‘Christmas’ passes muster for you, but ‘blessed’ doesn’t? The holiday — which bombards us for 2-3 months every year — is crammed wall-to-wall with Baby Jesus and his followers who constantly want to remind us it’s THEIR holiday we’re all being forced to celebrate through acts of greed and capitalism.

    They’re both religious terms. Both can be neutral, as you say, or delivered in a proselytizing tone and attitude. Interpretation is in the mind of the speaker and the ears of the recipient.

    Have you never said “Bless you” to someone who’s sneezed? The origin of the phrase is unclear, but whichever it might be, the intent was never anything but Christian and religious.

    In truth, people ‘get to do’ whatever those in a position of authority over them allow. In any case, there are lots of ways to say ‘have a blessed day’ that can seem utterly innocuous, a mere affectation — and lots of ways of saying it that make it clear the speaker is simply DYING to convert someone to her faith. What Neace was doing and how she was behaving toward customers — and probably her coworkers, too — clearly wasn’t happening in a vacuum.

  • BillFromDover

    Would she feel any different if she was paying for a sandwich at a Subway and the cashier intoned: Allahu akbar?

    Methinks not?

  • vickif

    Me too, I watch the DVD’s every now and then, and it’s on TNT most mornings.

  • emjayay

    It is ignorant and rude and unacceptable.

  • emjayay

    No, Becca you are wrong.
    No employee that I have to deal with should be able to lay any stuff on me that isn’t generally acceptable neutral speech. If they are Jewish they don’t get to say “Shalom”. If they are Muslim they don’t get to throw in “God willing” all over the conversation.

  • BillFromDover

    What ever happened to the separation of church and state in this ruling?

  • emjayay

    I live in Brooklyn so I don’t get the “Have a blessed day” thing much – I have a few times somewhere, probably somewhere else, but I’m sure it’s common in the Bible Belt. I now plan to deliver an annoying lecture the next time I hear it, no matter how sweetly intentioned it seems to be. It is proselytizing. It is unacceptable.

    A business like a bank is within its rights to tell employees exactly what they should say and not say. Because Free Market Capitalism.

    There was a long piece running on NPR today with stuff a car dealer and other businessguys were saying about how they were Christians and their employee health plan is not going to ever have any zygote killing stuff in it although of course not only is it none of their business but they like to imagine lots of things do that which don’t. The whole thing is just appalling and totally wrong. The minority on the court are more than right.

    It goes back to the Catholic hospital case, which was also totally wrong, wrong, wrong.

  • BillFromDover

    I usually just ignore these delusional Goddards, unless I’m bored – which is pretty much always.

    I work in a toll both and am constantly being handed pamphlets ordering
    my to find and let the Baby Jebus into my heart – lest I burn in hell for a long
    time – especially if I’ve ever masturbated without informing (the town
    drunk) Father Connie so he could relay this info to wherever he believed
    it would do the most good?

    Some of the short back and forth from these (I believe sincerely) do-gooders:

    “Has anybody said God bless you, today””
    Nah, you’re the 1st one, but what difference does it make?

    “What inspires you?”
    Beer money.

    SSDD:
    “What inspires you?”
    Beer.

    Can I hand you a pamphlet, sir?
    Toll both rules forbid it (usually madam) cus those behind you might thing
    you are bribing me… unless ya have an orange Popsicle to go with it..

    It doesn’t take long before those that recognize me change their inquires
    to “How are you”, but these retorts do not belong on this thread as
    these responses float around “good meds” and “the voices in my head not
    being so angry with me.”

    As many of ya might discern, yes I still have a job and it becomes funner the closer I come to Take this job and shove it! as I understand there might be an opening for a batting coach for my once-beloved Red Sox?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Take a chill-pill, sparky. And yes, you were looking to be offended, including right here.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Every person killed in the wars in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and that figure is in the millions was a victim of the US aggression. That includes those murdered by Pol Pot. Those deaths, the sole and direct result of US actions, occurred from July 1950 until April and May 1975.

    Every person killed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt. Bahrain, Yemen. Palestine, Afghanistan and Pakistan is the victim from the first US attack on Iran in 1953 until now, and continuing, is a victim of the policies of the US and it’s zionist and sunni allies.

  • Tatts

    You don’t get to tell me that I’m “looking to be offended”, Becca. You’re wrong. I don’t want any religion pushed on me whether it involves discussing their beliefs or using code words like “blessed day”.

  • Tatts

    I have a friend who will sometimes reply: “This is America, you can’t tell me what to do.”

    OTOH, it’s clear he’s joking, and the well-wisher always laughs.

  • lilyannerose

    I find it irritating as hell when someone looks at me, with that placid cow chewing cud look on their face, and tells me to ‘have a blessed day.’ Really? I’ve long suspected that it’s one of those “code phrases” as in I am a mindless christian how about you? Just who is supposed to be “blessing” me? As for that what the hell is their idea of a blessing? Since we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch just what would I be getting myself into if I accepted a blessing? I have never had a Wiccan, or a Catholic, or a Buddhist or a Hindu approach me and try to force their faith down my throat and I’m sick of these christians trying to do so. I never much minded christians until they went all political and now they scare the hell out of me and in my own little ways I don’t let em get away with a thing. FRACK THEM AND THEIR BULLSHIT BLESSINGS.

  • Tatts

    He’s not missing. He’s stuck in that piece of toast over on CNN.

  • BillFromDover

    Does Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council not come to mind as fine, fine Christians using the inerrant word of God as a basis to foment their hate (without which these groups could not exist) on anybody enjoying the dirty deed more than their obvious (or certainly hypocritical) boring sex lives?

    How fuckin’ disgusting is that?

    I will pray for theirs souls tonight shortly after my special Tuesday night couch hummer.

  • Tatts

    “Have a blessed day” is NOT OK.

    Come on, John. What is the point of bringing Charmed into the discussion? Nobody–nobody–who ever wishes you a blessed day is a wiccan; they are born-again Christian–always christian–nutbags trying to subtly push their religion on you.

    Comparing those two uses of “blessed” is like comparing Seventh Day Adventists proselytizing to Girl Scouts selling cookies. Apples and carburetors.

  • UncleBucky

    But wishing them to have a good day, or a better day is a nice touch and not “telling”.

  • UncleBucky

    Blessed is a code word. Stop it. Just ask a person is their day is OK, or wish them a better day. IF you have to mention Jesus, you’re off the mark.

    So to speak, BE Jesus, don’t NAMEDROP Jesus.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The term ‘bitch’ is a term used by woman haters. When it’s used to describe gay men it homophobic.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I realize that religious beliefs are not sane beliefs.

    Queens is a term used by gay hating bigots.

    christers are the enemy even when they pretend to be pro-gay and limit themselves to spouting insane dogmas that come howling down the centuries from the dark ages.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Somehow I think Shumsky is telling us way more about himself than he’d like to become public knowledge…

  • TruthNotReligion

    “Atheism” is not a belief-system. It has no weird ceremonies, stupid beliefs, doesn’t swindle people out of their money in exchange for membership in a “club,” and doesn’t bully them when they have questions, etc.

    Atheism is simple a conclusion that … there is no “God”. Those who are unsure about this are called “agnostics”. You could look it up, but be sure you have the permission of your pastor, FIRST (since you don’t want to get into trouble!)

    Nice try, though.

  • TruthNotReligion

    How about “Hare Krishna” . . .

    unless your name is, actually, “Harry Krishnah”

  • TruthNotReligion

    WRONG.

    If you believe that you get instructions from “God” . . . then

    . . . you

    . . . are

    . . . CRAZY
    ____

    And there are drugs that can help, after all. After awhile, the visions stop and the voices get fainter and fainter . . . .

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Elijah, you contribute a lot here but the “bitter old queen” thing is getting a bit too personal. I most certainly never wrote about bitter old queens being any problem, considering I’m bordering on bitter old queendom myself. I know things can get heated here sometimes, but let’s rein in the personal stuff, plese :)

  • DRoseDARs

    And then dry-hump their leg.

  • DRoseDARs

    “Yeah, saw him last night doing lines of coke off some prostitute’s ass over at the Bunny Ranch…”

  • UFIA

    Did y’all lose him again?

  • TampaZeke

    We Buddhist say “much metta” which means, “much loving kindness”.

  • discus_sucks_ass

    I did find Jesus and his “teachings” to have been co-opted to use as a vehicle of hate and violence by most of those who claim to be his followers, said followers who would kill him today for being to liberal…

  • TampaZeke

    If she had asked me if I had found Jesus I would have said “Why, is he missing?”

  • Indigo

    “Hare Om” also works well in a yoga setting.

  • Indigo

    I’ve had similar experiences where the employer had a talk-sheet to memorize. In a clothing store where I clerked, the wording had to be exactly as printed on the talk sheet.

  • Indigo

    “Hare Om” also works well in the yoga context.

  • Andy Millan

    Really, what an odious little man you are. I would rather be associated with those “Queens” as you call them than a POS like you.

  • Elijah Shalis

    hahaha bitter. The very definition of being a Queen is a bitter bitch. Stop acting like that if you don’t like it.

  • keirmeister

    Yep, that’s the one. It’s truly amazing how blind they are…and the affinity they have to people they consider their mortal enemies.

  • Andy Millan

    I did realise you were gay, Which makes your use of homophobic language all the worse. I am also not camp which is what i think you are trying to communicate when you use the words Queen or old queen, i however have no problems with anyone who is camp. Gay guys like you make me sick, we get enough scorn from the hetros without getting it from bitter gays like you.

  • nicho

    No, telling people how to feel is sad.

  • Elijah Shalis

    Yeah you are a Queen. Sorry but I am gay and out and proud but not a Queen. I suggest you all go read John’s article recently on gay marriage being accepted by the gay community and how old Queens don’t like that fact.

  • Andy Millan

    Wow, you really are a piece of work aint ya, Not only have you deluded yourself that you are not homophobic you use a homophobic slur to counter another. Just how dumb are you?

  • rudolf schnaubelt

    That’s sad Nicho. Have a better day.

  • Elijah Shalis

    John save me from the Old Queens! They are ganging up on me. Sorry but being gay is not defined as being a flammy bitch!

  • Andy Millan

    Sorry to burst your bubble there Elijah, but yes it is homophobic. Pol Pot, Stalin and Mao, set themselves up as god like deities thereby replacing god with themselves. So not only do you have no clue about the definition of homophobia you also have little knowledge of history. Sucks to be you.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM
  • Zorba

    I have been doing Yoga and meditating for many years now. Namaste, my sister.

  • keirmeister

    Growing up in that kind of environment, it’s important to understand Neace’s perspective.

    1) She’s a Christian, and devotion to God/Jesus trumps all.
    2) Spreading the Word of Jesus is saving lives and souls. It is the responsibility of all good Christians.
    3) Helping just one person to “Be Saved” justifies the aggressive proselytizing.
    4) Most people “want” to be saved, they just need a kind Christian to show them the way.
    5) If you are not saved, you are going to hell.

    These are fairly typical beliefs of Neace’s ilk, and if she follows them, you can see why she is probably oblivious to just how offensive and wrong her behavior is. In her mind, her “devotion to God” excuses other social concerns.

    People like that annoy me to no end. On the one hand, Neace could be the sweetest lady on the block; but her religious proselytizing is arrogant and exudes the sort of religious-by-culture-not-by-calling certainty that gives terrorists hard ons.

  • Elijah Shalis

    Being against Queens is not homophobic, nice try.

  • nicho

    What gets me is that we pay more attention to the word (which is just a token) than to the concept (which is the reality). On Big Bang Theory, Sheldon says “coitus” constantly. It means sexual intercourse. However, if he were to say “fuck,” which means the exact same thing, the show would be censored.

  • nicho

    Sometimes, when people wish me “Have a nice day,” I say, “I just found out my brother (I don’t have one) has terminal cancer. So I don’t think I’ll be having a nice day.” And then I leave.

  • nicho

    “You queens?” Homophobes kill a lot of people.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I like that one, too.

  • Zorba

    I like to use “namaste.” Confuses the heck out of a whole lot of people. ;-)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I did that once, too, to a pair of Mormons at our door. Only it was, “Thanks, but no thanks. Besides, I really don’t think my wife and I would be welcome at your church.”

  • Quilla

    When asked if he had found Jesus, my father would always give them the old chestnut, “I didn’t know he was missing.”

    And, reading some of the comments, I see he wasn’t the only one.

    Have a blessed day, y’all!

  • Elijah Shalis

    You realize Pol Pot and Stalin and Mao were athiests right? How many people did you atheists kill? You Queens fail to understand that liberal churches accept gay people. You are being just as ignorant by generalizing all Christians.

  • 2patricius2

    I’m just thinking of some sayings. “Yes, I found Jesus, and I’m saving him for you…” “Yes, I found Jesus, and I turned him in at the lost and found…” ” Yes, I found him, he’s in the kitchen making breakfast…” “Yes I found him, he was hiding in my basement…” “Yes I found him, he said he ran away from your church because he couldn’t take it anymore…”

  • 2patricius2

    When members of religious sects or churches ring my doorbell once a year or so, to invite me to their church or talk with me about their beliefs, I thank them for coming and tell them that I don’t think they want an openly gay man in their church. Then I close the door on their stunned faces.

  • 2patricius2

    Some years ago I went to the cable company office to reduce my cable package to the basic package to save money. I said to the clerk that I wished I could simply get rid of the channels I didn’t want – the shopping channels and the church channels. She looked at me and said “You need the church channels.” I was pissed. I was very close to asking to speak with her manager. I sometimes wish I had. On the other hand, I don’t find it offensive for my postal carrier to wish me a “blessed day.” He may be very religious, I don’t really know. But I don’t find that offensive. It’s like saying “have a good day.”

  • mikeyDe

    The War on Christmas here in the heat of July!

    The owner of our health food store will bid you farewell with ‘have a bless-ed day’ Doesn’t offend but always startles. I didn’t know there was a Wiccan connection.

    On the reverse side… I have a Roman Catholic friend who is liberally dresses her conversation with fuck and shit but will give you a lecture if you say damn. Jesus, they’re just words!

  • penpal

    Perfect summary. My personal feelings about use of the phrase “have a blessed day” are irrelevant. Everyone’s opinion is irrelevant. This company has a RIGHT to dictate what their employees say and do when they are on the clock and on their property.

  • nicho

    While we’re on the subject of religious nutbaggery, a Russian priest (but of course) says that the fact World Cup players are wearing colored shoes is promoting the gay agenda.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/soccer-insider/wp/2014/07/08/russian-priest-calls-colorful-world-cup-cleats-a-homosexual-abomination/

    A Russian priest has called this summer’s FIFA World Cup a “homosexual abomination,” saying soccer players sporting bright shoes in Brazil were promoting the “gay rainbow.”

    “Wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women’s panties or a bra,” Alexander Shumsky wrote in a column on Christian website Russian People’s Line, according to the Moscow Times.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    It doesn’t matter. I’ve never worked in retail banking, but I have had plenty of jobs where I dealt with customers and clients and in most cases I was told exactly what to say at the beginning and end of each interaction. If I am on the job, then I am representing my employers. They have a right to expect that I do that the way they want to (within reason, obviously). If they want me to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas or “My pleasure” (I HATED that one, but I said it because it was my job) instead of “no problem” (which old people hate FYI so don’t ever say that to anyone over about 60), then that’s what I’ll do so long as I’m on the job.

    I don’t know what’s so difficult about that for people to understand. Your freedom of speech and religion are about your time. They aren’t paying you to witness to people or read your Bible or whatever else it is that you need to do. Do that on your own time, or they have every right to fire you.

    Once again the religious right is twisting the truth completely beyond reality to make themselves look persecuted. I’d say the same thing even if this were some political or social or religious cause I agreed with. Not on company time.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I’ll agree that they are equal when atheists start ringing my doorbell on Sunday mornings to tell me there’s no God. So far as I know, no one does that (and please, fellow atheists, DO NOT START!).

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    The press, as usual, has oversimplified the story. Heaven forbid they fact check or talk to more than one source when it’s easier to just regurgitate a right-wing press release.

    First of all, she did more than just wish people a “blessed day” and second customer service jobs have clear guidelines about what you say to customers and she was in violation of those and had been given warnings. They had every right to fire her.

  • angryspittle

    Sounds like she suffers from OCD.

  • zadig

    Well, now I feel bad for getting all snarky. Apology accepted, and no big deal. :-)

  • Bill_Perdue

    Attempts to equate the honest rage of the LGBT communities towards our tormentors and those who want to kill us with the emotional disabilities of those who think The Exorcist was a documentary won’t cut it.

    And why do you oppose medical treatments for those who so obviously and desperately need them.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’m basically with you here, John. “Have a blessed day” = Inoffensive except for those looking to be offended.

    Proselytizing and evangelizing on company time? That’s out of bounds. And reading the linked story, it sounds like Neace is engaging in some denial and spin. The bank says she received a reprimand for the ‘have a blessed day’ remarks in 2011 due to customer complaints; she denies there were complaints. Yeah, well, how’s she going to know who spoke to the manager and who didn’t? Maybe they didn’t complain TO HER.

    Her managers didn’t really come down on her until she started in on the “Is Jesus your personal savior” and preaching at customers from her teller’s desk. I mean really, criticizing people for ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain’ and lecturing them on Christian salvation?

    I can easily see why at that point her management wouldn’t have had patience left when she said she’d just go back to the already reprimanded “have a blessed day”. Basically she was indicating she would defy their customer interaction rules.

    If she wants to preach at a bank, she’s free to do it on the public sidewalk outside.

    The saddest thing of all is I suspect Ms. Neace would’ve been mortally offended and angered if she daily had to face someone telling her that her religious faith was faulty and that she needed to give it up and accept someone else’s, and to live by their spiritual beliefs and edicts, else risk eternal suffering for believing in God(s) the wrong way.

  • SouthernYankee

    Telling someone to have a blessed day is one thing BUT asking have they found Jesus or have you taken the Lords Name well that is over the line. Who is she to judge. She is a freaking bank teller. Is this going to be what we have to put up with from now on? I think if this bank keeps allowing this then I would find another bank.

  • Elijah Shalis

    Ah an article about a rude Christian and you being a rude atheist comment on it, which shows how they are rude on both sides.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I lurv Charmed ;-) and I want their house.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And it’s one I use frequently, especially if I meet someone I either know or suspect is a Wiccan like myself.

  • Indigo

    “Blessed be” isn’t exactly a Christian greeting.

  • Bill_Perdue

    To the extent that people hold beliefs based on superstition and fiction as reality, to the same extent they are utterly divorced from reality. A decent society would offer them a robust course of medical treatment for their disability.

  • nicho
  • nicho

    Sorry, I thought you were talking about the comments here. I read right over “at the link.” Sorry. I apologize.

  • bkmn

    “Blessed” is a code word the right wing Xtians use to identify one another. Other code words – dominion, home school, abstinence.

  • zadig

    Seriously? “I suspect” you’re big on making unwarranted assumptions, and unlike you, I have evidence for my suspicions.

    Fine, I’ll play: There are people in the thread claiming that the woman’s 1st amendment rights are being violated. Since the 1st Amendment applies only to what the government can do about anyone’s speech, and not what a private entity such as, oh, say, a bank can do, the 1st Amendment is 100% irrelevant to why the unduly religious lady was fired.

    Any questions?

  • nicho

    Please enlighten us on the First Amendment. I suspect from your comment that you are very unclear on it. This is not a First Amendment issue.

  • Alpha 50327

    I’d answer with “AS THE EARTHLY INCARNATION OF SATAN I WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO KNOW HIS LOCATION SO THAT I MIGHT COMPLETE HIS DESTRUCTION. UNDER TORTURE, MULTIPLE DAMNED SOULS DIRECTED ME TO YOU. I COMMAND YOU TO REVEAL HIS LOCATION.”

  • zadig

    Reading the comments at the link, it’s amazing the number of people who show A) poor reading skills, B) poor understanding of the 1st Amendment, and C) poor understanding of atheism. Not to mention the poor quality of trolling.

    OK, not so amazing. How about “pathetic”?

    Anyway, people can wish me whatever they want. But if their boss tells them not to, and they persist, they can also be unemployed. No story here.

  • Baal

    Or, “I’m glad my people killed your god!!!!”

  • Baal

    My initial urgeis to tell them to take their barbaric, dangerous, pre-dark ages superstitions and shove them into a bodily orifice but I am much too polite.

  • Baal

    Fire her ass.

  • Indigo

    You’re still watching ‘Charmed’? Me too!

  • nicho

    I found Jesus. He was behind the couch the whole time.

  • Duncan Watson

    It is a right to work state. The right can reap what it has sown.

  • percysowner

    I admit my reaction to “Have you found Jesus?” is “I didn’t know he was missing”. It was also fun the one day the Jehovah’s Witnesses showed up at my house and asked me if I was happy with my relationship with God and I said “yes I am” and closed the door. However I can’t come up with a snarky response to have you taken Jesus as your savior and the question is out of line.

  • NCMan

    I cringe every time a some cashier who I don’t know from Adam wishes me a blessed day. Assuming that random people you meet in public share your religious views and would welcome your uninvited blessings seems like you have a very high opinion of yourself.

  • Freday63

    I agree…Here in the south “Have a blessed day” is as common as “Hey y’all” but ask me if I have found Jesus my response is always “Jesus is an adult, he can take care of himself!”

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