Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lucia Bibles at work in New Zealand

What is New Zealand coming to when an employer can make it a condition of employment that their employees not carry a small and hidden, pocket Bible? A Bible that was only spotted, because it's owner took it out in the bathroom. Are we going to turn into Saudi Arabia where any symbol of Christianity is automatically confiscated, and Catholics thrown into jail for attending Mass?

What's even worse are the number of callers on talk back yesterday, whose sole argument was that the lady in question knew the rules. The rules are the rules, they said, and if the rules say no books, then no Bible either. I certainly wonder what type of rule those callers would baulk at following, or if they'd just do whatever they were told, no matter how unreasonable.

It looks like SkyCity has now changed it's mind about the seriousness of the whole Bible incident, saying the lady's job was never at risk and that it will work with her so that they can find a way for her to carry her Bible at work. However, this should have never been an issue in the first place.

Related links:
Casino worker faces action over Bible at work ~ New Zealand Herald
SkyCity says a staff member who faced disciplinary action because she carried a pocket Bible will be allowed to carry it ~ Radio New Zealand

11 comment(s):

libertyscott said...

Yes, utterly absurd.

Worse than a government department ceasing Christmas celebrations because a non-Christian member of staff regarded them as offensive and exclusive.

LiberalLeftie said...

Private companies can do whatever they like, just like the state cannot force religion on anyone. Get used to it, we live in a secular society

Lucia Maria said...


No, private companies cannot do whatever they like. They can made reasonable rules, but there are many limits on what they can do.

Anonymous said...

This was never about a bible, except in the minds of the christian persecution fantasist.

It was about personal items. Don't believe me? go and read the WHOLE story, not just the sentence about a bible.

Now, you can argue the rightness or wrongness of the rule about personal items, but conflating it in to a prohibition on bibles is a cross to great to bear.

Would be be as outraged if it was the Little Red Book of Mao or Dawkin's Blind Watchmaker?

Anonymous said...

Liberty Scott - got a reference?

Lucia Maria said...


I have read the whole story, and listened to it as well. It was all over the radio on talkback on multiple shows on NewsTalkZB yesterday. I think it was during the morning show that a guy who was representing, or helping the lady legally gave a lot more information about what was going on.

The rules were to do with personal items that interfere with a person's ability to do their job. This Bible did not interfere, nor was it visible. It only became visible in the bathroom.

John Whyte said...

I worked for SkyCity as a dealer four years back and one of their rules was 'no pockets' coupled with 'no personal items'. This included watches, pendants (not earrings), and books.

There is a lot of hoohaa about this but the reason for the rules for dealers was to minimize theft of chips.

I'm not sure if the rules have changed or if this lady was a dealer, but I think SkyCity has failed to convey the extent of what it regulates on the Casino floor.

Jeremy Harris said...

Didn't she work in the tower, or similar?

ZenTiger said...

John, would they make exceptions for that rule? No emergency insulin shots carried? No asthma inhalers?

Just curious if any sort of "no exceptions" rule makes way for health and safety?

libertyscott said...

LiberalLeftie - Yes, I don't need a reference, I was there. I'm not "outing" it on this blog, I'd rather do it on my own in due course. There was a Parliamentary Question raised about it though if I recall correctly.

Christmas is a public holiday recognised by legislation and called such. It was not to be celebrated religiously, just celebrated in the traditional manner with a party paid for by a year of fund raising from the staff. No hymns, no prayers.

A single member of staff complained because he belongs to another faith.

It is noted that the same agency would include a Karakia (prayer in Maori) for the welcoming of new staff, and this was not confronted by the same individual (and most certainly is the inclusion of religion inappropriately in a government agency).

John Whyte said...

Zen - They did ask if I was on medication during the interview, but seeing as I wasn't it never really came up for me.

Given that on the uniforms the pockets were actually sown up, she may not have been carrying it in her pocket. Several of my coworkers were very good at carrying things around their waists under their belts.

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