Remember back when there was all that hullabaloo over pharmacists refusing to dispense birth control and emergency contraception? And then remember when health care providers were allowed to not perform abortions because it went against their religious beliefs? Well, it looks like there’s a new group of people itching to join the I-won’t-do-my-job-because-Jesus-told-me-so club — bus drivers!
Isn’t that quaint? It all started — surprise, surprise — in Texas. According to CNN, bus driver Edwin A. Graning refused to drop a girl off at Planned Parenthood, later telling his supervisor that “in good conscience, he could not take someone to have an abortion.” Of course, the article doesn’t say whether he explicitly asked her if she was going for an abortion or for, say, treatment for herpes — which might also interfere with his beliefs, but whatever — so unless she got on the bus and was all, “could you please drop me off at Planned Parenthood, Bus Driver who I’ve never met before and bus full of people that I don’t know, so I can get an ABORTION,” he probably had no idea why she was actually headed there.
But that didn’t stop him from refusing her a ride, and so his dumb ass got fired. Now, he’s got a lawyer from a firm backed by Pat Robertson, and he wants his job back:
“It’s only because he voiced his religions beliefs that he was canned,” Edward White III, Graning’s lawyer, told CNN. “Employers have a legal responsibility to at least attempt to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. … CARTS clearly violated Mr. Graning’s religious freedom.”
Here’s a crazy thought: DO YOUR GODDAMNED JOB. And if you don’t like doing your job, maybe you should do what everyone else in the world does — suck it up, or get a new one.
Fortunately, the company he works for feels the same way I do (a.k.a., the right way):
“While others may wish to make more of it, to CARTS this is just about our expectation that employees perform the duties they are hired for,” David Marsh, general manager of CARTS, said in an e-mail message to CNN.
So take that, Graning. Of course, now he’s a martyr for the Christian right, which is probably what he wanted all along. It’s just too bad that some girl had to pay the price for him to get his name in the paper.