Freedom of Religion – Part II

10 Sep

I have some further reflections on this matter:

(1) What if an employer seeks to impose a religion on their workplace ? I emphasise – their workplace, so they are not infringing the personal freedom (would be their argument) of their workers to believe whatever they wish (Article 9(1) ECHR), and the state is not culpable (remember that the ECHR applies primarily/only to states) for allowing them to restrict religion/conscience/belief.

We have so far assumed a ‘neutral’ (whatever that means – what would an atheists’ workplace look like ?) workplace is what is being imposed, but history (and the present, I suppose) must include employers who would rather require religion X is practised by their employees. Is that permitted ?

If the answer is ‘No’ (presumably that is the logic of this) then what about those religious organisations (presumably more-or-less all of them) that have employees of some sort ? Does an organisation that promotes – or at least maintains – a set of religious beliefs and practices have to exhibit them only outwardly and only as a matter of individual choice (remember, it’s all just ‘personal’), so that an employee who declines to act religiously when invited to do so cannot be disciplined for doing so.

If that is not the logic of the position – then what is the basis of the concession that allows religious organisations with employees to act – er – religiously at all ? If (NB ‘if’) it has some principled basis, then might that help the Eweidas and Ladeles decide their position ?



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