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Catholic Culture Solidarity

EEOC: Denying reality to punish Christians?

By Robert G. Marshall ( bio - articles - email ) | Nov 16, 2023

The Biden Administration plans to abolish any legal, social, or political remnant of traditional Christian values regarding marriage, protecting the lives of children before birth, lifesaving treatment of newborn infants, and sexual morality. One anti-Christian proposed regulation contained in a 144 page document published by Biden’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) seeks to punish certain workplace speech that would normally be protected by the First Amendment.

Attorneys for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote to the EEOC (10/27/2023) regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Bishops’ attorneys rejected the notion that the EEOC has the authority to penalize the exercise of the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech and to redefine as “sexual harassment” speech in opposition to abortion, birth control or gender identity. USCCB attorneys specifically pointed out that:

It is inconceivable that our nation’s highest court, having just recently held that the Constitution does not enshrine a right to an abortion, would now interpret Title VII to forbid… workplace speech on this subject. …opposing artificial contraception…is not based on sex and…does not constitute sexual harassment under Title VII. …[T]o…forbid workplace speech opposing contraceptives would raise…constitutional issues….

Concerning the EEOC’s proposal affecting gender identity and sexual orientation speech, the USCCB’s attorneys disputed that:

[U]ttering critical speech on the issue of gender identity or sexual orientation may constitute sexual harassment.… [T]he proposed guidance reads Title VII to require that at least some men be allowed in private areas reserved to women, and that at least some women be allowed in private areas reserved for men, to include locker rooms and restrooms.

So, the Biden Administration thinks sexual harassment can be stopped by mandating that men and women be given a contrived “right” to use lockers or restrooms of the opposite sex!

Furthermore, if you think “workplace” is limited to conversations at the water cooler or coffee breaks, think again. It would be difficult to find situations not affected by EEOC’s proposed “sexual harassment” language which follows:

  • “Harassing conduct can affect an employee’s work environment even if it is not directed at that employee, although the more directly it affects the complainant, the more probative it is likely to be of a hostile work environment.… Offensive conduct that is directed at other individuals of the complainant’s protected class also may contribute to a hostile work environment for the complainant. Such conduct may even occur outside of the complainant’s presence as long as the complainant becomes aware of the conduct during the complainant’s employment and it is sufficiently related to the complainant’s work environment.…”
  • “In some circumstances, an individual who has not personally been subjected to unlawful harassment based on their protected status may be able to file an EEOC charge and a lawsuit alleging that they have been harmed by unlawful harassment of a third party.…”
  • “A hostile work environment claim may include conduct that occurs in a work-related context outside an employee’s regular workplace. For instance, harassment directed at an employee during the course of employer-required training occurs within the “work environment,” even if the training is not conducted at the employer’s facility.…”
  • Conduct also occurs within the work environment if it is conveyed using work-related communications systems, accounts, or platforms, such as an employer’s email system, electronic bulletin board, instant message system, videoconferencing technology, intranet, public website, or official social media accounts.… [C]onduct within a virtual work environment can contribute to a hostile work environment.”
  • “Although employers generally are not responsible for conduct that occurs in a non-work-related context, they may be liable when the conduct has consequences in the workplace and therefore contributes to a hostile work environment.…”
  • “Conduct that can affect the terms and conditions of employment, even though it does not occur in a work-related context, includes electronic communications using private phones, computers, or social media accounts, if it impacts the workplace.”
  • (All points extracted from PROPOSED Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (see material references cited at footnotes: 180, 183, 185, 187, 188, 189, 190, 192.))

EEOC’s “workplace” includes home offices, or emails from your spouse or a friend to your work computer. A woman suffering from an abortion could file a “sexual harassment” claim against a fellow employee who tries to offer her Christian based counseling. Making critical social media comments to a colleague about school teachers or counselors who lie to parents as they allegedly “help” teens alter their “gender” without parental permission could produce a pink slip terminating a job. The proposed EEOC “guidance” also requires that preferred pronouns be used to address individuals who identify as “transgendered,” or sanctions will be imposed. The “rights” of the “trans victim” are paramount and controlling in all spoken and written discourse or even images.

Woke Judges of the Supreme Court of Michigan recently imposed similar “transgender” pronoun use on all judges, bailiffs, attorneys and litigants in all of Michigan’s courts, out of concern for the sensitivities of “trans” litigants. The Michigan Court Rule applies only to courtrooms. However, Biden’s EEOC proposal extends to tens of millions of workplaces across the United States which have fifteen or more employees. Biden’s vast, disruptive policy applies to any government or private business workplace including but not limited to schools, churches, businesses, and hospitals.

Twenty-three circuit, probate and district court judges objected to Michigan’s Supreme Court radical top-down changes, stating: “Those with serious issues will be equated—and treated similarly—as those who claim new pronouns for malicious or frivolous reasons. Lumping in the truly dysphoric with frauds will cause anguish to those who are already burdened enough.”

Michigan’s lower court judges conducted an “intense” five second Google pronoun search and produced a list of 762 pronouns (there are other lists as well), among which are the following:

Name Subject Object Determiner Pronoun Reflexive
He/Him He Him His His Himself
She/Her She Her Hers Hers Herself
Ae/Aer Ae Aer Aer Aers Aerself
Ey/Em Ey Em Eir Eirs Emself
Fae/Faer Fae Faer Faer Faers Faerself
Xe/Xem Xe Xem Xyr Xyrs Xemself
Ze/Hir Ze Hir Hir Hirs Hirself
Pitter/Patter Pitter Patter Pitters Patters Pitterself
Deity/Deity Deity Deity Deitys Deitys Deityself
Li/Lis Li Liz Lizards Lizards Lizardself
Cotton/Candy Cotton Candy Candies Candies Cottense

Will employers and employees under Biden’s EEOC proposal be required to memorize all of the possible 762 pronoun “options,” to avoid impact to their company or lose their job? The judges also noted in their dissent that:

[W]e seriously doubt that those who refer to themselves as Puppy, honk, Mew, Ci, n3, and splash harbor a deeply seated belief that is their authentic gender.… [W]e are all aware of gender fluidity—there is little doubt that genders will be changed many times by nefarious actors.… Worse, do not be surprised if clever litigants begin to use hate speech as their pronouns.… [T]here is good cause to believe that misogynists, racists, antisemites, Islamophobes, Satanists, anti-Catholics, and others will choose offensive pronouns.… [W]hen the University of Michigan enforced a similar protocol with students, one student simply declared his pronouns “Your Majesty”. Others were even more innovative, referring to their pronouns as “Her Lordship” and “Apache Attack Helicopter”.

The price of ensuring that “trans” workers feel accepted by co-workers entails massive, systematic coercion of citizens to lie about the obvious. Similarly, would employees be required to lie to anorexic co-workers if that condition were also covered by EEOC? Refusal to publicly affirm a clear lie about the most basic facts of human existence can result in loss of employment, and the imposition of significant fines and other sanctions. Because of the enormous number of businesses affected, how many tens of thousands of new “Pronoun Police” will the EEOC need to hire to implement this draconian and senseless policy?

A federal Appeals Court in Florida ruled that requiring students to use male and female bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex does NOT violate “the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment … [or] … Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972…” (Drew Adams v. School Board, 2022) The EEOC should recognize the same legal principle in the workplace.

In my judgment the EEOC harassment of American workers is not only unethical policy but is designed to keep citizens busy with endless, time-consuming, obscure, nit-picking requirements to maintain a job, and avoid being fired, rather than spending time on holding our elected representatives accountable for their actions. Similar harassing practices of King George III were denounced in the Declaration of Independence: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” Such meddling is bad enough in normal times, but is unconscionable in the perilous times of war overseas, including possible terror threats within the United States as even acknowledged by the FBI (Director Wray’s Opening Statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 10/31/2023, FBI press release).

EEOC workplace oversight of sexual harassment includes religious institutions

On May 22, 2013 Grace Episcopal Church of Whitestone in Long Island paid $192,500 to settle a sex harassment suit brought by the (EEOC) because a church “secretary was fired after she rebuffed the sexual advances” (EEOC Settles Sex Harassment and Retaliation Suit Against Grace Church and Episcopal Diocese of L.I. | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Press Release, 5/22/2013). If the EEOC’s new definition of “sexual harassment” is formally adopted, then all private and public employers with 15 or more employees, including churches and religious organizations and their employees will be required to muzzle expressions (oral, written, etc.) of their faith on the EEOC’s forbidden topics of abortion, birth control and gender ideology, and use preferred “transgender” pronouns.

Consequences for failure to comply can include payment of significant fines and workplace penalties, including lost wages or future lost wages to the victim; compensatory damages for victim’s emotional pain and anguish; punitive damages against the employer; legal fees; fired employee reinstatement/promotion; firing or warning sexual harassment violators; compulsory job training/counseling; transfers/demotions; reduced wages; job suspension or loss. The EEOC reported that from fiscal years 2018 through 2021 a total of 27,291 complaints of sexual harassment were filed, $299.8 million was recovered and 8,147 people were compensated (Sexual Harassment in Our Nation’s Workplaces | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (eeoc.gov), April, 2022, No 2).

Christians have been under attack by the Biden/Obama regime in the media, entertainment and politics. New EEOC “sexual harassment” regulations will be used against Christian schools, universities or churches that teach religious based ethics courses, or which require a male only clergy or female only orders of religious sisters. If EEOC’s regulations are adopted, secular minded workers will file EEOC complaints against any business or employee who disagrees with the leftist “progressive” agenda. Barack Obama said in Columbia, Missouri, on Oct. 30, 2008 that, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Certainly, the Obama/Biden EEOC effort is a major example of this proposed “transformation.”

Reflections

English writer Gilbert Chesterton, as cited by current Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson while accepting his own election as Speaker, said that the fundamental Creed of America is found in our Declaration of Independence which appeals to the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” We recall Scripture which says that, “He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind…” (Genesis 5:2). Any other claim is a revolt against the Creator’s designs as established and expressed in Nature. The Biden/Obama EEOC proposed abolition of normally protected First Amendment speech is anti-Christian and an attack on conscience because it mandates lying.

Famed Russian writer, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, who spent many years as a political prisoner of Soviet Dictator Joesph Stalin, was arrested on February, 12, 1974, the same day he released the essay, “Live Not by Lies.” Solzhenitsyn wrote:

[ T]he simplest, the most accessible key to our liberation: a personal nonparticipation in lies! Even if all is covered by lies, even if all is under their rule, let us resist in the smallest way: Let their rule hold not through me! …For when people renounce lies, lies simply cease to exist.… We are not called upon to step out onto the square and shout out the truth, to say out loud what we think—this is scary…. But let us at least refuse to say what we do not think!…. Our way must be: Never knowingly support lies!….
Will not write, sign, nor publish in any way, a single line distorting, so far as he can see, the truth. Will not utter such a line in private or in public conversation, nor read it from a crib sheet, nor speak it in the role of educator, canvasser, teacher, actor…. Will not raise a hand in vote for a proposal which he does not sincerely support; will not vote openly or in secret ballot for a candidate whom he deems dubious or unworthy; Will not be impelled to a meeting where a forced and distorted discussion is expected to take place. [Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Center—Solzhenitsyn Live Not by Lies]

Suggested Action

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, provided excellent advice for curbing oppressive acts by government. Madison pointed out in Federalist58 that:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of government. They…hold the purse—that powerful instrument [for reducing] all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

To protect our religious freedoms, as well as our means of economic support, we must contact our US Congressman and our two US Senators regarding the EEOC proposal and urge them to support an amendment to any EEOC funding bill to prohibit implementing their new bogus sexual harassment regulations.

Find Your Representative

Find Your US Senator

Following the pattern of the 1976 Hyde Amendment which prohibits the use federal monies for abortion in federal programs, the EEOC Appropriations amendment should contain language such as this:

No funds, federal or otherwise, may be used to implement the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s PROPOSED Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace relating to (1) “a woman’s reproductive decisions, such as decisions about contraception or abortion,” and (2) “sexual orientation and gender identity,” as published in the Federal Register on 10/02/2023, regarding Agency Docket No: EEOC-2023-0005, or RIN (3046–ZA02).

Bob Marshall served 26 years in the Virginia House of Delegates and was the chief House sponsor of the 2006 voter-approved Virginia Marriage Amendment and a ban on late term abortion. He recently wrote Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives Can Win Back America (TAN Books). Previously, he co-authored Blessed are the Barren, a social history of Planned Parenthood (Ignatius Press). Finally, don’t miss Bob’s Civics Lesson for Catholics in the Catholic Culture Podcast Episode 17. See the full bio.

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