Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nutball Alert: But Santa is secular

An Atheist named Christopher Nolan is suing Wal-Mart. The suit alleges Nolan was fired for refusing to dress as Santa. Nolan was asked to wear the Santa suit to fill in for another employee. He refused, saying he did not believe in Christmas. I do not normally go after Atheists in my nutball posts, but come on! Christmas is real. It happens every year. You cannot "not believe in Christmas". The same goes for Santa, he represents the secular side of of a Christian holiday. I like Santa because he is not Jesus. Santa helps take the religion out of Christmas. That's a good thing.

I would understand Nolan's lawsuit if Wal-Mart had asked that he play the baby Jesus in its nativity display. But playing Santa, it makes no sense.

In his complaint, Nolan said he thought it was a joke when he was asked Dec. 8 to fill in as the store Santa Claus at the Main Street Wal-Mart. He said his co-workers were laughing.

Nolan, who described himself as an atheist who doesn't believe in Christmas, said he laughed as well and then declined. "I said, 'Uh, no way,' " he said in an interview last month.

Nolan said he was surprised when his supervisor called him later to say that Nolan had an hour to change his mind. When Nolan again refused to don the Santa suit, he said, his boss brought him into his office and told him he was fired.

Source: Suit alleges man fired for refusing to dress as Santa

Sorry Christopher, I would have fired you too. Your boss asked you to take one for the team during a peak shopping period. You refused and used some flawed logic in the process to create a frivolous discrimination claim. That makes you a nutball.

I must ask. when working for Wal-Mart, does it really matter if you  assemble bikes, ride the cash register, or wear a Santa suit?

The Friendly Atheist has a similar post up.

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Larry Hamelin said...

Somebody put this guy on the mailing list! Doesn't he know that the Evil Atheist Conspiracy is trying to replace Jesus with Satan... er... Santa!?

Anonymous said...

Just another case which will tie up the legal system.

Ridiculous. I am sick of these frivolous lawsuits. A job is a privelege, not a right. And when they ask you to DO your job, you should get slapped big time for suing them.

Unknown said...

While I think this guy is being a bit silly, he does have a point! What if Walmart asked a Muslim to play Santa? I think the real point is not that Walmart asked him to play Santa, it's that they tried to bully him into doing it.

Yes, a job is a privilege, but when your employer asks you to do something you find offensive, can you draw the line? Can the employee say "No, I'm not doing that"? Yes, they can. Unfortunately, in a place like Walmart - there's little a person can do except protest until they're fired, or quit. It's not as if the place thrives on respecting the dignity of its employees! (From what I've seen, it's not as if the store thrives by respecting its employees, either!)

It's not as if they have a shortage of people who could do the job! The manager tried bullying him into doing something, and I suspect that there's quite a bit more behind the scenes than a simple Santa suit.

Walmart is more concerned about its profits than the dignity of its employees. It's one reason I don't shop there.

Carolyn Ann

Johnny Crow said...

I am kind of agitated by this... sure it is the smart thing to do what your boss says to a certain extent, but not when it comes to this. I am sorry Joe, but I have to go with Nolan's side. I mean, it is not the he doesn't believe christmas exists.. cause that is just a stupid statement. It is that he doesn't celebrate it. Just like I don't, at least not in the sense that a lot of people do. What if they had asked him to dress up as a menorah or mohammed.. but wait thats right you can't dress up as mohammed if your a muslim.. but either way it is something that has a religious connotation even if it is a baseless and idiotic one. I mean no one really believes santa has anything to do with jesus but christians do, just like they think they world is flat and 6000 years old.. however retarded that may be.

I wouldn't have done it because of the religious connotation as well.

People may celebrate it, and it may be secular to some, but even to me his firing was wrong. What about a suspension or a warning... They should give him his job back and stop bitching cause someone is different from them.

No I do not think lawsuits are right. If he was only trying to get his job and some respect back, sure. That is all.

Travis Morgan said...


Mojoey said...

Johnny - I hear you man. Except... I've worked at some shitty jobs. One large southern California amusement park for example. I did everything from changing light bulbs, to scraping gum, and even escorting VIPs. When they asked me to do things I found hard to do, I did them. I made 8 bucks an hour in 70s when it seemed like the rest of the world was make two fifty. If they asked me to do things I felt were somehow against one of my personal beliefs, I could walk away from it, or I could don the stupid Santa suit and make my eight bucks an hour.

Work for hire is just that, work for hire. Unless your job description says "bike assembly only", when the boss asks you to put on the Santa suit, you either put on the Santa suit or find another job.

A reasonable company would not force somebody to put on the santa suit, but who ever said wal-mart is reasonable.

So Johnny, while I respect your position on Christmas (I do the same think to a certain extent), the right of a company to ask an employee to perform a normal activity trumps an individuals right here. Wal-Mart has done nothing wrong, and there is no discrimination.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious the guy meant he doesn't celebrate Christmas.

Santa may not be a religious symbol but he is part of a specific religious holiday.