Why Now?
Thursday, March 31, 2005
  Religious Views In Business
I don't hide the fact that I'm a capitalist, and that I believe in the free market. Some people who hear me rant about corporations miss the point I keep making that corporations violate, by design, the underlying principles of capitalism and the free market.

Because of my belief in the value of free enterprise I have no problem with people refusing to sell some things. Don't go into a Kosher deli and expect to buy a ham and Swiss on rye, it isn't going to happen.

The important point is that by designating itself as a "Kosher" deli, the business is informing the customer that there are restrictions. In the debate over pharmacies, the owner of the business is not required to carry all of the drugs that a doctor may prescribe. Frankly there are too many drugs, and some of them are very expensive with a short shelf life.

All that is necessary is to advertise the fact that you don't carry certain drugs, if you, as the owner, object to the drugs on moral grounds. I'm not talking about anything large and expensive, perhaps just a recognizable symbol or sign at the desk to tell customers that you do not carry certain products. There is no need for a customer to get into a confrontation, and the doctors will soon know better than to use certain pharmacies for certain prescriptions and inform their patients.

The problem is that some people want to make a Federal case, literally, about what they perceive is their persecution by society. If a pharmacist doesn't want to dispense certain drugs, don't work for a pharmacy that sells them. There is no right for an employee to determine what the owner of the store sells. If you don't like the way a store does business, you have the right to resign. If this was really important to you, you should have brought it up before you were hired. If you think that targets you because of your religious beliefs, consider that many of the women who were executed for witchcraft were essentially pharmacists dispensing natural medicines. They were usually executed by people holding your beliefs.

It's a terrible thing that Orthodox Jews can't work in McDonalds, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your religion.


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