Where Should Religious People Work?
If you are a religious person—a person of faith—does it matter what you do for a living? Do you have to work for a religious organization? If not, do you have to at least work for a company that shares the same values that you do? It’s an interesting situation to ponder, and answering these questions is not as easy as asking them.
Let’s say, for example, that you belong to a Judeo-Christian faith and have a strong opinion about killing. You know it is wrong. You believe that the commandment not to murder, which God instructed Moses to pass on to the children of Israel, still applies today. If that is the case, can you work for a state that allows capital punishment? Can you work as a judge that passes a death penalty sentence?
Or let’s say you are Muslim. Your faith teaches you that alcohol is forbidden. Can you own a grocery store that sells wine and beer and still be an upstanding member of Islam?
And finally, let’s say you believe in keeping the sabbath day holy. Is it ethical and just that your employees are running your business for you on Sunday while you are worshipping at church?
It’s a good chance that there are religious people in the world who are dealing with situations similar to the ones above. So what if they do engage in employment that may contradict their religious beliefs? Does that make them hypocrites?
Maybe all that matters is that they are trying to make an honest living without hurting anyone else. When it comes to searching for a job, maybe they try their best to find a company that best fits their values. Melaleuca, for example, is a private company that manufactures wellness products, and because it is private, it can promote Christian values on its terms.
But are all private companies better suited for religious people than public companies? Does any of this even matter? If a religious person can come home from their job each day and rest easy knowing they didn’t break any of man’s laws or God’s laws, then that should be enough. They should be able to work wherever they feel comfortable.