Boots Hawk, a 20 year Army veteran has worked at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, California for 10 years. Hawk had added, ‘God Bless America’ to his email signature, but hospital officials were not pleased with it and said it is offensive to some. He was ordered to remove the phrase from his emails and Hawk complied.
You would think that this would be the end of the story, but in fact it’s only the beginning. When Hawk agreed to remove the phrase, he mentioned that he wanted to consult legal counsel concerning the censorship. Every American has that right to seek legal counsel on virtually anything they want.
However, on Nov. 6, Hawk showed up to work to find that the hospital had changed lock combinations along with his computer password. That’s when he discovered that just five days before Veterans Day, he was suspended from his job for what the hospital said was insubordination.
His case has been picked by the California legal group, Pacific Justice Institute. Brad Dacus commented about what happened to Hawk, saying:
“Rarely do we see something as shocking as supervisors placing a hard-working military veteran on leave right before Veterans’ Day for saying something patriotic.”
“The hospital’s actions were outrageous and illegal. We expect a swift apology and full restoration of Mr. Hawks’ rights.
Matthew McReynolds, the PJI staff attorney handling Hawk’s case sent a letter to Janine Hawkins, chief nursing officer pointing out that the hospital’s actions violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act that ban religious discrimination in the workplace. McReynolds commented on the case saying:
“In light of the widespread dissemination of a plethora of philosophical statements among hospital employees and management, the directive that Mr. Hawks delete ‘God Bless America’ is indefensible.”
“It is untenable and insulting to claim that his compliance and consultation with legal counsel is insubordinate. On the contrary, it is common sense.”
In his letter to Hawkins, McReynolds said that they are demanding that Hawk is reinstated immediately and that they rescind their order to censor his email signature. If the hospital does not comply, they will take legal action against them to regain Hawk’s ability to provide for his family.
There is one thing about this case that irritates me to no end. Why is it that anything Christian or patriotic is deemed offensive but nothing liberal, atheistic or vulgar is? It’s because Christians aren’t standing up and declaring how offensive other things are. Instead, atheists and liberals holler that something is offensive and it’s automatically banned. It’s time for Christians to start standing up for their rights and making it known what things are offensive to them. If you find something to be offensive to your Christian and conservative values, speak out about it. Tell them you find it offensive.
For example, I once told a school administrator that I found it highly offensive for the school to teach that God does not exist and had nothing to do with the creation of the world and all life. He tried to argue that it’s a difference between religion and science and I spent the next 20 minutes showing him that evolution is not science, but only a means of interpreting science from the evolutionary religious view. Eventually he admitted that I was right, but then said he had no choice because of law. I told him to contact a couple Christian legal organizations that deal with this very issue and he would be surprised what the law really says.
I also told a store one time that I was offended that none of their Christmas decorations or displays dealt with the real reason for Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s birth. He told me that they didn’t want to offend non-Christians. I looked him in the face and said the he was offending Christians and that until they stopped offending us that I was no longer going to shop at this his store and that I would tell every other Christian I know to avoid his store. A week later, I heard that they had manger displays and other Christian displays. I made it a point to go back to the store and thank the manager.
Our voices can and do make a difference, but only if we make our voices heard. In the case of Boots Hawk, he made his voice heard and hopefully it will get his job back.