Letters

Letters from the issue of Thursday, August 4, 2005

 Religious Rights

Missing the point: Terra Naeve? More like Terra Naive . . .

How could this woman even think she could fraternize with fellow religious fanatics at work when the restaurant had a clear policy against that ("The Last Supper," Sarah Fenske, July 21)? Then to think she could hang on to her job after that! And then, when she doesn't, filing suit!

The point she seems to be missing is, it makes employees feel just as awkward and under pressure if a supervisor invites them to Bible study as it would if he or she hits on them sexually. Either way, they feel compelled to please the supervisor by going along.

It was a clear waste of taxpayer money for the EEOC to side with her. As your story said, there was no requirement by her church that she act in such a manner toward the workers. Her church wasn't into proselytizing to that extent. You'd have to be an idiot to think that God spoke directly to this woman. This was what she wanted to do, what she wanted to believe. What happened to her is her fault.

When she does get a job, she should pay the Serranos' legal fees in monthly installments. Now that would be the good Christian thing to do!
Dale Rhoades, Phoenix

A sweetheart boss: As a former co-worker of Terra Naeve's, I'm saddened by what happened to her. She was the best boss I've ever worked for, a real sweetheart. I've got nothing against the Serrano family -- they seem like good people -- but they shouldn't have fired her.
Name withheld by request

They're good people: As a worker at Serrano's (not at the one where Terra Naeve worked), I've got to say that I have never worked for better people than the Serranos. They didn't deserve for this expensive lawsuit to happen to them. They are good religious people themselves, and now they are being portrayed as awful for firing Terra.

The workers in my restaurant couldn't believe it when Terra sued. I know I would be offended, and I would think of suing if an employer subjected me to harassment from some Bible-thumper. I wouldn't appreciate it one bit if I felt I had to go to a religious study group to hang on to my job. This would be worse than sexual harassment.

I'm glad the jury ruled for the Serranos. They deserve only the best.
Name withheld by request

Judge not: I have been a New Times reader since the beginning. Your article, without a doubt, was one of the best written and most enjoyable that I have ever read.

Thanks for being so objective and nonjudgmental to either side. I believe that one of the tests of objectivity is a story where the reader cannot tell (at the end) which side of the fence the author is on. Both parties in the story clearly had good arguments supporting their respective sides. Sarah Fenske, however, remained neutral in her reporting, and that is what made the piece so enjoyable.
Bob Slider, Mesa

Ignoring the Constitution: I have one question: What happened to freedom of speech? Tolerance to a degree is a good thing, but really -- enough is enough. Now our bosses will determine what we do in our off hours? Bible study is a bad thing now? I think my IQ dropped 10 points just reading that -- it was so stupid.

One thing you did not focus on is that this employer is trying to determine what other employees believe. According to your article, employees voluntarily attended the meetings without threat to their jobs. Hello? Is this yet another example in which the Constitution is ignored? Your article claimed that Theresa and Ric Serrano were devout Catholics. My question is, what if they were not entrepreneurs but employees and their boss told them they could not talk about their faith or have a Catholic Bible study? If they are devout Catholics, as they claim, I doubt it would go down as well.

Based on what you have shared (and I am sure there is more to it), this is ridiculous, and another example of the decline of our country -- this fashionable practice of ignoring the Constitution regarding freedom of religion.

Here is a thought: Pull out a dollar bill and read the words "In God We Trust." Oh, sorry, that is no longer fashionable. Guess what, that is exactly what made our country great.
Dee Ann Deaton, Phoenix

Bible student: Has Terra Naeve not read I Corinthians 6:1-8, where Paul instructs believers in Jesus Christ not to go to court against one another? As a born-again Christian and student of the Bible, I was greatly disturbed by this article.

Generally, the Nazarene church does not recognize Catholics as "real" Christians; could this be the loophole Ms. Naeve is using to justify her defiance of Paul's instruction regarding lawsuits? If she doesn't see the Serrano family as Christians, what kind of Christian example is she setting for the unsaved by causing Serrano's to lose clientele because of this lawsuit?

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