The “work sphere” is no place for religious expression of any kind, argued James Eadie, a lawyer for the British government, to the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerned Nadia Eweida, a Coptic Christian, who was sent home from her British Airways job and Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who was demoted to a clerical role despite her 30 years experience. Both women refused to conceal their crucifix necklaces at work. But according to Eadie, the religious freedom of neither woman was violated since their employer did not prevent them from wearing their necklaces in private. And besides, he continued, each woman could always go look for a new job!
This, my friends, is the new conflict over religious freedom. Is it something that extends to the public square, or must it be kept private and personal? Is it freedom to practice religion, or freedom to privately worship. More cases, I fear, are on the way—and not just in the United Kingdom. For thePointRadio.org, I’m John Stonestreet.