Nov 142005

Today, I used the Target, "Contact us" link to send the following message:

I am very sorry to learn that Target is electing to allow radical and extreme religious wingnuts ruin your reputation. I am, of course, referring to your recent decision to allow Pharmacists to refuse to dispense legally prescribed medications.

I read that you are attempting to hide behind Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming it requires you to honor the sincerely held beliefs of your employees. We both know that is not the intent of this legislation. If you are applying that standard, it means some of the following:

  • Check out clerks who verify how fat you are before selling you that package of potato chips?
  • Pharmacists who don’t want to fill prescriptions for Jewish customers who killed Christ.
  • Pharmacists who don’t want to help customers who worship a "Satanic counterfeit" (read: "The Pope," in fundie-speak).
  • Pharmacists who only dispense HIV medicine to "innocent victims" of AIDS.
  • Pharmacists who want proof that women seeking emergency contraception were really raped, and that they didn’t "deserve it."
  • Pharmacists (or cashiers) who are Christian Scientists – can they refuse to sell any medicine, even aspirin, to anyone?
  • Pharmacists who won’t sell birth control pills to unmarried women, condoms to unmarried men, or any birth control at all because God doesn’t want people spilling their seed.
  • Can fundamentalist Christian employees refuse to interact with gay people in any way, shape or form since gays are sinners, abominations, biological errors, and very likely pedophiles?

You cannot say that if Title VII applies, it applies only to this one situation. This is very simple. If I bring a prescription to Target, your Pharmacist is to fill it. I don’t know about you, but when I go to the pharmacist, I don’t want him sending me to another Target 40 miles away simply because he has religious issues with my prescription. It’s none of his business what prescription I’m getting filled, and short of there being a glaring mistake in my prescription a la "It’s a Wonderful Life" – i.e., instead of allergy pills someone gave me cyanide – it’s none of his damn business passing religious judgment on my prescriptions, my illnesses, my preferred form of treatment, or me.

I already have a pastor, and he doesn’t work at Target, thank you.

As much as I hate Walmart and prefer Target, I will exercise my rights just as you have decided your Pharmacist can, and I will no longer shop there until you reverse this position. If you have Pharmacists who object to serving your customers, you fire them. That’s how business works. You don’t get to pick and choose, but you have, so I will also make a choice.

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