Employment Discrimination

bowling green toledo football game 2011
Bowling Green Falcons vs. Toledo Rockets 2011

Over the last couple of years, I have applied numerous times for a job with the Defiance Crescent-News. I applied again a week or so ago. Not one phone call or response, e-v-e-r.  I am left to wonder why the newspaper does not at least give me a call?

Every few months, the newspaper runs an advertisement looking for a sports writer with photography skills, a sports writer, or a sports photographer. Let’s see…I have decent writing skills, I am a skilled photographer, and I am an avid sports fan. I am also an expert when it comes to computers, quite familiar with photo editing and Microsoft Office. I have an eye for detail and I take pride in making sure that things are done right. I would think that I am an ideal candidate for the job. Evidently, not the at offices of the Crescent-News. Not one phone call e-v-e-r.

Since it is not my qualifications that preclude me being considered for the job, why doesn’t the Crescent-News interview me?

There are only three reasons that I can think of that the Crescent-News doesn’t consider me for the job:

  • My age (I will be 58 next year)
  • My disability (I walk with a cane and must sometimes use a wheelchair)
  • My outspokenness about atheism and liberal politics

When it comes to my age, I would think this would be a benefit, especially when it comes to taking photographs. I have a lot of experience. I even included some of my sports photography work when I applied several years ago.

When it comes to my disability, I think I could do the job. Yes, I may have to hobble around a bit, but I highly doubt that it will keep me from doing what the part-time job requires. After all, I did find away this past year to successfully photograph local, college, and professional baseball, basketball, and football games.

So I am left with the last reason, my outspokenness about atheism and liberal politics. The Crescent-News, owned by Dix Communications, is a libertarian leaning conservative newspaper. This is no surprise. The newspaper reflects the political and religious DNA of the communities they serve.   I suspect my letters to the editor piss off more than a few people at the Crescent-News. When they see my application they say to themselves, I don’t want that asshole working here, and then they file thirteen my application.

I suppose I could make an issue of this. After all if any of the above reasons are true, then the newspaper is violating either the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, American Disabilities Act, or the Civil Rights Act.  That said, I am not inclined to file an official complaint. It is much more fun to write a blog post. BTW, if you are reading this and are the person or persons behind me not getting an interview, I will gladly give you the space to factually respond and show why my observations are incorrect. Just contact me via the Contact Form.

Notes

Dix Communications owns papers in Defiance, Wooster, Kent, Alliance, Cambridge, Ohio and Frankfort, Kentucky. They also own 7 radio stations.

This is not the only trouble I have had with the newspaper over the years. I am a regular writer of letters to the editor and there was a long time when the newspaper was not receiving my letters. After a couple of weeks of the letter not being published,  I would call or email to ask about it and they would say they never received it. This happened no less than six times. I finally started emailing and snail mailing my letter and this put an end to the lost letter problem.  Our 35th wedding anniversary notice also disappeared. The newspaper wanted to blame me, but I told them it was kind of funny that it was only the Crescent-News that was having a problem getting emails from me. (and it is possible that there was a technology glitch on their end)

Dying With Dignity

brittany maynard

What follows is a letter I wrote recently to the Defiance Crescent-News.

Dear Editor,

Recently, Brittany Maynard, a brave woman with terminal cancer, took her life. As a resident of Oregon, Maynard could legally choose to commit suicide. Many religious people are incensed over her suicide. A Papal Monsignor called Maynard’s choice reprehensible. Pope Francis called such acts a sin against God. Evangelicals have taken to the internet to denounce Maynard, suggesting her suicide landed her in hell.

Here’s what the religious need to understand: those of us who are not so inclined are not moved by quoted Bible verses and threats of God’s judgment and hell. For us, a God who controls life and death and afflicts people with disease, is a fiction. Everywhere I look, I see suffering and death. I reached a point where I asked, where is God? Eventually, I concluded that the Christian God was a figment of my imagination, an imagination fueled by 50 years of Christian indoctrination.

The Bible encourages people to pray, have faith, and hold on. The faithful are assured that God only wants what’s best for them. Suffering is turned into virtue, some sort of badge of honor. Those who suffer will be rewarded in heaven, the Christian preachers say. Of course, we have to take their word for it because no one has come back from the dead to testify to the veracity of the suffering for God sermons.

I am more inclined to believe what I can see. What I see is suffering and death. I should do what I can to alleviate the suffering of others. Imagine one of my children suffering from a painful disease and I have a cure for the disease. However, I am not willing to give my child the cure because I think his suffering is good for him. What kind of father would people think I am? Yet, the Christian God gets a pass when he does the same. If we consider a human who withholds that which could alleviate suffering reprehensible, surely we should view God the same way.

Theodicy, the problem of suffering and evil, is one of the reasons I am no longer a Christian. Like Baal in I Kings 18, when it comes to suffering, war, famine, disease, pain, and death, the Christian God is AWOL. Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal, suggesting that their God was on vacation, talking with someone, sleeping, or using the toilet. Could not the same thing be said for all gods? It seems quite clear to me, we are on our own.

At the heart of Maynard’s choice is the right to self-determination. As a person who suffers with unrelenting chronic pain and debility, I want the right to say, no more. Unlike many religious people, I see little value in pain and suffering. I endure it for the sake of my wife, children and grandchildren, but my family knows that there might come a day when I am no longer willing to do so. I want that choice to be mine.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio