Right on, you go, dude! Keep on standing up for your rights! I’m proud that you did that! But sorry that you had to learn about the ignorance in this country in that manner. But, there are other jobs..
Home Depot is not the end all in building supply stores; there are plenty of other places that sell the same stuff – and at lower costs, like Lowes…
October 23rd, 2009 by TCPalm.com
OKEECHOBEE — Trevor Keezer didn’t start working at The Home Depot to make a religious statement. He just wanted to earn money for college.
“I want to go to school to become a nurse,” said the 20-year-old Okeechobee resident.
Keezer says for 19 months, ever since he started working as a cashier at The Home Depot in Okeechobee, he’s worn a button with an American flag on it that reads: “One nation under God, indivisible.”
Keezer sees the quotation, taken from the pledge of allegiance, as his way of supporting American troops at war, and of expressing his Christian faith.
In December, his older brother Army Spc. Steven Keezer Jr., is scheduled to deploy to Iraq for his second tour of duty.
For more than a year, Keezer says none of his managers mentioned the button on his Home Depot apron, except one supervisor who commented she liked it.
“She actually wanted to wear it,” Keezer said.
Then, last month, when he started bringing his Bible to work, Keezer says his manager confronted him about the button.
“That’s when I was told it had to come off, or I would be sent home. So they sent me home for six straight days without pay. And then today they terminated me,” he said.
Craig Fishel, a spokesman for The Home Depot, said he could not comment on specific personnel issues, but added, “The company’s dress code policy states that we do not allow noncompany buttons, regardless of their message or content.”
Fishel says Home Depot has a “proud history” of supporting the military, and that it sanctions several of its own buttons for employees to wear, including one that reads: “United We Stand.”
Keezer said he preferred to wear his button because “you can’t have country without God. Every pin they showed me had no ‘God’ on it or anything.”
Fishel says the company gives employees several warnings when they violate the dress policy before terminating them.
But Keezer says, “It never crossed my mind to take off the button because I’m standing for something that’s bigger than I am. They kept telling me the severity of what you’re doing and I just let God be in control and went with His plan.”
Keezer says he was a model employee at Home Depot and he liked his job.
“I was cashier of the month and I’ve won six ‘Homer’ awards — that’s the highest award you can get at Home Depot.”
Keezer has the support of his family. “I’m so proud of him,” said his mother, Francine.
Local business owners are rallying to his cause, too.
Jim McCoin, owner of Cowboy’s Barbecue and Steak Co., said, “Amen. I am proud of him. If you can’t stand for what you believe in, then why be there.”
McCoin says he’d like to order some of the “One nation under God” buttons for the employees of his two local restaurants.
As for Keezer, he says he didn’t set out to make a religious statement, but now that he has, he believes he’s done the right thing.
“I want to be a voice for the rest of the Christians and for the citizens of this country to stand up for the country. You know, quit being told to sit down. Say what you want to say and don’t be afraid of the consequences,” he said.
Frank Cerabino, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer, presented his take on how the Home Depot corporate office would respond to the situation at this link. Some do not find it amusing – you judge it for yourself.
One of the comments left at this column caught my eye and I repost it here:
I am a combat veteran and do believe in God. What I find interesting in any business is the fact that no one is told to shave his beard if he is a Sikh, no one is told to remove their shawl if they are female and muslim or a Yamilka if they are Jewish. But if you are a Christian you are not allowed to show in any form that you are a Christian. In fact it is frowned upon in corporate America. It seems odd that we do not allow Christians to show some form of their religion. Why are we always apologizing to people of other religions for being Christian? I am not a right wing fanatic nor a left wing fanatic. I am a former Marine and as most people know we tend to be a bit patriotic, sometimes to a fault. I will not apologize for that. We have a country that is out of control due to many reasons. This man being fired would not have happpened in the fifties, but he is today, is that progress in terms of tolerance? I am truly saddened when the moral fiber of the people in this country is so weak that it cannot tolerate one individual supporting his brother with a phrase from the pledge of alliegence of the United States. But I forget myself, Home Depot as well as Lowes and other companies are in business to make a profit not a statement. For example, Christmas is for our recognition of Christ’s birthday and all that it means to Christians and business is trying to change how we view that, along with other religions. It is not Happy Holidays to me, it is Merry Christmas. I am offended by any corporate policy that forces people in their business to say to me “Happy Holidays”. It is Christmas that is the holiday, nothing else on that date. Business make money off of that holiday and the least they can do is properly recognize it. I wonder how many people are subverting their own point of view for the sake of the almighty dollar at their job. We work on Sunday and that didn’t use to be. How many people of different religions get their religious day off each week to go and practice their religion. If you ask for it as a Christian, you might as well quit your job or expect to not be hired. Not so with other religions, corporate policy makers are afraid of other religions that stand up for themselves, not Christians. I hope that that Mr. Keezer is able to get a job that recognizes all that he stands for with wanting to support his brother going to combat. Reading a Bible at work is not offensive, not being allowed to read on is, that is how Hitler became so strong, by eliminating freedom and moral conscience. Welcome to the new world. The New World Order, that is, Lee…
Link to Home Depot Boycott petition (though Nardelli is no longer CEO) http://www.petitiononline.com/hdsucks/petition.HTML