Quote# 88334

Edward Wolfe applied for an “operations supervisor” position at a Voss Lighting store in Tulsa in early 2011, according to the EEOC.

The agency claims in the lawsuit that, during the application process, a pair of local managers made numerous inquiries -- “both subtle and overt” -- concerning Wolfe’s religious activities and beliefs.

Wolfe allegedly was asked to identify every church he has attended over the past several years, where and when he was “saved” and the circumstances that led up to it, and whether he “would have a problem” coming into work early to attend Bible study before clocking in for the day.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, recounts an alleged conversation in which one of the managers purportedly told Wolfe that the majority of Voss’ employees were Southern Baptist, “but that it wasn’t required that you go to a Southern Baptist church. As long as you were a ‘born-again’ Christian, it didn’t matter what church you attended.”

The EEOC claims that the same manager expressed “overt agitation and disapproval” to Wolfe’s responses to the religious line of questioning and that Wolfe was ultimately denied employment on the basis of his religious beliefs.

Steve Sanderson, vice president and general manager for the Lincoln, Neb.-based company, sent the Tulsa World a written response to the lawsuit on Wednesday which said, “Voss denies that the charging party was not hired as a consequence of his religious beliefs.

"The individual hired by Voss had more lighting product experience and was more qualified than the charging party. Voss looks forward to a judicial determination of the rights of the parties,” the statement said.

For more information, see Voss Lighting's mission statement:

Voss Lighting, The Tulsa World 37 Comments [7/15/2012 5:51:09 AM]
Fundie Index: 51
Submitted By: emau99

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It's sad that I don't doubt this happening. I had a potential landlady ask me if I believed in Jesus during a walk through of the apartment. My first question back at her was 'will this have any bearing on whether or not I get the apartment?' She got very nervous and said 'no'. I still didn't answer her honestly and said I was non-denomination, I just didn't say of what religion.

7/15/2012 6:10:59 AM

Metallic Space Dragon

After seeing that mission statement I think it's plausible that this happened. Of course, whether it did and how much it damaged Mr. Wolfe if it did will be for the courts to decide, but it definitely would fall under just about every state and federal anti-discrimination labor law regarding religion.


Please tell me you were able to find an apartment that didn't have such a landlady.

7/15/2012 6:25:53 AM

Brendan Rizzo

America is truly the Iran of the West.

7/15/2012 6:28:02 AM


Their mission is reason enough not to patronize them.

7/15/2012 6:44:56 AM

Raised by Horses

@Brendan Rizzo

It's not a total theocracy. It's got a lot of theocratic clowns, yes, but last time I checked, non-religion is the fastest-growing religious view in the country.

7/15/2012 6:46:22 AM


For a company selling "lighting products", this one sure promotes dim bulbs.

7/15/2012 6:59:27 AM


Remember the quote the other day in which some fundie asked when a major company would endorse Christians? This place has stores across 11 states in 19 cities. Is that big enough?

7/15/2012 7:03:05 AM


@Brendan Rizzo,

Yes, because Okla-friggin'-homa is representative of all the United States.

Why are you still here anyway? Shouldn't you be slipping across the border to escape the American Christian Police Force before they toss you in the Constitutional Jesus Reeducation Camp?

7/15/2012 7:17:12 AM


Did Mr. Wolfe do his research before applying for the job and doing his interview? Not that discrimination on the basis of religion is acceptable or legal in the US, but as a pagan with agnostic cream filling I know I wouldn't touch that application with a ten-foot pole. Nevertheless, we don't have all the facts - this could be the only job opening for those skills in Mr. Wolfe's area; he may even be a Christian, just not a born-again one.

tl;dr: Discrimination on the basis of religion for a job in a secular market (can't imagine a Buddhist trying to become a Catholic priest, for example) is, last time I checked, just a scosche illegal. Not to mention that it creates an echo chamber where everyone thinks with the hivemind - but I suppose that's entirely the point.

7/15/2012 7:44:53 AM


Obviously this is a case where you have to reserve judgement but (1) why would someone make something like this up and (2) if Voss did ask these questions, which is illegal even if that isn't why he didn't get the job, why the dishonesty?

Obviously they think what they're doing is right so Don't they have the courage to defend their actions openly?

This is just another example of Christian dishonesty and it's that dishonesty that demonstrates that Christianity is a bankrupt philosophy unworthy of adherence or respect.

7/15/2012 7:55:30 AM


IIRC, someone who brings light to places, in Latin (the language of the wholly babble) would be ... a ... Lucifer.


7/15/2012 8:02:12 AM


@gaijinlaw: Frankly, after that Texas Republican Party quote I can't blame him for despairing.

7/15/2012 8:07:18 AM

Doubting Thomas

From their mission statement: Our biblical mission is to "sell" our lighting products so that we may "tell" everyone we can about God’s soul-saving, life-transforming gospel message as Jesus instructed believers to do.

I know one company I won't be buying lighting products from. I'd be like, "Just sell me the damn light bulbs and shut up about Jesus!"

This mission statement really doesn't help their case, though.

7/15/2012 8:33:33 AM


They sell light and darkness at the same time! How poetic!

7/15/2012 8:44:23 AM


How many Fundies does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one, but the light bulb must accept Jesus as its personal savior.

Which begs the question, could Jesus heal (mend) a light bulb? ... and could Popeye beat up Batman?

"... Voss looks forward to a judicial determination of the rights of the parties."

Yes. I bet they are counting on a local conservative Judge to back up their right to do what they please, so long as they can cover their ass with plausible denial.

7/15/2012 9:18:25 AM

@Metallic Space Dragon

That place I did live at for a year but these days it's hard to tell, I don't wear my pentacle to apply for anything, pay rent, go to the doctor, not even when I get my oil changed. Just in case. The place I'm at now has crosses all over the main office, but it's the only place I can afford so I've decided to just not press my luck. Sometimes it's just easier to keep you head down around here. I also make sure my apartment looks 'normal' before I leave, just in case.

7/15/2012 10:26:36 AM

Dayvan Cowboy

Voss Lightning would be a great super-gay sadomasochistic leather chaps speed metal band.

Edit: And yes, a crucifix dildo would be involved.

7/15/2012 11:15:29 AM


"The individual hired by Voss had more lighting product experience and was more qualified than the charging party."

I'd expect them to say that regardless of whether it was true. We know from the Kitzmiller case that fundies have no shame when it comes to covering up their illegal attempts to inject religion where it isn't permitted. "Lying for God" is just a milder version of "flying planes into buildings for God".

7/15/2012 11:20:34 AM

Philbert McAdamia

I applied for a very well paying job a few years ago and in the interview I was asked if I believed in Jesus. I said, "No, but I won't hold it against you if you do."
I didn't get the job.
I know of several guys who have taken that job, and the turn-over is very rapid. They tend to last about long enough to grab a paycheck or two, and scoot. They tell me it's just Jesus, Jesus, Jesus all day long on the radio and played loud as hell. And the Xtian music {{shudder}}
I probably wouldn't have lasted a minute, it couldn't pay enough.

7/15/2012 11:35:29 AM


>>Wolfe allegedly was asked to identify every church he has attended over the past several years,<<

I wonder what they'd do if they heard all of the churches I've visited over the last five years. Let's see ...

Two Catholic, one Anglican, one Presbyterian, one independent Evangelical, one Mormon; plus one Jewish temple, one Sufi-heavy mosque, one Hindu temple, three Buddhist temples, one Shinto shrine, and one Unitarian Universalist place (having taken comparative religion is one of the things that solidified me as an athiest-leaning agnostic).

Probably would drive them nuts.

7/15/2012 11:48:49 AM



Except that this is recognized widely as outrageous behavior and not enforced by the government.

7/15/2012 11:50:00 AM


"Biblical Mission

Our biblical mission is to "sell" our lighting products so that we may "tell" everyone we can about God’s soul-saving, life-transforming gospel message as Jesus instructed believers to do."

I presume that anyone applying for a job there would check out the website first. It's fairly obvious that they're a bunch of bible thumpers. I'd say that this is a spurious case. Unless of course he was too stupid to check the website first. In which case Voss were right to refuse him the job.

7/15/2012 12:30:04 PM


That website is hilarious.

On the History page:

"Henry Voss (1915-1997), the man God selected to found Voss Electric in 1939"

Isn't it a miracle that God chose a man named "Voss" to open a store named "Voss". Incredible" Praise the Lord, Halleluja!

Just imagine if God had selected some dude named "Smith" to found "Voss Electric".

Clicking on "Environmentally Responsible Products" opens an empty window, as does "Battery Recycling". No surprise there. Ecology is only for Liberal communists. Everybody knows that.

7/15/2012 1:16:21 PM


God: Voss, dawg, wassup? You know I want you to start a lighting business.
Voss: How do I do that?
God: First you have to ignore the fact that you can't discriminate regarding race, gender, creed, or, in some states, sexual orientation.
Voss: <scribbles notes furiously> Yeah then what?
God: You have to decide whether to be sole proprietor or a corporation. There would be more money for me every Sunday if you opted to be sole proprietor.
Voss:<scribbling furiously> Ok, then what.
God: Because of how awesome your lighting is going to be, you're going to have to tell everyone who works for you about my son and how he died for them, blahblahblah. You know the drill.
Voss: <Nodding scribbling furiously> Gotcha, Jesus stuff.
God: Yes. Do you see the awesome metaphor in lighting specialists talking about the salvation they can find in my boy?
Voss: Oh yes, yes. It's a brilliant plan.
God: Hey, no one likes a smart ass buddy.

7/15/2012 4:06:40 PM

Old Viking

Wolfe may be exaggerating for legal purposes, but he offered quotes that sound very realistic.

7/15/2012 4:14:40 PM

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