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What Happened to One Woman in the Workplace for Offering to Pray for a Co-worker

05-19-2017
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Evangelist Franklin Graham weighs in on the case of a woman being punished for saying she'd pray for a co-worker.

 "Can you imagine being disciplined for showing Christian compassion and concern? I'm sorry, but that's exactly what Christians are supposed to do," he said in a Facebook post. "This is another example of why it's so important for Christians to run for school boards across the country—to put an end to this kind of nonsense."

It all started when Toni Richardson said to her fellow employee, "I'll pray for you."

Now, she's is coming under fire for her "religious expression." 

The teacher from Augusta, Maine found out her colleague had been going through a hard time at work, and wanted to offer words of comfort. 

"You were in my prayers," she told him. 

When the Augusta school district found out, they sent Richardson a memorandum, and claimed she "imposed some strong religious/spiritual belief system."

The memo reads, "Therefore, in the future, it is imperative that you do not use phrases that integrate public and private belief systems when in the public schools."

"I'm afraid I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker," she told Fox News. 

The district also banned her from referencing "spiritual or religious beliefs," including the word, "blessing."

They went as far to specify such language as off-limits even when directed at someone from the same church, as was Richardson's case. 

Although Richardson faces opposition for her faith, she doesn't stand alone. 

The First Liberty institute, an organization dedicated to protecting religious freedom, and Eaton Peabody law firm, are filing an official complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Richardson. 

They claim Richardson is undergoing religious discrimination and retaliation.

Jeremy Dys, a First Liberty attorney, said that Richardson is in the right. "School employees are not required to hide their faith from each other while campus."

"No one should be threatened with losing their job for privately telling a coworker that they are going to pray for them."

 

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