The Intolerance Continues Against Frank Turek

by Max Andrews

I was checking some analytics from my blog today and noticed that there was a referral to my blog that I had not noticed before.  It was from the about.com forum for agnosticism/atheism.  Granted, I’m not a “neutral” site, I’m open about my theistic beliefs; however, I found it interesting to be categorized with “the usual” “Liberals hate Christians and the Gays are taking over.”  What is perplexing about this categorization is that I don’t have anything in my initial post on Turek, my follow-up post, or my whole blog for that manner, that has anything about “gays taking over” or “liberals [hating] Christians”.  If anything, my posts were more politically oriented trusting in our freedom of religion to be preserved and recognized by the United States (see the original post for citations).  I’ve claimed that this is a religious issue simply because that’s the problem Cisco has with Turek, which is something protected by the Civil Rights Act.

This person who posted the initial thread claimed that at that time (June 29), he/she could not have found any other information about Turek or the Cisco incident.  I’m not quite sure how this person found my blog but I’m glad it was found and shared where it was.  What’s interesting about this is that many of the thread contributors in this forum serve my previous points well.  All of this is so hypocritical (assuming they value tolerance).  Some of these posts are just great.  I’ve cited a couple for your information (and perhaps your entertainment).

If the guy is a contractor rather than an actual employee, I don’t think the usual rules apply viz. his “employment”, since he wasn’t technically employed by the company in question, but just brought in to go some motivational thingies (that most workplaces would be better off without, IMHO).  He would be no more of an “employee” than the exterminator that might be contracted to handle insect problems.

His homophobia, I think, might well qualify as interfering with his ability to perform the task he was contracted to serve.  Having denounced certain classes of people, that could easily preclude his being able to be a good motivator for people he has denounced. (AtheistKeith)

And…

I would think it partially had to do with how his outside activities effect his performing his job.

If he is a motivational speaker I assume his job is to motivate the people at Cisco to make them better workers.

If I were working at Cisco and I knew the motivational speaker trying to rev me up was someone who thought I was supposed to be a second class citizen and was basically anti “me” I am not going to be very  motivated by him because I am going to be assuming everyone out of his mouth is as much bull$hit.

It’s not like he was fired for just thinking things. He wrote a book and gives public talks against gay rights. And then wants to go motivate the workers at a company that employs many gay and gay friendly employees?

Sometimes what you do in your private life effects your ability to do your job. When it doesn’t you should be able to do, think, or say what ever you want. When it does then that is a different story.

I don’t know if this should qualify or not, but it seems like it is a possibility. It would depend on if knowledge of this has actually made him ineffective. Have people refused to attend his talks? Have his talks not resulted in an increase in what ever they are supposed to increase since this has become known to the employees?

If not, and if he doesn’t identify himself as having any kind of relationship with Cisco when he gives his anti gay work, then he shouldn’t be fired. If it does negatively effect [sic] his ability to do his job, or he is publicly identifying as a Cisco employee, then I think they probably have some kind of grounds.

Also, if I read this right he really isn’t an employee of the company, but rather he was a vendor. That is a very different relationship and I don’t know if the same rules apply to vendors that would apply to actual employees.
Since his function was to teach team building, and since I don’t think that writing books and giving public speeches about how some of the other people on your team should not have equal rights is a good way to build a cohesive team, I think Cisco can make a good case for having just cause for terminating him. But we will see what the courts say. (TonyM9)

Now here is one of the more substantive posts.

Like you I’m not finding a ton of stuff. However, Here is his “secular” website advertising his consulting work

http://www.frankturek.com/index.asp

It mentions that he has published 3 books, one of which apparently was part of the problem the employee had with him.

Then, there is his religious site http://www.crossexamined.org/team.asp

Apparently, he uses both to advertise himself and his work.  Since his business site refers to his books and his other web sites, it strikes me that his “not mentioning these things at work” is a non-starter, since he makes his opinions well known publically, for profit. Consultants and coaches should recognize that their personal brand can’t be set up for one group of people on one web site and for another group on a different site, without overlap.

I gather from reading that he was paid for the complete contract he had as a vendor–that would likely make it more or less impossible to sue, depending on the contract–after all, what was his loss? (shopper113)

It’s true that Turek links his consulting website to resources available for defending the Christian worldview.  My question is, why is this a problem?  How is making information available on his consulting website inconsistent with Cisco’s values (see original post)?  It’s all the same and those who march under the banner tolerance and diversity who simply do not tolerate different beliefs other than what they believe is simply inconsistent using an old banner to purport their own intolerant agenda.

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