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Email: Allstate Fired Manager for Christian Beliefs on Homosexuality

Netlore Archive: Email flyer from the American Family Association urges recipients to boycott Allstate Insurance Company due to the alleged firing of an employee for expressing 'Christian beliefs' against homosexuality.

Description: Email flyer
Circulating since: June 2005
Status: Partly verified


Email example contributed by an AOL user, June 28, 2005:

Allstate fires manager for Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality

Allstate has fired a manager because he expressed his Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality. Matt Barber was a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division. On his own time, and without identifying himself as an employee of Allstate, he wrote a column posted on several websites which was critical of same-sex marriage.

An outside homosexual group complained to Allstate about the column. Because of their support for the homosexual agenda, Barber was immediately fired and ushered off company property.

The message is clear: To work for Allstate one must not publicly express their Christian belief in the Bible's teaching on homosexuality. Barber was fired because he did. Homosexuals can criticize and condemn the Bible's teaching and they are welcomed, but Christians must remain silent.

To read the complete WorldNetDaily.com article, click here.

TAKE ACTION

Allstate has sent a message to all their agents: If you are a Christian and believe the Bible's teaching on homosexuality, you will be fired. While Allstate touts its diversity, that diversity does not include Christian beliefs on homosexuality.

First, send Allstate Chairman Edward M. Liddy an email to register your complaint demanding both a public apology and reinstatement for Mr. Barber with back pay. Then call your local Allstate agent and tell him or her you will not be purchasing any insurance from them.

You can find a listing of Allstate agents in your area by clicking here. Tell the Allstate agent you will tell your friends about their disdain for Christians who believe the Bible's teaching on homosexuality.

Click Here To Email Allstate Chairman Liddy Now!

Sincerely,

Don

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends.


Analysis: Although evidence exists documenting some of the allegations above, I have labeled the text "partly verified" for the following reasons:

  1. Allstate Insurance Company denies the allegations, and has further stated, through a spokesperson: "Allstate would not terminate an employee for expressing personal religious views on his or her own time. I can tell you that any allegation suggesting otherwise is false." The company is withholding further comment pending litigation.
  2. News coverage of the case thus far has been scant and mostly limited to publications sympathetic to the ideology espoused by the claimant. I.e., we don't necessarily have access to all the facts.
  3. Though it's alleged in the email that Barber was fired for expressing "Christian beliefs" concerning homosexuality, in his article he never actually identifies himself as a Christian, nor does he advance any arguments against homosexuality uniquely identifiable as "Christian." Indeed Barber seems to go out of his way to condemn "the gay lifestyle" on every ground except scripture.
That said, it is a fact that James Matthew Barber, formerly a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division, was fired in February 2005 because, in the words of a finding of the Illinois Department for Employment Security, "an outside organization complained about an article he had written on his own time." Ruling that Barber's action did not constitute misconduct (defined as "the deliberate and willful violation of a rule or policy of the employer"), the state awarded him unemployment benefits.

Pleading his case in interviews with conservative publications and a brief filed in federal court against his former employer, Barber contends he was discriminated against by Allstate because of his "sincerely held religious beliefs," an assertion echoed in the American Family Association "action alert" above: "Allstate has fired a manager because he expressed his Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality."

That claim seems a bit disingenuous, however, given that Barber's polemic, while it is indeed an all-out attack on homosexuality and gay marriage on cultural, biological and medical grounds, does not at any point advance a specifically "Christian" view. Precisely the same arguments can be, and have been, advanced by non-Christians, in fact. And while there are many self-identified Christians who would no doubt wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Barber's views on homosexuality, there are many who would not.


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Sources and further reading:

Allstate Terminates Manager Over Homosexuality Column
WorldNetDaily.com, 24 June 2005

Emails Pour into Allstate Over Firing
WorldNetDaily.com, 29 June 2005

Intolerance Will Not Be Tolerated
The article in question, written by J. Matt Barber

Finding of Illinois Dept. of Employment Security on Matthew Barber Case
PDF file posted by American Family Association

Allstate's Statement on Matthew Barber Lawsuit
PDF file posted by American Family Association

Here Are the Facts on the Allstate/Matt Barber Situation
American Family Association Action Alert (with supporting documents)

Allstate Sued for Religious Discrimination
Wilmette Life, 21 July 2005


Last updated: 12/09/05


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