Editor’s Note: It appears that one employer is doing what it can to protect the religious freedom of a bus driver to refuse to drive a bus endorsing a religious belief he finds offensive while protecting the free speech rights of the advertiser. The willingness of the employer to look for a reasonable accommodation is commendable.
EXCERPT: A Christian bus driver has refused to drive a bus with an atheist slogan proclaiming “There’s probably no God”.
Ron Heather, from Southampton, Hampshire, responded with “shock” and “horror” at the message and walked out of his shift on Saturday in protest.
First Bus said it would do everything in its power to ensure Mr Heather does not have to drive the buses.
Buses across Britain started displaying atheist messages in an advertising campaign launched earlier this month.
Mr Heather told BBC Radio Solent: “I was just about to board and there it was staring me in the face, my first reaction was shock horror.
“I felt that I could not drive that bus, I told my managers and they said they haven’t got another one and I thought I better go home, so I did.
. . .
When he returned to work on Monday he was called into a meeting with managers and agreed to go back to work with the promise he would only have to drive the buses if there were no others available.
First Bus said in a statement: “As a company we understand Mr Heather’s views regarding the atheist bus advert and we are doing what we can to accommodate his request not to drive the buses concerned.”
Read the full story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hampshire/7832647.stm