Loving Christian Employer Insults and Fires Employees

What’s that saying, that nothing good ever comes out of Oklahoma? Oh wait, that was  Texas – no, Galilee. Sorry for that slip – was thinking about Sally Kern (R-OK)  and her well-deserved stoning and less well-deserved self-martyrdom and that brought hypocrisy to mind which led to thoughts of  Gov. Rick Perry. And this story too is about a fundamentalist Christian and hypocrisy. It’s been a long year, already.

Tate Publishing of Mustang, Oklahoma, says it is a Christian-based, family-owned publisher. If you visit their site you can treat yourself to a long harangue about “our beliefs“, which include the infallibility of the Bible as the word of God:

The Bible was written by men who wrote under the direct control, inspiration, and anointing of God. The Bible does not contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God—the infallible, inerrant, only written revelation which God has given to man. It increases man’s faith, as well as instructs and corrects him that he might become holy, separated from the world and unto God. The main theme of the Bible is God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ. Everything in the life of every human being is directly or indirectly affected by his attitude about the Bible—whether or not he accepts it as the inspired Word of God. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters about which it speaks.

So how is it that, as the Oklahoman puts it, “Oklahoma CEO prays with, insults, then fires employees”?  That doesn’t sound very Christian, does it? Jesus does, after all, say to turn the other cheek (Matt. 5:39) and to love your enemies (Matt. 5:43-48), and more pointedly yet, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7) – divine injunctions Ryan Tate, president of Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC ignored when he confronted his employees. Tate did allow that he “hated” doing it but it doesn’t really sound as if he hated doing it.

As the Oklahoman reports,

During the staff meeting, which was recorded, Tate sprinkled biblical references with the stern announcement.

Tate, who opened the meeting with a prayer, said he had been too tolerant of workers who posted their opinions and suggestions about the company online or in anonymous emails. “I should have just fired you on the spot.”

Watch the story on NewsOK

He said an email that claimed the company was planning to outsource local jobs to the company’s new operation in the Philippines prompted the firings. And, Tate said, that email was incorrect.

“You morons that sat back and wanted to create and generate conspiracy theories on the ‘what-ifs’ or the potentials of what could be happening are stupid,” he told the employees.

On Friday, Tate said it was a tough decision to fire the 25 employees, but he would do it again.

“I’ve got to protect the interests of my company, my artists, my staff,” he said Friday.

His father and the company founder, Richard Tate, said one employee who was leaking information also had a poor work history.

“If you’re a pain in the ass to me, I’m going to fire you too,” Richard Tate said.

Unless they have a different Bible down there in Oklahoma, all I can say is “Wow, that’s nothing at all like Jesus!”

Now obviously an employee badmouthing his employer has to expect some consequence; I once told a disgruntled employee, after a long talk, that they were welcome to find a new job if they didn’t like it and couldn’t comport themselves in a civilized manner (i.e. follow policy). But Tate’s reaction is one you’d not expect to see even from the average employer, which Tate claims not to be. If the Bible is the word of God,then what Jesus is quoted as saying is holy writ and he is blatantly and willfully ignoring the word of God.

As a Christian publisher, he ought to have turned the other cheek and responded to perceived hate with love. In no way does it come across as Christian to first pray with, then insult the people he was about to fire. Jesus didn’t do it when he delivered his beatitudes. There were no insults flying that day. I don’t recall anywhere in the New Testament Jesus using words like “you morons” even when addressing the Pharisees, or “you’re a pain in the ass to me” when block-headed Peter got some minor point of doctrine all wrong.  Christ, Jesus didn’t even say that to Judas, who betrayed him to the Roman authorities.

Jesus did say that loving those who love you is no big deal and deserving of no reward – even Pagans do that, he said (and we do, we do!) but that the true test is loving those who hate you. He also admonished those who point the finger at others without acknowledging their own failings: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5).

You might have expected Tate to sit down with his disgruntled sinners and have a heart to heart with them, to pray, to admit to his own faults when discussing theirs and look for ways to work together down the road rather than against each other. It would have been the Christian thing to do – isn’t that what’s supposed to set a Christian-based company apart from all the others?

In theory apparently, but not in practice.

The Oklahoman reports that a current employee “said Ryan Tate was infuriated by the information about the company that was circulating in emails and Internet postings.”

Infuriated, but apparently nether loving nor forgiving. Jesus didn’t use foul language but he did know how to rebuke, and you have to believe that the Jesus of the New Testament would rebuke Ryan Tate for paying only lip service to his words.

And let’s be honest: theory won’t get you to heaven – Jesus makes pretty clear that it takes putting theory into practice. He said, when asked, that the most important commandment (all of which he said he expected his followers to keep – Matt. 5:18) was to love God but that the second most important was to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40). Given how Jesus felt about the rich and powerful (Matt. 19:24), you’d think a business owner would tread a bit more cautiously around the literal and infallible Word of God.

Of course, you have to actually read the Bible for any of this to matter.

Just sayin’.

Image from MemeGenerator.net

24 Replies to “Loving Christian Employer Insults and Fires Employees”

  1. when I moved down here to Tennessee to work in a new acquisition that my company had purchased one of our vice presidents came with us. This man is a definite candidate for a religious leader. In fact, he would take each one of us in management to lunch at times individually and discuss religion with us.

    However, in our morning meetings he would make sure we understood that if we failed he would make sure that none of us worked in the state again. Basically if we fail to make him look good he would do his best to affect our unemployment if we left and went somewheres else. He was a prime candidate for I am a Christian but I’m not going to act like it. I can’t stand people like that. Always understand that if a highly religious person is in business, he can talk religion but he can separate business from religion in a heartbeat.

    And that’s a good analogy of what the Teavangicals want to do to us. Talk religion but force their way of life down our throat.

  2. I am quite certain he has read the bible, but like 99.99% of Christians, he picks the bits he likes and throws out the rest, unless it is useful for him to not do so. It is the height of hypocrisy to say you follow the literal word of god and in the same ‘breath’ do the exact opposite.

  3. If he believes that ridiculous book to be the word of god, why doesn’t he have a beard and slaves and go around killing everyone who is working on Sunday? Don’t pick and choose. Obey the entire book of horrors or be rational and reject it.

  4. Sounds like a convenient excuse to fire instead of lay-off, paving the way for the out-sourcing. Gotta love those Christian principles.

  5. And these folks wonder why the word of God as they espouse it, is being abandoned by many. Religion of this sort is fraught with problems, the least of which is the hypocrisy.

  6. “Someone in the room called the Mustang Times to say we’re firing everybody and keeping only 14 people.”

    Hmm . . . kinda what he did, isn’t it?

    Lotta things about that rant don’t ring right. What is the $7 million lawsuit about? If Tate already knows who has done some of the dastardly stuff, why has he let it slide? Who lays off 25 people–some of whom are, by his own admission, innocent of any wrongdoing–at a time when business is booming? Too, when a company has a serious problem with disgruntled employees there is usually good reason for it, and after listening to Tate for waaay too long, I have a pretty good idea where the problem lies. And what about that threat to sue anyone he fired if they speak out in violation of something s/he signed as a condition of their employment?

    The man is not healthy, and neither is his company.

  7. Intolerance has never been a pretty picture of declared Christians. But it seems to be the current fad. The new “Meism” in religion.

    I’m not one for WWJD, but I have read the Bible from cover to cover. Christianity derived from the teachings of Jesus. The lessons given by Jesus are being ignored to one degree or the other by the “Christian Right.”

    Jesus was inclusive and without judgement. The “intolerant Right” should use another moniker to lay claim to for Christian behavior is not what they exhibit. They simply use it to claim ownership of morals they simply don’t have.

    A higher power knows this and will put them in their place for all of eternity. Serves them right (pun intended).

  8. Indeed. If you read the gospels at all carefully, you can’t help but notice that hypocrisy is the only sin that really got Jesus bent out of shape. I can only conclude that the so-called “Christians” on the right haven’t actually read our holy book. Full disclosure: I’m a Christian believer, and I do read the book.

  9. I just tweeted this 5 times with various messages. Now I will go to Tate Enterprises and see if they have a
    Twitter account and tweet it some more to them. Let him come try to fire me.

  10. Once again we see the direct correlation between the extent of a religion’s orthodoxy and the magnitude of its members’ intolerance of those with differing points of view or who do not share their tenets, politics, or lifestyle choices.

    Yet another reason why religious dogma and public policy make poor bedfellows.

  11. It is my experience that when a person is doing something that they KNOW is wrong, they take their anger out on the people they are hurting.
    This man Tate doesn’t evidence Christian faith at all.

  12. Now that it is out and he has done this. We have to be careful to seek out restoration for this guy and not another rock to throw. Spiritual correction and discipline bring true spiritual healing.

  13. This thought occured to me today, when I was a kid in the 60’s and early 70’s, I kept hearing the term Jesus Freaks, and it was in reference to the hippies. Like peace and love and Jesus. Surely they were all liberals, so, the RW decided to take that away from them/us, and re-write their version of what Jesus supposedly said/did. Later on, the Christian Coalition took it 5 steps further, and brainwashed the bible belt into their way of thinking. Call me crazy, but stranger things have happened…

  14. Being a former hippie myself, I can tell you what a Jesus freak was. A Jesus freak was not necessarily a hippie, but it was a young person who was hooked on Jesus. I can remember some time back there was a huge groundswell that went through the factory that I worked in and throughout the United States where young people were converting to different forms of religion. None of them were the straight Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, they were for the most part the Apostolic Pentecostal beliefs amongst other minor religions. Most of these guys were longhairs like myself and they went out and burned their rock albums which cut me to the core. They were constantly talking about Jesus Hence the term Jesus freaks

    Thank God most of them burned-out and begged forgiveness for burning their albums. I HATE religion!

  15. Well, Brad, when Tate’s employees, family, friends are willing to hire a well-qualified cult intervention counselor to present a REAL “come to Jesus meeting” nothing will happen.

    Until then, there will be no “spiritual healing” as Tate has no concept as to his level of rampage and inflicting pain on other human beings…and it will be a lengthy “intervention” the kind that last 5-7 with a follow up in nice rehab house for abusers like little man Tate…that is they only way…you can’t pray over a sociopath-monster and expected a miracle.

    It takes hard work to walk the walk and talk the talk; that’s the only way to make a dent in a brain that is wired like Pavlov’s dog or Tate.

  16. ..and don’t forget…

    Rev. Moon did his best work during those days! He was really the top dog over-lord of the Jesus Freak revolution…that is what made all the WPAS religions go nuts as well as the Jews and Catholics; he was “steeple-jacking” THEIR kids!

    Funny how they took out after him, sought him out after his prison term (Colson and company) to learn just how he did what he did…sort of like hiring a hacker after the fact…birds of a feather flock together…BTW, Moon’s original flock is said to be between 15-20,000 as most of the kids, second generation, have abandoned the fold.

  17. Please hi-lite the exact phrases/lines of judgement by commenters…very little damning him to hell.

    Most comments, remark are about how Tate hurts others BY his judgements. Pay attention…

  18. About half of Christians are progressive or mod Protestants who do NO such thing. The point is, first of all, NOT personal salvation but creating a life on earth that fulfills Jesus’s teachings on making the world a hospitable place for all people, no exceptions. So no, do NOT generalize about who cherry picks to prove their own superiority. Most of us do NOT do that.

  19. People who talk about what good Christians they are are not good Christians, they’re usually hiding something.

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