Roger Holly, a Baptist minister, was fired from his job as maintenance worker at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park because he unnoticeably baptized a park visitor in the Pacific Ocean during lunch. Holly has since filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of the Interior for being fired by the National Park Service, and for being told not to discuss religion with the public and being restricted from reading his Bible at lunchtime.
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:
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Also read Christians Cause Workplace Conflict, Therefore Silence Them
-- From "Worker Claims He Was Fired for a Baptism" by Nicholas Iovino, Courthouse News Service 1/6/16
He says he was out of uniform at the time and simply helped dunk the visitor into the ocean.
"The religious 'ceremony' Holly performed did not include any outward, objective display of religion, such as reading sacred texts, public prayer, sermonizing or the like," the complaint states. "It simply appeared that two persons were swimming in the ocean, much like other park visitors."
Holly says no other members of the public were involved or raised an issue about the baptism. He claims that one of his former coworkers, a Native American woman, is allowed to display spiritually symbolic feathers in her Park Service vehicle, but his supervisor, defendant Robert Kier, interrogated him about the baptism.
He is represented by Alan J. Reinach with the Church State Council, of Westlake Village.
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