Theresa Brown worked hard to get her nursing assistant job at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. When she heard about an opportunity to apply for a better paying position as a prison guard, she completed the lengthy application process hoping the new job would help her better support her family.
A devout Sabbathkeeper, Brown consistently stated in all the paperwork and interviews that she was willing to work all shifts except those during Sabbath hours. After the final interview, Brown received a letter stating that she could not be hired because of her unavailability to work from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.
Now students from the Stanford Law School Religious Liberty Clinic are working with professional legal counsel to challenge this lack of accommodation at the California Supreme Court. California has positioned itself as a state that promotes diversity, but it seems the largest employer within the state is still unwilling to accommodate Sabbathkeepers in some positions.
One of the foundations of the American system is the freedom of religion, to worship according to one’s conscience without facing adverse consequences from the government. Ms. Brown is willing to stay true to her convictions because she believes it’s more important to serve God than man—but she also hopes to pave the way for others to serve their communities in all sectors even as committed Sabbathkeepers.
God’s law should hold preeminence in our hearts. The question we need to ask is: “Am I willing to place obedience to God above all, including the requirements of work and family?” Prophecy is clear that keeping the Sabbath holy will be an issue as the end of the world approaches (Revelation 13:16), so we need to be firm today in our convictions despite the consequences.
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