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1.)  Please write a summary/your thoughts after reading the below answers:

What role, if any, do you believe religion plays in the workplace?
When I think of religion in the workplace, particularly after reading through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s ‘Religion’ section, I do not relate them to roles. I see them more as an integrated fit, since there should only be an over-arching framework of best practices and policies in place that both conform to the laws of the country, but also adhere to societal acceptance. Religion should be allowed to exist freely in these environments, which would allow any company to continue to function regardless of accommodations. If anything, it is the company’s own policies that sometimes drive the culture, which create problems that need not be present in a fully inclusive environment.
How far should a workplace be required to go to accommodate religious practice? (i.e. religious holidays, daily prayer time, religious expression at work (religious symbols in offices, saying “God bless you” on voice mail recordings)
A workplace should accommodate religious practice as stated by law as a baseline. However, I believe that companies could create more inclusive cultures by taking it a step further. For example, if a daily prayer of 30 minutes is required, then the person’s shift could simply be extended by 30 minutes. Show that time as an unpaid break, and move on. The employee has responsibility in being forthright with their beliefs, and the time required to practice uninhibited.
In terms of symbols, the office should be a place of comfort for everyone in order to work most efficiently and effectively. In the converse side, the office is not a place of worship (such as a church or synagogue), so the symbols should be reasonable and non-disruptive.
Words, such as God bless you, are intended to be a peaceful way for a religious person to communicate. If someone finds it offensive, then the two employees should work out their feelings with an HR representative present. Sometimes, we take things to heart when there is no mal-intent.
Is it possible to affirm our different religious (and nonreligious) beliefs in the workplace and still be good employees and co-workers? Please explain.
I believe that our religious, or nonreligious, points of view contributes to our diverse mindsets and perspectives. Therefore, it is more productive when people work together from different religions. Ultimately, we should be more open-minded to gain a level of empathy for other people and their religions. It is a bit disheartening to even think that affirming different religious beliefs would contribute to being a poor co-worker; however, there are certainly business cultures that allow, and sometimes encourage that behavior.
As we watch the political debates, religion comes up a lot! You may address the issue of religious beliefs in the occupation of President of the US. Is this important to you?
The religious beliefs are not as important to me as is the President’s morals and values. There are a number of great leaders in this world of varying religions, with different levels of passion and engagement for their beliefs. While many people may feel more comfortable with a leader that has similar beliefs, we have an opportunity to look past that relation to choose the person that would best lead our country as a respected and revered nation.

2.) Please write a summary/your thoughts after reading the below answers:

1. What role, if any, do you believe religion plays in the workplace?
Religion, in my opinion, should not play a role in the workplace. However, this does not mean that I believe that everyone should not be free to practice and believe any religion they want. I feel that religion is a very personal matter and should stay as such. If an individual needs time off or accommodations made due to religious reasons, they should be taken up with the supervisor or manager.
2. How far should a workplace be required to go to accommodate religious practice? (i.e. religious holidays, daily prayer time, religious expression at work (religious symbols in offices, saying “God bless you” on voice mail recordings)
The company or workplace should try and accommodate in any way that does not interfere with the business. Religion is a very sensitive subject and every effort should be made in order to allow for all religions to feel comfortable. While I know that many individuals are devout and dedicated to their religion, adding religious symbols or greetings may cause someone to feel isolated or unwelcome.
3. Is it possible to affirm our different religious (and nonreligious) beliefs in the workplace and still be good employees and co-workers? Please explain.
I think that allowing religion in to the workplace has the potential to cause conflict. While we all like to say that we are not biased against another religion, we ultimately have a bias toward our own faith. This can cause isolation, misunderstandings, frustration and confusion. The perception of favoritism or bias, whether accurate or not, could also turn away potential customers.
4. As we watch the political debates, religion comes up a lot! You may address the issue of religious beliefs in the occupation of President of the US. Is this important to you?
Honestly, personal religious beliefs of our president does not sway my opinion either way. The more important information for me would be the issues and their stance on policies and objectives for our country. Their character and past performance is what matters to me. I feel that to discredit or not give someone a chance due to their religious beliefs is the same as if I were doing it for reasons such as their skin color, nationality or sexual preference.

 
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