Guest / Limited Access /

The Catholic Catechism sums up an ethical imperative that all Christians can agree with: "Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants."

Among the labor-related legal actions against Wal-Mart is a class-action racial discrimination lawsuit, but the case most occupying Wal-Mart's legal teams accuses the retailer of systematic sex discrimination. Four of the six named plaintiffs are evangelical women.

The lead plaintiff, Betty Dukes, an ordained minister who until recently served in a Northern Baptist church, claims Wal-Mart denied her training and promotion opportunities that it offered to men. The 54-year-old Dukes told ct she decided to challenge Wal-Mart for the same reason she once led a campaign to persuade a gas station convenience store to put covers over pornographic magazines: As a gospel preacher, she feels compelled to stand up against injustice.

"When I felt unfairly treated, my religious belief allowed me to deal with the situation and not lose my perspective—not become belligerent," Dukes says. "Because of my religious upbringing and training, I disciplined myself to know that in a course of due time, you can work out many things to your advantage."

Dukes's role as an associate minister at St. Mark Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, California, was unpaid (she recently left over a leadership election dispute), and she worked as a cashier at Wal-Mart until carpal tunnel syndrome forced her into her current job as a greeter. Speaking by telephone on her lunch break, she said that in the 1990s she felt she had a right to realize her potential.

"I saw myself as trainable, but I saw myself not getting the training," ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedIs It Robbing God to Tithe on Your After-Tax (Not Gross) Income?
Is It Robbing God to Tithe on Your After-Tax (Not Gross) Income?
The Israelites were never subject to withholding upward of 15 percent.
TrendingMelinda Gates: ‘I’m Living Out My Faith in Action’
Melinda Gates: ‘I’m Living Out My Faith in Action’
One of the wealthiest and most controversial women in the world believes that all lives have equal value. She’s willing to spend $3.6 billion a year to prove her point.
Editor's PickHow to Protect Endangered Religious Groups You Admire
How to Protect Endangered Religious Groups You Admire
When religious liberty and billions of dollars for the poor and oppressed are threatened.
Comments
Christianity Today
Women Against Wal-Mart
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

April 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.