Saturday, June 21, 2008

FAITH UNDER FIRE

Bible citation costs couple jobs, home
Apartment managers evicted, fired for being 'too religious'
Posted: June 20, 20084:57 pm Eastern© 2008 WorldNetDaily

For eight years Daniel and Sharon Dixon, apartment managers in Lake City, Fla., displayed in the apartment complex's management office a stained glass depiction of flowers with the words "Consider the lilies … Matthew 6:28" written in the lower left corner – an act for which they were suddenly fired from their management jobs and evicted from their apartment.

Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom that is representing the Dixons, told WND that neither before nor after the incident were the Dixons charged with any wrongdoing other than protesting the removal of the artwork and loss of their jobs.

"They were suddenly terminated as a result of the religious bigotry of one supervisor," Staver said in a press release. "The Dixons lost their jobs and were booted out on the street, solely because artwork in their office made reference to the Bible."

The Dixons managed and provided maintenance for the Thornwood Terrace Apartments, a government-subsidized complex owned and operated by the Hallmark Companies and Hallmark Management. The couple was permitted to live in the complex as part of their compensation.

Last September a regional manager for Hallmark, Christina Saunders, visited the complex in anticipation of a government inspection and saw the glass artwork. According to a Liberty Counsel release, Saunders asked Sharon if the words on the artwork referenced the Bible. After Sharon confirmed they did, Saunders instructed her to take it down.

Sharon replied that she needed to consult her husband and co-manager, Daniel, and left the office to find him.

When the couple returned, Saunders had already removed the artwork, entered the Dixons' apartment without their permission and deposited the artwork there. According to the press release, she then said Sharon and Daniel were "too religious," fired them and demanded they vacate their apartment within 72 hours.

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