by Mia Gradick • 5 min read
Big news: On April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Faithful Carrier case involving our client, Gerald Groff.
You likely know Gerald as the postal carrier who was wrongfully forced to quit because of his faith. But there’s so much more to his story than simply working at the post office or asking for a religious accommodation.
When they hear about Gerald’s case, many people ask: why could he not work on Sundays? Why would working on Sunday force him to violate his faith?
Gerald’s strong Christian faith plays an integral part of his decision to have a day of rest and worship on the Lord’s Day. For him, taking a day of rest is crucial to living consistently with his faith, and he shouldn’t be forced to compromise his deeply held beliefs.
Many Americans—including many people of faith—have no problem working on Sunday. But some, like Gerald, do. When we look in Scripture, the Apostle Paul relegates this question to a matter of the Christian freedom of the conscience in Romans 14:5, which reads: “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” Therefore, to require Groff to work on Sunday would force him to dishonor the Lord’s Day and violate his conscience, even though for other Christians it would not.
This is something Gerald takes seriously—and to understand why this decision matters so much to him, we have to take a deeper look at his faith journey.
A Life of Faithful Service
Gerald has devoted great portions of his time throughout his life serving as a missionary overseas. His first mission trip was right after his high school graduation, when he travelled to Africa for the first time to share about his faith.
His devotion to God compelled him to continue mission trips around the globe. After his first trip, he served in Africa two more times and also in several parts of Asia. Some of these trips varied in length. Some were short term while others were as long as two years.
In his own words, Gerald has explained that he’s always wanted to go “where God wanted to put me” and “serve the Lord overseas in that way.” When asked why serving in places far from home was so important to him, he said:
“Because I’m passionate about people hearing the word of God. I’m not afraid of jumping on a plane and going overseas. I’m passionate about living out my faith, being tested in difficult situations, and allowing the Lord to use me to glorify Himself.”
His service abroad makes it clear that he’s someone deeply committed to his religious convictions. Watch the interview below to learn more about his faith, his missionary work and how he came to work for the postal service:
Americans Should NOT Be Forced to Choose Between Their Faith and Their Job
When Gerald returned home from one of his mission trips, he took a job at the post office. At first, he said that it was simply a job to get settled back into the rhythm of life in the States.
But his heart and passion for ministry continued to shine through, even when he was not serving abroad. He says: “Anywhere you go can be a mission field.” He soon realized that being at the post office was more than “just a job”, seeing it as an opportunity to be a “witness and shine the light of Christ.”
Working for the postal service seemed like the perfect fit. The position allowed him to observe the Lord’s Day and stay true to his sincerely held beliefs. That is, until the USPS began making Sunday deliveries for Amazon. He sought a religious accommodation and offered to work extra shifts during the week to make up for the time he took off on Sundays. He even transferred to a rural post office that did not yet require Sunday delivery. But despite all his efforts to find a solution, the USPS ultimately refused to accommodate his religious beliefs. He was put in the untenable and difficult position of having to choose between his faith and his job.
And though it came at a high personal cost, Gerald chose his faith.
It’s wrong to force Americans to choose between their faith and their livelihood. What’s more, it’s illegal. Federal law states that if an employer can easily accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs, it must do so.
The outcome of Gerald’s case could not only vindicate his rights under the law, but it could also impact countless religious employees. A win for him would be a win that safeguards your rights—and the rights of your children and grandchildren—at work.
There’s a lot at stake with this case and your support can make a huge difference. Please donate today and help us secure a victory for Gerald—and for millions of Americans—at the Supreme Court.