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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended October 20, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 24Oct00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Mormon Bishop Among Those That Deal with Science and Religion

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- The challenge to practice core values and beliefs, amid the workplace demands of an ever increasing materialistic world, is a painful dilemma that crosses many religious boundaries and business professions. Religious beliefs and workplace values can often clash. Yet for many, the framework of faith provides an opportunity to make better employees and managers.

Courtney "Mac" McGregor, a bishop in the Mormon Church, is also a research scientist at Hoffman-LaRoche, a pharmaceutical giant. In doing research on rheumatoid arthritis he needed to use a fetal enzyme. McGregor, 59, knew his religion's stance on abortion, yet sought an answer to his dilemma from personal prayer. "I did not participate in the choice of abortion," McGregor said. His choice was "to throw away" the enzyme or "get some benefit from it." He decided to work with the enzyme.

Mahmoud "Mike" Morad, is an Islam who works as a real estate consultant with an affiliate of American Express. He is required to pray five times a day, twice in the midst of his workday. Morad, 44, was concerned that by praying at work he would reveal his religion, one that is often associated with terrorism in the world today. He weighed the balance of lost sales and religious conviction. Ultimately, religion won out.

"At first, I was self-conscious." "Then, I became proud and hoped others would ask what I was doing," Morad said. "The idea behind prayer is learning to do things on time. To be prompt five times a day means my commitment to God is fulfilled." His commitment to God has spilled over into his work. Customers and co-workers praise his efficiency. "People may have decided not to do business with me because I am Muslim, but I would rather attribute it to chemistry. If that's the reason, so be it."

Gen. Edward Meyer, 83, a former Army chief of staff, is now chairman of Mitretek Systems, a software company in the Washington area. From 1979 to 1983, he was under orders to close army bases across the country. "I had pressure from congressmen not representing the affected areas, and from the Department of Defense to get out as quickly as possible, to not engage in follow-up activities," Meyer said.

As a Catholic, Meyer learned lessons that coincided with his religious beliefs. "Soldiers are not checkers to be moved around a board," he said. "And I was in a position to help keep families together, rather than follow banal, money-grubbing instincts."

"Moral values and business values can be consistent. When they are not, I have to make a very serious consideration: Am I going to stay on this job where I can't live with my own personal goals and objectives?" Meyer asked. "I cannot. In my own experience, when the bottom line is more important than anything else, there is just chaos and suffering."

Recently the Anti-Defamation League, represented by attorney Tamar Galatzan, reported that while complaints about prohibitions of religious clothing in the workplace are down, complaints about religious proselytizing are increasing.

Solutions for maintaining the easiest way to stay based in your faith is to live within one's own community where secular and religious beliefs coincide. But with an ever increasing world economy, the challenge for balance and commitment remain.


Working With a Higher Power
Los Angeles Times 15Oct00 P2
By Joseph Hanania: Special to The Times
The faithful find both conflicts and comfort in taking their religious beliefs to work.


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