Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 5, 1956

"Is This Religious Freedom?"

Joe L. Banks, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas, March 1, 1956: "Operator, will you please address her as 'Sister'?..." "One moment, please..." Thus began a conversation with a member of the Catholic Church which ended in the dismissal of a telephone operator for alleged discourtesy and insubordination.

This happened only a few weeks ago in our city of twenty thousand people. The young lady who was dismissed from service had worked for the local telephone company for over four years. She had a perfect record and several service commendations from customers. She did not abuse the customer but simply refused to put the call through addressing the nun as "Sister". She was reported to the chief operator by a member of the Catholic Church and in about twenty-four hours dismissed by the chief operator. Before dismissing her, the chief operator told her that she could remain on the job if she would address religious leaders by their titles. This she refused to do and her dismissal became real.

The Union of which she is a member refused to do anything about her case and she was forced to go to another Union within the company employees. This Union is going to bat for her and the first hearing is to be held Monday, March 6th in Little Rock, Arkansas. If the Union cannot do anything to help her it is planned to take this to the courts as it is believed that a great principle of freedom is involved.

Joe L. Banks, local preacher of the church of Christ, reports that all the members of the church known to him are standing firm on their convictions and are one hundred per cent behind the young lady that was dismissed. None of the other girls who are members of the church have been dismissed although they all refuse to engage in the practice which caused the dismissal of this girl.