Posted in theology

The heart emblem/Kroger lawsuit: I think it’s a mistake

By Elizabeth Prata

Two women in Arkansas sued Kroger Grocery stores recently because they said they were denied an accommodation to their religion that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows for, and were subsequently harassed then fired from their work because of their religious complaint, which the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids. This Arkansas newspaper article outlines the main issue:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a lawsuit filed Monday accused Kroger Co. of unlawful employment practices for allegedly refusing to accommodate two former employees in Conway who expressed religious objections to wearing an apron embroidered with a rainbow based on their belief that the symbol represented advocacy for the LGBTQ community.

The two former employees of the grocery chain, Brenda C. Lawson and Trudy K. Rickerd, were disciplined and ultimately terminated because of their objections to the dress code that stemmed from their religious beliefs, according to an EEOC complaint.

Kroger Sued

The two women had been employees of the company for 9 years and 14 years.

Source This is not a photo of the litigants.

Perhaps…the emblem on Kroger’s recently changed dress code has nothing to do with homosexuality… This homosexual writer at LGBTQ Nation says,

Pictures of the uniform available online show that the rainbow heart is blue with yellow and red lines around it. Not only are half of the Pride flag’s colors missing, the colors don’t appear in equal amounts, are surrounded by sky blue, and don’t evoke Pride at all. … The two were eventually fired by Kroger on May 29 and June 1, 2019. They believe that Kroger targeted them because they spoke out against the rainbow, because other employees who covered it up with their name tag or just didn’t wear the apron weren’t fired. The EEOC is taking the employees’ side, issuing letters that say there is “reasonable cause to believe” that Kroger violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibition on discrimination on the basis of religion.

Christian Kroger employees sue Kroger

There is much that is not public here, including ANY comment from Kroger. They have not said publicly that their new dress code with the heart-emblazoned aprons is specifically a Queer Nation picture of support. In fact, I highly doubted that it was when I first began reading this story last week.

I discovered that the heart emblem is called a ‘Promise Heart’ and it goes to Kroger’s motto for their work ethic that’s expected for employees, who represent Kroger’s brand. The new dress code was announced in January 2019 and rolled out in March 2019. I found the following on a Kroger Forum I am assuming is actually from Kroger HR:

Our Fresh New Look is Here
Jan 23, 2019
Human Resources

“We know that when we Feed the Human Spirit of our Associates, we create a place where they love to work. Giving associates the freedom to wear clothes that tells their story goes a long way towards improving the associate experience. This in turn, improves the experience for our customers.”

“Encouraging associates to be their unique self will better enable our associate to make a genuine connection with each other and with customers. A more relaxed dress code helps associates feel more comfortable at work, and when they feel comfortable, they stay longer. So. We’re rolling out a new uniform!”

“The new uniform is a Kroger blue apron ingrained with the Our Promise messages. One of the first things you are likely to notice about the aprons is the heart. The fact that the heart will be displayed over our heart was intentional and serves as a reminder of what we stand for – to Feed the Human Spirit. The second is a ribbon that is stitched into the hem that will remind us what matters most Our Purpose and Promise. As you put it on each day, our hope is that these words guide your actions as you work and represent our brand.” –end Kroger press release

I’ve seen elsewhere that the Kroger Motto is ‘Feed the Human Spirit’. As the homosexual writer said at the end of his Queer Nation article above, “Sometimes a heart is just a heart”.

However, the employee stance against the dress code has blossomed into a national story, pits two ladies against the mega-corporation, involved the EEOC, and now the President has gotten interested. If indeed that heart does not intend to represent homosexuality and the women’s religious stance is for naught, it will be an embarrassment to Christians everywhere.

The Bible calls believers, especially women, to live a quiet life. We avoid lawsuits unless absolutely necessary. Squandering Christian capital on a suit that potentially has at its base, a wrongful interpretation of the entire situation, would indeed cause Christians to be a laughingstock. I personally do not believe Kroger intended for the emblem to represent homosexuality. That sounded off to me.

The other reason I began to suspect this was a case of mistaken emblem identity is because of this: Homosexuals take every opportunity to advance their agenda, loudly and constantly. If any crumb falls at all, and they pick it up and advance their worldview aggressively. The three gay sites I looked at explicitly rejected that this was a Pride symbol. With the national attention this lawsuit is receiving, one would think this would be a moment in the spotlight the ‘Queer Nation’ wouldn’t want to miss.

I think the lawsuit would now have to have at its root, a discussion of whether the ladies were fired for believing the emblem was religiously objective and whether Kroger fired them because of their religion, irrespective of the emblem’s actual meaning. This added nuance in these days of chaos and hate, just adds a layer to the national discussion we don’t need. No one will see past the mistake (if it IS a mistake) .

At this point, do we really need a big “DOH!” to harm the cause of Christianity? I’ll be watching the lawsuit closely. So far Kroger has made NO comment that I can even find. I think a lot more is going on here with the two ladies than the public knows. Yet…the EEOC found enough to bring the lawsuit. Kroger rejected an offer from the EEOC to settle, which means the company feels confident to go to court.

As always ladies, be circumspect in life, humble, meek, and pick your battles. Maybe sometimes a heart is just a heart?


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

2 thoughts on “The heart emblem/Kroger lawsuit: I think it’s a mistake

  1. Greetings sister Elizabeth and fellow saints!
    Elizabeth, First you KNOW how much that I respect you and your labor of love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

    My take on this issue, and it’s limited. I can’t speak as to the motive of Kroger concerning their choice of uniform logos.
    Personally, my opinion and my first impression of their mandated uniform logo is that it does have a resemblance of the hijacked “rainbow of promise “. Granted, not exactly – but close enough as to potentially endorse it in the minds of others, especially with the symbol of love which is included. As scripture tells us
    flee evil…and even the appearance of it.
    Now on a like vs. dislike consideration – it is way to girly for me to be told that I must wear it daily – goodness…one must already wear an apron lol!
    Suing? Probably not over this, unless there was more to it – at least for me.
    Be interesting to hear other saints chime in.

    Hope everyone is enjoying the cooler fall weather – I sure am!
    Our Lord is so good!

    Brother Rick
    Peachtree City area, GA USA

    Liked by 3 people

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