Company Rejects, Maligns Applicant for Her Christian Beliefs and Education

"We embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want."

A graduate from Trinity Western University says that a hiring manager for Canada's North for Amaruk Wilderness Corp. informed her that her application for an internship at the company was rejected because of her Christian beliefs and education at a Christian university.

In her complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, Bethany Paquette provided a series of discriminatory emails from executives at Amaruk.One of the emails was from hiring manager Olaf Amundsen, who told Paquette that she did not meet the minimum requirements to be a guide. He then callously added:

Additionally, considering you were involved with Trinity Western University, I should mention that, unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want.

Amundsen explained to Paquette that most of "the guys at the management level" in the Norwegian-owned company believe Christianity is to blame for destroying Norse culture, traditions, and its way of life.

Paquette responded to Amundsen stating that her "religious belief should have nothing to do with whether or not I meet your company requirements." She then pointed out the hypocritical claim that they embrace diversity while simultaneously discriminating against her. Paquette also reminded him that religious discrimination within a company is illegal under Canadian law.

She signed her e-mail, "God Bless," knowing it would "irritate them," she told CBC News.

That it did. 

Amundsen's next e-mail can only be described as revolting and very graphic. After addressing her allegations of discrimination against the company and chastising her biology degree from a university "that rejects the concept of evolution," Amundsen addressed Paquette's "God Bless" closing:

"God Bless" is very offensive to me, and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me. I do not want to be blessed by some guy who was conceived by a whore, outside of marriage, and whom has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuses and human rights violations in the history of the human race. If I was to meet the guy, I'd actually f*** him.

Co-CEO of Amaruk Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen was next to chime in. His e-mail was no more tactful than Amundsen:

Trinity Western University believes that two men loving each other is wrong. So they force students to agree that they will not do such a thing…

In contrast, we believe that a man ending up with another man is probably the best thing that could happen to him. But we do not force these views onto other people, and we are completely fine if a guy decides to go the emasculation route by marrying a BC woman.

After the email attacks from company executives, Paquette brought a complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. If they conclude that she faced discrimination, her lawyer "will seek compensation for lost wages and 'for injury to feelings and self respect.'"

On behalf of the Amaruk Wilderness Corporation, Amundsen addressed the impending lawsuit in a statement defending his company's actions. In it, he said that Paquette was rejected "solely based on the fact that she did not meet the minimum requirements of the position." He added, "Any further discussion after that…would have been a mere expression of opinion."

Read the entire correspondence here.

Image: Olaf Amundsen

Issues