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So my mom hired a plumber through the Leaven paper (a local paper written by the archdiocese of Kansas City) and the guy was really nice and only charged us $100.  We called Roger the Plumber and they wanted to charge us $400 for the same job.  Now he has been doing all the projects in our house because he doesn't charge much.  He thinks our entire family is a nice Catholic family, but the problem is it is only my mom that is religious.  My dad and I are atheists, but don't really voice it to everyone.  Is it wrong of me that I want to hire this guy to do the plumbing at my workplace?  It states in his ad that he only works on houses of parishioners from the KC area.  I don't go to church, so would it be wrong to keep letting this guy think I am a nice Catholic man just to get the cheap plumbing jobs he does?  It makes me feel guilty, not religiously guilty, and I think I should tell him, but the guy does such a great job and for a low price so I am confused about what to do.



Thanks for all your inputs!!

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Go ahead and hire him. He's probably wrong to say he only works for parishioners in his ad. He's probably glad of the work anyway and provided he doesn't demand that you declare yourself a Catholic before doing business, I don't see a problem.
Don't ask, don't tell. I'd say this is a fitting phrase considering that this post looked gay at first.
If I was gay I would have been kicked out of my house a long long long long time ago!!!
You get what you pay for. Use him, but don't be surprised when your "comeuppance" floods your basement :)

(I recently hired the best pros around to do my plumbing, it was more expensive, but the work is solid, guaranteed, and I have no problem calling them to redo/fix their own work if necessary)
He is actually certified and bonded. And he actually fixed something that the big plumber guys could never fix.
Is it wrong of me that I want to hire this guy to do the plumbing at my workplace?

No. He offers great service at a low price. Nothing wrong at all about desiring that.

It states in his ad that he only works on houses of parishioners from the KC area.

That's the key sentence. There is nothing inherently wrong with him choosing to offer his services to a limited market.

The question is, are you prepared to compromise your integrity? Is it worthwhile to compromise your concept of fairness and decency to lie to get something you otherwise would not be able to obtain? What are the limits of your compromise? Is a little lie okay? A lie is a lie after all.

If you do decide to employ his services knowing full well that you are abusing his trust, fine, go ahead. Just be aware that you are behaving immorally. We all do act immorally from time to time, for none of us is perfect; we slip up. But is wilful deception to gain advantage a line you are prepared to cross? Only you can answer that.
Trust is an important aspect of social relations, including those relationships that occur within a market. If one is prepared to abandon trust, and its concomitant, honesty, fine, go ahead. I just rather living in a world where I can trust others. And I will do my part by being trustworthy.

It's not a lie... it's a negotiation.

It is a lie by omission. And if you consider it to be a negotiation, then negotiate in good faith. A contract is a contract, but if we can't, at the very least, trust that a person is contracting in good faith, then what's the point? Due diligence is an important aspect of coming to any contractual agreement, but the fact that contracts, by and large, work is because the contracting parties are honest and trustworthy.

That one may launch suit in Civil Court for breach of contract does not mitigate one's moral duty to be honest. That others fail to maintain a standard is no reason to abandon that standard.

Post Script
I'm not suggesting that one has a moral duty to always be honest. There are circumstances that warrant deception. This situation, however, is not one of them.
Yes, it is a biased service he provides, but to claim it is bigoted is unjustified. Nor can I see any rationale to call him a shit-head. All we know is that he provides a service to a limited customer base; we do not know why. The reasons could be bigoted, but they could also not be bigoted. Also, blacks and Asians can be Catholic; to assume he would not provide a service to these classes of people even if they were Catholic is also unjustified. It is mere assumption and prejudice.

I also see no problem, in principle, with him renting an apartment only to fellow Catholics. You mentioned in your first reply to me the free market. Well, that's the free market in operation!

In what way ought his contracts be illegal?

Also, why do you have a right to the services this particular individual provides? You may well have a right, in general, to the services of a plumber at a fair and reasonable price providing fair and reasonable service, but I can see no reason why you have a right to use the services of this particular plumber.

I understand your objection, and can see the merit of it. If this were part of a systemic societal behaviour that placed undue hardship upon particular classes of people, there would be need for change. But that's not the case here: It's one individual. And one is free to use the services of many other providers of the same service, a service that may well be more expensive than this particular vendor provides but is nevertheless in line with the standard (and otherwise fair) rate amongst a majority of other vendors providing that service.
Using your logic you support separate-but-equal schools because most schools didn't have this policy.

Schools are a public service provided by the State. It would be improper for the State to discriminate in such a way. The State serves all residents. An individual tradesperson hawking their services has no such obligation.

Image you lived in a small town and he was the only plumber. Just becasue this is not the case does not excuse his actions. Would his actions be bigoted in this case?

Bigotry depends upon the reason behind an action. Merely asserting someone is a bigot does not make that person a bigot.

Is his action excused only because there is a second plumber in town. I think not.

Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the circumstances.

Further... should I be able to ask someone's religion during a job interview? Of course, the answer is no. It could be a civil rights violation.

Agreed. But the plumber is not employing you. You are employing him.
Segregation in the Southern US was a matter of State and local law. As I stated previously, it is improper for the State (or, for that matter, a local jurisdiction) to discriminate in that way.

An individual is free to contract their services in any manner they choose. That you may object to the manner so chosen as being immoral does not obviate your own duty to act morally. "They did it first" is not a valid moral argument.
This has gone farther than I ever thought it would go. Let's calm down here folks.
Oh, I'm calm!

Sorry to have slightly derailed your post, Michael. I do enjoy the good cut and thrust of an argument, and if there was anything more to say on the matter I was going to suggest John D and I take it to a new post, but, even though the discussion could go on, I think we've each said our piece and can conclude it here.


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