Question concerning secular employment


I just had an interview to be a manager of a gas station in my hometown. This gas station has a backroom “Adult Boutique” that sells pornographic items, lingerie, and various other paraphernalia. I assume that taking this job would make me complicit in immorality so I am planning to email the company to express interest in no longer taking a job.

I guess my further question that springs from this situation is when and when not it is morally admissible to take certain work. From the obvious such as working at Planned Parenthood being complicit in immorality vs being a Security Guard at a clinic that prescribes birth control. With the latter the normal clinic at least offers a range of services and its doctors during medical school take a sort of Hippocratic Oath.

As I job hunt any resources on these topics as well as your thoughts would be appreciated.


I’ll be interested in hearing answers to your question too,God bless and prayers you find the right work.


Congratulations on your stand! Not everyone would have the fortitude to turn down a job offer because it’s immoral. Although there’s nothing wrong with lingerie, I assume other things they sell are immoral.
As far as your questions, I would say that assisting in providing immoral services, such as working for Planned Parenthood, are definitely off the table. But you know that.
Being a security guard for a clinic, I would see nothing wrong with that. Clinics as you say offer many health related services. If you were going to avoid everything that relates to birth control, you would have a hard time finding a job.
I find that doctors do take a sort of oath, but it doesn’t include avoiding euthanasia or abortion, so from a pro life standpoint it’s basically pointless.
I would say that if your services allow or enable immoral work, you should avoid it. So if the main focus of the employer is providing abortions, avoid that; if their focus is improving health, that would be okay.
Good luck in finding the job that God has for you. I find St Joseph to be great at helping/interceding with this.


From your post, you sound as if you have a pretty good handle on the situation. Taking a job that directly contributes to actions considered morally grave would be problematic. Working in a situation where one is not directly contributing to the immorality of a situation, IMO would not be morally wrong as to Catholic teaching. For instance, a brain surgeon who works at a hospital that does abortions. Something like that.
If you were to got overly scrupulous, one could not get prescriptions in most pharmacies as they sell contraceptives, supermarkets carry products of companies that support Planned Parenthood or other such objectionable companies, drug companies manufacture necessary drugs for curing disease but also manufacture contraceptives through a subsidiary, etc. etc. One has to use their own conscience when it comes to such situations.
The other thought is in the situation you cite as to the gas station, if it is the only job you could get to feed your family, I’m not sure it would be morally wrong so long as you totally minimized your interaction with the objectionable portion of the business. That may or may not be possible. That is my opinion in that situation; I’m sure others might have a different viewpoint.


A slightly different take. Since you’d be a manager would you be able to use your position to get rid of the immoral part?


I think this is all situational. For example, if you work for a large company that has had a history of questionable business practices, they need good people to make things better. In some cases, you can make the difference in a company undergoing change for the better. By the same token, you have to be careful you don’t align yourself with evil.

In this case, as a manager, perhaps you could prove to the owner that he could double or even triple his sales volume if he got rid of the negative content and replaced it with something far superior - perhaps uplifting reading materials or creative novels that people wouldn’t find anywhere else. You could show him he doesn’t have to cater to the gutter to make more money.

The customers that purchase this material need a good spiritual counselor. You might be the one person to show them kindness and help them find a better way.


To me, this is a matter of individual conscience. While I wouldn’t want to be selling “adult toys” either, if I were absolutely desperate for employment then I might take the gas station job and try to use my position to get rid of the most offensive merchandise. As far as security guard for a clinic, there’s a big difference between whether it’s a large general care clinic that is providing necessary medical services to the community, vs. Planned Parenthood.


I am not totally sure. After the interview I got the idea that it wouldn’t be an easy feat. To give more context the gas station is located off the interstate and right within its vicinity are four large apartment complexes, so I considered that it is enticing these areas with its boutique area because it also includes bowls, screens, and other marijuana related items. It is also advertised with a big sign outside of the store on a side wall pointing more toward the apartments and is out of sight if you approach it from the interstate.

I used to live in the same apartments in this area when I was a kid, and it is kind of sad because back then they had an arcade where the boutique is, as well as batting cages behind the store.

So ultimately I could wait to see if he hires me and make it clear that I would remove the boutique as store manager, yet I have the feeling that it is a secured aspect of the store. I’ve decided to call him instead of emailing to decline taking the position, so if he were to ask why I am no longer interested I can explain and perhaps something could be worked out.


And thanks for your prayers! I get about 15-20 hours every two weeks working as a custodian right now so I am definitely in a position where I can turn down the job and be patient until something else arises.



Hebrews 12:16 See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.


It would be a very strange community where the only choice was a job in a gas + porn shop or no job at all.

Mow yards, rake leaves, clean houses, walk dogs, do computer work for folks, try to get hired at a place that promotes from within (a certain big blue retail chain starts out at $10 per hour, has benefits and if you are a hard worker you can quickly move up into management).


Every human being except for two have sinned.

BIG step between living in a fallen world and selling porn.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit