blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: Sex. Religion and Law

10.14.2006

Sex. Religion and Law

There was a story in the DMN about a lawsuit filed by a former pre-school teacher at the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Quick facts: She gets pregnant while unmarried and then, according to a lawsuit, a meeting was called by her employer where she was asked questions of “Were you a virgin when you had sex with the child’s father?” and “Why can’t you just get married to the child’s father?” She also alleges that at another meeting, the human resources director told her that “she was not living a Christian lifestyle” and that she would have to sign a statement agreeing not to have premarital sex if she wanted to keep her job. The church was going to let her go but finally let her stay as a part time employee. There are laws prohibiting the discrimination against pregnant women, so she sues. My (irrelevant) take on the matter: I don't have any problem with the church's actions at all. This is the "other side" of the much hated "Separation of Church and State" doctrine. Just like the government shouldn't require prayer in school, it also should not interfere by reviewing what standards a church uses in the matters of hiring and firing. And Texas courts routinely back out of church related suits - it's called the "Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine." Lots of "doctrines" in the law.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

There should not be any laws governing the TAPPING of a pre-school teacher. All yall know the thought has crossed your mind !

Anonymous said...

I agree w/Barry. It would be one thing if the teacher worked for a secular business. It is something else to work for a church - you have "moral clauses" that should be upheld.

I would have declined answering the questions asked and I would probably be pissed if I were the teacher. However - deciding to work for a church (here CHOICE) you should go in knowing that certain standards or moral decency are expected.

Anonymous said...

Right on anon 11:59. However, I would hope the church hierarchy saw fit to include such disclaimers and warnings in the literature normally given to new hires. Also, the HR person should have had a discussion with all the dos and don'ts, consequences for unacceptable behavior and an outline of what is considered unacceptable behavior.
If all the above was handled properly and an acknowledgement signature regarding the discussion is a part of the teacher's HR file, in my view, the church/employer did due diligence and it matters not whether it is a church--still an employer as such under EEOC and Texas Labor Commission, etc. Whew!

Anonymous said...

Pre-school teacher sex is my vision of heaven.

Anonymous said...

would they do the same for a male teacher...same moral clauses....I don't think so....