firing pregnant teachers from religious schools.
lesl at UDEL.EDU
Sun Aug 19 17:09:33 PDT 2001
Suppose the teacher were raped and believed abortion was immoral (which happens
to be the orthodx Jewish position btw). How is she setting a negative model? As
long as she affirms that she did not sinfully beget the child, she should not be
fired , UNLESS the school also does things like hire private eyes to find out if
the male teachers fool around outside their marriages, etc. Moreover, I doubt if
the shcool would fire women whose husbands leave them, and thus being a single
mother is not itself a sinful condition/bad role model.
David Bernstein wrote:
> I am willing to give a lot of slack to religious insitutions. I am with
> Michael McConnell on this one. He points out that when a religious
> institution disciminates, "its direct effects are purely internal to the
> religious group; only those who choose to become part of the religious
> community . . . are governed by its rules." Some would argue that
> discriminatory practices by religious groups may affect outsiders "by their
> influence on the climate of opinion." But, as McConnell points out, "this
> argument implies that religious conduct must be regulated because of its
> communicative impact," which would violate First Amendment free speech (or,
> more precisely nowadays, expressive association) guarantees.
> Specificially with regard to the pregnant teacher cases, in many of these
> cases, the teachers sought out religious schools to teach in precisely
> because they wanted to teach in a religious, Christian environment. They
> wanted the good that comes with the religious schools (a sense of misssion, a
> sense of Christian mission, better discipline, or whatever) but then turn
> around and sue the schools when the theology becomes problematic for their
> own careers, inviting, one could say, Caeser into the realm of religion.
> Typical religious schools with low budgets and many scholarship students
> can't afford to have their personnel decisions second-guessed by the courts,
> and I doubt courts are in particularly good position to second-guess them,
> anyway. I don't think there was any specific theological reason that all the
> teachers in my Jewish day schools, even for secular subjects, were Jewish.
> But the schools were trying to create a particular community atmosphere often
> integral to many religious groups, and these are precisely the type of
> intangible factors courts are unlikely to heed.
> As for the tow truck driver, I think these cases are better considered under
> Dale and expressive association than under the free excercise clause, so the
> driver loses. I think the free excercise clause, however, gives extra weight
> to expressive association claims in the religious context.
> I've written already too much for one day, so I will give others a chance to
> David Bernstein
> In a message dated 8/19/01 3:18:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> crossf at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU writes:
> << Well, that's the question, David. What if a school decided that a black
> was not a good role model, or that Asians were not good role models, or
> that Italians were not good role models by their very nature and existence?
> Would you accept that at face value, or would they have to make some
> plausible theological case? Since no organization is free from bias, do we
> give those affiliated with religion a total pass, even when the job is not
> a churchly office? And what if a tow truck driver refused to hire based on
> such prejudice and claimed it to be his free exercise of religion; can we
> examine his theology? >>
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