Christians always know what’s best for unwed pregnant women…
Here comes a story that may have some of you wondering what it actually means to be a Christian and for that matter ‘Christians’ are up in arms with one until recently fully employed school teacher, Cathy Samford, until her Christian school employer found cause to get rid of her. Get rid of her because she happened to be pregnant and unmarried and happened to mention it to school authorities…
The firing when it came ‘totally shocked’ the school teacher who until her dismissal had taught at the Heritage Christian Academy.
Reiterated Ms Samford:
“I’m not just some teacher that went out to a bar and got pregnant and went back to school saying it’s okay. I was in a committed relationship the whole time and probably would have been married if things had gone differently and this would be a non-situation.”
“I didn’t think I would lose my job. I was in shock and devastated and that’s when I said, ‘If this is the problem, I’m willing, and so is my fiancé, to go ahead and get married.’ That wasn’t the issue. We were going to get married regardless.”
But that nevertheless may be besides the point according to school authorities who were concerned that Ms Samford as a moral role model had failed to lead by example and then of course there was the added inconvenience if Ms Samford was allowed to stay on it would be a tacit admission on behalf of the school that it was willing to tolerate such indiscretions, thereby lowering the bar for the student body.
Reflected the school’s headmaster, Dr Ron Taylor: “It’s not that she’s pregnant. The issue here is being an unmarried mother. … Everything that we stand for says that we want our teachers, who we consider to be in the ministry, to model what a Christian man or woman should be.”
Ms Samford on the other hand hasn’t taken her firing lightly and has now sought the intervention of the ‘U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’ for gender and pregnancy discrimination.
Said her attorney, Colin Walsh: “It’s against the law to fire someone for them taking a pregnancy leave and you can’t preventatively fire someone. You can’t contract around anti-discrimination laws. … Just being generally religious or upholding Christian values is not enough to evoke the ministerial exception.”
Which raises the following question, why then is the school holding Ms Samford to some ethical standard that has no legal binding in secular society? Or is it a situation that the school believes it can hire or fire at will irrespective of what labor laws say? What does that suggest about other labor employee contracts? Can any employer force an employee into accepting a stipulation that holds no legal binding in most normal labor negotiations?
Reflects Mr Walsh: “If anyone can say they’re a Christian organization and therefore not subject to federal and state decisions, then there’s no point in having those laws.”
At present Ms Samford is expected to give birth any day now and has yet to have found a position since she was fired last year.
On another note, the center for Disease Control (CDC) recently found that one in four children were born to unmarried couples who were living together. Let’s hope that none of those mothers happen to be teachers at Christian based schools or things could get complicated….