Published: Thursday, Sept. 29 2011 2:00 p.m. MDT
This is a misstatement: "If, as the EEOC urges, the Supreme Court decides
the ministerial exception should not exist at all..." The EEOC
does *not* argue the exception should not apply at all. They argue the
exception is inapplicable in this case, because the ADA has neutral and general
applicability. For example, laws prohibiting the use of peyote generally apply
even against those who use peyote in religious ceremonies. The EEOC's position
is that the ADA is applied similarly, therefore religious groups should not get
an exception that no one else does. It is not as simple as saying
the Lutheran Church requires mediation -- none of the teacher's employment
information told her this would be a requirement. It's like adding a requirement
after the fact. The school fired her after her diagnosis as a narcoleptic, even
though her doctor cleared her for work. There are other remedies besides giving
her job back, so it's not a matter of the government telling a religion what to
do. If she was fired wrongfully, she should be entitled to lost wages. Religion
is not a blank check for bad behavior.Beware arguments that suggest
the "floodgates will be opened." They rarely open.
Re: "Religion is not a blank check for bad behavior."But
liberalism apparently holds that liberals should be empowered to write this
litigant a blank check for her inarguably bad behavior.She was
admittedly a teacher/minister of Lutheranism. She argues she was caught
unawares, either that the Bible says ". . . there is utterly a fault among
you, because ye go to law one with another," or that Lutherans actually
believe it -- either of which would constitute bad pedagogic behavior, in this
setting. She was found to be out of sync with the tenets of her
religion by actual scholars of that religion. But, activist liberal judges
substituted their own judgment on the matter for that of the scholars, in
effect, entering a finding that Lutherans don't really believe in 1 Cor 6:7.This apparently bothers liberals not at all.Here's a thought
-- let Lutherans define Lutheranism.Liberals demand to define [and
re-define, and re-define, and re-define] liberalism. Why can't they be content
with Lutherans defining Lutheranism?
Is everything about liberalism and conservatism for some people? That has
nothing to do with this. She was not a teacher/minister of
Lutheranism. She taught secular subjects and according to the briefs, only
introduced a religious topic to her students twice in 4 years. She does not
argue that she was caught unaware of Biblical teachings, she claims she was
unaware that the school was going to apply *this particular teaching* against
her when it had never been mentioned before. The Bible teaches many things,
were all of them applied to teachers--or just teachers who were fired and then
protested? What about her behavior was "bad"? The fact
that when she was told she was being fired for narcolepsy, she informed her
supervisors that if they didn't reconsider, she would pursue legal action? Looks
like she did pursue mediation first. Where was "she found to
be out of sync" by "actual scholars" of Lutheranism? Cite,
please.This argument is like saying, "She can't sue us because
she can't sue us. Don't bother looking at the underlying legal argument about
the actual firing."I want to join a religion that says no one
can sue me.
An interesting case to follow.
One other thing I just noticed:"She wants the courts to
reinstate her as a teacher at the school over the objections of the church that
runs the school."That is factually inaccurate. The school is
closed, she is not asking to be reinstated.The briefs of both sides,
including amici curiae, are available on the SCOTUS blog. I won't post the link
here since it's against the rules, but if you google the case name, it should be
the third result. You can read the arguments for yourself.
The interesting thing is that she can't get her old job back. The school was
closed because of her lawsuit. The school was willing to work with her, but she
wasn't willing to accept their terms. I read about this on another news website.
"This case is not just about firing a teacher in a religious elementary
school. It concerns a much broader principle: the right of religious
institutions to control their own affairs."I disagree. When
religious institutions get into the business of something other than religion,
they should not be able to hide behind the right to control their own affairs.
I think the Court will give a very narrow opinion on just the facts of this case
and no one else will be able to rely on it.
@procuradorfiscalWhat liberals are you talking about? Your blanket
statements about liberals define your own statement.
Re: "She was not a teacher/minister of Lutheranism."Again
-- what do liberals have against letting Lutherans decide what Lutherans
believe?If the Lutheran scholars who run this Lutheran school
determine she is a Lutheran teacher/minister, who is a liberal, activist court
to overrule those scholars, substitute lay liberal dogma for considered Lutheran
doctrine, and say she's not?That's what courts have called
"excessive entanglement" between government and religion for many,
many years.Now liberals want to have more of a say in what Lutherans
[and all religious people] should or should not believe.Let's leave
defining what constitutes religious belief to religious people, not to godless,
feckless liberal activists.As an aside, if you really wanted to join
a religion that discourages suits, at least among clergy, you appear to have
found a likely candidate in Lutheranism.I suspect, however, a
greater interest in the liberal agenda of insinuating liberal dogma into every
facet of religious life.
Christians (and religions in general) play a bait and switch game. Just as this
Lutheran School did, they try to expand beyond religious education and teach
secular subjects as well: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.This
serves as a way to sneak religious dogma into young people's thinking without
hitting them directly with it. This serves as a way to justify infiltrating
"secular" subjects with religion. They mix secular and religious to
their own advantage.The LDS Church does this very well. Although
claiming to be a religious (tax-exempt) organization, they operate numerous very
profitable businesses, and mix their religious "expressions" in with
the secular.Are BYU Professors covered under the "ministerial
exemption"? Are they ministers or secular teachers? The LDS Church tells
them to teach religion as part of every class - ever had an opening prayer and
read scriptures in an Accounting class?This case is the result of
the Lutheran Church deliberately mixing their religion with secular education.
If they did not issue this woman a certificate as a recognized
"minister" or "priest", then she was not covered by the
ministerial exception, and was wrongfully terminated.Religion needs
to get out of secular business. That's the solution.
Re: "Your blanket statements about liberals define your own
statement."As does yours.
Who decides the definition of a Religion? Federal or state government?
procuradorfiscal,Why can't [liberals] be content with Lutherans
defining Lutheranism?Because liberals abandoned the original idea of
individual liberty in favor of forcing individuals to practice their beliefs.Aspen1713,"Beware arguments that suggest the
"floodgates will be opened." They rarely open."You're
right. Rather than dramatic changes, our freedoms are usually slowly stripped
from those who let it happen.
Re: Vanka | 7:06 p.m. Sept. 29, 2011 "Although claiming to be a
religious (tax-exempt) organization, they operate numerous very profitable
businesses"As you must surly know the LDS Church has a
religious (tax-exempt) arm and a commercial (taxable) arm. The City Creek
development for example is a taxable venture and not one single solitary penny
of tithing money has been involved.Those with an anti-LDS bias tend
to ignore that fact.
Hannah again approaches this issue as an advocate, not as an unbiased presenter
of the case. There is a part of the LDS/BYU legal community that advocates
giving religious groups unfettered rights in our society, all in the name of
religious freedom. They philosophically eschew the principles of 12th Article
of Faith. I am LDS, but I find their arguments to be troubling, self-serving,
and driven by a bit of paranoia. If this case was so clear cut as Hannah
presents it, it probably would not be before the Supreme Court. In the our
society and that of the Western world, religion is protected, but is subordinate
to the interests of the state. To go against the state in the name of religion
and conscience is ones right, but as with Helmuth Hübener, one must be
willing to suffer the consequences of defying the state in the hope for the
proper reward of eternity. History if full of moral dilemmas, but history has
also shown us the folly of letting religions dominate society and government.
VoNR says:"... our freedoms are usually slowly stripped from
those who let it happen."---This from someone who
is actually in favor of Voting to Take Away freedoms of other Americans.
(Hypocrite much?).The First Amendment guarantees one thing and one
thing only: The right to *Worship* without government interference.Other aspects of churches - the business side (hiring anyone is a business
function) - is NOT free from government regulation and interference.
To "Vanka | 7:06 p.m." BYU professors probably would not be covered
under the same law. Read the story "Southern Baptist professor finds home
at BYU" in the Daily Universe (BYU's Newspaper). Part of their contract
stipulates that there are certain behaviors that are not tolerated. A professor
can be fired for "1.contradicts or opposes, rather than analyzes or
discusses, fundamental Church doctrine or policy;2.deliberately attacks or
derides the Church or its general leaders; or3.violates the Honor Code
because the expression is dishonest, illegal, unchaste, profane, or unduly
disrespectful of others."BYU took the route of making it part
of their contract, instead of calling their professors ministers/instructors.
Rifleman,You wrote: "Those with an anti-LDS bias tend to ignore
that fact".Yes, and those with an anti-everyone else bias
("all their creeds are an abomination" and "all their preachers
are corrupt") tend to ignore the fact that those for-profit businesses were
started in the first place with religious donations, just as you ignore the
generous stipends your church leaders are "paid" when you all brag of
having a "lay ministry".I rarely meet LDS who speak in
anything but obfuscating riddles.
@procuradorfiscalI'm not sure I made any blanket statements. What do you
mean? You cannot define a group of people with sweeping statements. I'm not a
liberal myself, but I know a lot of liberals, and they are as different as the
conservatives I know.
Re: Vanka | 9:52 a.m. Sept. 30, 2011 You wrote: "The LDS Church does
this very well. Although claiming to be a religious (tax-exempt) organization,
they operate numerous very profitable businesses, and mix their religious
"expressions" in with the secular"As I pointed out
the LDS Church has BOTH taxable and tax-exempt arms that DO NOT intermingle. I
used their construction project in Salt Lake City as an example of their TAXABLE
arm. Your comment simply does not square with the facts. The question is why?
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