23 Dec Reader Poll: “Should a church have the right to fire an employee who doesn’t abide by the church’s clearly stated standards of conduct?”
Should a church have the right to fire an employee who doesn’t abide by the church’s clearly stated standards of conduct?
Here’s how readers responded:
100 Percent “Yes”
0 Percent “No”
Looks like there’s pretty strong agreement that churches do not have to retain employees who violate the church’s standards. At least one court agrees with all of you. “A California appeals court upheld a church’s firing of its pre-school director for living with her boyfriend and raising their child together without being married– living arrangements that were contrary to the religious beliefs of the church.”
But there many individuals and entities that believe a church, on employment issues, has to be treated like every other employer:
Leondra R. Kruger, a lawyer for the government, said the court’s analysis should be essentially the same whether the employer accused of discrimination was a labor union or a church.
“That is extraordinary,” Justice Antonin Scalia responded. “We are talking here about the free exercise clause and about the establishment clause, and you say they have no special application?” (Go here to see complete article)
Let’s hope that Justice Scalia’s attitude prevails and that the current composition of the Supreme Court will continue to recognize that religious freedom demands that churches have a say as to the behavior of those whom they employ.