A pregnant woman was fired for premarital sex, according to a lawsuit she filed that claims wrongful termination.
The woman, Teri James, was a teacher at San Diego Christian College when she was called into her supervisor’s office in October.
Her supervisor got straight to the point when she asked if James was pregnant, reports TODAY. James, unmarried at the time, confirmed the news.
The admission was a violation of the school’s rules, according to the lawsuit filed by James in San Diego County superior court. She explained in the lawsuit that the termination letter included:
“Teri engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission.”
James added that her then-fiance was offered a job by the school, even though they knew he engaged in premarital sex. James added of the meeting where she was fired:
“I had to leave right after the meeting. I had to go into the office with all of my co-workers and say I’m leaving. I never came back so I don’t know what my co-workers thought, but for me, it was humiliating.”
ABC Local notes that Teri James isn’t suing to get her job back. Instead, she is suing for damages because of wrongful termination and invasion of privacy.
The school’s community covenant states that Biblical character is highly valued and desire. It also states that the school frowns on sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, though it doesn’t say what the consequence would be for a violation. Teri James added of her termination:
“San Diego Christian College did not show any mercy or grace towards me, and acted completely un-Christ-like. They made more of a business decision than showing God’s love.”
James’ attorney, Gloria Allred, added that the college, while a Christian school, still has to “comply with the laws of the state of California.” This means they cannot discriminate against an employee based on gender, marital status, or pregnancy.
Do you think the college was right to fire Teri James for having premarital sex?
Even Jesus was quoted as saying, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Clearly, those Christian schools and their “Biblical” values are a load of crap!
First, look at this:
Are all Christian schools this bigoted? Appearantly!
Former coach of the year fired from Christian school for out-of-wedlock pregnancy
In an incredibly bizarre situation that appears headed for a legal challenge, a Dallas-area volleyball coach and science teacher was fired by the Christian school at which she worked for becoming pregnant before being married.
As first reported by Dallas Fort Worth network WFAA, Rockwall (Texas) Heritage Christian Academy volleyball coach and science teacher Cathy Samford was fired during the fall semester after she became pregnant out of wedlock. Samford had led the volleyball program for three years and had been named the school’s coach of the year once during that span.
Still, that couldn’t help save her job when she first admitted her pregnancy during the fall semester, with the school terminating her based on a violation of her contract’s morals clause because it was determined her pregnancy meant she could not serve as “a Christian role model.”
“I looked it up and thought, ‘They can’t do this,’” the 29-year-old Samford told WFAA. “We all have different views and interpretations. It’s not necessarily the Christian thing to do to throw somebody aside because of those.”
While Samford and her lawyer, Colin Walsh, are working toward filing a discrimination suit against the school, their case may be complicated by the fact that Heritage Christian Academy is a private school, and recent Supreme Court decisions have defended the right of Christian schools to exert more influence on their hirings and firings because they consider teachers to be “ministers in the classroom.”
“The Supreme Court, as a matter of fact in the last month, has ruled 9-to-0 that a Christian school does have that right, because this is a ministry, so we have the right to have standards of conduct,” Heritage Christian Academy headmaster Dr. Ron Taylor, who acknowledged that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had contacted the school, told WFAA. “How’s it going to look to a little fourth-grade girl that sees she’s pregnant and she’s not married?”
While the two parties attempted mediation, those efforts failed quickly because the school refused to consider a settlement for the case.
That has left Samford uninsured and in financial distress as she heads towards giving birth, a situation she never considered possible when she was a proud member of Heritage Christian Academy’s faculty.
Would it have been better if this teacher and coach had chosen abortion to hide that she was ever pregnant? According to traditional Christian morals, isn’t having an abortion even worse than having the baby out of wedlock? And have any men been fired for getting a woman pregnant out of wedlock? I’ve never heard of that happening!
This is why I will never teach at or send any children I have to such a school….most of them seem to be run by sexist hypocrites! This is not about enforcing morals, this is about a school trying to save money by denying an insurance claim, something you would expect only from corrupt private businesses! And even if having a baby out of wedlock is considered immoral, the BABY should not be punished for her parents’ mistakes!
This is the direct sequel to:
Once again, P Z Myers and Jerry Coyne have decided to push for the elimination of all mentioning of religion in scientific organizations, including the NCSE (National Center for Science Education, the American organization defending evolution) and the BCSE (British Centre for Science Education, the version of the NCSE in the United Kingdom).
Open letter to the NCSE and BCSE
Although we may diverge in our philosophies and actions toward religion, we share a common goal: the promulgation of good science education in Britain and America—indeed, throughout the world. Many of us, like myself and Richard Dawkins, spend a lot of time teaching evolution to the general public. There’s little doubt, in fact, that Dawkins is the preeminent teacher of evolution in the world. He has not only turned many people on to modern evolutionary biology, but has converted many evolution-deniers (most of them religious) to evolution-accepters.
Nevertheless, your employees, present and former, have chosen to spend much of their time battling not creationists, but evolutionists who happen to be atheists. This apparently comes from your idea that if evolutionists also espouse atheism, it will hurt the cause of science education and turn people away from evolution. I think this is misguided for several reasons, including a complete lack of evidence that your idea is true, but also your apparent failure to recognize that creationism is a symptom of religion (and not just fundamentalist religion), and will be with us until faith disappears. That is one reason—and, given the pernicious effect of religion, a minor one—for the fact that we choose to fight on both fronts.
The official policy of your organizations—certainly of the NCSE—is apparently to cozy up to religion. You have “faith projects,” you constantly tell us to shut up about religion, and you even espouse a kind of theology which claims that faith and science are compatible. Clearly you are going to continue with these activities, for you’ve done nothing to change them in the face of criticism. And your employees, past and present, will continue to heap invective on New Atheists and tar people like Richard Dawkins with undeserved opprobrium.
We will continue to answer the misguided attacks by people like Josh Rosenau, Roger Stanyard, and Nick Matzke so long as they keep mounting those attacks. I don’t expect them to abate, but I’d like your organizations to recognize this: you have lost many allies, including some prominent ones, in your attacks on atheism. And I doubt that those attacks have converted many Christians or Muslims to the cause of evolution. This is a shame, because we all recognize that the NCSE has done some great things in the past and, I hope, will—like the new BCSE—continue do great things in the future.
There is a double irony in this situation. First, your repeated and strong accusations that, by criticizing religion, atheists are alienating our pro-evolution allies (liberal Christians), has precisely the same alienating effect on your allies: scientists who are atheists. Second, your assertion that only you have the requisite communication skills to promote evolution is belied by the observation that you have, by your own ham-handed communications, alienated many people who are on the side of good science and evolution. You have lost your natural allies. And this is not just speculation, for those allies were us, and we’re telling you so.
Let’s look at some excerpts from this open letter:
There’s little doubt, in fact, that Dawkins is the preeminent teacher of evolution in the world. He has not only turned many people on to modern evolutionary biology, but has converted many evolution-deniers (most of them religious) to evolution-accepters.
Note that Coyne does not specify that Dawkins has converted all these former evolution-deniers into atheists.
Nevertheless, your employees, present and former, have chosen to spend much of their time battling not creationists, but evolutionists who happen to be atheists.
How so? By not openly supporting atheism?
you have lost many allies, including some prominent ones, in your attacks on atheism.
HA HA HA HA HA HA! So not affirming atheism is the same as attacking it? REALLY?! Show me ONE official statement by the NCSE or the BCSE that attacks or denies atheism. Just one!
your repeated and strong accusations that, by criticizing religion, atheists are alienating our pro-evolution allies (liberal Christians), has precisely the same alienating effect on your allies: scientists who are atheists.
Coyne, you are alienated only because you are so convinced that only atheism is true. But that has nothing to do with teaching science. The fact remains that many children from Christian backgrounds will be learning evolution in schools and if they see a conflict between evolution and the Bible, they will remain Creationists rather than give up their faith and accept evolution. The efforts at accommodation by the NCSE and the BCSE are intended to show that you can choose to be religious and deal with science as it is also. It is YOU that is being intolerant, Coyne! It is YOU that choose to be alienated. You can still advocate atheism on your blog while promoting evolution too. No one in the NCSE or the BCSE is saying you cannot. So what is the problem?
Then P Z says on his blog:
How often do we have to repeat ourselves? There is no goal of turning the NCSE or the BCSE into an atheist organization; we think having an organization that is honestly neutral on the religious issue is extremely useful in advancing the cause of good science education for all. We want the NCSE/BCSE to support neither atheism nor religion.
You know what? The atheists in this argument have a crystal-clear understanding of the difference between atheism and secularism, and are saying that the science education organizations should be secular. It’s these sloppy accommodationists who have allowed liberal christianity to become their default position who have violated the distinction.
First, no one is asking Myers and other atheists to repeat themselves, so that is just rhetorical crap. Second, the NCSE has made clear its own religious neutrality.
What is NCSE’s religious position?
None. The National Center for Science Education is not affiliated with any religious organization or belief. We and our members enthusiastically support the right of every individual to hold, practice, and advocate their beliefs, religious or non-religious. Our members range from devout practitioners of several religions to atheists, with many shades of belief in between. What unites them is a conviction that science and the scientific method, and not any particular religious belief, should determine science curriculum. (Emphasis mine)
Sorry, but until atheists become the vast majority of American and British people, the screaming about accommodation by atheists is pointless. I just don’t accept it. If the atheists wish to have all science organizations never mention religions or treat any religious people with respect again, they can push for that. And once they get their way, the political support for scientific organizations will most likely dry up. And the only ones who gain from that would be Creationists. The atheist fanatics are giving them exactly the talking points they need to fight longer and harder the public relations war over science education!
Please support both the NCSE and the BCSE. Here are their websites:
See Johnny read. Johnny reads about Dick and Jane. Read, read, read Johnny. Boring, boring book. Johnny hates to read. Johnny can’t read the newspaper yet.
Seriously, the people who created and published the classic Dick and Jane Readers of the 20th Century should have been banned from working in any school or publishing company! I wonder how many young minds were ruined by those idiots!
I am a champion of phonics, and hope we never repeat the mistakes made in dumbing down our education via a long discredited method of teaching reading. Rudolf Flesch is one of my heros.
The History Channel is showing a series titled “Life After People”. It is the sequel to a two hour special that was broadcast on the same channel last year.
The assumption in all versions of this show is that humans disappear SUDDENLY, by some completely unknown and unexplained process, leaving all man-made structures to slowly decay and become overrun by wildlife and plants. Some Protestants claim a simular event will occur, called the Rapture, but it will only involve them, not humanity as a whole. Quite simply, this idea is completely unscientific and irrational.
Here’s another version of the same concept:
Let’s face it: While it may be fun to speculate what might happen to man-made structures after we are gone, it is pointless to do so while avoiding the real issue of what might cause humans to go extinct. Why are we so afraid to actually discuss this? It is a process that will take at least 100 years, involve massive death and suffering, and may be preventable. The History Channel is being profoundly irresponsible and cowardly NOT to discuss this in detail.
Besides, its not even history, is it?
And here is why:
This happened on May 25, 2007. The man being booed and condemned by the graduating seniors of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst was Andrew Card, the former White House Chief of Staff under Bush Jr. He took no classes to earn that degree, it was just given to him. He was a major player and promoter of the Iraq War that Bush Jr started.
Such a man getting an honorary degree sends the wrong message: that you can lie to the American people to start a war for shoddy purposes, send thousands of Americans to their deaths in that war, and still be rewarded for that insanity.
An explanation for the awarding of that honorary degree was given here:
No, no — the board of trustees awards the honorary degrees. The trustees are political appointees, mostly selected by the recently departed Mitt Romney. They’re about as far removed as possible from sentiment in the “ivory towers” of UMass.
Indeed, that is reason enough to ban the practice of honorary degrees altogether! Politics should have NO bearing on such a thing! Only academic achievement!
Carl Sagan died in 1996, yet he still lives in the hearts of those who knew him, whether personally or as the public celebrity he became.
Now the time has come for science to move on and find a new superhero, someone who can command both the public respect that Sagan did and challenge society for the better. Although Sagan was an agnostic who championed skepticism, he did not come across as openly hostile towards all religion, as Richard Dawkins does. Such hostility, even if justified, can turn gentle souls away from science. So who can possibly succeed Carl Sagan? Who can be the champion of reason, rationality, and tolerance for all?
I will. And so can you. And you, you, you, you and you, if only you just care to be as dedicated to science and to the welfare to humanity as Sagan was. I have championed the philosophy of Honorable Skepticism as my tribute to Sagan. But the best way to honor him is not merely to keep playing his COSMOS series and talking about what he did, but to make our own contributions to science, to EXCEED Sagan’s work, to become superheros of science ourselves. We are not expected merely to blindly follow what Sagan taught, for he was by no means infallible. Because he was human as we, we can carry his vision forward, and we will do it by eliminating the concept of “sacred cows” and seeking change to improve our societies, regardless of what short-term and localized interests get stepped on. They deserve it! And we cannot afford to appease those interests anymore. Having a global and long-term perspective is what will save us, not any religion or political ideology.
I’ve never seen such a blatant attempt at denial of academic freedom! Now, if the people being attacked were committing libel, this lawsuit would make sense. This is a clear example of hypocrisy!
The saying “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is a tragic misunderstanding of a passage of the Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 13:24). The rod referred to that used by shepherds in ancient times to guide sheep to go in a certain direction, but NOT to ever BEAT them! Beating children with anything should be considered abuse, because adults are stronger than children. Therefore, the only thing kids can learn from being beaten is that bullying is acceptable and thus they can get ahead by bulling weaker and smaller people!
One of Creationists’ most serious objections to how science is taught to students in most public schools is that all supernatural explanations (miracles) are rejected out of hand, and this somehow limits the vision of scientists. But the truth is actually the opposite. To explain why, consider this scenario:
Child: Daddy, what causes lighting and thunder?
Father: God sends lightning bolts and thunder blasts to frighten people into submitting to His will.
Child: Daddy, what causes lighting and thunder?
Father: Lightning is caused by unequal electric charges between two clouds or between a cloud and the ground causing a massive discharge of electricity. Thunder results from lightning heating the air and causing it to expand suddenly, producing powerful sound waves.
OK, Creationists, would you want BOTH these explanations taught in science classrooms regarding how weather occurs? Well that’s about as silly as requiring any form of Creationism taught alongside evolution! There is no evidence whatsoever that God directly causes lighting or thunder, and indeed such an idea might lead to the assumption that anyone struck by lighting was being punished by God. This is “magical thinking” which, if it had not been questioned centuries ago, would have prevented research into finding ways for people to avoid lighting by understanding how it behaves. Thus, any supernatural explanation, one that totally ignores or negates the known laws of physics and chemistry, would be no explanation at all, but merely an argument without evidence. And that is exactly why Creationism can never be scientific, but evolution is. Evolution is consistent with all known scientific laws, it is based on physical evidence, and it leads to more research. Acceptance of Creationism, or even the assumptions that allow for Creationism to be considered credible, would bring scientific advancement on almost any subject to a grinding halt, because you could then simply dismiss any unusual or complex phenomenon by saying “God did it, I believe that, so it’s settled”.
Therefore, there is no place for the supernatural in science education.