by Dr. D ~ February 3rd, 2013
(Calvary Chapel’s logo: Wikipedia)
Do Christian schools have a right in America to hire only Christian teachers that adhere to a particular doctrinal standard? The Obama administration doesn’t think so as they demonstrated in an earlier court case against a Christian school but in that case the US Supreme Court unanimously supported that right.
Now here’s another case involving teachers in a Christian school who do not want to be forced to confirm their Christian faith and sued the school when they were fired. Now the school has counter-sued the teachers. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:
A Christian school in Southern California has recently filed its own lawsuit against two of its former teachers who had sued the school for being fired after refusing to provide proof of their Christian faith.
The Little Oaks School in Thousand Oaks filed a lawsuit in federal court last Wednesday, claiming its right to hire teachers who subscribe to the school’s Christian belief, arguing that its hiring practice is protected by civil rights laws at both the state and federal levels.
The teachers, Lynda Serrano and Mary Ellen Guevara, however, claim they are protected from religious discrimination being exercised by the school under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act that applies to for-profit religious groups. The school is recognized as a for-profit entity owned by Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks.
Response: Another challenge to religious freedom in America and in this case in California. The school was purchased by Calvary Chapel in 2009 and turned into a Christian school. The conflict arose when two of the teachers working at the school during the transition refused to submit to answering questions about their faith and were subsequently fired.
The question raised by the case is this- Do Christian organizations have the right to choose their own leaders and in this case teachers even if it is an allied ministry that makes a profit? Or does California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibiting discrimination supersede the religious rights of the organization?
The earlier case cited above involved a teacher who was also a licensed minister so an open and shut case as far as SCOTUS was concerned. This case will be far more important in terms of establishing whether we still have freedom of religion in this country or in the state of California. This case revolves around the question of whether Christian allied organizations and ministries and in this case schools still have the right to hire leaders and teachers that conform to their particular religious standards. If not then our religious liberties are now severely curtailed. *Top