Justices Grant Leeway to Churches in Job Bias Laws

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ladyliberal, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. ladyliberal
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    ladyliberal Progressive Princess

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    (crossposted from law and justice)


    Edit: link changed to http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/u...-exception-to-job-discrimination-laws.html?hp
    (old link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/us...s.html?_r=1&hp)


    I recognize that there must be some "ministerial exception". I don't think the government should force the Catholic church, for example to accept female priests (I somewhat wish they would, but I don't want them to be forced to do so).

    That being said, I think this ruling went too far. This ruling seems to shift the power not from the secular to the religious, but from the employee to the employer (much like the recent Walmart discrimination case). Why should religious liberty dictate that the minister cannot sue the church, when the reverse (a church suing one of their ministers) is presumably not disallowed?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  2. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    Government has no place in the operation of Religious Institutions. What will you argue next, that the Church is discriminating against an Atheist Priest by not Hiring him? Maybe a Protestant wants to be a Catholic Priest, or a Buddhist, or a Muslim? Should they too claim discrimination? You have no business in any Religious Community that you are not a part of. You are abusing the 1st Amendment.
     
  3. ladyliberal
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    ladyliberal Progressive Princess

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    I hope you are using "you" to refer to a generic third person rather than to me. I certainly think that espousing contradictory religious beliefs would be a legitimate reason to fire a minister. It's just not clear to me why a church should have such a wide, asymmetric immunity to lawsuits. Carried to its extreme, the argument that a church can do anything it claims is part of its religious practice clearly fails (we would not allow, eg, involuntary human sacrifice). I think the Supreme Court drew the line too far in the favor of religious organizations at the expense of individuals such as the teacher who sued.
     
  4. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    I can agree there. I guess that I just generally don't get past Locke's view on Religious Tolerance, which I do find timeless in Principle. At least in Separation of Church and State and the Immunities that go with it. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and God what is God's. I would think that If a Church was on a Path of Self Destruction, it would do that just the same without Court Intervention. We do not want Magistrates arbitrating matters of Salvation, that is my point. Churches committing Felonies (Physical Harm) is a matter for the Court.

    There are allot of Crazy Sects out there, to each his/her own. If you don't like something and cannot effect positive change, you should be free to leave. The Power any Church has over you should not include the surrender of your free will, or Conscience. ;)

    I know this is long reading, but it touches so much it is worth notice. This Man gave us allot towards Our Founding. Way ahead of His time.

    A Letter Concerning Toleration

    by John Locke

    1689

    Translated by William Popple

    John Locke: A Letter Concerning Toleration
     
  5. The Rabbi
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    The Rabbi Diamond Member

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    What do you call a minister? That actually was the crux of the case, btw. A woman was employed to teach and do other jobs at the church. I can't remember what happened but the church claimed she had a ministerial role, and therefore they were exempt. The exemption is not something someone just made up. That is long-standing law and policy here.
    The Court is saying churches are free to make their own judgments in such matters.
    I realize that is anathema to most liberals, who want laws and regulations to over-ride individual judgment. But bravo for the Court. And thank you, Mr Bush.
     
  6. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    Totally support that. One is always free to leave a Religious Community without Legal consequence, here, at least. In matters of Conscience, no Man should stand between the Individual and His/Her Maker, either. The Prophets understood that. :)
     
  7. ladyliberal
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    ladyliberal Progressive Princess

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    Understandably, people are focusing on the religious aspect of this ruling. What is of particular interest to me, though, is how it changes the relationship between employee and employer. Does this mean, for example, that a minister's legal contract with their church is unenforceable because the minister cannot sue the church for breach of contract? That could actually limit the rights of religious organizations by preventing them from entering into binding contracts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  8. ladyliberal
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    ladyliberal Progressive Princess

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    Well, I should probably research these more carefully before posting:

    Opinion recap: A solid “ministerial exception” : SCOTUSblog

    Apparently, the court declined to rule on breach of contract issues, narrowly addressing the issue of employment discrimination.
     
  9. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Why do people always read more into a decision that the court puts into it? The decision basically over rules the EEOC that churches could not claim a ministerial exception in discrimination cases, and kicks the actual decision back to the courts. It is nothing more than an affirmative defense, and forces the EEOC to prove that the employee is not actually a minister.
     
  10. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    No
     

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