Morality Clauses: I Have a Problem

JaAnna Wahlund

I really want to work for the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I grew up in a family that occasionally attended PETA events, usually on Christmas (to protest the abuse of the enslaved reindeer, forced to haul an obese septuagenarian around the world in a single night) and Easter (to protest the abuse of chickens forced to sacrifice their eggs to the masses, not to mention the horrors of eating bunny effigies).

I have fond memories of the time spent at PETA events with my family, which is why I’d like to become an employee of the organization. The problem is that as an adult I’ve sort of strayed from integral PETA beliefs. It’s because of bacon, honestly. I took one bite and I fell in love. I could probably go egg- and dairy-free without too much trouble, but giving up bacon? I just can’t do that. I can’t deny my love for bacon, even for PETA.

It shouldn’t be a problem, though, right? After all, surely they don’t expect everyone who works for them to share their beliefs. They have no right to dictate what other people eat and wear on their own time.

Yet, when I visited their website to look for open positions, I saw this statement:

Do you have to be vegetarian or vegan to work for PETA/FSAP?
Some of our positions do require you to be vegan (e.g., all campaign positions, fundraising and development positions, and media spokesperson positions). However, many positions do not require this. We look for compassionate people to work here.

I’m interested in education, so it’s likely any job I applied for would have the requirement of being vegan or vegetarian. How can they do that? How can they force you to hold to their moral and ethical beliefs just because you work for them? Why can’t I be a spokesperson for vegetarian/veganism while still eating bacon when I’m off the clock? If any of my coworkers or students see me eating bacon, I can just explain that what I do off the clock is my own business, and there’s no contradiction whatsoever between eating BLTs at home while telling the public that the slaughter of pigs for meat is cruel and inhumane.

Actually, a better idea would be to persuade my coworkers and students that bacon should be an exception to the rule. All I have to do is explain that my civil rights are being violated if I’m forced to work for an employer who expects me to abstain from bacon as a condition of employment, since I don’t personally believe that eating bacon is unethical or immoral. After all, a morality clause in my contract should be null and void if it violates my personal beliefs. I have to follow my conscience (and I should have no negative consequences for doing so).

I tried telling my plan to a friend, and she gave me a funny look. I asked what was wrong, and she made several points:

  • I could easily work for an organization other than PETA if I want to eat bacon.
  • I wouldn’t be forced to work for PETA – it would be my free choice to do so. If I got into the job knowing that I am supposed to abstain from bacon, it would be unethical of me to eat bacon or to encourage others to do so, whether I was on or off the clock.
  • PETA’s requirement is to ensure that people who are dedicated to their mission are employed by them, since they only want people who are genuinely passionate about their cause to be in charge of communicating their message to others.
  • If I voluntarily signed an agreement as a condition of hire to be a vegan or a vegetarian at all times, and and then I was caught eating bacon or supporting others who eat bacon, it’d be a violation of my contract and a fireable offense.

I don’t really understand her reasoning, but then, she’s one of those weird Catholics who think that Catholic schoolteachers should abide by the morality clauses in their contracts. What does she know?

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96 thoughts on “Morality Clauses: I Have a Problem”

  1. Pingback: David Ancell's Virtual Home » The Respect Due People with Same-Sex Attraction vs Gay Rights

  2. Companies should not be able to discriminate for any reason. They should only consider the capabilities of the person to do the job. Discrimination is discrimination whether it is because of color, religion, or life style.
    As far as schools are concerned, Fully or partly funded by the public, should be completely neutral as far s religion and lifestyles is concerned. Religion must be taught in the churches and outside of normal school hours. All of our young people should experience interaction with all others so they understand and can cooperate with people of other persuasion to prevent the hatred and misunderstandings so prevalent in today’s society. There should be no “catholic” or “muslim” schools. All schools should be fully funded and neutral. The qualification of the teachers should solely be based on their knowledge of their subject area and their ability to teach. As I mentioned before, religion MUST be taught in the churches.

    PS:The “bacon” example is not a valid one. A waitress in a Vegan Restaurant cannot be fired or refused a job because she eats bacon at home.

    1. Catholic teachers can’t do their job if they say one thing and do another (e.g., say that same-sex marriage is wrong while being married to someone of the same sex).

      We’re not talking about waitresses. We’re talking about PETA employees, and PETA as an organization has a requirement that some of their employees be vegan. Presumably if an employee who is required to be vegan violates that requirement, they can be fired.

    2. If we have separation between church and state, it should not matter what one does in his/her free time. If you are not allowed to smoke on the job, you cannot be fired for smoking at home. Catholic teachers should not be fired if what they are doing in their own bedroom as long as it is legal. Same for a Vegan employee should not be fired because he/she ate bacon and eggs in their own home.

    3. We don’t have separation between church and state. That phrase does not appear in the Constitution. What we have is free exercise of our religion, which means that employers can practice their religion freely in the course of doing business, including Catholic schools, Catholic organizations, and Catholics who own for-profit businesses.

      PETA also has the right to require that some of their employees live a lifestyle consistent with the organization’s message, just as those employees are free to not work for PETA if they want to eat bacon off the clock.

    4. We do have SBC&State. PETA has the right to “request”, But should not have the right to fire, unless they publicly contradict
      their promise, same as smokers and catholic teachers. They might not be acting correctly but they are not breaking the law. Are you going to install cameras in their homes to keep them from straying?

    5. Where is separation of search and state in the Constitution? Direct quote, please?

      You’ll note that most employers stipulate that *public* behavior is what is problematic. That’s why Catholic school teachers who have been privately homosexual for years are only let go after they, say, publish a wedding announcement in a newspaper. At that point, they are making their sin public and announcing to the world that they are living a lie (by teaching that SSM is wrong in a Catholic school while publicly engaging in it outside of school).

    6. Article VI:but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

      1st amendment Thomas Jefferson wrote with respect to the First Amendment and its restriction on the legislative branch of the federal government in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists (a religious minority concerned about the dominant position of the Congregationalist church in Connecticut):

      Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.[9]

      In Reynolds v. United States (1878) the Supreme Court used these words to declare that “it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach [only those religious] actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.”

      You are disagreeing with Thomas Jefferson?

  3. Great article JoAnna. I love the way you drew a connection between the two! By the way I love BLT’s. We use turkey bacon though.

  4. Pingback: Spanish Speaking Pope Has Vatican Racing to Learn Spanish

  5. Should an employer be able to refuse to hire Catholics, as was common in the 19th century? Or refuse to hire certain ethnic groups, as was common in the first half of the 20 th century? Let’s remember the lessons of history before we decide to repeat it.

    1. The topic of this article is morality clauses that people who wish to be employed at a particular organization agree to abide by. It’s not about if companies are allowed to hire people, it’s if people should accept an offered job if they aren’t willing to abide by the terms and conditions of that job.

    2. Terms and conditions for a job should be related to the physical, mental, professional licenses, etc required to fulfill the job description. Exclusions cannot become arbitrary and capricious, based on the whims of the employer though.

    3. I don’t know of any job in which you cannot be fired for moral turpitude, including employment at the National Catholic Reporter.

    4. Should Walmart be able to fire a woman who gets pregnant and is not married? Or were you referring only to conditions for employment in catholic schools? Those are two different discussions.

    5. I guess my point is that “Terms and conditions for a job should be related to the physical, mental, professional licenses, etc required to fulfill the job description” is not an adequate criteria.

    6. This is a thought provoking subject, especially in a country as diverse as ours. I am glad that there are commenters like you and JoAnna to have a discussion like this. I am new to this website. So many other sites either have no commenters or ones that it is not possible to have a real conversation with.
      Peace be with you.

    7. Probably if the attacks are malicious and specific. If the employee attacks big business in general then probably not. A judge would need to decide based on the particular details of the individual case. Sometimes it’s tricky to have laws that must protect the employee as well as the business owner.

    8. That is true. If there is a pattern of firing employees solely because, say, they are women or a particular race, then the employees could try to seek justice via a class action lawsuit. But it is very difficult to actually win a case against an employer. Whichever side has the largest pocketbook usually wins.

    9. The employer defines it, although legislators and the courts can impact the definition.

    10. You can be a competent auto mechanic and be fired for stealing.

      In the case of Catholic schools, you cannot be a competent teacher of any subject if you reject the doctrinal or moral teachings of the church because without those you cannot be an example of living the Catholic faith, which is a competency for being a teacher in a Catholic school.

    11. Beg you pardon! You mean to say that you cannot be “a competent Teacher in any subject” in math, science etc, You’re out of your mind! Sorry to be so blunt but that is an asinine statement. Many teachers are very competent regardless of their religion. Moral Teachings of the church should be taught by competent religious teacher IN THEIR CHURCH. If we really had freedom of religion than all schools should be secular and paid for by the state. and you have the freedom to teach your religion without restrictions in your churches, on your dime. That’s what freedom of religion means, not separating the population in religious groups paid for by the state. ALL state functions, education being one of them, must be secular. That is what it means. We don’t have catholic policemen or muslim firefighters, babtist tax collectors, or Mormon bus-drivers . Keep your religious teachings in your church, I can’t say that often enough. Freedom of religion does NOT mean you can use our tax dollar to promote your religion nor separating our children in clans who do not become aware of other lifestyles.

    12. You will have to take up your un-American doctrine of repression of freedom of religion with somebody else, Ben Andrews.

    13. It is th e religious people in America, including yourself who have turned the meaning of Freedom of Religion upside down

      “Freedom of religion is considered by many people and nations to be a fundamental human right.[3][4] In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is generally considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion (in America it is secular), and does not persecute believers in other faiths.”(wikipedia)
      Notice the government “permits” and it does not say that any government function, of which education is one, shall pay for it.
      You are free to do your education in your churches and pay for it. Freedom does not mean you are free to teach your religion in government institutions. Secular science for example is taght by the government. Religious psuedo science is allowed to be taught in your churches, That’s what freedom of religion means.

    14. Wrong. Private schools = make their own rules. You cannot segregate because you don’t like religious beliefs. I CAN be a Catholic police officer, a Jewish Firefighter, a Muslim mayor, a Christian teacher in a public school and you have no right to tell me I can’t practice my faith anywhere I please. I’m not indoctrinating your little Benny Jr by praying before i eat my lunch in my classroom or if I need to leave in the middle of a meeting at City Government USA to face mecca for my pm prayers in an empty conference room. Freedom of religion is the Freedom to choose religion or not. It’s not freedom FROM religion.

    15. We have two wonderful Muslim schools here in Toledo. Guess what? You have to be a practicing Muslim to teach there, and the more conservative one requires that female teachers where hijabs (modesty scarves). Would they refuse to hire Catholics? YES. People confuse civil rights with the “right not to be offended.” It is wonderful that we have Islamic schools—-they add so much to our diversity and culture here in Toledo (and were not even talking about the great food at Eid and other festivals). Yes, they have the right to promote their faith and to pass on their faith to their children. People—-get over yourselves. When you work at a Catholic school, the most important part of the job is to pass on the faith—correctly, enthusiastically and fully supportive of the Church’s teachings.
      I loved the analogy to PETA. Very imaginative!

    16. And the best people to perform the job at Catholic schools are practicing Catholics who know and live by the tenets of the Church. No difference.

    17. I tend to agree. Catholicism is more than just a religion. It is a way of life, and has its own culture in many ways.

    18. It’s a CATHOLIC school. They are directly related to the parish to which they are attached. Which is funded by tithes and offerings of CATHOLIC people who send their children there to learn the CATHOLIC faith along with reading and math. Same as the Muslim schools, Jewish schools, Mormons, Baptist, etc. Religion is part of the fabric of the United States. Because you pay a tiny percentage ofd tax doesn’t mean you can cancel out anyone else who believes differently. Children have the right and adults the responsibility to have faith in their lives including and especially schools

    19. Yes , I understand that but I meant Public funded schools! Not one dime should go to religious funded schools. That’s what I meant. My other post points that out, When I said the church should educate and not in the schools I thought it would be obvious that I meant PUBLIC schools.Let me rephrase:
      “In the church run schools, Cynthia, not in the public schools”

    20. Cynthia, see my post above, Having religious oriented schools is not wonderful, its devisive. Having religious schools is not promoting diversity. It is promoting divisiveness.

      “People confuse civil rights with the “right not to be offended.” What do you mean? Explain that little titbit because it doesn’t make sense in this context,
      Festivals do add to the culture because they are open to everyone and not restricted to one religion to participate. BIG DIFFERENCE with religious schools!

      “Yes, they have the right to promote their faith and to pass on their faith to their children” but do it in your own church, on your own dime and don’t prevent your children contact with children of another religious background or culture in the public schools.

    21. Yet just above, you said you want people to keep their religion behind doors and out of the public eye, keep to themselves.

      What you really want is for believers to have no rights at all

    22. You are confusing, as many of you do, freedom OF religion with freedom FROM religion. Freedom of religion means that nobody is forbidden to practice or teach their religion. That is your right and no one is taken that away from you, You have it. Freedom from religion means that non-believers should not be forced by religious laws to comply with ANY religion and that NOT ONE CENT of taxpayers money support religious oriented schools. You can have them, no problem, (although it is divisive and promotes isolation and misunderstandings between religious factions, not only with unbelievers}. There also should not be any tax-exemption for religious institutions. You are totally free (freedom of religion) to preach and teach what you want as long as it does not effect other religions or unbeleivers (freedom from religion)
      I hope that’s clear! It has nothing to do with “having no rights at all” that is a nonsense statement. No one is telling you that you can not practice your religion.

  6. Obviously, PETA is waging a war on carnivores. They are bigoted and hateful. I think the IRS should deny them tax-exempt status and leak all their confidential information. The Justice Department should sue them. President Obama should sign an executive order declaring their anti-bacon policy null and void.

    1. The entities that you are trying to correlate with an attempt at irony differ in at least one important way: the relationship (religion) or lack of a relationship (PETA) to the Establishment Clause in the first amendment of the US Constitution.


    2. The Establishment Clause is relevant to my claim that this article makes an incorrect correlation between circumstances that may arise with an organization like PETA and circumstances that may arise in an organization called a religion.

      As I mentioned to Kevin Aldrich above, is it PETA or religion that is affected if we imagine the Establishment Clause was nullified?

      As to your second question, it’s not hard for me to imagine some, perhaps many even, Catholic vegetarians agreeing with me that this article is in poor taste. I don’t find it humorous to talk about eating bunny effigies in the same sentence as real chickens without a qualifier. Chickens, for starters, are intelligent animals that respond adversely to pain and environmental conditions that are devoid of mental stimulus. Effigies do not.


    3. Actually, PETA objects to chocolate bunnies not because they are effigies, but because they contain milk. They take no issue with bunny effigies made from vegan chocolate.

      The Establishment clause isn’t relevant because it only pertains to the government establishing an official religion and/or acting to prevent religious organizations from practicing in the public square. In terms of this article, it’s private citizens (the teachers) who are objecting to the morality clauses relating to their own employment (or lack thereof). If the government gets involved with the Church’s hiring/firing practices that spawns an entire host of other issues, far beyond the scope of this simple piece.

    4. I don’t recall waiving my right to say what offends me, what I call poor taste, or what may offend other Catholic vegetarians; milk is irrelevant to me.

      Neither you or the other commenter cared to answer my question. That’s fine. I’ll leave it out there hoping it’s a slow burner. I think if you answer it in your own head you will come to a better understanding of why I find the juxtaposition of PETA and religion (in your article’s narrative) a tough pill to swallow.

      The answer is religion, not PETA.


    5. I don’t recall telling you that you couldn’t be offended…? I just was curious as to why you were.

      As to your question, what didn’t I answer? I explained why I feel the topic of the Establishment clause is irrelevant to the limited scope of this article, because it isn’t meant to explore the political/constitutional ramifications of morality clauses, regardless if the organization in question is secular or religious. You can disagree, of course, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t answer.

    6. Sure you did. You’re asking me to discount why I found your article to be in poor taste by focusing on your ideas about PETA rather than my ideas about JoAnna Wahlund.

      If you call a non-sequitur an answer then yes, you answered.


    7. Are you for real? If so, you really need to lighten up. As a vegetarian and a Catholic, I can’t even imagine how anything about this article could offend anyone. Unless it’s someone just looking for a fight.

      Even chickens and rabbits have enough sense to understand their places in the food chain.

    8. The difference…isn’t clear to me

      Alright, I will offer another way to frame the difference between PETA and religion. Imagine for a moment the Establishment Clause is, for this experiment, nullified.

      Would it be religion or PETA that is affected?


    9. The Establishment Clause prohibits the federal government from establishing a state religion, like in England. It was not meant to curtail the practice of any citizen’s religion. That is what Obama and his ilk are attempting through Obama Care.

    10. I hear what you are saying but are you also suggesting I’m wrong because nothing you’ve written compels me to think that yet.


    11. Mike, I think the point of the satire is that people are trying to force beliefs and behavior on Catholics and Christians that we abhor and think to be unconscionable. No one would ever think to do something similar to PETA.

      It is not just people wanting to do the forcing, but increasingly government in the form of lawsuits, judges’ rulings, civil rights commissions rulings, justice department rulings, and executive orders. I think we will also see today what the US Supreme Court says.

    12. I would say if PETA ever attempted to control how their members/employees legally used their genitalia, you would very likely hear similar pushback from individuals and their representatives in government. Or to state it another way, if food consumption was reimbursable by health insurance, I’m pretty sure PETA would, again, witness pushback if they refused to cover grocery bills because rump roasts were available on the market.


    13. “Mike -faith free”

      I find it incredibly sad that someone is proud and willing to admit to having no faith. What an empty existence that sounds like.

  7. Well, this may come as a surprise, but I agree with PETA’s requirement and also as a basis for dismissal. I also agree with morality clauses as a condition of employment in a Roman Catholic school and dismissal as a consequence of violating the contract. After all when you voluntarily become a member of any organization, you must follow all the important rules and getting fired is a natural consequence of not following the rules…you do represent the values of your employer/organizatoin around the clock. That why Pope Francis fired (excommunicated) the Mafia…they did not follow the rules.
    My only problem with my belief and apparently yours is consistency and equality of application to all members. Now here’s the problem: members of Catholic religious congregations (priests, brothers and sisters) take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; regular priests vow celibacy….they choose the organization and following the rules is a condition of continuing employment. When you break the rules you should be fired.
    Now, Marciel, founder of the Legionnaries, fathered children, abused seminarians, did drugs and was relegated to penance and prayer…not defrocked. Bishop Dupree of Springfield abused two teens, was indicted by a grand jury and fled the state…not fired or defrocked. Cardinal Law of Boston enabled years of shifting of pedophiles from parish to parish…hundred of cases admittedly so was given a promotion to archpriest at the Vatican. In the Vatican’s report to the UN Committee on Torture in May, Archbishop Tomasi reported that over 3400 priests were referred for disciple to the Vatican since 2004 and 848 were defrocked. Many, many others were not referred to the Vatcan…priests, bishops, cardinals…all over the world. They violated their contract with a “morality clause” but still get paid, cared for and work for the Church.
    Morality clauses should be in place and getting fired is legitimate…only if equally applied to all members of the organization who make the promise…no one should be exempt. Agreed? Otherwise, requiring laypeople who work for the Church to be moral according to Catholic norms under penalty of termination and not requiring the same of clergy, etc. would be hypocritical. Agreed? As we olde people say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

    1. Phil, you seem to think that the only disciplinary or punitive measure that can be taken against a priest is defrocking. This is not so — and I think defrocking is inappropriate, simply because it looses the man into the world, where the Church no longer has any responsibility for him. I would like to see these men (genuinely guilty ones) transferred to mission assignments, where they could (eventually, possibly) say Mass for people otherwise deprived of the Sacraments, and work themselves to exhaustion under the close watch of more virtuous superiors. The Catholic Church is the world’s largest provider of charitable service, and there are plenty of situations where a transgressing priest could save his own soul (an important consideration) in situations where one is far too busy for the sexual self-indulgence of their former lives. Or there is the option set for Fr. Marcial Maciel, that of penance and prayer, which, under the right conditions, could also be an appropriate discipline — imagine such a man facing up to his sins for the rest of his life under a regime of monastic simplicity and silence? The Church has a duty of love to all its members, including the sinners, and I often wonder about the consequences of merely throwing out offending priests — even if they go to prison, they are likely to be released at some point (unless they are victims of that repugnant and utterly contra-judicial fate known as “prison justice”), and then what? Naturally, where there is evidence of criminal wrong-doing these men must be subject to the law, and anyone who has covered for them is an accessory. What happened with Cardinal Law was (still is) a scandal, but as outcomes go for those in his condition, it was a rather unique case. Cardinal Mahony received no such sinecure after a career of similar, and even more cynical, acts — he got a humiliating public whack from his successor (although he seems to have refused to accept the consequences, and engaged in blog-whining about it). I maintain that both these men should have been officially silenced, shipped off to the Third World, and quietly worked themselves into the grave. Only the Pope has the right to order this — we’re still waiting. But defrocking would just turn them into free agents, since they have obviously learned no shame. As to your point about morality clauses — that they are only legitimate if they never skip over any candidate — in an ideal world it would work this way. But in the real world, many sins go unpunished. That’s why we believe in Particular and Final Judgments, where every sinner gets his just desserts. Just because some have escaped consequences on earth, doesn’t mean that people who DO get caught and punished (like the Catholic teachers who violate their employment conditions) are somehow being treated unfairly. If they broke their agreement, they broke it, and termination is just. We trust in God to deal with those who slithered out of consequences. But, at the end of the day, I would have to ask Ms. Wahlund how any practicing Catholic could channel her protective impulses towards animals into working with an organization as maniacally anti-human as PETA. Their clear rejection of the innate value of human life, and its supreme dignity among living creatures due to its unique possession of an immortal soul, would seem antithetical to Catholic teaching. Surely there are other ways to support humane treatment of animals without betraying one’s faith and joining forces with these extremists.

    2. Believe me, I have no interest in working for PETA, nor would I recommend that any practicing Catholic do so! I was using their hiring practices as an example – I am demonstrating that some secular organizations have a similar “morality clause” to that of Catholic schools.

    3. Winefred, actually if you ask any psychiatrist…pedophila is incurable…offenders will re-offend unless incarcerated. The Church has NO duty for a pedophile…neither does society. If you remove them to another placement they will re-offend. Remember the words of Christ….whoever harms one of these little ones, it would be better to place a millstone around their neck and drown them. They should be severed from the Church…much like the Mafia. All the good can never make up for taking a child’s innocence. Without defrocking, the Church is complicit in crime of the worst nature.

    4. Obviously you don’t see things the way God does, or the apostle Paul would have never been called to the greatness that he was, after persecuting the Christians to the extent he did. It is absolutely horrible what some of the priests have done to the children, but that does not mean one is not capable of repentance and with help to amend their lives. At least if they remain under the watch and responsibility of the church, they have a chance to be somewhat useful to the church in someway. A priest that was at one time in our parish, was removed from his priestly duties, but was assigned as the diocesan archivist and is responsible for creating the database of all the sacraments recorded for all of the parishes in the diocese from the beginnings of each of the churches. He has no contact with children in his role, and is under the watchful eye of the bishop, and is still able to provide a useful service to the church in this capacity.

    5. So, fire a layperson who teaches in a Catholic school because they has “in vitro” fertilization…take away their livelihood, reputation, insurance, salary; but shift around a pedophile priest continue salary, room and board and health benefits. That is hypocrisy … btw Paul persecuted Christians BEFORE he became one, Don.t you remember the Gospel where Christ said if someone hurt a child it was better that a millstone be tied around their neck and they be drowned. Also abuse against a child is a CRIMINAL offense also, the issues in the morality contract are disciplines of the Church and not CRIMES against humanity and children, Stop coddling pedophiles….it is an indication that the Church has lost its moral authority. Never forget Christ mandate about hurting children…..

    6. @ ME BTW, Good Friday 2005, Benedict 16…: During the IX station of the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum:

      “Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of His Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts!How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words!
      How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the Priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!”

      Notice “filth, even among the Priesthood in the Church”….not quite the words of compassion….and he was referring to abusers!

  8. JoAnna, I see what you did there. You, as a carnivore seeking employment at PETA would be analogous to someone in a same sex marriage seeking employment at a Catholic school. You both would be required to agree to certain rules and could be fired if you violated those rules.

    That’s just the way people at PETA and the Catholic Church are. It is best to stay away from them and not give them a chance to impose their intolerant ideologies on you.

    As far as it being legal to fire them if they violate the rules, I would say it is unless they enforce their rules selectively in order to discriminate. Sexual orientation is now a class that cannot be discriminated against. If the school allows its employees to use contraceptives on their own time but does not allow them to marry a same sex partner, that kind of selective enforcement might be judged to be discriminatory.

    1. Bill S, people have been fired from Catholic schools for a variety of reasons, including in vitro fertilization and using birth control, those are simply less visible than being married to a same-sex partner. It’s not a matter of “enforcing selectively”, simply a matter of visibility. Most people don’t know if someone is contracepting or has used IVF unless they talk about it openly, whereas it’s much more apparent if someone is married to a person of the opposite sex.

    2. Oops, I meant “same sex”. Although it is pretty obvious if someone is married to a person of the opposite sex too!

    3. Yes. I understood what you meant. I think the world does the best that it can with the Catholic Church. We all know where it stands on controversial issues and that it’s not going to yield to political or public pressure. It’s going to cry foul (or persecution) when judgements and laws go against it. We all need to learn to adapt.

    4. Catholic & loving it

      Mr. Bill S, Quit trying to deny the Catholic Church of her religious freedom & employment rights. You’ve got absolutely no right to tell Holy Church who to employ. If you own have a private business you can run it as you wish, but don’t tell the Church how to run its organizations. It’s disrespectful. No one (especially non-Catholics, Anti-Catholics, or heretics) is entitled to work at Catholic &/or Church-owned facilities. ‘Tis common sense. And, yes, employees at Catholic schools who use artificial Birth Control (and are unrepentant & continue to arrogantly promote its use) should ALSO be fired & in several cases, they already have. Peace.

    5. employees at Catholic schools who use artificial Birth Control (and are unrepentant & continue to arrogantly promote its use) should ALSO be fired

      Is it if they use it or if they arrogantly promote its use? If they use it and keep it private should it be a “don’t ask, don’t tell”? If it is, then firing a married gay should be discrimination.

    6. Catholic & loving it

      Both. The Church gives them a chance to repent but if you insist on living grave mortal sin (Homosexual “marriage”, promotion of baby-killing aka abortion, Birth Control use &/or promotion, IVF, Divorce-&-remarry, Heresy) while being an employee of a Catholic facility, then the Church has absolutely every right AND Responsibility to fire such employee. Fire all those arrogant unrepentant school employees who don’t respect the Magisterium, Dogmas & Doctrines of Holy Mother Church. We need Catholic school on fire for the Catholic Faith & Christ Jesus – not lukewarms.

    7. Parents send their kids to Catholic schools because they know they will get a good education. They (most of them) don’t care about those things that you choose to take exception to. The idea of firing a teacher for the reasons you cite is absolutely ludicrous and it hardly ever happens. There have been only a handful of occasions where religious fanaticism on the part of the employer has resulted in wrongful termination. These things don’t happen that often in a modern society.

    8. I think you will find Catholic schools to be leaning more to the mainstream and less to the orthodox extreme which is good in one sense but might be problematic if it turns out that they are lax on some requirements for their employees but more strict on others. In one sense, a school that would tolerate teachers who use birth control or are remarried without an annulment would be considered to be tolerant and progressive. But that might make it harder to demonstrate that they are not discriminating if they fire a gay married teacher. On the other hand, if they are by the book on all Catholic teachings, then it would be difficult to prove discrimination if they fire a gay married teacher.

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