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Thread: Supreme court sides with church on firing

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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    It is my understanding that an employer can terminate someone for any reason or no reason as long as it is not discriminatory. However, here there is a more narrow window such as the "ministerial” exception. She should could have chosen to "teach" religion at a secular institution hence she would not have the "ministerial” exception hurdle to overcome.
    But the whole point of the ministerial exception, as I understand it, is that the government cannot interfere with the church's religious practices. In this case the woman's firing had nothing to do with religion. It was based on her medical decision and the church's decision to hire a replacement.

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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    Did anyone not notice the medical problem she had? Narcolepsy. Yeah, I want a narcoleptic working with my kids. For that matter, even working period. Also, I wouldn't doubt (this is just my opinion) that something else was happening there that resulted in her firing. Maybe, maybe not. Just adding to the debate.
    We don't know the severity of the Narcolepsy she had and how it was being controlled. There are treatments that help and will prvent something like that from happening during work time.

    Were there other factors? I don't know, but just becuase someone is diagnosed with an illness doesn't automatically disqualify them from working.

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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    We don't know the severity of the Narcolepsy she had and how it was being controlled. There are treatments that help and will prvent something like that from happening during work time.

    Were there other factors? I don't know, but just becuase someone is diagnosed with an illness doesn't automatically disqualify them from working.
    Agree with the last portion. However, like you said, we don't know the severity. I wouldn't want a narco working with my child. Would you? In addition, we don't know what belief this church has about it. Maybe they think narcolepsy is some sort of evidence she wasn't living a Godly life. Maybe someone who is Lutheran on here could provide an opinion on that.
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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    But the whole point of the ministerial exception, as I understand it, is that the government cannot interfere with the church's religious practices. In this case the woman's firing had nothing to do with religion. It was based on her medical decision and the church's decision to hire a replacement.
    The following is from the opinion I provided previously:

    "She taught religion to her students four days a week and took them to chapel on the fifth day. She led them in daily devotional exercises, and led them in prayer three times a day. She also alternated with the other teachers in planning and leading worship services at the school chapel, choosing liturgies, hymns, and readings, and composing and delivering a message based on Scripture.
    It makes no difference that respondent also taught secular subjects. While a purely secular teacher would not qualify for the “ministerial” exception, the constitutional protection of religious teachers is not somehow diminished when they take on secular functions in addition to their religious ones. What matters is that respondent played an important role as an instrument of her church’s religious message and as a leader of its worship activities. Because of these important religious functions, Hosanna-Tabor had the right to decide for itself whether respondent was religiously qualified to remain in her office"

    As an aside, it is hard enough to stay awake during any religious teaching or service the church needed the teacher to fall asleep?...
    Last edited by Connery; 01-12-12 at 02:27 PM.

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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    My thoughts are.....

    It's about time.

    The courts and the government ought stay out of a lot more of our private lives. I would think that would be a sentiment held by both right and left.
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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    The following is from the opinion I provided:

    "She taught religion to her students four days a week and took them to chapel on the fifth day. She led them in daily devotional exercises, and led them in prayer three times a day. She also alternated with the other teachers in planning and leading worship services at the school chapel, choosing liturgies, hymns, and readings, and composing and delivering a message based on Scripture.
    It makes no difference that respondent also taught secular subjects. While a purely secular teacher would not qualify for the “ministerial” exception, the constitutional protection of religious teachers is not somehow diminished when they take on secular functions in addition to their religious ones. What matters is that respondent played an important role as an instrument of her church’s religious message and as a leader of its worship activities. Because of these important religious functions, Hosanna-Tabor had the right to decide for itself whether respondent was religiously qualified to remain in her office"

    As an aside, it is hard enough to stay awake during any religious teaching or service the church needed the teacher to fall asleep?...
    Yeah, I read it the first time. What I'm saying is that, while she did perform some ministerial duties, the employment matter wasn't related to them.

    When I was a kid this situation would have worked itself out. The lady would have gotten tired of scrubbing off her El-Marko mustache every day.

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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    Yeah, I read it the first time.
    It is this very cavalier attitude that has compelled you to ignore the obvious.


    What I'm saying is that, while she did perform some ministerial duties, the employment matter wasn't related to them.

    When I was a kid this situation would have worked itself out. The lady would have gotten tired of scrubbing off her El-Marko mustache every day.
    The Court stated that they will not differentiate and split hairs regarding the amount of time spent on her ministerial duties. Moreover, she was hired in her role a a religious educator her title was a "called" teacher in 2000 by a vote of the church's congregation and was hired as a commissioned minister."

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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    It is this very cavalier attitude that has compelled you to ignore the obvious.

    The Court stated that they will not differentiate and split hairs regarding the amount of time spent on her ministerial duties. Moreover, she was hired in her role a a religious educator her title was a "called" teacher in 2000 by a vote of the church's congregation and was hired as a commissioned minister."
    Not sure how else to say this. I don't dispute that she had ministerial duties. Even if that was 100% of her job, she wasn't fired BECAUSE of her ministerial qualifications. She was fired because of a health problem and ensuing employment dispute concerning her leave of absence.

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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    Not sure how else to say this. I don't dispute that she had ministerial duties. Even if that was 100% of her job, she wasn't fired BECAUSE of her ministerial qualifications. She was fired because of a health problem and ensuing employment dispute concerning her leave of absence.
    this
    she had a health problem thru no fault of her own
    if she worked anywhere else they could not have terminated her because of her health problem
    but because she worked for the church doing some portion of ministerial duties, whether 1% or 100%, it does not matter, she was able to be terminated because she had a medical issue ... again one beyond her control
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    Re: Supreme court sides with church on firing

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    Not sure how else to say this. I don't dispute that she had ministerial duties. Even if that was 100% of her job, she wasn't fired BECAUSE of her ministerial qualifications. She was fired because of a health problem and ensuing employment dispute concerning her leave of absence.

    This is the Court's holding: "The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment bar suits brought on behalf of ministers against theirchurches, claiming termination in violation of employment discrimination laws." She could not bring suit to begin with.

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