Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fired for Pre-Marital Sex

From the things that make you go, "I wonder how this will turn out?" department.

A woman was fired from San Diego Christian College because she had pre-marital sex.  (Story here.)

Now, she's suing the college. 

Hmmm.

Let the battle begin.

The culture where pre-marital sex is not only permissible but is oftentimes encouraged versus an institution of the church which adheres to the principle that sex outside of marriage is sinful.

It's obvious that the church is losing this battle society wise, but will the legal system punish the institution for firing this woman.  Now, I understand that the only way they were able to find out that the gal was having pre-marital sex was that she ended up pregnant.  That in itself presents an intriguing conundrum.  How can the college (or any particular institution) figure out if it's male employees are having pre-marital sex?  There isn't exactly an obvious sign for that one, is there?  That might complicate the college's legal battle here.

It is worth noting that the woman in the video said she felt that the college's actions were not "Christ-like." 

What does that mean?  What would the "Christ-like" action look like?

Would it be to say, "We disagree with what you've done, but you can keep working.  We will not adhere to our policy or the covenant you signed when you went to work for us."?

Would it be to say, "You are a sinner and condemned to eternal punishment for violating the sixth commandment."?

Would it be some other route?

I believe it's important to remember that as Christians, we know that we are forgiven.  We know that Christ absolves us of our sins the moment we confess them and ask for forgiveness.  This is not in dispute.

But does forgiveness mean there are no consequences of sin?

That is where things get a bit more interesting. 

Sin has consequences.  Real-life consequences.  I believe the pain of those consequences is a means by which we are taught that we shouldn't do such things again. 

When my daughter was about two or so, we went to eat at a Mexican food restaurant.  Grandma and grandpa were along for the ride, and my daughter wanted to sit next to them.  When the waiter brought our food, he said, "Careful, these plates are hot."

Not only did the waiter give us fair warning, so did grandma and grandpa.  They told my daughter, "It's hot.  Don't touch."

But as kids are wont to do, she touched the plate. 

There was wailing and gnashing of teeth. 

We soothed my daughter as much as possible, but then we all looked at her and said, "So, do you think next time you are going to listen."

My daughter has not touched a hot plate since.

Lesson learned.

In the circumstance of the woman who was fired, losing her job is one such consequence.  She broke a covenant.  There is no doubt of that.

But now, there are some other problematic things:

1. At six months of being pregnant, how will the woman pay for the delivery of the child?  Will she be able to afford or find medical insurance to ensure the safe delivery of her child?

The woman's firing will lead to much financial hardship because of this.  Is making her pay exorbitant medial fees for the delivery of her child inflicting too much pain--even if that pain helps her learn?  That is something to be wrestled with.

2. By terminating the woman, there is now little or no means for supporting the child.  The church professes to be pro-life.  Is the church willing to support this woman's child now that it has taken away her means of living?  Perhaps the college is no longer willing to keep the woman in a paid position--that is fair according to the covenant she signed, but is sentencing her to time on the government's dime through welfare the answer?  I'm not sure.

3. Was the firing done compassionately?  Did they tell her, "We forgive you, but there are consequences to your actions.  Your job must be forfeited.  Yet, your actions do not cause our love and support for you to cease.  We will help you seek employment elsewhere.  We will help you procure health care for you and your child.  We do not approve of what you did, but we will act with the compassion of Christ."

As you might tell, #3 is my preferred option.

Sound too lavish?

Take a moment and re-read the story of the Prodigal Son, and you tell me.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Good, clear thinking. I like your conclusion. I give you my Imprimatur.

Kathy said...

I just checked FB, and saw your comment. Since I have had bad luck with FB, I will comment here, since it's unlikely many people will read it.

In the Holy Roman Catholic Church, there are 2 topics that are verboten -- not to be mentioned publicly by priests -- 1) Divorce & Remarriage, and 2) Sex outside of marriage. These are known career-killers for clergy -- even though the priesthood is supposedly not a career, but a vocation. Only once in my life -- about 20 years ago -- did I ever hear a priest speak about D & ReM from the pulpit. He was elderly, near retirement, and after the shock subsided, the people dismissed his words as the result of the confusion of old age.

On any given Sunday, at any given Mass, I would estimate about 1/2 of the people are divorced and remarried, and the other 1/2 are contemplating it; about 80% to 90% of the people have had or are presently having sex outside of marriage.

The priests -- even the good ones -- don't dare bring up these topics.

Since I usually don't hold back my opinions, I won't now: I think this is prime lily-livered cowardice of the worst sort.

I commend your courage.