Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Keep the baby, lose your job

A school in Queens, New York has fired an unmarried teacher who became pregnant, saying that it violated the school's ban on pre-marital sex. Michelle McCusker told St. Rose of Lima School in Rockaway Beach that she was pregnant and intended to keep the baby, so they fired her. She's suing for gender discrimination, on the ground that as a woman, the ban on premarital sex is applied inconsistently; in other words, if a man had sex out of wedlock, it's not likely he'd get caught unless he did it in front of the principal. I hope she wins.

Big Mouth Bill Donahue of the Catholic League is, of course, crying foul, saying that the only discrimination is the kind "practiced by nature"--in other words, the "intelligent designer" made it easier for women to get caught: "If they win, every rabbi or minister will have to listen to what state bureaucrats have to say about the running of religious schools," he said.

Don't you get it, Bill? This is why so many see Catholics as hypocrites. McCusker could have quietly terminated her pregnancy, with none the wiser. Instead, she makes a courageous decision, asks for support from her Catholic (allegedly prolife) employer, and gets fired for having sex outside of marriage. Nice. If we Catholics put our money where our mouths are there would be no lawsuit in the first place.

A saying of Jesus comes to mind: "Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners." I sometimes like to imagine that Jesus made quotes with his fingers when he said "the righteous," since none of us really are. I think there's something in there about casting the first stone, too.

This while the former vicar-general of the Phoenix archdiocese, also a founder of Life Teen, an incredibly successful (and incredibly conservative) Catholic youth program, was just arrested yesterday and charged with ten counts of indecent exposure, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and assault involving five minors and two young adult men. Even if he turns out to be innocent, thousands of others are not.

Another saying of Jesus comes to mind: "Woe to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them." Indeed, you even permit yourselves what is forbidden to everyone else, not only what is immoral but illegal! All while preserving and using your position of religious power.


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