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Maria_AMDG

Coach fired from Christian school for out-of-wedlock pregnancy

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Posted this in Controversial News because I'm asking people to debate whether or not they think the school is acting in a Christlike manner.

As first reported by Dallas Fort Worth network WFAA, Rockwall (Texas) Heritage Christian Academy volleyball coach and science teacher Cathy Samford was fired during the fall semester after she became pregnant out of wedlock. Samford had led the volleyball program for three years and had been named the school's coach of the year once during that span.

Still, that couldn't help save her job when she first admitted her pregnancy during the fall semester, with the school terminating her based on a violation of her contract's morals clause because it was determined her pregnancy meant she could not serve as "a Christian role model."

"I looked it up and thought, 'They can't do this,'" the 29-year-old Samford told WFAA. "We all have different views and interpretations. It's not necessarily the Christian thing to do to throw somebody aside because of those."

While Samford and her lawyer, Colin Walsh, are working toward filing a discrimination suit against the school, their case may be complicated by the fact that Heritage Christian Academy is a private school, and recent Supreme Court decisions have defended the right of Christian schools to exert more influence on their hirings and firings because they consider teachers to be "ministers in the classroom."

"The Supreme Court, as a matter of fact in the last month, has ruled 9-to-0 that a Christian school does have that right, because this is a ministry, so we have the right to have standards of conduct," Heritage Christian Academy headmaster Dr. Ron Taylor, who acknowledged that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had contacted the school, told WFAA. "How's it going to look to a little fourth-grade girl that sees she's pregnant and she's not married?"

While the two parties attempted mediation, those efforts failed quickly because the school refused to consider a settlement for the case.

That has left Samford uninsured and in financial distress as she heads towards giving birth, a situation she never considered possible when she was a proud member of Heritage Christian Academy's faculty.

Thoughts?

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I honestly don't think they should have fired her, but ... a LOT of Christian schools that I know of would have done the exact same thing :/

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"I looked it up and thought, 'They can't do this,'" the 29-year-old Samford told WFAA. "We all have different views and interpretations. It's not necessarily the Christian thing to do to throw somebody aside because of those."

The way it sounds she does not view what she has done as a sin, that is having a child out of wedlock, and if that is her view then the following applies:

"I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." -1 Corinthians 5:9-13

Again, if she views her having sexual relations as not being wrong, and is not repentant of it then, yes she should most definitely lose her position.

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"I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." -1 Corinthians 5:9-13
I prefer Marcus Borg's position: if the Jesus and the Bible disagree, we are to follow Jesus. Christ was all inclusive, and this way should be our guide.

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I prefer Marcus Borg's position: if the Jesus and the Bible disagree, we are to follow Jesus. Christ was all inclusive, and this way should be our guide.

Jesus and the Bible never disagree; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." -John 1:1

While it is true that God loves all and does not ban people from the opportunity of salvation because of sin, there are consequences for our sin. I am not quite sure how that theory works; are you saying that there should never be consequences because we need to always forgive? While it is sad that this teacher has no money or job to help raise her child, she should have thought of these things before she decided to have sex. Yes, the school has the right to fire her. Should they have? Probably, maybe not. If she does not believe that fornication is a sin and demonstrates it without being repentant, then YES, she needs to be fired because that is a Christian school and I am sure the school does consider fornication a sin. If she is not going to uphold Christian morals, then she has no business teaching at a Christian school.

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Of course, leaving her unemployed and destitute because of her own private life is such a Christ-like way to act...

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I prefer Marcus Borg's position: if the Jesus and the Bible disagree, we are to follow Jesus. Christ was all inclusive, and this way should be our guide.

Jesus was not all inclusive. Even he said to the adulterer: go and sin no more. Repentance is key, not inclusiveness. The Scripture does not contradict itself rather it is humans who have an improper understanding who cause confusion to their own demise.

---------- Post added at 10:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:59 PM ----------

Of course, leaving her unemployed and destitute because of her own private life is such a Christ-like way to act...
When her private life affects the community of believers then yes there is a cause for action. If she chooses not to be repentant for her sinful lifestyle then the consequences are as called for, otherwise she should be allowed to remain in her position so long as she is repentant.

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Since when has anyone never sinned? If it is acceptable to fire her because of sin in her life, it should be acceptable to fire the school's principal as well, for a sin in his life.

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Since when has anyone never sinned? If it is acceptable to fire her because of sin in her life, it should be acceptable to fire the school's principal as well, for a sin in his life.

I think the bigger issue here is that she is not repentant. If she wants to teach at a Christian school, she needs to uphold their standards and morals. I'm not saying she needs to be perfect, but she ought to at least believe that fornication is wrong and admit it to the school staff and students that she made a mistake. If she doesn't, why is she at a Christian school? She can go work at a public school.

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Since when has anyone never sinned? If it is acceptable to fire her because of sin in her life, it should be acceptable to fire the school's principal as well, for a sin in his life.
There is a major distinction between sinning and living a sinful lifestyle. A person may fall and sin, but repent and continue on in the faith. When a person lives a lifestyle of sin that is different, and as is called for by the passage I quoted previously that person is to have no fellowship among the community of believers.

As NutterButterLove said, "If she wants to teach at a Christian school, she needs to uphold their standards and morals. I'm not saying she needs to be perfect, but she ought to at least believe that fornication is wrong and admit it to the school staff and students that she made a mistake." I will even go so far as to say she has no place in the Christian community if she does not believe he act of fornication was not sinful. The question though is whether or not she has repented, though from the looks of the quote I made earlier it appears almost as if she feels she has done nothing wrong.

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Jesus and the Bible never disagree; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." -John 1:1
You assume that the "Word of God" in reference in the Gospel of John is speaking about the Bible. I adamantly disagree. Jesus is the Word of God, the logos (λογος), not a some book.
While it is true that God loves all and does not ban people from the opportunity of salvation because of sin, there are consequences for our sin. I am not quite sure how that theory works; are you saying that there should never be consequences because we need to always forgive? While it is sad that this teacher has no money or job to help raise her child, she should have thought of these things before she decided to have sex. Yes, the school has the right to fire her. Should they have? Probably, maybe not. If she does not believe that fornication is a sin and demonstrates it without being repentant, then YES, she needs to be fired because that is a Christian school and I am sure the school does consider fornication a sin. If she is not going to uphold Christian morals, then she has no business teaching at a Christian school.
If there are consequences of sin, they will manifest themselves. You seem to have this belief that it is the duty of Christians to foment the very consequences of sin you are proclaiming naturally come with the act. Is not having an unwanted pregnancy not consequence enough? It is not the place of Christians to punish others. Remember that Jesus ate with tax collectors (being a tax collector in the ancient Jewish context was to be the emissary of the evil empire and domination system) without any sense of repentance on their part. While we were still sinners, God loved us. We do not have to repent to be accepted. We are to be loved and included unconditionally.

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There is a major distinction between sinning and living a sinful lifestyle. A person may fall and sin, but repent and continue on in the faith. When a person lives a lifestyle of sin that is different, and as is called for by the passage I quoted previously that person is to have no fellowship among the community of believers.

As NutterButterLove said, "If she wants to teach at a Christian school, she needs to uphold their standards and morals. I'm not saying she needs to be perfect, but she ought to at least believe that fornication is wrong and admit it to the school staff and students that she made a mistake." I will even go so far as to say she has no place in the Christian community if she does not believe he act of fornication was not sinful. The question though is whether or not she has repented, though from the looks of the quote I made earlier it appears almost as if she feels she has done nothing wrong.

You don't agree that the fact that she is bearing a child without being married is a sinful lifestyle, do you? Would it be a bigger sin to admit to having the child, or to lie about it, and get an abortion?

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You assume that the "Word of God" in reference in the Gospel of John is speaking about the Bible. I adamantly disagree. Jesus is the Word of God, the logos (λογος), not a some book.

If there are consequences of sin, they will manifest themselves. You seem to have this belief that it is the duty of Christians to foment the very consequences of sin you are proclaiming naturally come with the act. Is not having an unwanted pregnancy not consequence enough? It is not the place of Christians to punish others. Remember that Jesus ate with tax collectors (being a tax collector in the ancient Jewish context was to be the emissary of the evil empire and domination system) without any sense of repentance on their part. While we were still sinners, God loved us. We do not have to repent to be accepted. We are to be loved and included unconditionally.

Are you sure you're an agnostic?

And QFT.

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Are you sure you're an agnostic?

And QFT.

Catholicesque, Christian Agnostic. I have been attending Mass for the last month. Watching Jennifer's Body converted me. :angel:

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Are you sure you're an agnostic?

And QFT.

You know, Atheists and agnostics know more about the Bible than the average Christian.

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You know, Atheists and agnostics know more about the Bible than the average Christian.

Yes Mark, but John's voice wasn't that of someone who doesn't believe.

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I don't think anyone here could condemn the woman (for all of us have committed sexual sin in our lives).

What others have brought up is true, however. If she does not believe fornication is a sin, then she will never desire to repent of it. The Christian lifestyle is one of repentance from beginning to end - it marks our sanctification.

As for the legality of firing her, I'm sure she had to sign a contract which detailed conduct she was expected to abstain from during her employment. If she violated her contract then the school has the right to fire her.

- James

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As for the legality of firing her, I'm sure she had to sign a contract which detailed conduct she was expected to abstain from during her employment. If she violated her contract then the school has the right to fire her.

- James

If this is the case, then I can see the school having done what she agreed to.

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You don't agree that the fact that she is bearing a child without being married is a sinful lifestyle, do you? Would it be a bigger sin to admit to having the child, or to lie about it, and get an abortion?
Not my argument. Having the child is not a sin, but the means the child came about was. Premarital sex, that is fornication, is a sin. If she is living in a lifestyle where she has premarital sex unrepentant then that is where she should lose her job, and fellowship amongst the Christian community.

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When her private life affects the community of believers then yes there is a cause for action.

So... you'd say that having a child out of wedlock is a greater sin than intentionally leaving a pregnant mother unemployed and without her own income?

What those kids in that community are learning from this is that it's bad to have sex outside of marriage, but it's perfectly okay to ruthlessly ruin someone's life chances because they disagree with you.

And people wonder why there's still poverty in the developed world... (snarky off-topic political commentary ends here)

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Having sex outside of marriage is a sin, but that is the same whether or not it results in a child. Despite her wrongdoing, I believe it is at least commendable that she is having the child rather than murdering ("aborting") it prematurely, knowing that her decision may place her job in danger. Honestly, that is my biggest problem with the situation here. If you tell your female employees that they'll be fired if they become pregnant, they'll be much more likely to have an abortion if they accidently conceive a child.

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Having sex outside of marriage is a sin, but that is the same whether or not it results in a child. Despite her wrongdoing, I believe it is at least commendable that she is having the child rather than murdering ("aborting") it prematurely, knowing that her decision may place her job in danger. Honestly, that is my biggest problem with the situation here. If you tell your female employees that they'll be fired if they become pregnant, they'll be much more likely to have an abortion if they accidently conceive a child.

Very good point.

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Isaiah, You failed to answer my question. Please review the question and try again. Which is the greater sin, having a child out of wedlock and being honest about it; or having an abortion to cover up that she got pregnant?

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Question:

What if the (unmarried) pastor of a church got his secretary pregnant? Should the church ask him to leave the ministry and search for another pastor?

--

I ask that question because I think (hope) that many of my fellow Christians would realize that yes, of course, a pastor living in sin should be removed from his/her position. In fact I would guess that most pastors would quit rather than be asked to leave if this happened.

--

So is it different for a teacher at a Christian school? Is it different because it's not a male pastor and instead a female teacher?

I believe they are both in positions of authority, higher power, respect, and leadership. As such they are held to a standard of excellence. They aren't expected to be perfect, but a child out of wedlock is evidence of a lifestyle that is distant from the Lord. That's a problem in a Christian school where teachers are supposed to be teaching, instructing, and guiding students in their walks with Christ.

The blind leading the blind doesn't work so well, and while no pastor or teacher is perfect, they do have a duty of responsibility that they are held too. I believe the school is right to fire her (aren't we supposed to fire employees who aren't doing their job effectively!? I argue that part of her job is to not have a sinful lifestyle, but to strive for a Christlike walk, which she wasn't doing) - but wrong to abandon her (which I don't think they have / will do). She needs Godly support, and people of faith to surround her and love her and help her.

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Isaiah, You failed to answer my question. Please review the question and try again. Which is the greater sin, having a child out of wedlock and being honest about it; or having an abortion to cover up that she got pregnant?

I'm not Isaiah, but if I were to answer you I'd wonder why you think we should split hairs over sin. Isn't our goal to not sin, and if we have sinned to recognize it and repent of it? This woman doesn't believe her actions were sinful (or that's the general consensus).

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