Imagine for a moment that you're a teacher who is engaged to be married. Some unforeseen circumstances force you to postpone the wedding and then you find out you're pregnant. You decide to tell your place of employment that you're expecting and they then fire you because you're not a good role model for children.
Fact or fiction?
As crazy as it sounds, that's exactly what happened to Cathy Samford. She later told ABC News this:
"I didn't think I would lose my job," Samford said. "I was in shock and devastated and that's when I said, 'If this is the problem, I'm willing, and so is my fiancé, to go ahead and get married. That wasn't the issue. We were going to get married regardless."
And the school replied with this:
"We had the feeling that because kids on her volleyball team and kids in her classes knew she was pregnant, it really wouldn't have changed anything," the school's headmaster Dr. Ron Taylor told ABCNews.com. "It doesn't change that her behavior was out of wedlock."
Taylor said that when the school became aware of the situation, they felt they had no choice but to terminate her.
"It's not that she's pregnant. The issue here is being an unmarried mother," Taylor said. "Everything that we stand for says that we want our teachers, who we consider to be in the ministry, to model what a Christian man or woman should be."
How very Christian of them. And according to the article, 'similar cases that involve religion and pregnancy are playing out around the country'. And people wonder why people get angry at religious institutions. Go figure.
A sixteen year old honor student in Georgia is refusing to go to her graduation ceremony because it's being held in a church. And it's not just any church, but the church of a priest by the name of Eddie Long who was accused of sexual misconduct by four young men who used to go to that church. Eddie ended up paying off the accusers.
I know I can't think of a better place to send an entire grade of adolescents.
The mother had this to say:
"People don't all have the same views and that having it at one place where the major views are Christian, it's completely different for some people," explained Mahnassi.
Brown said a church should not be used for the ceremony just because it's a big venue.
"A church is a place you go to worship your God. I'm not a Christian. Church and state should be separated. That's what I heard so to have it at a church, especially at New Birth is a slap in the face," Brown said.
Looks like it's another 16 year old child and her mother who have to school the school board about the laws of the land. You can bet your ass that if they were to announce that they were holding the ceremony at a Mosque that people would be up in arms. It's okay if it's a Baptist Church though.
The school replied in the usual way by totally ignoring the student:
"The school district is holding commencements this year at a number of locations throughout the community, including school district stadiums and the Georgia Dome. Each year, the school district looks to find spaces big enough to host our largest graduating classes. This year, Southwest DeKalb High School is holding its graduation at a faith-based organization in the community. This is based on a previous agreement that expires this year. We will continue to work to find the best and most appropriate venues to accommodate our students as they celebrate such an important milestone."
Is Georgia so down on its collective luck that they have to send children to a church for ceremonies, despite the supposed separation between church and state?
Remember Jessica Alquist who made the news for challenging a prayer banner that hung in her school and won, which then brought on all kinds of hate mail?
She's still receiving hate mail:
Police in Rhode Island are investigating a threat sent to a teenager at the center of a dispute over a high school prayer banner. WJAR-TV reported that the handwritten note to Jessica Ahlquist warns that police will not watch her forever and that “we will get you.’’ The writer encourages Ahlquist, 16, to leave Rhode Island. Police in Cranston are investigating. Ahlquist, who says she is an atheist, challenged the constitutionality of a banner at Cranston High School West which contained the words “Our Heavenly Father’’ and “Amen.’’ In January, a federal judge ordered the banner removed.
What more is there to say?
The discrimination has to end for a secular system to work properly.