Calif. Legislation Imposes Employment Mandates on Religious Orgs; Passes Assembly

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Religious groups are fighting legislation in California that would bar employers from firing workers for having an abortion or a child out of wedlock.

Brad Dacus photo

Brad Dacus Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

The bill’s opponents said Assembly Bill (AB) 569 seeks to eliminate the discretion of employers. They said AB 569 is particularly discriminatory against religious organizations that hold their employees to a standard of conduct consistent with their missions.

“The bill would specifically deny religious employers our 1st Amendment protections to infuse our codes of conduct with the tenets of our faith,” said Sandra Palacios of the California Catholic Conference.

Under the bill, employers would be prohibited from using disciplinary action due to a reproductive health decision, such as pregnancy or abortions.

Support for the bill follows recent events in the state of California. In 2012, a professor at a Christian college in San Diego was fired for becoming pregnant while unmarried. The school said her pregnancy violated the employee code of conduct, which prohibited premarital sex.

Proponents for the bill said it would set a necessary precedent in the state of California and in the country.

“Right now, while we’re facing a federal government that is attacking reproductive freedom at every turn and condoning the type of discrimination that this bill prohibits, we feel like this is the time for California to take a stand for our values and make sure that our workers have the best protections possible,” Rebecca Griffin of NARAL Pro-Choice California, a sponsor of the measure, said at a Wednesday afternoon hearing at the Capitol.

Religious groups, however, argue that these codes of conducts are integral to the relationship to their employees. Pacific Justice Institute said the bill would undermine the missions of religious groups like pro-life churches, by allowing employees to live inconsistently with their values.

“An organization specifically chartered to support or oppose a specific set of beliefs or actions cannot fulfill its mission without requiring adherence to a code of conduct,” wrote Jonathan Keller, president of the conservative California Family Council, in an opposition letter.

The bill passed the California Assembly by a wide margin, 54-17. It is now in the Senate awaiting its next hearing. PJI said it will continue to oppose the bill and other measures like it.

“State-mandated hypocrisy is as illogical as it is unconstitutional. In communicating our fundamental values like the sanctity of life, both the message and messenger matter,” said Brad Dacus, president of PJI. “We shouldn’t listen to people who don’t practice what they preach, and we shouldn’t be required to employ them, either.”

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  • Irredeemably Deplorable

    This kind of thing really is out of bounds. I speak to “religious” organizations. Where in your bibles does it say you are given the right to dictate the behaviors of believers, or those you wish to follow your doctrines, outside scripture?

    Be careful judging people you claim you have jurisdiction over. If you are Christian, the fact that you have become “Christian” is proof that the only one qualified to judge you, decided not to, allowing you the mercies and grace to live instead of HIM taking HIS breath back from you. Be very careful, those of you considering yourselves to be holier than “anyone” else. Better go back and re-read your book.

    • Tired…

      I’m just curious: How does expecting an individual to maintain the ethical standard that they voluntarily agreed to maintain amount to judgment? There is nothing in the article to suggest that the individual in question was judged by the institution; she was merely found to be in violation of an agreement to which she consented to follow as a condition of her employment. What is offensive is the assumption that the government has a right to force individuals or institutions to violate their beliefs in favor of another’s.

      • Irredeemably Deplorable

        What is more amusing is the organization representing themselves as being “Christian” not practicing what their bible teaches them.

        Requiring people to adhere to a set of standards is one thing, refusing support, mercy, (and mos of all) the forgiveness required of them by the belief system they (the employer) agreed to when they took up the name of Christ, makes them hypocrites.

        But then, those who impose the crown of perfection, yet fail in their own practices has always been something Christ preached against.

        • Tired…

          I see that you chose to avoid answering my question so let’s try this a different way. As a parent, I can love my children and hold them accountable at the same time. The fact that I discipline them when they knowingly violate boundaries does not undermine the fact that I love them nor does is mean that I haven’t forgiven them. In other words, the concepts of forgiveness and accountability are not mutually exclusive.

          • Irredeemably Deplorable

            Actually, from a biblical perspective, you are incorrect.

          • Tired…

            Actually, just making a statement doesn’t make it so. It would be helpful if you would provide a logical argument as opposed to a dogmatic statement without support.

          • Irredeemably Deplorable

            Actually, yes.

          • Tired…

            You are making a habit out of avoiding a logical discussion. There is not point in descending into a sophomoric “did so/did not” argument, so good bye and I wish you well.

        • Deplorable wizard

          So using your llogic, it’s legal for a cop to steal a car. Clearly the law states auto theft is illegal, but if an officer of the law does it, it’s ok.

          The destruction of societies always begins small, and we are way past that point now.

          So liberals won’t give up until civilization is completely destroyed. What’s next?

          • Irredeemably Deplorable

            Nope, wasn’t applying the logic to another set of circumstances. Only people without the ability to distinguish would attempt to confuse with something totally unrelated.

          • Deplorable wizard

            Is it fully related.
            The code of conduct for a police officer is to follow and enforce the law. Code of conduct for an employee of a religious organization is to adhere to the tenents of that organization.
            The cop knows he must follow the law. The employee knows they must adhere to the rules of employment set forth by the employer.
            How can anyone come up with any other determination?
            If a McDonald’s employee decided to fry shrimp and sell them at work, would that be ok? No of course not, the rules of the company forbid it.
            In this situation, it is unConstitutional for the government to dictate rule of law for religious organizations, it violates the First Amendment.

          • Irredeemably Deplorable

            Not the same, but you feel free to believe whatever you want to believe. Glad you finally found the nerve to speak 4 months after my comments.

          • Deplorable wizard

            Just found the article yesterday.

            Perhaps you could explain how it is not the same.

            If you put a banker in charge of your money, and he uses it to invest in his own deal, and looses it, is that a crime? It’s a given, that banks utilize patron’s money to make money by investing . The SEC governs the rules for investment, and bank’s even expand on those rules and laws for their employees. So if a lone operator in a bank follows SEC regulations but not bank rules, and looses money, it’s your opinion that he should not be fired, right?
            And, again, whether or not it is justifiable on the employers part, it still violates the First Amendment for the government – federal, state or local – to create laws governing religion or religious practice.

          • Irredeemably Deplorable

            Slow reader. Okay. I accept that.

          • Deplorable wizard

            Obviously you claim troll like liberals flash the race card.
            Sounds like you’re a liberal trolling here.
            You clearly cannot argue your point.
            I am not “all over the place”, my examples are precise analogies that are quite clear.

            I think I hit the nail on the cuticle and you flinched.
            You claim “slow reader”, I read very well thank you. I claim that you lack reading comprehension.

            And again, I say YOU are the troll, and I just let everyone know.

            Irredeemable, yes!
            But definately are not one of the deplorable.

          • Irredeemably Deplorable

            You come to my comment, start arguing a point I don’t agree with and you call me the troll. You should read up on the practice. I’m not interested in your argument. I don’t agree with it. Plain and simple. You go ahead and argue all you want.

            Now you attack my choice of name. You are clearly the troll. have a good time.

          • Deplorable wizard

            I really struck a cord. Fakes like you are easy to weed out. Just present logic and watch you squirm and shrink like pouring salt on a slug.

            How many times did you vote for swillery?

          • Chi Sam

            Chord, stupid. It is a musical reference and has nothing whatsoever to do with electrical cables or stacks of firewood.

            The basis for this word is in mathematics, but that is far too complex of a concept for a man that routinely uses words he doesn’t even know the meaning of.

            Talk about fakes…you’re a dumb fraud.

          • Deplorable wizard

            Again, little troll, color not content.

            It is very obvious that I did strike a “CHORD”, as in rung a note sounding out the true troll in you.

            Funny thing, you have actually started whining, like a stupid dog hearing a shrill dod whistle.

          • Chi Sam

            There is no such thing as a “dod whistle”. Stupid men readily become unglued when intimidated by their betters.

            They also fail to shut up when they are ahead.

          • Chi Sam

            Definately is not a word. You are definitely a bit stupid.

          • Chi Sam

            Loses, stupid. The word ‘looses’ means to set something free or release the restraints.

            You’re far too arrogant for a ignorant clod that cannot discern lose from loose.

          • Deplorable wizard

            Again the troll from sh!t-cago,
            You’re great, you can pick up a typo from a mile away.
            But, like all you liberal trolls, you just never seem to grasp reality.

            Tell the truth, you miss the obamanation, don’t you.

          • Chi Sam

            I have been on the Trump Train since it first left the station. You

            have no reason whatsoever to believe otherwise, stupid.

            You confuse your ‘feelings’ for fact…which ironically is a very liberal trait. The difference with me, is that I’m not so stupid as to somehow turn that into your support for Obama.

            Simply spelling words wrong is not proof-positive of stupidity…but taken with with your counter-intuitive, thoughtless remarks it lends credibility to my claim that you are not a smart man.

          • Deplorable wizard

            Smart enough to spot a lying liberal troll like you.

          • Chi Sam

            Were you indeed a smart man, you would not even be capable of ignoring the fact that I have never once offered anything supportive of liberals or Democrats.

            Indeed, stupid, I cannot recall any viewpoint you’ve expressed that I disagree with.

            You’re worse than simply dumb…you’re a weak man, and you have little integrity. Typical of thin-skinned, mouth-running cowards, your personal pride only kicks in after you have done a poor job and someone takes notice.

            Men like me, that harbor real disdain for mental laziness and incompetence, are your natural enemy…and it has nothing to do with your opinions.

          • Chi Sam

            Tenets, you stupid, stupid man. Tenants are renters in an apartment or commercial building. What an ignorant oaf you must be.

  • Tired…

    Thank you for pointing out the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street. That simple concept seems to be lost in contemporary America.

  • Tired…

    Your response makes a number of assumptions based on you perceptions, not on information contained in the article. The article does not provide information on her circumstances, the behind the door deliberations that took place before this decision was made or what attempts may have been made to provide assistance after she was let go. Judging people without adequate information benefits no one.

    While you emphasize forgiveness, and it is certainly important, the Bible also speaks to the importance of sexual purity, both before and after marriage. Should this lady be treated with compassion? Absolutely! People who call themselves Christians should surround her with support, healing, and restoration. In addition, if her partner was a member of the same institution, then he should be held to the same standard. However, the decision to offer support, healing, and restoration is incumbent upon individuals and the church body as a whole. While there is some overlap because this is a Christian College, the institution is separate from the church and has the right to maintain their ethical standards. If they do not, then they are being hypocritical. If mitigating circumstances such as those you mentioned above occurred, then they should certainly be taken into account. There is a tension here that thoughtful people should understand and seek to remediate with grace in mind.

    We agree that women who find themselves struggling should be supported with care and compassion, particularly by those who call themselves Christians. Where we disagree is the idea that the state has a right to force its view on religious institutions for enforcing a rule that is consistent with that religious body’s teaching and that the employee agreed to as a condition of their employment.

    • Irredeemably Deplorable

      We all have to make presumptions which include circumstances that aren’t included in the article. We are talking about human beings, most of which will suffer due to things seen while the other party is likely not going to be dealt with. That’s the issue I have.

      Reality is, most people in the organizations (including colleges) maintain a certain claim to “purity” while practicing a completely different thing in private. And that is why the state has to step in.

      I have seen too much reality to ignore what is really going on in this world. I really dislike having to be found on the side of the State of California on any issue. As a rule, their liberal nonsense is beyond reason or anything resembling coherent logic. However, this issue isn’t in the same category.

      If these colleges or organizations were to correctly and fairly apply their pious rules it would be different, but they don’t. Their arrogance and desire to control people is too often justified by a false narrative just a little investigation would uncover.

      I know how the state is. I know they shouldn’t have to be involved. But the religious organizations hold out an appearance that isn’t exactly “pure” in heart.

      We will have to agree to disagree on the belief that since it is an organization they can follow something other than the bible they claim to believe. If the organization doesn’t hold to the same standard those who attend their classes or are in their employ, are supposed to believe, then they shouldn’t have the freedom to determine whether someone should be allowed to attend or be fired based on that standard. As said, “We shouldn’t listen to people who don’t practice what they preach. . .”

      Again, California is an At-will employment state. There is no need to give a reason for terminating an employee, unless the employer is just wanting to engage in public humiliation of the person being terminated. That’s why the law should be in place restricting firing for those reasons.

      If you want to fire someone in California, don’t give a reason. You are not obligated to do so. Just fire them. Done, end of story. But don’t use your hypocritical rationale of the employee not living up to standards very few of the hierarchy live up to in reality.

      I live in the real world. I have been associated with people who run institutions and organizations. They aren’t as pure as they require others to be.