School Fires Woman for Alleged Premarital Sex, Offers Her Job to Co-Fornicator

What Women Really Think
March 5 2013 10:54 AM

School Allegedly Fires Woman for Premarital Sex Then Offers Her Job to Co-Fornicator

51373660
How to succeed in ... hypocrisy. Was Teri James' old job offered to her fornicating boyfriend?

Photo by Megan Gaynes/Getty Images

Sadly, it's fairly common to see stories about Christian schools firing pregnant women because they weren't married when they got that way, a choice that I like to characterize as incentivizing abortion as a way for women to keep their jobs. But this latest story about Teri James suing her former employer San Diego Christian College for allegedly firing her upon discovering her pregnancy has a little extra special sauce added to it. No, not because Gloria Allred is the lawyer, meaning that everyone gets to enjoy a weepy press conference about it. It's because of who the school allegedly decided to offer the woman's job to after firing her: "After James lost her job, she claims the school offered a position to her now-husband, even though they were aware he'd had sex before getting married, too."

If true, this detail offers a lot more than just an opportunity to gape at the naked sexism on display. It also creates major problems for the school's defense. The way that Christian organizations try to get around the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which bars firing women for pregnancy, is to claim they're not firing them for the pregnancy, but for the fornicating. San Diego Christian College went another step by making employees sign a pledge requiring employees to abstain from "abusive anger, malice, jealousy, lust, sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex, adultery, pornography and homosexuality, evil desires and prejudice based on race, sex or socioeconomic status." Also, drinking, which means that Jesus would not be able to teach at this college established in his name.

Advertisement

As far as I can tell, there's no "women only" asterisk by the pledge, meaning that by offering the job to James's now-husband—llike 95 percent of Americans,a known fornicator himself—they are in violation of anti-discrimination laws.

But really, it shouldn't be too hard to prove that James was singled out for violating a pledge that everyone else is violating. Even if everyone at San Diego Christian College refrains from premarital sex and pornography, there's no chance that they successfully avoid malice, jealousy, and lust. Most people can't get through their morning commute, replete with billboards of sexy people doing expensive things and other drivers cutting you off in traffic, without experiencing all three of those emotions. In fact, I'll bet that a number of administrators had flickers of malice when they learned about the lawsuit. Unless they're prepared to fire themselves over it, I suspect Allred can make the case that they're not applying the rules consistently here. 

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 18 2014 6:00 AM All Shook Up My 11-year-old has been exploring herself with my “back massager.” Should I stop her?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?