Christian college fires employee for becoming pregnant & offers job to her boyfriend

A California woman was fired after her supervisor at a San Diego Christian college asked her if she was pregnant. The sin, so to speak, was not the pregnancy itself but the fact that Teri James, 29, was not married when she conceived. This violated San Diego Christian College’s “community covenant,” signed by a not yet pregnant James, which is a two-page contract asking its employees and students to abstain from drugs, alcohol and tobacco and “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.” Well, the prejudice part is nice, at least.

James, who is herself  Christian, is suing the school and being represented by Gloria Allred. Allred pointed out that the covenant “does not say that you will be fired if you do not comply.” What the school did is also likely illegal under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which “prohibit[s] sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.”

James called out the not so “Christian” behavior of the school, which she referred to as  “hurtful and un-Christ like”: “I was unmarried, pregnant and they took away my livelihood. San Diego Christian College did not show any mercy or grace towards me.”

Religious intolerance and hypocrisy is hardly news-worthy. But the real kicker here is that the very same school that fired James once she became visibly preggers, offered a job to her then fiance (the two are now married and he said no) who was, presumably, engaging in the very same premarital sex as James. Unless they believe James became pregnant through immaculate conception, in which case, they really messed up because you do NOT fire the mother of god’s child. Even an atheist Jew like me knows that.

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Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/affa/ affa

    Ridiculous, but from what i understand, she signed the contract… right? She shouldn’t work for a dumbshit employer if she doesn’t want to get fired for a dumbshit reason.

  • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl

    This from an institution that wouldn’t look too kindly on abortion