Christian Daycare in Iowa Institutes New Guidelines for Employees

How would you like it if the new manager at your workplace came in and said you’d have to reapply for your job because there are new requirements for all employees? That’s what happening at a daycare in Waukee, Iowa.

Happy Time Daycare and preschool, while housed in a church, didn’t sound like that bad an environment… but under new management, it’s now going to be called the Point of Grace Children’s Academy and all 22 workers will have to be rehired under new guidelines.

A teacher at the daycare spoke to KCCI about the changes on Tuesday on the condition we not reveal her identity.

“My thought is this can’t be happening, this isn’t real, this is out of the blue,” said the teacher.

She said she was upset with what was included with the letter.

The Christian Lifestyle Commitment Agreement given to workers states that employees must abstain from: sexual relationships outside of marriage, homosexual conduct, viewing pornography, drinking alcohol, using profane language and behavior that would question Christian testimony.

The points each included a bible verse or two to explain them.

The requirement that employees regularly attend church is also stated at the top of the employee application.

Let’s get more specific. According to the application — oh, by the way, they’re hiring! — these are non-negotiables (PDF):

  1. You are currently living in a marital relationship and are faithful to your spouse, or are single and not currently in a sexual relationship with someone whom you are not married, or in a cohabitational living arrangement with someone that is not an immediate family member of the opposite sex.
  2. You are not currently practicing a homosexual or bisexual lifestyle.
  3. You abstain from the use of illegal drugs or the abuse of controlled substances, such as prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
  4. You abstain from viewing pornography online and pornographic materials in any form.
  5. You either abstain from the consumption of alcohol, abstain from the abuse of alcohol and/or monitor your consumption of alcohol to avoid intoxication.

That’s not all, though. Check out a couple of the other questions on the application:

Because all of that is what matters most when it comes to taking care of children.

(I wonder what they all do during Happy Hour… or if that even exists.)

The anonymous teacher who told KCCI Des Moines about the new rules said she’s looking for a new job. I don’t blame her. Who’d want to work for management that demands to know what you’re thinking and doing even when you’re not on the clock?

I feel bad for the current employees who were barely given any notice about the management change until recently:

Katie Roberts, 18, of Waukee, was one of the Happy Time employees who received a letter late Friday afternoon. She said a member of the church staff informed them, without any prior notice, that Happy Time was closing.

“They took us out into the atrium and basically said, ’Happy Time Daycare is no longer here as of September 6,’” Roberts said. “’You will need to reapply for your job. Here’s your packet.’ I just walked away. I was bawling.”

“One of my co-workers is a lesbian and she said, ’I can’t reapply. You can’t be a homosexual,’” Roberts said. “It’s ridiculous. She was just doing her job.”

Bonnie Ribbens, one of the Happy Time directors, was also let go.

“I am confused and hurt and distraught over this,” Ribbens said. “I felt I was great in my position and I met the requirements.”

It’s not that the new requirements are illegal — The church runs the place and they’re free to discriminate as they wish. But you have to wonder how these employees will interact and communicate with the children in their care. What level of indoctrination must take place within the church? How do they punish misbehaving kids?

While the application asks for references, work history, and teaching qualifications, more space is allotted to discuss how strong a Christian the applicant is. The priorities are all messed up and I don’t know why any parent, even a Christian one, would want their kids attending the school. At least some of them are removing their children from the program:

Happy Time parent Andi Tisor of Waukee said she’s most upset that parents were not given any inkling of the changes prior to Friday. The way the church treated staffers was also disconcerting. The end result, Tisor said, was to remove her 16-month-old daughter from the facility.

“The church is basically telling me that because of their (staffers) lifestyles, they are not qualified to take care of my daughter,” she said. “I’m the parent and I have every right to pull my daughter out of that daycare and take her somewhere else. I do not need to be told how to judge someone else’s lifestyle.”

Neither Nicholson nor Tisor were members of the Point of Grace Church.

Parents pulling their children from Happy Time Daycare and looking for other options are meeting Thursday, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Waukee Public Library.

(Thanks to MoonFairy4 for the link!)

***Edit***: Commenters are pointing out something important that I didn’t mention. According to the application, it’s entirely possible to have been convicted of sexual assault or physical abuse and still be considered for the job. But if you watch porn with your partner when you’re at home, you’d be disqualified immediately.

What the hell?!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • ACN

    Shit like this makes me want to pull my hair out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Zack/100002112399954 Robert Zack

    This is disgusting.  Just absurd.  How do they think this is acceptable?  Damnit.  Christian morality, what a joke.

  • Anonymous

    The article mentions that some of the kids are 16-20 months old. Gotta get them young to brainwash them!

  • Anonymous

    Happily, this would be entirely illegal in the UK.

    • Anonymous

      On more levels than our American cousins could possibly imagine!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1198150213 Joe Murray

        As an American expat living in Germany, I can imagine it quite well!  The course my homeland is taking is heart-breaking to say the least.  Just glad I was able to escape when I did.  Now if I can just convince my girlfriend that America is not this awesome place to live…

        • Guest

          Yea…. I’m considering getting out of here myself because of how bad things are getting.

        • Guest

          Yea…. I’m considering getting out of here myself because of how bad things are getting.

          • EM Co.

            Oh I bet the fundamentalists wet themselves with excitement every time they drive an atheist out of the US.  “Cuz America is a Xtian Nation if you don’t like it you can just leave” blah blah blah.  The more crazy and intrusive they get, the more atheists, agnostics will come out of the woodwork and actively fight back.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1198150213 Joe Murray

        As an American expat living in Germany, I can imagine it quite well!  The course my homeland is taking is heart-breaking to say the least.  Just glad I was able to escape when I did.  Now if I can just convince my girlfriend that America is not this awesome place to live…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719095026 Zach Johnson

      Soooooooooooo jealous of that!

      • Anonymous

        All thanks to this little thing called The European Convention on Human Rights, this offensive “contract” would be null and void.

        • Sailor

          yest the European Union did make for some considerable improvements in the UK. One is that they outlawed teachers beating kids, an all too common practice when I was a kid.

          • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

            You’re way ahead of us on that. Sadly, 19 states still allow teachers to beat children in public schools, and all but two states allow it in private schools.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/education/30paddle.html

            • Rich Wilson

              Wow.  I didn’t know that.  I was under the delusion that Canada had banned school corporal punishment in the 70s, but it seems it was still present in some schools (AB wouldn’t you know it) until 2004 http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/banning-strap-end-corporal-punishment-canadian-schools  I was slapped across the face by a teacher in BC at age 6 in ’72 for ‘cheating’.  I had no idea what a test was, let alone that we were taking one.  I was so embarrassed I didn’t tell my mother until years later.

          • MariaO

            In many EU states, and soon the majority, it is criminal for ANYONE to beat a child. Including parents.

            USA and Somalia are the only UN states that has not signed the “UN Convention on the Rights of the Child “. I understand the reason is that this would limit the power of (xian?) parents over thier children and that would loose votes…

    • jeffasselin

      This would clearly be illegal in the Province of Quebec, and probably in other Canadian provinces also (I’m not quite up-to-date with national work-related codes outside of Quebec).

  • http://garicgymro.wordpress.com garic gymro

    “It’s not that the new requirements are illegal — The church runs the place and they’re free to discriminate as they wish.”
    Wow. Are there really no restrictions on how they can discriminate? What if one of their requirements was that employees be white? I’m genuinely curious: can employers in Iowa really discriminate on any basis? 

    • Anonymous

      There are civil rights laws that cover race, age, sex and to some extent, religion, I think these people are weaseling in on the religion exceptions, but it’s probably legal.  Sexuality is not covered.  You can be legally fired for being gay or even “seeming” gay.

      If someone can refine or correct my comment, please do so, but as far as I know, this is the sad truth.

      • http://garicgymro.wordpress.com garic gymro

        What about this? http://www.hrc.org/932.htm

        It claims that “Iowa non-discrimination law, as of 2007, extends to ‘sexual orientation’ which is defines [sic] as ‘actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.’”
        I guess, as Suburban Sweetheart says, it’s the religious card they’re playing.

        • Anonymous

          The problem with these laws is that Christians always demand to be exempt from them. Even if it’s not about performing church functions or religious services, but purely secular things like schools or day care centers

          • http://garicgymro.wordpress.com garic gymro

            It’s very sad. Though (just to be pedantic about it!) I’m not sure it’s a problem with the laws so much as a problem with a social and political climate that allows them to be exempt. As dncf says, religious organisations get no such exemptions in the UK (or many other countries).

        • Anonymous

          It’s good the Iowa law has that, there is no such law at the federal level, in part because of the “religious card”.

          Sounds like the employees need to get some professional legal advice to help them discover and weigh their options.

    • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

       No, religious organizations may discriminate on the basis of religion & adherents to religious tenets. In any & all states.

    • Leo Buzalsky

      Yeah, that one may be pushing it.

  • randomatheist

    I guarantee that every one of the people behind the decision to make this change is of the opinion that people leaving, whether staffers or parents pulling kids, are all “fallen from the flock” and a bad influence. They will believe that God is seeing them through this ‘difficult time’ and that God is challenging their faith by calling them to be “Crusaders for Christ” and uphold “Biblical values” by “standing strong in the spirit”. 

    Idiots.

  • Anonymous

    What exactly is a “bisexual lifestyle”? If you’re bisexual you’re either in relationships with same sex or opposite sex partners. Same sex would be covered under homosexual but opposite sex? How would these nitwits distinguish between a bisexual in an opposite sex relationship and a heterosexual?

    No matter, no self-respecting bisexual (or heterosexual, or transexual, or homosex…well let’s just say human) would want to have anything to do with these unrestrained bigots.

    Not mentioned above; Jews also need not apply. I can see why they changed the name, not a lot of happy times are going to be had there. I suppose I should be happy they made their moral bankruptcy flagrant. At least that way parents understand what a nest of snakes their children’s daycare is turning into and can take them out. I do feel sorry that they have to find new accomodations on such short notice though.

    • Anonymous

      They’d be committing thought-crimes by being attracted to someone of the same gender. Christians love convicting people of thought-crime

    • Nena

      I wondered the same thing about “bisexual lifestyle.” I am bisexual, and currently have a partner of the opposite sex. Does that disqualify me, or not?

      Not that I could work there anyway; the only requirement I pass is the one about illegal drugs.

  • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

    Disgusting. 

  • WebHybrid

    If somebody ends up an ex-employee of this pathetic excuse for a workplace, they ought to rejoice! They have been spit out by the devil….

  • WebHybrid

    If somebody ends up an ex-employee of this pathetic excuse for a workplace, they ought to rejoice! They have been spit out by the devil….

  • Istj04

    Let’s here it for another SCREAMING CASE of myopic religious bigotry, and intolerance! Its because of christians like this, that my atheism is REENFORCED! Then again those questions need to be more “pointed”, like: Are you an in-the-closet pedophile? Have you ever had illicit thoughts about children? How OFTEN do you view child pornography, and HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE? THESE would have been much more ACCURATE questions to ask for a “Christian” day care! 

  • Istj04

    Let’s here it for another SCREAMING CASE of myopic religious bigotry, and intolerance! Its because of christians like this, that my atheism is REENFORCED! Then again those questions need to be more “pointed”, like: Are you an in-the-closet pedophile? Have you ever had illicit thoughts about children? How OFTEN do you view child pornography, and HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE? THESE would have been much more ACCURATE questions to ask for a “Christian” day care! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719095026 Zach Johnson

    What do they consider “behavior that would question Christian testimony“?  If that refers to anything that casts any doubt on the Christian myth, then they’re pretty much saying that employees must abstain from reality to be eligible for employment.

    Yeah…I’d be lining up to put my son into that

    • Anonymous

      “behavior that would questiong Christian testimony”
      Yep, no critical thinking allowed there so reality would definitely be out.

    • http://twitter.com/arensb arensb

       It’s the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not burst The Bubble, nor cause thy neighbor to wander into an area where we do not control the conversation.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719095026 Zach Johnson

    What do they consider “behavior that would question Christian testimony“?  If that refers to anything that casts any doubt on the Christian myth, then they’re pretty much saying that employees must abstain from reality to be eligible for employment.

    Yeah…I’d be lining up to put my son into that

  • Leo Buzalsky

    I actually wasn’t feeling too sorry for that anonymous teacher in the KCCI report.  She said she considered herself Christian, but admitted that she didn’t meet the qualifications because of lifestyle choices.  The way I figure it, she chose to sin and the new management chose not to allow certain types of sinners on their staff. 
    Basically, I’m annoyed with how people can make Christianity mean and be whatever they want.  But I’m probably preaching to the choir on that.

  • http://twitter.com/Moonpanther22 Kaoru Negisa

    When I was substitute teaching, there was a private school nearby that I considered trying to get on the sub list at. They required that I fill out an application as if I were teaching, which was fine, but then I found that they had similar requirements to this place. Pages of rules for how I must live my personal life, and the agreement to sign all of them. I couldn’t be a homosexual or bisexual, I couldn’t drink alcohol, I couldn’t view pornography, I had to be established at a church, etc.

    A part of me considered simply lying. I mean, it’s tough times and work is work. It shouldn’t matter what I do in my spare time, so I’ll simply say it doesn’t matter what I agree to do if I ignore it. However, ultimately I simply couldn’t sign that documents. I explained to them that as a teacher I would follow the curriculum but I couldn’t agree to the things they required of my personal life. They were very kind about telling me that that meant I couldn’t work there and that they would be praying for me. I remember thinking that if I prayed, it would be for their students. Then I wandered off and haven’t been back.

    However, this is far more widespread and common than many people think.

    • EM Co.

      I bet this is as much a marketing/protecting their butt maneuver as anything else.  That way they can brag to prospective parents what high moral standards they have but also, if that employee does get involved in a “scandal” later on, they can say that they signed an agreement before they were hired.  I’m sure many if not most of the parents are just as crazy fundamentalist as the administrators.

  • Parse

    I have to defer to those who a) actually have kids,  and b) put them in daycare, but my general understanding is that selecting a daycare provider is determined one-third by the facility, and two-thirds by the staff.   If parents find out that the staff is completely changed – and the facility’s environment has changed as well – how likely are they to change daycares?

    As for the (church’s) administrators, well, given that they treat their employees and customers this way, it doesn’t bode well for the future.  They’re certainly teaching the kids and community a lesson on ethics – namely, what not to do.

    • Rich Wilson

      If my son were in this preschool (and as secular as it may have been, I’d ask a lot of questions before putting him in one even nominally run by a church) I’d be looking to recover any fees I had paid.  I would consider such a major change of environment to be a breech of contract, and I’d do whatever I could to get any pre-paid tuition or registration fees refunded.  And thankfully my paycheck doesn’t depend on my son being in preschool.

  • WishinItWas

    Out of those 5 criteria, I could only “pass” one of them 

  • J9

    Message to Point of Grace Children’s Academy via their Contact page:
    I heard about what you are doing in Iowa with the former Happy Time Daycare, and I am disgusted by the way you are treating your employees. Making them reapply for their jobs and having to prove how Christian they are is not going to result in you having quality employees who care about giving children quality care. It is going to result in all your staff being Christian, whether they’re good or bad employees. Not that you probably care, but your backwards mentality will catch up to you if it hasn’t already, and you will miss out on the diversity of the former staff and the way in which they cared for the children. Believe it or not, there are people who are not Christian who actually care enough to not constantly proselytize to children but to actually care about them and accept them for who they are. But you wouldn’t know much about that. What a sad way to live. I hope your former employees are successful in their job hunt and never have to deal with the likes of your “Academy” ever again. And I feel sorry for your future employees. My biggest hope is that the children in your program aren’t psychologically harmed by your bigoted behavior. You are the worst kind of predator. 

  • Anonymous

    This is so pathetic.  Attention christians, your era is ending whether you like it or not.  Modern science is killing your god one piece at a time and the Internet is seeing to it that the truth (you know, the real kind, not the kind where you sanctimoniously capitalize the T and claim that it can be found in an irrelevant book written 2000 years ago) about your bogus beliefs spreads worldwide in an instant.  You really think that alienating daycare workers is going to somehow magically make your twisted morals relevant again?  It will fail and it will do so spectacularly.

    But that’s okay, tighten those screws.  Reject anyone who doesn’t adhere to your meaningless standards.  Drive away potential employees, drive away potential customers, paint yourselves into a corner.  You call it “reinforcing morality.”  The rest of us call it laughable desperation; the futile act of putting on a blindfold whilst standing in front of an oncoming train, hoping the blindfold will make the train go away.

    “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

    They’ll wind up with a small group of ultra-brainwashed drone-children while the rest of the kids will point and laugh.  And you know what?  They deserve it.

    • Anonymous

      They may deserve it, but their poor kids sure don’t. I don’t know if you’ve seen Jesus Camp but it’s impossible to watch without ending up seething with rage at what’s being done to those kids.

      • JSug

        It’s not impossible. There are plenty of people who think that the sort of indoctrination going on at such camps is a good thing. Otherwise, they would not send their children.

  • Sean Underwood

    This is such huge lawsuit bait.   It’s illegal for US employers to even ask about things like applicants’ marital status. 

    • Anonymous

      Under cover of religion, it’s legal.  They have won lawsuit after lawsuit allowing them to discriminate on any basis they choose if it doesn’t fit the religion of hiring church.  And it doesn’t sound like they’re asking.  They are saying these are the parameters of the job… don’t apply if you don’t fit.  No square pegs allowed.

    • JSug

      Religious organizations are exempt from certain parts of the ENDA. They can discriminate based on religious affiliation, so if they claim that their religious beliefs exclude anyone who is unwed and cohabitating with a partner, they can do that.

      The real dick move here is doing it with so little warning to either the employees or the parents whose children attend the daycare.

  • Littlewoodimp

    As a UK citizen, I too find this shocking. It simply could not happen here. Despite being illegal, it would hit the papers like a tidal wave of offense. The only time I have ever been asked about my religion is on an equal opportunities form that also asks about gender, age, race etc… and that’s totally anonymous and voluntary. Even then it’s not usual to find that question on the form.

  • http://diaryofamessylady.wordpress.com/ Lauren

    Of those top numbered requirements, I only make one. Damn! Well, that is if you read the first bullet point the way they meant it and not the way it looked to me the first time:

    “You are currently living in a marital relationship and are faithful to your spouse, or are single and not currently in a sexual relationship with someone whom you are not married, or in a cohabitational living arrangement with someone that is not an immediate family member of the opposite sex.”

    They switch from the positive to the negative partway through the list, which makes it sound like you need to be either married, single and abstinent, or cohabiting in sin.

    • Anonymous

      I had to read that one several times before I realized the problem was theirs, not mine.  LOL!

    • NickDB

      Yeah that took me a couple of reads to make sense, and not sure I get it still.

      “You are currently living in a cohabitational living arrangement with someone that is not an immediate family member of the opposite sex.”
      So if you’re  a guy living with your mum or sister, or a girl living with her dad or brother you don’t qualify?

  • Anonymous

    They don’t want the evil, evil thinking-for-themselves masses to get in the way of their indoctrination.
    In my town, we have a homeschool group that bears the name of both the town and the local Air Force base.  When two, more extremist, xtians got hold of the leadership, they tried to make all the members sign a statement of faith similar, but not as far-reaching, as this. Except that it did also exclude Catholics, Mormons, etc. Basically, non fundementalist, evangelicals were out . O_O  We threw them out and about a fourth of the group went with them and now they have their own little cloistered Stepford-wife-type group. People who show up at the military-linked group (secular) after trying out the other group say it is scary over there.
     It’s like inbreeding. *shudder*

  • Annie

    The “Security” section of the PDF provided is the most frightening.  It only lists three things (something about being convicted of a crime, assault, etc.), and they write above it that your answers to these three questions will not automatically disqualify you for employment.  Really?  If you “just” assaulted someone, we’ll think about it, but pack your bags if you are gay or like to have a beer.  Crazy.

  • A Hangman on Tyre

    I like the way the lifestyle requirements are not negotiable but if you are an ex-con, have been accused of sexual abuse of a child or fired from a job due to sexual misconduct you are not automatically disqualified

  • Joseph Huddleston

    All the employees should just leave and start their own daycare.

    • Sheppardarts

      I was coming to the comments section to post something similar to this. Of course it’s easier said than done, but if they have enough qualified employees who leave due to the new requirements, they might have enough staff to start anew as a secular daycare. Or at least (provided they weren’t required to sign a noncompete agreement) they could reach out to the parents who pulled their kids from Happy Time as private clients.

      • Sinfanti

        Any non-compete agreement from their original contracts should be void as Happy Times Daycare is no more as of Sept. 6.

  • Bruce_wright

    My kid used to go to a preschool that was connected to a church.  We made dang sure there was a theological firewall, even though it was a non-fundementalist church.  It was a great preschool.  It saddens me to think of what kind of a place HappyTime was.  Not so Happy anymore…

    My daughter’s got a pair of gay grandmothers.  So anything suggesting Grandma isn’t a fit caretaker for her granddaughter gets me into an instant firebreathing rage.

  • Susan

    It’s interesting that they changed their name to include the word “Grace.” Apparently they don’t know the definition of the word.

    • Sinfanti

      At least they were correct in that there won’t be any more Happy Times.

    • Sinfanti

      At least they were correct in that there won’t be any more Happy Times.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    They are a private company and they can pretty  much do whatever they want within the law. For now.
    At some point, the public will get fed up with shit like this and demand legislation to close down these Christian madrasas, or at the least, reign them in.
    That won’t happen, of course, until some of their students grow up to be righteous, murdering soldiers of Christ.
    Mark my words, it will happen.
    Americans are not immune to what has happened over in the Islamic world and to think that we are is just plain idiocy and bigotry.

  • JSug

    The employees aside, this is a shitty thing to do to the parents who have their kids enrolled. Finding a quality daycare provider is extremely difficult. They’ve essentially given them two weeks notice if they want to find alternative arrangements. That’s insane. Our daycare provider gave us 3 months notice just because tuition rates were increasing.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5IVDLJRGQTAVFK4KHLDKDH55Y Daniel

      I can’t believe that wasn’t planned.  Also note that school has pretty much started in most areas.  Finding new daycare is a lot of work, as is the first few weeks of school with older kids.  I’m guessing that they are hoping that in the rush of getting older kids going with the school year, parents will just let the little ones go there another year.  

      Hit them with the news fast, and at a time when they have a lot of demands from any older kids, and parents are less likely to pull the kids from this absurdity.

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    If some other place tried laying everyone off en mass, they could apply for unemployment.  But, churches typically don’t pay into unemployment, so laid off church employees don’t qualify.

  • WhyDoIDateXtians

    This happened to my then girlfriend while she was working at the day care at the lighthouse fellowship church here in Fort Worth, Tx.
    She wouldn’t sign because she thought it was none of their business.
    She was pretty upset because she was a member of the church.

  • http://www.phoenixgarage.org/ cr0sh

    I hope that those employees who have left (or been forced to leave), and the parents that have pulled their children will all get together and at least discuss the possibility of opening a new day care center that caters more to their needs. If there are enough qualified employees affected in this manner, and enough children – it could work. The greatest challenges will likely be funding, a space to set up in (surely there’s some cheap real-estate nearby though, in this market), and licensing, of course. If they all are willing to cooperate and work together for this common purpose – they can do it. It will be difficult, certainly. I hope it works out for all.

  • Edmond

    This is not going to result in the day care retaining any Christian employees.  All they will end up with are liars who cheat the form to keep their jobs.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      Ritual motions of participation? Check.
      Earnestness? Not required.

  • Ben

    What’s funny is that I could answer all these questions truthfully and probably be accepted. That is, except for the porn one, which is impossible to enforce…

    I’m married, straight, faithful, drug-free, and I “abstain from the abuse of alcohol”.

    I came to know Jesus Christ as my “personal lord and savior” from friends in high school.
    I have never practiced a religious faith other than Christianity. (life-long atheist)
    I don’t know if I’ve ever led anyone to Christ, but it is likely that my words or actions may have. (Who knows, I may have driven away a softy or two with my anti-theism)
    I think that I could lead someone to Christ (but that doesn’t mean I would).

    I’ll have to check the application to see if there are any more…

  • Steve

    Religion is all about dividing everyone up into “Us” and “THEM”. Of course, the members of ‘Us” are always the GOOD people and anyone who is one of “THEM” is very, very bad. Naturally, there have to oaths or righteousness and fealty. It is just a crying shame that these people who worked there have been put in this position. But, even worse is the fact that there are parents who will cheer this kind of action and force their innocent children into this kind of poisonous atmosphere.

  • Anonymous

    The first thing that must be done is to tell these christian mother-fuckers to eat shit and die!

  • Anonymous

    These christians who are now crawling out from underneath their rocks,  and trying to take over our society,  are a lower form of life than Pond Scum.

    • Rich Wilson

      ‘Take Over’ is very apt.  I highly recommend http://www.secular.org/blogs/rob-boston/why-we-must-take-%E2%80%98dominionists%E2%80%99-seriously and http://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139781021/the-evangelicals-engaged-in-spiritual-warfare on ‘Dominionism’

  • Dan W

    Those new employment rules are Orwellian, to say the least. How would they even enforce them? Do they send people to their employees’ houses to spy on them and make sure they’re not drinking alcohol, watching porn, or whatever else? Are they gonna be spying on their new employees’ bedrooms to make sure they’re not having premarital or homosexual sex? This isn’t just disgusting, it’s just plain ridiculous as well.

    Also, from the article I noticed that the pastor at Point of Grace Church supports Michele Bachmann. No surprise there since she’s just as bigoted as they are.

  • hugh cary oates

    I’m sorry if I missed a similar post, but it would be so easy to video an “avowed” member using profane language.   We all do at some point.   Of course, they would re-define “profane”.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s not that the new requirements are illegal — The church runs the place and they’re free to discriminate as they wish.”.  Please tell me that you’re kidding.  The US doesn’t have any kind of anti-discrimination law that stops companies from blatantly treating people unequally based on sexual orientation, gender, race, age, or religion?  That’s obscene.  This just allows bigots to carry their bigotry into the workplace.  Don’t you have any kind of protection for employees?
    There I was thinking that the US was a litigious society.

    • Anonymous

      They do (though not even the majority of states include sexual orientation), but religious organizations are usually exempt from these laws. Christians just don’t think that they have to follow the law even though the Bible says otherwise.

      Those exemptions make sense directly applied to churches. But of course they are completely ridiculous when they merely perform secular functions like running a daycare center for 2-3 year olds.

      Nothing is going to change. Christians are way too powerful for that. It’s really a de facto theocracy

      • Anonymous

        There is a similar exception for religious institutions in the UK but it applies to job role and not the organisation.  For example a Rabbi must be Jewish to perform his job role and the discrimination is exempt but a cleaner in a synagogue cannot have the same exception applied to their role.  At least that’s how I understand it.

  • Anonymous

    The purpose of an application form is threefold in my experience.  Firstly it provides the candidate for the job with an idea of the culture of the organisation.  If they don’t like the questions being asked then they don’t need to apply.  Secondly it weeds out those who are not genuinely interested in working for the organisation.  If you ask some difficult questions then some people will be put off and won’t apply.   Lastly it provides a way to weed out the people who do apply who aren’t qualified or don’t fit the organisation’s expectations.

    What this application does is to limit the number and type of people who will work for the organisation.  That means that genuine talent and experience is denied in favour of religious dogmatism.  That means that the pool of talent is reduced and the quality of staff is diminished.  In a results based environment that means that the fees will have to come down as standards slip and the organisation is vulnerable to competition from organisations that don’t have such draconian views.

    I sincerely hope that staff and parents look elsewhere for opportunities and day care and allow this bigoted organisation to fail.  It is a shame that the current economic climate isn’t conducive to new enterprises being launched.  Does anyone know if there is a will and a way that atheists can help fund competing organisations through micro loans or something?  Local secular community groups might be able to drum up support and funding.  Are state grants or tax breaks available for new businesses.  There seems to be an opportunity here that would correct a social injustice.

  • Anonymous

    50% of the adult population in the United States is Un-married!  How  do these  fucking christians have the GALL to tell 50% of the population that they can’t have sex?  These WORMS  (christains)  should have their butts packed with bibles and then be  buried up to their eyeballs  in “fire Ant’ nests, and then let the ants do what they do best.  FUCK YOU, CHRISTIANS….. you are the scum of the Earth!!!  One thing Geebus would never do today if he were alive…… is be a christian!!!!

    • Orangecrush

      Gee, and I thought this blog was called “The Friendly Atheist” for a reason.
      Not all Christians are bigots, just as not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Jews are obsessed with money.

  • Anonymous

    Chritianity…………. it’s like the shit you can’t get off your shoe, once you accidently step in it!

  • Ing

    Am I the only one worried this story is a big huge Neon sign to NAMBLA members blaring the words “DUMB SHEEP! FREE LAMBS!?”

    It’s literally saying “if you can lie to us about these things we’ll let you through, even if you have an abuse charge in your past!” 

    If there really are cunning sexual predators looking for positions that put them in contact with potential targets (and there is some evidence that there are) this would seem troubling.

  • Anonymous

    I think the requirements for employment are stupid, but to be fair (because I’m in a kind mood) I don’t think that these are the only requirements for employment. Contrary to the edit in the original post, I don’t think you could have a violent criminal record and still be hired. But then again, Fundamentalists are more likely to forgive a husband “disciplining” his wife so long as it is the husband doing it and not the other way around, so you never know.

    • Anonymous

      Fundamentalists are also  big on the whole “spare the rod, spoil the child” teaching so the kids might not end up so well after this.

  • We’reAllHuman

    I’m Catholic, and I still think this is ridiculous. Being a positive role model for young children has nothing to do with having a specific religion. It’s got everything to do with morality and kindness, which you can have no matter what you do (or don’t) believe in.
    I apologize on behalf of all the bigots in the world who give us religous folk a bad name.


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