Christian college fires woman for not getting abortion

San Diego Christian College allegedly fired an employee for not getting an abortion.

The school says its “community covenant” forbids employees from having extramarital sex, but the school also seems to want everyone to know it doesn’t actually care about that.

See, what happened was an unmarried employee of San Diego Christian turned up pregnant, so they fired her, allegedly for violating the “community covenant.”

But then they allegedly offered her old job to her fiancé — the expectant father-to-be.

So if a woman has sex and gets pregnant, SDCC says she must be fired, because people can see that. But if a man has sex and gets his girlfriend pregnant, that’s fine, because penis.

If this woman had gotten an abortion, she’d still have her job. That’s what San Diego Christian College apparently wanted her to do. That’s certainly the incentive they’ve built into their “community covenant.” And that incentive is doubly reinforced by the double-standard in how that “covenant” is enforced for women as opposed to for men.

The lesson here is to be careful taking a job with those “pro-life” Christian types. They really mean it when they say they’re not pro-choice. They’ll fire you for choosing not to get an abortion.

It’s fascinating to contrast the Feministing post linked above with the coverage of the same story from Christianity Today.

Feministing understands the key to the story:

The real kicker here is that the very same school that fired [the employee] once she became visibly preggers, offered a job to her then fiancé (the two are now married and he said no) who was, presumably, engaging in the very same premarital sex.

Christianity Today chose not to notice that. They focus, instead, on the fact that the former employee is being represented by “high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred.”

CT readers are expected to boo and hiss at the mention of Allred’s name. Hence the title of the CT piece, “Gloria Allred’s Latest Target: Christian College That Fired Pregnant Employee.” She’s one of those feminists, you know, and it’s always “Target: Christian” with those people.

CT’s reflexive anti-feminism leads them to side against Allred and her ideas about women having the right to control their own bodies. And so, just like San Diego Christian College, CT ends up siding against a woman due to her choosing not to have an abortion.

Given the chance to choose between “saving babies” and controlling women, both the magazine and the college instinctively opt for controlling women.

Women who have sex must be punished. Men who have sex — the very same sex — can be rewarded.

And what about all that “saving babies” business? Meh, whatever — as long as the women who have sex get punished, that really doesn’t seem to matter to these folks.

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  • If hypocrisy was like an oil well, this instance of it would be like Oil Creek in terms of the sheer output.

  • is there a single step in the actions taken by that school that isn’t 100% repugnant? this is like some sort of double hat trick of shitbaggery

  • Wingedwyrm

    There’s a TVTrope that applies here.  Let me find that link…

    It’s a common rp problem, when players of Paladins or Paladinical* characters either accidentally or purposely cause unnecessary problems due to a strict application of a moral code with absoltuely no practical consideration.

    One of the things about the Lawful Stupid is that it doesn’t code behavior for goals, at least not above and beyond the goal of being personally adherant to the code.  It only codes for the rules.  Under situation X, you are to do duty Y.  The purpose behind duty Y and whether or not the doing of duty Y, in this case, achieves that purpose is irrelevent and, in fact, assumes that the purpose of duty Y is anything above and beyond the bare obedience to duty Y.

    So, are they hypocrites that know that this puts a pressure on female employees to abort rather than admit to having become pregnant out of wedlock?  That would presume that they’ve thought through the consequences of their actions.  They haven’t.  The consequences aren’t the point.

    *Paladinical: Having purpose or duty based around strict moral rules and the enforcement thereof, similar to the D&D Paladin…  And also a word I just made up.

  • flat

    Hey christian college you know what I wrote about me being principally against abortion and helping people who are pregnant in the first place?


  • Eric Eves

    It’s just so… idiotic.

    Like, I was reading an article about that, and thinking “Yeah, that’s technically sex discrimination, but that’s hard enough to win without a retaliation claim, and they’ve got an alternate reason that may not actually be true, but it’s got a beat and you can dance to it.”

    But then I read the part about how they offered the job to the fiancee, and I get a sudden vision of their defense lawyer drinking whiskey straight from the bottle.

    This sucker may make it into the casebooks if it doesn’t settle.

  • It had better.

  • The woman may not win at trial – but she can sure cause the institution a bulk-carrier load of embarrassment.

  • Sgaile-beairt

    ….happens at catholic colleges too….

  • Mary

    You know this college could have chosen to use her as a positive role model. A single Christian woman makes a mistake and gets pregnant, yet refuses to give in to societal pressure to get rid of her baby.

    Come on, there are worse crimes than premarital sex! Or are we not far from the biblical dark ages where a woman (and her unborn baby) were killed for her “sin”?

    Personally I don’t see anything wrong with premarital sex, however within a conservative Christian context it seems like the whole thing could have been handled in a more sensitive manner to say the least.

  • banancat

    This reminds me of my friend’s abusive boyfriend. He would be really pissed if she had an abortion, yet he’s the one who insists on not using birth control. He also frequently drives drunk. I’m sure he doesn’t care about potentially killing someone, but maybe if he killed a pregnant woman in a crash he would at least feel remorse about the fetus. Nah, probably not.

  • I think you’re over-stating the case; these people are pretty clearly just Neutral Evil.  Uneven application of authority, check, with ill intentions & malicious outcomes?  Check.  Yeah these are the kinds of “paladins” who murder orc babies & pat themselves on the back.

  • Andrea

    My alma mater had a policy that they would not discipline a pregnant (unmarried) student if she stepped down from any leadership positions and had not had an abortion; I’m pretty sure they’d expel her if she had. Which, uh, why would one tell them if they had? Or were they relying on students to snitch on each other?

    I don’t know if this policy is still in effect; I doubt it’s gone, and if anything it’s probably more severe by now.

  • hidden_urchin

    I think they’re going to have to settle because I don’t see them winning on the “well, she violated her contract” front if they then turned around and offered the job to a guy who would also be in violation of the contract.  I am not, however, a lawyer.

    May I offer everyone some pie while we watch this unfold?

    **Off topic**

    Has anyone else seen this?  I don’t know if the film will be funny or not but the trailer alone had more action than Left Behind.  When a comedy outdoes a supposed thriller, you know there’s a problem somewhere.

  • Jim Roberts

    If we’re applying abstract alignment systems to real-world morality, you can justify almost any alignment for any action. This is, by the way, a feature, not a bug, based on what the designers of D&D have said.

    This isn’t Evil – something done by fiends and monsters to degrade creation and make it as vile and fallen as they – it’s evil. People collectively and individually choosing to take a wholly selfish approach to how they interact with others, but justifying it by saying it’s moral.

    Baby orc killers you can deal with. Your roll your turn in initiative and you drain their hit points until the DM removes the mini from the table. Problem solved, one baby orc killer at a time. Defeating Evil is just a matter of attrition. Defeating evil? A mug’s game, or possibly a muggles, because it’s everywhere.

  • AnonaMiss

    The fiance bit is a little too perfect. My Snopes sense is tingling.

  • histrogeek

     I sympathize with your suspicion. Thing is that, while CT would totally print something based on freaky rumors and questionable sources, they wouldn’t print something that so badly undermines their cause. Madelyn Murray O’Hair and Christopher Hitchens sue Christian parents for psychological abuse and brainwashing, they’d print it in a heartbeat (I know they’re both dead but this crowd never seems to have got the news). Christian college fires a pregnant woman and tries to give her job to her fiance, not so much.
    I think this is like the Chinese mass stabbing that happened the same day as the Newton massacre. It’s just a really weird coincidence.

  • Jim Roberts

    I took a class on the gospels in college, and when we got to the story about the woman caught in adultery, the professor took some pains to explain that when the leaders brought only the woman, still unclothed, before Jesus and never even mentioned the guy, it wasn’t because they were super-evil or actively, consciously sexist. They sincerely believed that they were doing what was just and what their interpretation of the law required.

    Same crap, different century.

  •  My wife pointed out something. The fiance was obviously having premarital sex, but he was not contractually obligated not to. From a technical standpoint, there’s no problem with them hiring him. They tell him “Once you sign this, you’re not allowed to have premarital sex.” and he says “Okay,” and all is well. There’d be no way to demonstrate that he was in violation of the contract if he were — his fiancee isn’t going to get any more pregnant, and I’m pretty sure it would actually be illegal for them to use “Well obviously he had sex with her before so he’s probably having sex with her now” as grounds*. So he wouldn’t be in violation of his contract, certainly not in any way that could be legally established.

    At least in principal, they could fire her for having sex, then immediately rehire her on the promise that she wouldn’t do it again. Except that I imagine “was previously fired by us for breach of contract” would disqualify her.

    (*I hardly need point out that not every couple chooses to have sex while one partner is pregnant, particularly if she’s far enough along to be obviously pregnant. And I don’t think that it’s a stretch to guess that the folks writing that contract probably assume a man wouldn’t want to have sex with a heavily pregnant woman.)

  • Carstonio

    If this woman had gotten an abortion, she’d still have her job.

    Assuming that she had the abortion and the college never found out about it. I had to read the post in its entirely, and the original article, to make sure the college hadn’t tried to force the woman to have an abortion. Which was obviously Fred’s point – “saving babies” is a rationalization for controlling women. Most likely she would have been let go if she had the abortion and the college learned about it.

  • misanthropy_jones

    this type of behavior goes a long way towards explaining my particular choice of an internet handle…

  • Carstonio

    So apparently the college opposes premarital sex or premarital parenthood only for its female employees. I would love to watch a reporter confront the dean about the double standard.

  • Moral relativism, oh goodness gracious me, oh my stars & garters!

  •  Hank McCoy, is that you?

  • Lalouve

    I entirely fail to see why anyone’s private life is their employer’s business – but then, I’m not American. As long as I don’t run a competing business, bring my profession into disrepute, or spend so much time doing something else that I ignore my actual job, my employer does not care at all what I do in my free time.

  • Arakasi

    If it wasn’t for the fact that we are talking about real lives here, I would have liked for her to claim that she never had sex.  Then we could watch the San Diego Christian College argue in court that virgins could never become pregnant

  • Lori


    and I’m pretty sure it would actually be illegal for them to use “Well
    obviously he had sex with her before so he’s probably having sex with
    her now” as grounds*.   

    No it wouldn’t. It would be perfectly legal for the school not to hire him because they know that he had had premarital sex and would most likely continue to do so. People who have premarital sex are not a protected class, there is no right to be hired and employers can decided not to hire an applicant for any reason or no reason, as long as it doesn’t bump up against a protected class.


  • Lori

    If this woman had gotten an abortion, she’d still have her job. That’s
    what San Diego Christian College apparently wanted her to do. That’s
    certainly the incentive they’ve built into their “community covenant.”
    And that incentive is doubly reinforced by the double-standard in how
    that “covenant” is enforced for women as opposed to for men.  

    This is true, but I suspect the school intended to create an incentive for speedy shotgun weddings, not abortions. Their issue is less with the fact of premarital sex than it is with flaunting it. If one has the decency to cover up/sanctify* it with a speedy marriage and then lie about the baby being premature then it’s OK.

    *I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m always surprised by the number of people who seem to functionally believe that getting married retroactively covers any sex the couple had before marriage. The only really bad non-marital sex is the kind you have with someone you never do marry.

  •  It’d be legal for them to refuse to hire him, yes. But it would not be legal for them to fire him for breach of contract, because “Well he had sex in the past so he’s probably doing it now” does not constitute a violation of the terms of the contract.

  • Lori

    In the counterfactual case where they hired him (instead of him turning down their offer) and then changed their minds and decided to fire him for the sex he had before he was hired, yes I presume that would be illegal. In the actual case, there was no good reason for them to offer him the job.

    To me the interesting counterfactual involves what the school would have done had both the man and woman been employed at the school when the woman’s pregnancy became known. In that case would they have fired both of them or just the woman?

  • LL

    More of the same from the assholes that hate women. Doesn’t even surprise me anymore. 

    It’s hard not to conclude that if you’re a woman and you have any brains at all, you don’t work for a “Christian” entity. Because eventually, they’ll find a way to fuck you over.  

  • The_L1985

     Yep.  But remember, folks, abortion is murder.

  • The_L1985


  •  I imagine they would have pressured him to resign, but if he didn’t, they’d have only fired him if he insisted on making a big public point of the fact that he was the father instead of allowing them to pretend that they really believed that he hadn’t had sex with her.

    After all, making a big public point of breaking their rules is nearly as bad as being a woman.

  • Alicia

     Here’s the thing though —

    If she had had an abortion before she started working there, and the college found out about it somehow, would they have hired her then? I think not — even though they didn’t have any contractual relationship with her, they would have still preferred to hire someone who lived up to their moral codes over someone who didn’t. That’s why the fiance bit is so bizarre — they could have picked anyone else, but they didn’t.

  • One generous interpretation of offering the job to the fiance is that they felt bad about depriving her of her livelihood, but felt they had to follow the rules and do it anyway. Then they offered that same job to the fiance because as the man who is going to marry her, he would be the one “taking care of her” financially. So they can follow their Rules and still feel good about not letting the woman starve on the street.

    It’s still stupid and hypocritical, but it makes a little more sense perhaps.

  • Daughter

    It seems that they did have a (somewhat?) speedy marriage. One of the linked articles mentions that she’s still pregnant, and they are now married.

  • stardreamer42

    Some of the commenters over at CT have taken them to task for glossing over the double-standard aspect.  Those may be folks from here, but if not, that’s encouraging.

  • Lori

    I think what the school and others like them would have wanted was for the couple to get married before she started to show. The goal is not simply to be married before the baby is born, it’s plausible (used loosely) deniablity re: the baby having been conceived outside of wedlock.

  • Jim Roberts

    (The Beast was involved in an altercation that involved Asgardian trolls, but in that case, I believe he was primarily involved in punching them in the face repeatedly, and trying to free Iceman.)

  • (I mean I definitely assumed he’d met Asgardian trolls at some point; I’m kind of bummed it was violent, though. I’d dig Beast being all “oh do people prejudge you based on your appearance? Well gentlemen, let’s have a frank discussion about it!” or some such.)

  • I can read a lot of your posts about terrible things without getting really really angry.  Not this one.  I’m shaking angry.

  • B

     So basically, it’s horribly sexist, since it proves beyond doubt that they don’t actually think men having premarital sex is a very big deal but that women having premarital sex is a shocking sin.

    But it may be legal horrible sexism.


  • I think the most we can actually say is that the thing they actually don’t want is the appearance of premarital sex. It’s not “It’s okay for men to have premarital sex, just not women” — it’s “We don’t actually care who has premarital sex, so long as we can convincingly claim that as far as we know, you’re not having premarital sex.” Which basically means that a woman who gets pregnant gets fired once she’s showing, while a man just has to avoid singing his exploits from the rooftops. The misogyny doesn’t exist in a vacuum — it’s not the point, it’s a consequence of the fact that what they really care about is keeping up appearances.

  • B

    I guess I can see that, although in this case, the claim is that not only did they offer him a job, but they did so knowing that he was the baby’s father.  So at that point they really can’t claim they didn’t know he was having premarital sex.

  • B

     I tend to agree but every news source I looked at mentioned the bit about offering to hire the fiance (although not all of them specify that it was to replace her).

  • Christianity Today was c0-founded and then run by “moderate” white supremacists,  Billy Graham’s father in law, Dr. L. Nelson Bell, and J. Howard Pew. It was passive/aggressively hostile towards Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights Movement in general, to the point of censoring a rather elderly CT editor who became sympathetic to King (if memory serves).  Apparently, CT is still about passive/aggressively defending white conservative male privilege… and the ladies against women.

  • The college was founded by conspiracy theorists and “scientific” creationists.

    The History of San Diego Christian College

    San Diego Christian College was founded in 1970 as Christian Heritage
    College by Drs. Tim LaHaye, Art Peters, and Henry Morris, who desired to
    equip students through an education that trains both mind and heart.

  • AnonymousSam

    Tim LaHaye. Well, that explains a bit. We know that name, don’t we, folks?

  •  Brilliant analysis, makes me want to go out and get pregnant just to test your theory. If a virgin can get pregnant, so can a 47 yr old, unemployed carpenter.