Woman fired for having pre-marital sex.

San Diego Christian College has fired one of its employees for having pre-marital sex.  The employee is suing the school, but I don’t think she has a case since she signed a contract saying she wouldn’t have sex as part of her employment.

That’s not the point.  The point is that ordinarily a person with so much as a compassionate cell in their body wouldn’t dream of firing an otherwise capable employee, who is about to raise a child rather than abort a fetus, because of doing something pleasurable without going through the proper ritual first.  But introduce religion, and even that modicum of religion can be undershot, all while believing you are more moral, rather than arbitrarily cruel.

This is why religion and all of its dogmas must be opposed.

One of the students who was interviewed said “she knew the rules”.  Yes, but those rules are foolish.  Does the college have the right to implement their own rules?  Sure.  They could have a rule that says employees can’t exercise.  But the right to believe/do foolish things comes with promise of criticism for those things, as well as the promise of disdain when you prioritize those rules over the well-being of people.

Again, this is why religion draws our ire.  I imagine this woman could do something harmful to herself like eat 3 gallons of ice cream every night, and the school wouldn’t care.  But having sex without a ring on the proper finger?  Fire her ass immediately.  Our rules should never be set in opposition to compassion and, when they are, compassion should always win out.  This is the standard that allows us to say that Christianity is not only immoral, but terribly so.  It is the only standard that allows us to be aligned with humanity exclusively.

And if god is not aligned with humanity, then to hell with him.  And if believers owe more allegiance to the dogmas of their religion than to humanity, then to hell with them.  We cannot be allies at that point.  And if, as they will surely say, their dogmas are aligned with humanity’s best interests, then we shouldn’t need those dogmas, as we are perfectly capable of figuring out what is best for humanity ourselves.

Of course, all we need are stories like this to realize what an immense hurdle religions are to human happiness and empathy.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    Well, at least they didn’t stone her to death. In fact, shame on this school for selectively enforcing god’s will. She should have been stoned to death by her community on her father’s doorstep for her sins. I know that’s barbaric, but it is god’s word.

    If we’re are going to force people to live by bronze age morals, why aren’t we also enacting the bronze age punishments?

    Maybe it is because they even know that it is disgusting and backwards.

    • Illuvatar

      Let me preface this by saying this entire proceeding, from start to finish, makes me sick. We live in 2013, not the bronze age. However, that being said, this young woman signed an employment contract with full knowledge of what was in it and not under duress. She agreed to the terms, however much one might disagree with them. She chose to work at a Christian themed university. These consequences should not come as a surprise to any sensible observer. The university is completely within their right, as per the contract she signed, to no longer honor her employment contract. It is sad, very sad, but it should serve as a life lesson to her to help guide her decision in finding her next employment opportunity.

      • Glodson

        I am just saying why should the Christian University be allowed to selectively pick and chose which rules of their religion they get to enforce.

        I would also dispute the idea of duress. She needed a job. She didn’t have a guarantee of finding another job. There is a bit of duress there. This should not be legal.

  • baal

    Would they have fired (will they denounce) Sen. Pete Demenici? When he was 46, he had extramaritial sex with his friend’s 24 year old daughter and now has a grown (but previously unrecognized) son.

    • Glodson


      These rules are only applied to the women. God’s will is like that. Lopsided, stupid, and hurtful.

  • curious

    “And if god is not aligned with humanity, then to hell with him.”

    Why is this moral, but

    “And if humanity is not aligned with god, then to hell with them.”

    is immoral?

    • Glodson

      First, because god is a fictitious entity that only exists in dogma as an authority figure that can violently enforce shitty ideas by the threat of hell.

      Second, if there is a powerful being that can meddle in our affairs but is only concerned with his point of view, then he’s forcing us to adopt a stance that doesn’t make sense. The god we are given in the Bible is a petty tyrant and a bully. He offers us disproportionate punishments for alleged crimes that need not be crimes. He turns our sexuality against us, advocates treating women as property, and many other acts of evil.

      Third, this is a one-way street. If there’s a god, we have little power over this entity. This god has all the power. A god that would excise this power with no thought as to what we need or want is an immoral one.

      • Jeeves

        Wow… If you wan to try to quote the Bible you should actually learn about it first… Then come and talk when you actually have the facts.

        • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

          Read your comment again, Jeeves. Then read Glodson’s. Please point out which quote Glodson got wrong. Take your time. Read his post carefully, and then tell us how it is wrong.

          Now, once you’ve identified the Bible quote in Glodson’s post, feel free to explain to us exactly how ignorant we are, using the incorrectness of Glodson’s quote as an example. It must’ve been a big error, because it’s what you chose to base your entire reply on.

          Show us your intellectual superiority using Glodson’s quote. This is your big chance! You’ve told us how foolish we are and established your own intellectual credentials, now move in and demonstrate it further.

          • Glodson

            I’ll bet I failed at quoting the Bible so hard.

    • Azkyroth

      Because humans, insofar as they demonstrably exist and have the capacity to suffer, have moral value? I mean, fucking DUH?

    • Azkyroth

      I mean, Jesus Fuck, this is as stupid as “If it’s legal to have sex with a 31 year old, how come it isn’t legal to have sex with a 13 year old? You’re just reversing the numbers!”

    • David Hart

      Actually, “if humanity is not aligned with god, then to hell with them” kind of is the attitude God takes in a lot of the stories written about him. The difference is that humans actually exist, and, so far as we can tell, God doesn’t, so concerns for human happiness must trump concerns for God’s happiness.

  • Jessica

    So if she’d opted for abortion and kept the sex/pregnancy/abortion quiet (thus committing further “sin”) she could’ve kept her job? But since she did the “proper” “moral” thing in continuing the pregnancy, she got fired? Talk about damned if you do dammed if you don’t.

  • Compuholic

    [...]since she signed a contract saying she wouldn’t have sex as part of her employment

    Am I the only one who is astonished that a contract like that can even be legal.

    • James

      No you aren’t.

      I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure in English law there is provision for disallowing contract clauses which are too one-sided or impose an unreasonable burden on one party. For this reason such a clause would almost certainly be unenforceable in the UK. Is there no similar restriction in the US? And if there is, how can an employment contract regulate a person’s private and legal sexual activity?

      • Steve

        The US is a de facto theocracy. Basically anything goes under the guise of “religious freedom”. The university pretends that this shit is mandated by their so-called “free exercise of religion”. In reality of course they aren’t a natural person and can’t have anything like freedom of religion.

        US law is also made by and for the corporations. Politicians and their corporate masters don’t give a shit about employees, so the whole body of law is extremely one-sided and always disfavors employees. Those are basically seen as serfs without any power.

      • Compuholic

        [...] disallowing contract clauses which are too one-sided or impose an unreasonable burden on one party

        Yeah, that is what I thought. I was of the opinion that the conditions that can be put in a contract are legally limited and a court can declare the contract null and void if the contract is found to overstep those boundaries. But then I am no expert in U.S. law (or any law for that matter) but I would be suprised if there is no U.S. equivalent.

        But even if she is successful in overturning the contract. I’m not sure if that would do her any good. If an employer wants to fire you, he will find a reason to do so, even if your job would technically be protected by law. There were several cases in the news where people have been fired for stealing from the company. What did they steal? They stole electricity by charging their cell phones in the office.

        If my employer was an asshole of that magnitude: I’m not sure that I would want to work for him, even if the firing was illegal. Of course in todays economy, many are in a situation where they do not have the luxury to choose who they work for.

    • baal

      I’m not an expert on employment all but most folks in the US can be fired for any or no reason at all. You can bring suit if you are fired w/o cause if you’re in a protected class and there is a reasonable basis to claim discrimination. The presence of the clause is probably beside the legal point. I suspect the clause would fall (be stricken) under the general rules about non-enforceability of unconscionable terms.

  • Ken

    Why doesn’t she just claim a virgin birth? Wouldn’t the Christians be happy about that?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Sir, you are on fire today.

    • Jeeves

      Wow and people call Christians ignorant. From what I see both sides have people that make them look bad…

      • Rory

        When atheists fire a woman for having sex within marriage, come back and tell us how both sides are equally bad. Tool.

  • BethE

    How can they tell if a guy breaks that part of the contract? They can’t be relying on self-reporting.

  • Andrew Kohler

    This highlights how important it is for non-discrimination policies to include marital status. When Bella Abzug in the late 1970s introduced the first bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it also included sex and martial status as protected categories. I was very disturbed in the 2007 Employment Non-Discrimination Act debates because the conservatives removed marital status from the bill and there was far too little objection, or so I recall watching the debates. There were, however, 101 votes against it:


    Barney Frank is in the “yes” column–the rationalization was that the language was designed to make sure people couldn’t be fired because they were denied the right to marry or something like that, and indeed that is not necessary to protect LGBT people against discrimination. There are, however, other reasons why marital status needs to be included, as this article demonstrates (although doubtless this private religious school is exempt from non-discrimination laws–shouldn’t it give a person pause to be asking for such an exemption?)

    Speaking of omissions from the 2007 ENDA (110th Congress): there was a massive outcry when gender identity was removed. HR 2015 (trans-inclusive) was replaced with HR 3685 (LGB only; HR 3686, T only, was never considered). Tammy Baldwin deserves special credit for trying to add gender identity and expression to HR 3685, which is why we’re :-D that she’s in the Senate now. Seven cosponsors of HR 2015 voted against HR 3685 in protest (I’d have voted “present” so as to distinguish myself from the bigots in the “no” column, although it would really suck to have to vote against a bill prohibiting sexual orientation-based discrimination in any form). Yeah, that all really sucked (I was working for an LGBT rights group at the time), especially because Barney made that concession too, but at least partly redeemed himself by subsequently holding a hearing on the importance of transgender issues. I have a button from that time that has one of those red circles with the line through it (like non-smoking signs) over EQUALI_Y (get it???)

  • Jeff

    Religion is stupid …. I say She should sue them for not stoning her to death, Hay they aren’t holding up all the fake stuff in the bible… I hope this helps her to become an Atheist…. but wait a minute they broke at lest 2 of their god’s rules of hate she’s not even suppose to be a teacher… oh I get it PC they just love PC’ing (pick & Choose)…

  • smrnda

    I’ve heard of “Christian schools” demanding that employees agree to abide by all sorts of ridiculous rules, and they tend to decide that everybody does ‘ministry’ as a part of their duties so that nobody can argue that their job doesn’t really demand that they preach any particular values. I’m guessing whoever scrubs the toilets is deeply involved in ‘ministry’ by the definitions of whatever Christian organization employs them, not because they actually engage in ministry, but because it serves the ends of their employer in exerting coercive control over others.

    You see this when faith based programs try to help people; the help is often contingent on being willing to be preached to, and faith based residential programs, whether they are for homeless people or recovering drug addicts, make attendance of church a requirement. Religions aren’t interested in ‘free choice’ if they can find some way to control people, they’ll do it.

    The problem is that this turns workers into serfs. It puts demands on your behavior totally out of work and off the clock. If your employer wants to restrict your behavior 24-7, that’s a grand total of 168 hours a week. Assuming a 40 hour workweek, that’s about 148 hours of overtime you’re expected to put out for free? Even though there’s no law limiting mandatory overtime, or even demanding reasonable payment, I don’t think you can legally demand that a person work with No Breaks Ever.

  • JTP

    I have a friend who was just fired from her job at a christian university the same week her husband served her with divorce papers, because her husband divorced her. It’s fucking bullshit.

  • Jeeves

    If you don’t like it find an institution that holds the same “high” standards you hold.

    • Glodson

      How many “comments” can you “make” before you “write” anything of “substance?”

  • jason

    She should be grateful to be out of that close minded institution of lower learning. They are casting stones. If they actually dug into the personal lives of many of their staff, I’m sure they would find out they have a whole crew of sinners. These so called “Christians” are nothing more than sheeps in wolves’clothing. Hypocrites.

  • jason

    She should be grateful to be out of that close minded institution of lower learning. They are casting stones. If they actually dug into the personal lives of many of their staff, I’m sure they would find out they have a whole crew of sinners. These so called “Christians” are nothing more than sheeps in wolves’clothing. Hypocrites.

  • jason

    She should be grateful to be out of that close minded institution of lower learning. They are casting stones. If they actually dug into the personal lives of many of their staff, I’m sure they would find out they have a whole crew of sinners. These so called “Christians” are nothing more than sheeps in wolves’clothing. Hypocrites.

  • Aaron

    I thought we god rid of rules and regulations liek this when we got rid of Blasphemy laws.


  • http://misanthropicscott.wordpress.com/ Misanthropic Scott

    Perhaps it’s just me. But, if one cannot create a legally binding contract for sex other than the marriage contract, such as exists in prostitution, why can one create a contract requiring no sex? It seems to me that if contracts other than marriage that specify sex are legally null and void, or even merely voidable, then this work contract specifying sexual behavior should be thrown out of court as well.

    Also, I’m not at all familiar with California state law on the subject. Can a Christian college legally discriminate against Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Scientologists, atheists, and all other non-Christians in their hiring? If so, that is despicable. If not, why are they allowed to impose their Christian anti-morality on their employees who may or may not be Christian?

    To those who say that she knew what she was signing and could have not taken the job, are you guys really awake out there? Are you aware of the current state of the economy? Let’s see … I can sign this amazingly stupid contract that is horrifically immoral and should be illegal so that I can eat this week … or I can not eat this week. Some choice!

    And, as for being a Christian institution, perhaps they need to learn a bit more about this mythical creature called Christ. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a [pink slip] at her.”

    Why are those among us who claim to believe that this Christ figure actually walked the earth, was the son of God, and left us an instruction manual for how to act the least likely among us to actually behave as the fictional character mandated? By all accounts, if this creature Christ ever actually existed, he was a long-haired, commie, pinko, lefty-liberal, hippie freak. Hell, when he healed the sick, he didn’t even ask for citizenship papers and health insurance first. Today’s self-proclaimed followers of Christ seem to imagine him riding around on a dinosaur with an AK-47 in each hand killing gays, abortion providers, immigrants, poor people, and pretty much anyone who isn’t an uber-right-wing repugnican.