We Teach by Example

This is exactly the kind of thing Jesus would have done.  Totally.

Religious school fires teacher for getting pregnant out of wedlock, being bad ‘Christian role model’

[Cathy Samford, 29, who was a volleyball coach and science teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Rockwall, Tex.] is taking legal action after she was fired from a Christian middle school for being pregnant and unmarried.

“I’m not just some teacher that went out to a bar and got pregnant went back to school saying it’s okay,” she said. “I was in a committed relationship the whole time, and probably would have been married if things had gone differently and this would be a non-situation.”

It doesn’t matter.  In the eyes of the church, she might as well have been having a week-long orgy with the entire lineup of the Denver Broncos.  Sex out of wedlock is all the same.  In an attempt to mitigate the damage done, she even offered to marry her fiance right away (which, again, is something that would have happened had circumstances been different).

‘If this is the problem, I’m willing, and so is my fiancé, to go ahead and get married. That wasn’t the issue. We were going to get married regardless.”

The school didn’t budge.  They’re going to stick to their guns and make sure their employees “model what a Christian man or woman should be.”  Even if they’re not clear about what that ideal is.

Samford, who has two children from a previous marriage, maintains that she did not violate her contract in any way and that the contract’s clauses about being a “Christian role model” are vague.

I literally did a double take when I read that.  Cathy already has two children from a previous marriage.  She’s engaged now, meaning she’s obviously divorced … or a very bad bigamist.  How in the goddamned world did they consider that acceptable “role-model” behavior for a Christian teacher, and then fire her for getting pregnant from her new fiancé?  Fine time to find some principles.  Were they even paying attention, or am I to interpret from this apparent moral incongruity that if they did punish for divorce, they’d be forced to punish men, too?  Or is such a significant percentage of their faculty divorced and re-married that they’d have to shut down the school if they maintained a truly consistent pattern of Christian morality and fired them all?

Here’s my favorite part.  By “favorite” I mean rage-inducing:

For now, with her baby due April 19 and two other young children to support, Samford is trying to make ends meet and is applying for jobs.

“I’m very worried about money. I’m just hoping to make it through this month. I’ve had lots of medical bills. My insurance was dropped so everything I’ve had to pay is out of pocket,” she said. “I’m using my tax return just to live on. It’s a big concern. I don’t know what next month holds for me.”

Regardless of whether the school will be able to invoke the ministerial exception to gain immunity for what they’ve done, firing her was a horrifically stupid – albeit very revealing – move.  In a way, I’m (almost) glad it happened.  Now, all of the girls in the school have learned the valuable lesson that if a problem arises and they end up pregnant out of wedlock, the church will abandon them faster than a deadbeat dad with a winning lottery ticket.

It doesn’t matter that you have a kid on the way and need all the help you can get.

It doesn’t matter that without a job, you won’t be able to afford basic necessities for yourself and the family you do have, thus forcing everyone to suffer.

It doesn’t matter that without medical insurance, you will likely have to sacrifice getting pre-natal care, or try to go to Planned Parenthood (in Texas!  Good luck!!)

It doesn’t matter that the true, “pro-life” thing to do would be to use your circumstances as a teachable moment for everyone, and then make sure you had the ability to access the care you need for a healthy baby.


Because all of these principles of mercy, charity, forgiveness, and life-affirmation can go out of the window if there’s some good old fashioned slut-shaming to be had.  You can wave goodbye to any hope of love, acceptance, forgiveness, or support by the people who only yesterday accepted you as a sister.

That was before you turned into a wanton harlot.  Now you’re just a cautionary tale, and nothing but a memory in the minds of the students you loved.

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Religion and Public Life, Religion in the News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to We Teach by Example

  1. Dan Adler says:

    While I certainly don’t support what this school did, I have one thought: Unlike Catholics, many Christian denominations don’t consider divorce a sin or a moral no-no.

    • I know, and that’s why I think this entire thing is a load of contrived bullshit, and another lesson for these children to learn: feel free to pick and choose the elements of your religion with which to condemn others, and ignore the rest.

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