In early America, schoolteachers were known for
their understanding of academic subjects and their moral and spiritual
reputation in the community. In modern America, many public schools
seek out teachers who appreciate diversity and tolerance of all types
of morality and lifestyles and who embrace a global view of education.
However, private schools and Christian schools in particular, are
still very committed to hiring teachers on the basis of their ability
to teach as well as their moral and spiritual worldview based on the
Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation was founded.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would
like to put an end to the selection process many parochial schools
go through in finding suitable teachers for their institutions. If
they had their way, the ACLU would cry "Discrimination!"
against many schools who limit their positions to those teachers with
the same moral and religious background as the students attending
Such was the case in a school in Montgomery County,
Maryland. The Montrose Christian School, an extension of the Montrose
Baptist Church, has worked for several years to hire teachers and
staff members who share the ministryís same religious beliefs and
goals. However, one employee of a different faith acquired the ACLU
to file a lawsuit against the church and school on the grounds that
they had broken a Montgomery County code which stated that no hiring
or firing could be done on the basis of that personís religious beliefs.
According to the county code, all organizations were subject to this
ruling, even private religious organizations and religious schools.
The school appealed the lawsuit in the Maryland
Court of Appeals and received a unanimous ruling in their favor allowing
the school to maintain its staff policy of spiritual unity. To add
to this great victory, the ACLU has decided not to appeal the decision
before the Supreme Court. The following statement by Craig Parshall,
attorney on behalf of the school, sums up the victory cry for other
religious organizations facing persecution around the nation: "This
case points out, among other things, the clear need for vigilance
among Christian ministries, churches, and private religious schools.
When we do not aggressively defend our religious liberties, we lose
("Favorable Ruling for Baptist School Unchallenged
by ACLU," Agape Press, July 30, 2001; "ACLU Surrenders Fight
to Control Baptist School," Pacific Justice Institute Press Release,
July 18, 2001)
to Religious Liberty...An American Tradition
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