A Christian School Wins a Victory over the ACLU

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 the school.

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 them."

("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)


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