It’s church bashing time round 51.

I find the ACLU useful. They are reliably wrong. It is a useful compass: if they advocate for something, the correct response is generally the one they are not taking. And in the current round of church bashing they are claiming that “pregnancy rights” give a woman a pass on any other moral duty. Black Rose is one of those very logical types who at times says things that are far too accurate. And she summed up this case perfectly.

What is really interesting about that particular case:


1. Kathleen Quinlan was a employed by a Catholic school

2. Since her employer was a religious institution, it is the just prerogative of a non-profit institution to dismiss employees that do not conform with its institutional values and flagrant violate those values.

3. She had an abortion under “normal” circumstances, and she actions explicitly undermines the mission and values of the Catholic school,


4. Therefore, it is proper and just that Kathleen Quinlan should be fired and not “entitled” to further remuneration, since her procured abortion unequivocally contradicts the expressed values of her institution.

5. Any appeal to “liberal” anti-discrimination laws would be done in bad faith because the consequence of a successful appeal for compensation would undermine the integrity of the Catholic school and comprise its ability to pursue its mission.

OK, switching to Vanessa, on the same case… Laeagate commented on the response of the world.

Ya, something like how we think that if we don’t steal that makes us honest, or if we say no to the offer of sex that makes us faithful to our spouse.

This reminds me of what C.S. Lewis has said:

“He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart.”

We live in a world where people believe their ideations are of no consequence. After all, if you didn’t actually do anything bad, you must be good, right? In other words, if you saw the management handling a situation unethically but had no part in it, you’re okay? Or because you didn’t drive your sister/girlfriend/friend to the clinic to get an abortion, but you didn’t stop her either, it’s all good?

There is a reason for this. We are all sinful. We are all imperfect. But as Zippy pointed out, the consequences of sin (particularly fornication) is generally uneven.

And so it is with the grave, intrinsic evil of fornication. It is proposed to be unfair that the sin of fornication physically manifests itself sometimes in the woman’s pregnancy. In order to find out when men fornicate it is usually (though not always) necessary to engage in active and intrusive investigation. People who complain about the situation seem at first to want us to engage in this kind of active investigation, because it is unfair (supposedly) for women to face consequences, for this particular kind of sin, that men do not face in statistically equal numbers[*]. Equality of outcome must be mandated.

In reality though that isn’t what they propose, because none of them (so far) will sign up for draconian investigations into everyones’ private lives in order to insure that invisible sins carry equal consequences alongside visible sins. So in the end the outrage isn’t over the fact that some people are getting away with it. The outrage is over the fact that some people aren’t.

Now, this world wants everyone to have a pass. But then it does not. It will hound men if they are accounted as being responsible for a child — regardless of if they are guilty. While (in the case summarized by Black Rose) the press report that this is “pregnancy discrimination” and thus grossly unfair…

Quinlan is seeking back pay, compensatory damages for emotional distress and punitive damages “to punish and deter Ascension School and Archdiocese of Cincinnati from engaging in discriminatory activity,” plus attorney fees.

“Pregnancy discrimination is illegal,” said James Hardiman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. “The issue is clouded somewhat because this is a religious institution.”

But the set of hurdles and barriers that divorced Dads have to go through are perfectly OK. As Bill Price says, speaking from experience

There is really no cap on % of income a man can be ordered to pay. Being unemployed when my ex divorced me (she demanded I indulge her and help her get the job she wanted by watching the kids, and I stupidly went along with it thinking this would be temporary and would save my marriage), I was imputed, and therefore the child support was infinity percent of my income. I was imputed at the standard earning for a man my age in Washington state, despite the fact that we were in a recession and nobody was hiring.

There is no limit, therefore. Inability to pay is no excuse. You might as well be asking for mercy from the mob. I watched “The Departed” recently, and when one of the bookies said he didn’t have the money the enforcer said “this is America — make it” after beating the crap out of him. This is exactly how fathers are treated.

Now, I said at Vanessa’s and at the Zipsters that I would have a rant on Total Depravity. But this is my blog, so I’m going to put that spin on this.

The first part of the evangelical formulation of John Calvin (which he did not invent: he got it from Luther, and Luther got it from Augustine, and Augustine got the idea from the letters of Paul) is that we are all damned. Irretrievably. There is nothing we can do about it: our sins may be public or non public — but God is the true judge and by his standards we all have failed. Even if we have not killed, we have hated. We may not have fucked around, but we have lusted after others. We may not have stolen, but we desired that dress, that bath, that car, that suit.

The modern propaganda machine inflames our covetousness, lust, hatred and calls this an aspirational lifestyle. The only thing that matters is appearances: not being caught: being a success.

And the church has to not be like that. Part of this is having standards, and trying to apply them, even though we know we will apply them imperfectly. Because when we see a person in deep trouble we see what we could be. Because we know that we have to teach the law — for the same reason we have to teach gravity — it is a source of wisdom and correction, and like gravity you cannot litigate against it or negotiate with it.

And because two wrongs do not make things right. The debt piles up. Since our motives are always flawed, we cannot achieve — by the most harsh discipline greatest wisdom — perfection such that God would accept us.

This is the reason that Christ was made incarnate. So that the fallen beings that God loved could be bought to him.

Now, the ACLU is blaming the church for being discriminatory because they have some standards. The church is again being dragged through the secular courts (where they do not belong) by lawyers who oppose it. And that. is. unwise.

Not because they are Papist: I’m fully aware that after they geld the Papists they will neuter the Reformed. But because the Church is not ours: it belongs to God. And it is a fearful thing to stand up to God. Job could not do it — and he was far more righteous than any person with a law degree.

So we need to pray for those caught in sin, that they will be led by the spirit to repentance. We need to pray for ourselves, that we also will be reformed. And we even need to pray for the ACLU, that they may choose penitence over a misguided sense of self righteousness.

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