Court Upholds Firing of Spiritual Director by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Because She Failed to Save Her Marriage – Example of Christians Making Marriage Into An Idol

Court Upholds Firing of Spiritual Director by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Because She Failed to Save Her Marriage

Talk about Christians making marriage into an idol – so much so, they’ve fired a woman for getting a divorce.

Irony: even if divorce is a sin, God will forgive this woman of being divorced – but apparently not her Christian employer.

Haven’t yet read article. Curious – maybe the woman did not want the divorce, but her husband forced this on her (edit: okay, I read the article, and it says, yes, the husband filed for the divorce).

Or, maybe he was an abusive a-hole, and for her own peace of mind, she had to ditch the loser.

None of that is an excuse for them to fire her, near as I can tell.

Almost any time I see a story like this, the WOMAN gets treated unfairly.

I bet dollars to doughnuts that this same employer has DIVORCED MALE employees working for them, but they only fire WOMEN for divorce. Men always get exceptions or preferential treatment in stories like this. (Edit 2: yep, that is the case. This same organization has two divorced men working for them.)

I will say though that she made a HUGE mistake telling one of her bosses or co-workers about her marriage. The article says she confided in a boss that her marriage was rocky.

You should never, ever discuss personal shit about yourself at your job.

Never, ever… there are so many reasons to not do so, one of which is that the a-holes you work with may use that private info to sabotage you on your job, even on secular jobs.

Your employer – and I care not what their religious views are – is not entitled to you know about your personal life, like, that status of your marriage. It’s none of their damn business.

I am appalled that this company has something called a “requirement of the Separation and Divorcing Staff Policy”.

It’s none of their damn business how your marriage is going or not going, and I do not care if they consider themselves a “Christian” business. This is totally inappropriate and an over-stepping of boundaries.

How is this divorced woman supposed to pay her bills and buy food without an income? (Edit. I re-read it, this was a non-profit, so I guess she got no paycheck from them.)

I do have mixed feelings on some of these situations.

I don’t know if I agree with churches doing things such as giving financial rewards and giving free diapers and so on to fornicating women who get knocked up – to me, that’s a debatable point.

You have churches giving free weddings to couples who are “shacked up.”

Maybe all that wouldn’t bother me so much except for the hypocrisy: that if you are a single adult, living a clean life style (no sex, no drugs, etc), churches are hesitant to help you out, to do favors for you, pay your rent for you, or buy you a  month of free groceries if you’ve fallen on hard time.

However, many Christians and churches JUMP in a heart beat to help knocked-up, single, 14 year olds.

I don’t get it. Christians will snub or neglect single adults (including elderly widows) who are living godly life styles, but fall all over themselves to help drug addicts, etc.

Anyway – I don’t think it’s a Christian employer’s business on how your marriage is going. I don’t in this case think it’s entirely fair or ethical to fire a worker over something in his or her personal life (in particular, divorce).

(Link): Court Upholds Firing of Spiritual Director by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Because She Failed to Save Her Marriage

  • February 10, 2015|2:04 pm
  • A federal appeals court in Michigan upheld the firing of a former spiritual director at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship last Thursday because she failed to save her marriage.

    InterVarsity Christian fellowship is an evangelical campus mission that establishes and advances witnessing communities of students and faculty at colleges and universities across the U.S., according to the (Link): organization’s website.

    Alyce Conlon began working with InterVarsity in 1986 and served at the organization’s spiritual director in Grand Rapids from 2004 to 2011 until she was fired after her marriage fell apart, according to a (Link): mlive report.

  • Conlon had contended in a (Link) 2013 lawsuit against InterVarsity that she was treated unfairly because she was aware of two male employees who had divorced their spouses and were not fired or disciplined by the nonprofit.

    According to the lawsuit, after she informed Marc Papai, her supervisor at InterVarsity, that she was having marital problems in 2011, she was placed on paid leave and encouraged to work on her marriage.

  • In May 2011, Papai and Fred Bailey, regional director of InterVarsity’s Great Lakes Region, became “heavily involved in plaintiff’s attempts to reconcile her marriage,” according to Conlon’s attorney, Katherine Smith Kennedy, in the lawsuit.

    “During this leave of absence, plaintiff followed each and every requirement of the Separation and Divorcing Staff Policy, including counseling sessions and continuing communication with her supervisors as to her progress,” she noted.

  • During the absence, Bailey and Papai contacted Conlon’s then husband, David Reimer, without her consent to discuss their marriage. Papai reportedly issued Reimer a “staff only confidential policy” then asked him to write a letter about his marriage to Conlon who was later ordered to see a counselor of her husband’s choice.
  • “Despite plaintiff meeting all of IVCF’s requirements for her return to work, IVCF refused to allow plaintiff to return to work because she was not successful in reconciling her marriage,” noted Conlon’s lawsuit.
  • Records show that whenever employees have marital problems InterVarsity “encourages employees to seek appropriate help to move toward reconciliation. IVCF will consider the impact of separation or divorce on colleagues, students, faculty and donors.”
  • …Her husband, David Reimer, filed for divorce in January 2012.
  • …Legal teams on both sides accepted that the ministerial exception applied to Conlon’s dismissal but Conlon’s team argued that InterVarsity had waived that exception highlighting on its website that it’s an equal opportunity employer that hires without regard to marital status, gender or other factors. Conlon also pointed to two men who had divorced and kept their jobs.


Related posts:

(Link): Bias and Discrimination Against Singles and Females – Woman Fired by Christian Employer for Being Divorced but Her Male Divorced Co-Workers Not Fired

(Link):  Single, pregnant mother fired from church for not being married

(Link): Sex is Not the Primary or Only Basis of Marriage – Rape Victims / Asexuals / Bestiality ~ Zoophilia / Sexless Marriages / Park Bans Single Men -AND- Single Women – Rebuttal to Blogger John Morgan 

(Link): Discrimination Against Singles in Spain – and Ageism