Discrimination laws do not apply
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in an important development ruled that the decision of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA (IVCF) to terminate the employment of one of its spiritual director cannot be challenged under federal or state employment discrimination laws.
The former spiritual director, Alyce Conlon, had informed IVCF that she would be divorcing her husband due to marital discord. Immediately on receiving this news, IVCF put her on paid leave and later converted that to unpaid leave. While the policy of IVCF states that it would encourage its employees to seek support to bring about reconciliation if there was trouble in a marriage, it also states that it has the sole right to consider the impact a divorce might have on colleagues, students, faculty, and donors.
Religious organizations enjoy ministerial exception, which is a legal doctrine that protects the freedom of religion by exempting religious institutions from anti-discrimination laws. The church and organizations like IVCF, which the court recognized as a religious group and a Christian organization, the primary aim of which is to further the cause of understanding and practice of Christianity in colleges and universities, have the right to decide matters of governance and internal organization, according to the US constitution.
Moreover, the First Amendment to the US constitution bars excessive interference of the government in religion.
Previous cases of ministerial exception
In the previous cases involving ministerial exception, a teacher with narcolepsy and a pianist were both fired from a religious school and a church respectively, and the Hosanna-Tabor decision allowed the firing of the teacher with narcolepsy, and it was also reasoned that the pianist was conveying the church’s message by playing the piano at the services.
In this case, the court identified Conlon’s role as spiritual director with ministerial function as her duty was to develop intimacy with God and acquire Christ like character.
Judge dismisses charges made by Miami Heat star’s ex
The latest charges brought on by Siohvaughn Funches-Wade who staged a sit-down protest outside the Daley Center holding a card that said “NBA Miami Heat star, mother of his children on the streets” before she received a divorce settlement of $5 million in 2013, have been dismissed by the judge. She had accused cops of being brutal and rough when they arrested her in June 2012 which she claimed resulted in a torn rotator cuff, an asthma attack, and a panic attack. Was she trying to keep the children from their father?
The police had visited her house after the divorce attorney for Dwayne Wade had argued that keeping her children from her ex was a violation of the court order in terms of his visitation rights. A charge of suspected child abduction and resisting arrest were brought on her by Dwayne, was dismissed by the judge. It is too bad this marriage has come to this.