Michigan School District Just Wants To Hire A Good Christian, Is That So Wrong?
Looks like the ACLU is out persecuting Christians again. When McBain Rural Agricultural Schools in Michigan advertised a job opening for superintendent, it included a simple, straightforward request for the kind of person who'd be practically perfect in every way for the job: The applicant should have such vital qualities, including at least five years' experience as a principal or district leader, a Master's degree, experience in collective bargaining, and, oh yes, "A strong Christian background and philosophy."
Those worrywarts at the ACLU of Michigan wrote a letter Tuesday to the schools asking -- demanding, really, you know how pushy those Social Justice Warriors can be -- that the ad be revised, lecturing the school district on the Constitution, as if Michigan educators who only want to hire a Christian didn't already know that Jesus wrote the Constitution himself. Dan Korobkin, Michigan ACLU deputy legal director, wrote,
There is no principle more fundamental to American public education than the requirement that schools be welcoming of all students, employees and administrators regardless of religious or ethnic background ... Our Constitution wisely requires public schools to remain neutral in matters of religion. When a school favors one religion over another, or religion over non-religion, students and teachers who do not subscribe to the favored religion are made to feel like they do not belong.
Okay, sure, but wasn't that the point of the ad? Some wild-eyed atheist or Jew or Hindu almost certainly wouldn't belong in that school district, now would they?
The ACLU acknowledged that maybe the line in the ad could have been an honest mistake rather than a deliberate attempt to run afoul of the First Amendment, but also stated that even if it had been a screwup, "we are distressed by how many administrators and staff must have read the job announcement without thinking it was wrong or demanding that it be changed." Well maybe they just don't teach the Jesus-hating version of the Constitution in McBain, did you ever think of that?
It turns out that the ad had actually been written by Scott Crosby, a consultant the district hired to help with its candidate search. That's one heck of a recommendation for the Michigan Leadership Institute for West Central Michigan, Crosby's outfit -- if you want an unconstitutional job ad, come to us! (And could the group's name be a little more geographically specific?)
Crosby admitted that the wording was "poor judgment" on his part, not the school board. The religious reference was not meant to discriminate, but was intended to reflect the area's "close-knit and conservative" beliefs, he said.
"There are other ways to reflect that," Crosby said in an interview. "Clearly, it was not intended to discriminate in any way, shape or form."
You know, except for the part where it said "please be very very Christian."
Crosby sent a letter of apology to the ACLU and said the ad would be reposted the ad without the slightly illegal phrase, and Marc Allen, an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, said that the group was satisfied by the quick resolution, saying, "We appreciate them taking our letter seriously and responding promptly."
What we want to know is whether Mr. Crosby will be offering McBain Schools any discount on his consulting fee.
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