imageKCCI reported yesterday that Point of Grace Church in Waukee, IA took over the management of the day care that was operating in their building.  Happy Time Daycare apparently was under separate ownership and evidently was either given space in the church or was renting space from the church.  Point of Grace Church took over the management of the day care in order to create the Point of Grace Children’s Academy.

What KCCI deemed newsworthy was that Point of Grace sent a letter to the 22 teachers that worked at Happy Time saying if they wanted to continue their employment with the new academy they were going to have to reapply and agree to abide by a Christian Lifestyle Commitment Agreement.  Jeff Mullen, the lead pastor for the church, said during an interview with Steve Deace this afternoon that such a covenant was required for all staff.   The Christian Lifestyle Commitment located with the job application I have embedded below:

POGCA Christian Lifestyle Commitment

If you work for the academy you can no longer sleep around, do drugs, get wasted, live with your boyfriend or girlfriend, engage in homosexual activity, swear like a sailor, and sleep in on Sundays.  The horror!  KCCI interviewed one teacher who said, “it makes me feel discriminated against because I’m just doing my job.  I consider myself a Christian, I just don’t go to church regularly, I don’t meet some of the requirements.  I don’t think it’s fair that because of my lifestyle choices I can’t do the job that I’m doing right now.”

First off we don’t get to set the standards of what it means to be a Christian.  Our lifestyle choices and either negatively impact or positively influence our Christian testimony.  What isn’t fair is that this teacher thinks she can live however she wants and still be able to work in Christian ministry.  There is nothing unreasonable about the expectations, and they are rooted in scripture.  Secondly, she is being “discriminated against”  churches and religious organizations absolutely have the right by law to expect certain beliefs and behavior of their staff.  To think otherwise is to demonstrate complete ignorance for the law, not to mention a lack of understanding that our Constitution protects religious freedom.

It’s legal now, but I imagine there will be a time when churches and religious organizations will no longer be able to determine these things.  With current civil rights legislation those rights are under attack which is why I believe Iowa (and other states) need religious liberty protections in the form of a religious freedom restoration act.

  1. It’s good to know things like this and to get the word out.  The more churches that are aware of this, the more that might be willing to be a bit more assertive.

  2. Don’t care about the church affiliation — they can hire whomever they want. But what’s newsworthy — and so far has gone without an answer – is who were watching these kids last week when the instructors and child care providers were being laid off?? That is grounds for a grievance and subsequent state investigation, especially because Point of Grace does not have a child care provider license. 

    Having a child care facility with a religious affiliation, aside from whatever your beliefs are, should always come down to the protection and care of those children. POG Church has obviously ignored the welfare of those kids as they have said they will be taking over the facility in a matter of days on Sept. 6. State law is explicit, stating “a center must obtain a new license when another person or agency assumes ownership or legal responsibility for the center or if the center moves to a new location.” There is no possible way for them to have the proper state inspections and background checks of their employees (even those who previously worked there because they are now technically “new” employees of POG) by Sept 6. The submitted background checks alone can take 30 days. Once they apply, the state can then take up to 120 days before they approve their license. As evidenced in POG’s dealings to date, they are clearly acting with wanton disregard in handling this transition. The Dept. of Human Services should not grant them a license until they get to the bottom of what happened last week.

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