Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jesus: Mistreat your elders

Apparently it's a Christian value to discriminate against people based on age. At least, that's what Coulee Catholic Schools and the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, seemed to be teaching by example when they sued the state for holding them accountable to age discrimination laws. The schools had fired a teacher who was 53; she sued for age discrimination and won--until recently.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that the schools, being part of a religious institution, was not bound by anti-discrimination laws in the hiring, firing or treatment of staff whose jobs are somehow related to religion--because holding religious institutions to non-discrimination laws would violate their freedom of religion.

Somehow I must have misplaced the papal encyclical that older people are less qualified to teach. But it must be there. Age-based discrimination is now, by legal precedent, an essential tenet of the Catholic faith.

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