Losing my religion... for a job?

mdoneil writes "There is a job posted on the Florida Library Jobs site that requires that applicants "be willing to attend an Assemblies of God congregation."

I don't know about you, but I can't do that. Sure I have no problem with other people going to the church of their choice, or not going at all. I am even willing to go so far as "should be in agreement with and supportive of the Pentecostal heritage of the Assemblies of God," although I have no idea what it is, it can't be too far out - Christians having those 10 Commandments that I am OK with.
But I don't think I could change churches to get a job no matter what it paid."

Can you be an EO/AA employer and recruit like this?

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If you're a church...

You can require employees to be of your specific denomination. One of the reasons I don't support the faith-based initiatives, which funnel tax-payer money to churches to provide social services.Now the write-up doesn't say whether this is for a church librarian, but I'm suspecting that's what it is...-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

Job ads

I've seen ads that require you to be of a certain religion or religious denomination, or require you to be a member of a certain ethnic group.
Some cities do not allow you to be a city employee if you live outside the city limits.
The list gets dumber...

Re:Job ads

I have a friend who once worked for a baptist university in the library. Upon signing his employment forms he had to sign additional forms that also stated he accepted Jesus as his lord and savior -- he also had to agree never to drink alcohol while he was employed by said university.

It's not unheard of practice ...

You can't take it with you...

So... You just present the papers you signed to St. Peter when the time comes, or what? Somehow, I don't think that will work. I can sign a paper that says I worship loblolly pines, but that doesn't make it so.

Accept Jesus, get a job

Cool! You can also get a PS2!

Notice that the Southeastern U. ad says you have to be "willing to attend" one of their denomination's churches. It doesn't say you actually have to attend, or how many times you'd need to be willing to go:

"So, we haven't seen you in church lately."

"Well, you know what the Bible says, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is week. And look how much flesh I have!"

I just avoided these

Back when I was job hunting, I just knew to avoid those job ads with religion requirements. Unless you belong to the actual denomination in question, applying to such places just sets you up for conflict down the road. If they want to practice their beliefs and have their employees do so as part of their mission, fine and dandy, but I for one, know not to apply. Do I think it is discriminatory? It likely is, since I don't think one religion or another makes me a better librarian. But, it is their institution (usually private), so they get to set the rules, especially if they don't take federal money. Anyhow, food for thought.

they can discriminate, yes

Section 703(e) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: "(2) it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning to hire and employ employees of a particular religion if such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is, in whole or in substantial part, owned, supported, controlled, or managed by a particular religion or by a particular religious corporation, association, or society, or if the curriculum of such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion."

They do have to state the religious requirement explicitly in the job ad.

They may not be permitted to post that job listing some places. It would depend on the policies of the Florida Library Jobs site - I don't find any guidelines and I don't know what they might be legally obligated to require (maybe by the terms of their funding. See their FAQ page.) There are two other listings on floridalibraryjobs.com requiring "A strong Christian commitment and ability to intentionally integrate faith with day-to-day job performance." Denomination and attendance of services aren't specified.

Re:You can't take it with you...

You're a Druid? Druish? :)

Re:they can discriminate, yes

We know they can limit their applicant pool to members of their faith, but why would they? It is a librarian not a theology professor.

It is not a real big deal for me as it is too far to commute for the salary, yet not enough money to move.

I was interviewed at a Roman Catholic Seminary in south Florida - interviewed several times, but they just didn't have the extra $5-6K I needed to make it worth moving down there. They didn't require that the applicants be a Roman Catholic, but they did require an understanding of Church teachings. They wanted a librarian and someone to maintain the library computer network, they had plenty of Theologians.

Re:they can discriminate, yes

I find it objectionable myself; I was addressing the legality in a little more detail, and not my opinion. The American Association of University Professors recognizes the right of religious institutions to discriminate (but to state the religious requirement clearly in job ads) but in a 1970 interpretive commentary to their 1940 Statement of Principles add that "Most church-related institutions...no longer need or desire the departure from the principle of academic freedom implied in the 1940 Statement, and we do not now endorse such a departure." It seems to me that in hiring librarians it should be even less relevant (and more contrary to academic freedom) to require membership in a particular church.

My ex (who practices no religion) works quite happily as a professor of photography at a Jesuit college. I don't know whether his knowledge of Catholicism was relevent in his hiring.

reply from a theological librarian

The denominational school I work for has no such requirement. Indeed, our prior director was a minister from another denomination. I have been so impressed with my school's denom. that I actualy joined it.

That said, our school does take federal money (Federal Work/study), and that may explain why they don't require it.

I've also applied for jobs at other schools, from more "conservative" traditions, which don't require joining either, but do make interviewees sign statements of faith and vales /lifestyle statements. (I turned down an offer at the latter to work at my current position).

Relgious freedom goes both ways

If this isn't (religious) discrimination, I don't know what is. Isn't religious freedom not only the freedom to go to church and also the freedom not to go to church? They seem to be selecting people based on a religion rather than their ability and merits.

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