Dr. Susan vs. Dr. Laura: Frivolous Lawsuits and Sluttery, Ahoy!

This week’s piece comes from a blog update that Dr. Laura posted. First, let me point out that I am an absolutely terrible person, because I find this little screenshot to be hilarious:

Dr. Laura screenshot
I mean, seriously, don't you have more than one friend who likes your blog post?

Granted, maybe I’m only the second person to have opened it up, and the likes will be flooding in before we know it, but”¦ I am giggling. At any rate, to the column!

Dr. Laura writes:

Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura: living a life made possible by feminism, and then bitching about feminists.

“People feel entitled to challenge everything these days. Even if they’ve understood the rules and they’re reaping the benefits, they decide they’re above the system and the rules don’t apply to them. They get lawyers, go public, and cause grief. These people make me sick. So when I recently read about the Christian school teacher who got knocked up out-of-wedlock and sued the school for firing her, I was disenchanted yet again.

Here’s what happened: A 29-year-old science teacher and volleyball coach was fired from a Texas Christian academy for getting pregnant out-of-wedlock. She says she has a fiancé, and defends herself by saying, “I’m not just some teacher that went out to a bar and got pregnant and went back to school saying it’s okay. I was in a committed relationship the whole time and probably would have been married if things had gone differently and this would be a non-situation.”

She’s absolutely right. If she had done things the right way – went on a date, received a ring, got married, and then had babies – this wouldn’t be happening. By the way, a committed relationship is called marriage, not shacking-up.

She then claimed she had no idea she would lose her job over the pregnancy.

What??

She teaches at a Christian school! If you want to live a free and easy life don’t teach at a religious school. She wasn’t fired because she wanted pregnancy leave. She was fired because she broke the moral rules of a Christian school and became a bad role model for little kids. And getting married at this point wouldn’t work, because she’s already knocked up out-of-wedlock and the kids all know.

The school’s headmaster said she was fired for violating her contract, which includes a clause requiring teachers to be Christian role models. “It’s not that she’s pregnant,” the headmaster said, “the issue here is being an unmarried mother. Everything we stand for says that we want our teachers, who we consider to be in the ministry, to model what every Christian man and woman should be.”

I can’t believe this twit has the gall to sue. If this had happened back in the day, she would have been ferociously embarrassed, kept her mouth shut, and gotten married 20 seconds after she took the little pee test showing she was pregnant, because her behavior would have been considered unbecoming a lady and unbecoming a teacher in a Christian school in particular. These days, if you don’t tolerate something, no matter what it is, you’re a bad person. In my opinion, how dare she sue.”

I really, really hate it when people sue over frivolous things. Like when Dr. Laura sued somebody for verbally attacking her in public, and the case was dismissed for, as far as I can tell, being stupid. Or when somebody posted nude photos of Dr. Laura and she sued for privacy infringement and copyright violation, which she lost. “They go public, get lawyers, and cause grief. Man, these people make me sick.” Really, Dr. Laura? After the lawsuits that you have brought publicly and the grief that you have caused? I suppose I should not continue to be shocked by hypocrisy coming from you, but I just can’t help myself. Shocked.

Let’s get to the facts at hand. What Dr. Laura is referring to is a situation in Rockwall, Texas, where 29-year-old Cathy Samford was summarily fired when she disclosed her pregnancy because guess what? Jesus hates sluts.

No, that’s not true. Jesus loves everyone, and thinks we’re all sinners. Dr. Laura hates sluts, though, and so does the headmaster of the school.

The thing is, I don’t think the woman is going to win the lawsuit. Even though this clearly is discrimination against a pregnant woman (you’re pregnant? Okay, you’re fired!), which is illegal. Even though it is so very, very wrong. Because the Supreme Court went ahead and said that religious organizations don’t have to follow anti-discrimination laws, so this is going to be a tough one to win. Although, if I were a lawyer (I am clearly not a lawyer), I would jump on the fact that the headmaster said, “The issue here is being an unmarried mother.” She’s been an unmarried mother the entire time, since she has two kids from a previous marriage, and presumably they knew it. The difference here is not the morality of being married or unmarried, but the fact of pregnancy itself. The unmarried mother is actually a control in this experience, and only the pregnancy is a variable. What do you think, lawyer types? Can she win it?

At any rate, it is ridiculous that a pregnant woman can be fired and the legal team has to jump through hoops to prove that it’s wrong. I wish that weren’t true. I wish that anti-discrimination laws applied to everybody. But since Dr. Laura is talking about the morality of the situation, I am going to approach it from that side, as well.

Dr. Laura says, “These days, if you don’t tolerate something, no matter what it is, you’re a bad person.” Like”¦ abortion. Dr. Laura is staunchly anti-abortion; according to her, all pregnancies should be taken to term. Samford, then, did the right thing, and kept her child. What was she supposed to do? Get an abortion: get fired for being a bad role model. Keep the baby and get married to the father later on: get fired for being a bad role model. Get married “20 seconds after she took the little pee test”: get fired for being a bad role model, as the headmaster made it clear that getting married after conception wouldn’t help things, since the kids would figure it out anyway.

And Samford has two other little kids at home to support.

Basically, the best option out of those three is to get an abortion and lie about it, thus breaking all sorts of “moral” codes; but as long as we are all secretly immoral, no big deal, right? Except no. If we are all sinners, isn’t the person who lives openly and honestly being the best role model for kids?

Beyond that, the headmaster is standing behind his actions because he believes that she was acting immorally. Also immoral: firing a pregnant woman with two small children at home because you think her sex life is your business. Encouraging abortion in young unmarried teachers, because otherwise they will become destitute. Pretending like you are doing the right thing by hiding behind the Bible. He should be fired, as well, because his actions were absolutely not in line with the Christian principles I am familiar with; he is breaking the moral code just as much (well, more) than she is.

The disgusting part about this whole thing is that the school has a chance, and in my opinion a good one, at winning. That in 2012, a Christian school can fire a woman simply because she is pregnant, and then hide behind a morality clause. That anti-discrimination laws mean nothing if you can claim religion. And guess who gets hurt in these situations? It’s certainly not middle-class/rich white men. Of course not. Because the Bible loves them. Actually, it’s probably better to say that the people hiding behind the Bible love them. The rest of us”¦ well, so much for the meek inheriting the earth.

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Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

28 thoughts on “Dr. Susan vs. Dr. Laura: Frivolous Lawsuits and Sluttery, Ahoy!”

  1. I have to wonder, if the situation were different, if the father was the employee of the Christian school and disclosed that his fiance was pregnant, would he be fired?  Or would that fall under the “Go forth and multiply” section of the bible?

  2. Marriage is not the freakin’  Christian thing to do, it’s the thing you do when both of you want to do it and think similar thoughts about it. Stop claiming an institution.
    Stop squirreling around in other people’s bellies.
    Stop being so incredibly naive to think that you can keep this eternal bubble around your children. You really think they won’t meet/hear about/talk to unmarried mothers? Divorced fathers? Non-Christians?

    Stop stop stop and Laura I will smear peanut butter in your hair.

  3. This is happening in Fort Wayne, Indiana right now!  A teacher at a Catholic school had in vitro fertilization in 2010 and fully disclosed it to her employer.  She had another treatment in 2011 and was fired.  She’s suing under the ADA, just like in the Perich case, but she DOESN’T teach religion classes.  She ONLY taught English, and therefore should be exempt from the ministerial exemption.  But we’ll see.

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/r/30962004/detail.html

    This is a GREAT article, Susan, and makes a point I made to my mother on this VERY same topic on the train today:  “You can’t teach here because you’re pregnant and unmarried.  But you have to have the baby.  But you’re losing your job, so you have no income.  Best wishes!”  Infuriating

    1. So I read this last night, and was all “wow, that’s shitty,” and then this morning I re-read it and realized.  SHE DID IVF?  There isn’t even any sluttery happening!  I just can’t – the actual act of being pregnant is what’s immoral?  At least in the other one, they could say “well, Jesus hates people who have sex outside of marriage.”  But this?  Wow.

      1. Nah, the Catholic Church has an extensive list of things that are verboten, including IVF for anyone, straight-married or not.

        What’s next – a teacher eats meat on Fridays? FIRED. A teacher doesn’t go to Confession for a few months? FIRED.

  4. As a non-religious individual who still does her best to respect the belief systems of those around her, I am constantly amazed at how un-Christ-like so many fervent Christians are, and how often they seem to act the exact opposite of what their holy book teaches.

    1. It’s very difficult to respect the belief systems around you when they have little to no respect for your beliefs and they want to force their beliefs and way of life onto you, particularly when you know it’s not something that’s very nice.  And yes, those who pretend to be the “best Christians” are actually very mean, hateful people and have all sorts of dirty little secrets.  I can’t remember in which Gospel or letter it is, but Jesus basically said that those who are the loudest about their religion are really just putting on a show and don’t believe in what counts at all.

  5. And really, if she has to agree (and I can understand a conservative religious person agreeing with this decision, even if I don’t) is she really so desperate for ratings that she has to gloat over this woman’s misfortune? And I’m pretty sure her advice to get hitched as soon as she saw the pee stick is advocating lying about when she got pregnant, as in “Get married as fast as you can and pretend the baby is a large premie.”

    1. Definitely.  Although – the headmaster said that the kids would figure it out if she got married after the fact.  Maybe not if she got married when she was 4 weeks pregnant, but – the fact that this can even be a thing is so upsetting to me.

    1. California has some really liberal laws on the books.  Not to mention the fact that Dr. Laura, being a celebrity, can’t really BE slandered that way.  After all, she’s made her comments and her thoughts a matter of public opinion.  *End of today’s legal lesson*  (Sorry, Susan)

        1. Yep – I’m the only salary-earner in our household.  My husband is a stay-at-home dad.  That’s probably why I don’t look at him as a hero and protector.  Oh wait, I don’t look at him like that because we are equals.

          1. Also- I love her use of anecdata… “most couples I’ve seen have marital problems when the wife works out of the home.” And then she says something about that being a fact. It’s not!!! Facts are empirically proven! I cannot believe that people listen to her for purposes other than mocking.

  6. Who exactly is this woman, and what made her such a monumental dimwit? I have never heard of her outside of these posts (which are always awesome), and every single time, I’m completely surprised at how incredibly judgmental and wrong she is about anything she discusses. I sincerely hope that no one is taking her advice and living by it.

    1. Yep – she was the number one listened to advice person for awhile, if I remember correctly.  She’s written several best-sellers, one of which was given to me for high school graduation by a beloved teacher, which I’m still stewing about.

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