Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wheaton fires a prof over his divorce

Apparently the prof declined to share details with the administration, so they couldn't evaluate whether or not the divorce was biblically justifiable. Story here. I'm not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, I'm all about private, religious colleges sticking to the standards they had the profs sign. I don't question their "right" to do this--employment is at will, and even if he had tenure, I'm sure there was a clause in there that allows this... freedom to contract and all that...

But on a more pragmatic level, the quotation from the prof, "I also don't want to be in a position of accusing my spouse, so I declined to appeal or discuss the matter in any way with my employer," strikes a chord. We paint Joseph positively for wanting to put Mary away privately rather than publicly accuse her, right?

Maybe this is a disciplinary matter that would be better left to the church? Perhaps the school would be wise to alter their employment terms to "in good standing with a local church that holds to _____ confession." Wouldn't that take care of their concern about their professors being of good moral character without having to involve them in these kinds of situations?

Of course, the prof could as easily object to "publicly accusing" his wife to the church [leadership]. But I might have less sympathy for that. If you can't be transparent with church authority, maybe you need to reevaluate the extent of your individualism.

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