We always celebrate, or should, a woman when she chooses to re-enter the workforce after hiatus. But Karen Pence is receiving the opposite reaction after returning to teach art at a Christian School that bans LGBTQ students and teachers.
The Immanuel Christian School has a parent agreement they provide online, detailing their strict and intolerant beliefs.
This agreement forces parents and their children to acknowledge that marriage is just between a man and a woman. They also cannot support sexual immorality, homosexual or bi-sexual activity. Not only can they not take part in this lifestyle but they can’t even support it without going against the school.
NBC shared a portion of the school’s employment application that outlines what they call ‘moral misconduct’ that employees cannot participate or believe in.
“Heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites, and sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law.”
This school has chosen to discriminate in the name of religion.To say that someone does not deserve to go to a school that aligns with most of their religious beliefs simply because of who they choose to lay with is absurd.
Religion is not an acceptable excuse to hate others.
Graduates from Immanuel have come forward to discuss the harmful oppression they experienced. A former student named Luke Hartman spoke with Refinery29 about the harmful rejection the LGBTQ community faces.
“The silent and spoken messages of rejection that are constantly felt by LGBTQ students directly impact the relationship they have with their faith, education, and relationships with family and friends ultimately resulting in a feeling of being less than when compared to their straight and cisgender peers.”
School is already a tough place for kids without adding the pressures of discovering your sexual orientation. By placing any intolerant beliefs at the forefront of our schools, it makes hate seem acceptable.
Mike Pence came to his wife’s defense in an interview saying it was time for the criticism of Christian education to stop.
To see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us.”- Mike Pence
I’m a believer in free thought and beliefs, but if those thoughts or those beliefs are harmful or oppressive to other people, then they are not okay.
What’s offensive is that schools like Immanuel can exist. If you want your child to go to a school that matches your religion, by all means go for it. But it should not include such intolerant practices. And what’s sad is that there are probably so many schools like Immanuel not receiving this same focus.
It’s very possible that if Karen Pence was not married to the Vice President of the United States that we would not be discussing this. We may have gone our entire lives without knowing of the Immanuel School. Those that lead our country should not harbor hateful thoughts for their constituents. How can they do what is best for everyone if they discriminate against those who live a different lifestyle than them? Or look different then they do?
I hope that as a society we can start speaking up against all injustice. Even if you don’t experience this hate first hand. We’ve all become too comfortable with how things are. Our unwillingness to change the intolerance coursing through society is costing lives.
Early education is a time in our lives in which we are desperate to fit in with our peers. Imagine while you’re going through bodily changes due to puberty, being told that because you are attracted to the same sex or don’t identify as your birth gender, you’re not enough. No matter what you do.
That’s never okay.
We have the power to change that if we’d just speak up.
We can all start out by supporting The Trevor Project; a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to the LGBTQ community.
Cover image courtesy of Huffington Post