Teri James is a deceiver. She pretended to be a faithful Christian when she applied for a job with San Diego Christian College, but proved to be an interloper.
The 29-year-old knowingly and willingly signed the school’s “community covenant.” In so doing, she foreswore “abusive anger, malice, jealousy, lust, sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex, adultery, pornography and homosexuality, evil desires and prejudice based on race, sex or socioeconomic status.”
Last October, James was summoned to her supervisor’s office. She acknowledged that she had broken the covenant by engaging in promiscuous sex – with a co-worker, no less – which resulted in her pregnancy outside of holy matrimony. The Christian institution let her go.
Now James is suing on grounds of supposed wrongful termination.
And she has retained the legal services of the notorious Gloria Allred, who last year represented Sandra Fluke in her defamation claim against Rush Limbaugh (which went nowhere) and Jenna Talackova, a transgender, who challenged her disqualification from the Miss Universe Canada Pageant (the spineless Canucks caved).
James says, sure, she signed San Diego Christian College’s covenant. But she had no idea the school would actually hold her to her promise to refrain from “sexually immoral behavior.” And who knew she would get pregnant two weeks after signing the covenant?
“I needed a job in this economy,” said James, pleading her case on NBC’s “Today” show. “I never thought that anything would happen.”
Besides, says Allred, the covenant James signed “does not say that you will be fired if you do not comply.” Her client should not have been expected to behave like a true Christ follower just because she happened to work for a Christian institution.
James thinks she is striking some sort of blow for women’s rights. Like Susan B. Anthony, who fought for women’s right to vote. Or Norma McCorvey, aka “Jane Roe,” who fought for women’s right to abortion on demand.
“I want to pave the way,” said James, self-importantly. To “say, Christian organizations, you can’t necessarily fall back on this. You can’t hurt people like this. If you say you stand for love and mercy and grace – stand for those who are weak.”
What James is saying is that Christian organizations should not be able require their employees to adhere to a Godly code of conduct, even if hirees agree to do so as a condition of their employment.
She also suggests that employers that hold their workers accountable when they break clearly established rules – like those set forth in the community covenant she voluntarily signed with San Diego Christian College – wrongfully “hurt people.”
“I was unmarried, pregnant and they took away my livelihood,” she protested.
But it’s James’ fault that she lost her job with the Christian school. Indeed, before she chose to lay with her co-worker, to whom she was not married, she knew there very well would be consequences if she was found out, as she was when the tell-tale signs of her pregnancy appeared.
Yes, she lost her livelihood while unmarried and pregnant. But she shouldn’t expect her former employer to pay for the choice she made that led to her situation. Her financial (and non-financial) support should come from the man she laid with, the father of her child.
As to love and mercy and grace, particularly “for those who are weak,” it is indeed expected of Christian institutions, like James’ former employer.
But God loves us. His mercies are new every morning. He sheds His grace upon us, everyone. Yet, He’s been known to punish those who defy Him, who abide unrepentantly in their sins. And He’s even known to correct those whom He loves.
Perhaps if James acknowledged her wrongdoing, if she vowed to go and sin no more, she would be enjoying by now the fruit of God’s forgiveness, if not San Diego Christian College.
Instead, she and her lawyer Gloria Allred are trying to shake down the religious institution for a payoff James does not deserve.