Immanuel is a church ministry applying the church’s theology. No one is forced to attend the church. No one is forced to attend the school. It’s a voluntary association that is protected by the First Amendment and rooted in the faith that guides the lives of tens of millions of Americans. What’s next? The belief that public figures should not teach Sunday School? Serve in domestic or foreign missions?
Karen Pence is a believing Christian woman. She took a part-time job at a private Christian school. And this, believe it or not, is a scandal. Don’t believe me? Her job has already merited not just one, but two critical Washington Post stories. There’s the obligatory CNN report, accompanied by a piece of commentary that argues the school is “like a real-life setting for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’”
Sounds terrible. Has she joined a fringe Christian cult? Have the Branch Davidians descended on Northern Virginia? Are teachers kept in a form of sex slavery to produce children for the principal? Let’s let the New York Times set the lurid scene:
Karen Pence, the second lady of the United States, returned to teaching art this week, accepting a part-time position at a private Christian school that does not allow gay students and requires employees to affirm that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Hmm, something doesn’t seem right. I’ve been involved in Christian education for much of my life. I attended a Christian college, my oldest kids attended a dozen consecutive years of Christian schooling, I served a term as chairman of their school’s board, and I’ve represented Christian institutions for more than two decades, and I’ve never once seen a Christian institution declare that no gays are allowed.
Instead, many thousands of Christian schools have statements of faith and codes of conduct that require teachers and sometimes students and parents to agree with the school’s theological doctrine and comply with a code of conduct. They don’t say, “No gays allowed.” They say, “Here is what we believe, and here is how you must behave.”
And sure enough, that’s exactly what Immanuel Christian School does. It’s a ministry of the Immanuel Bible Church, it has adopted the church’s essentials of the faith, and it has created a “parent agreement” that contains the following relevant language:
I understand the biblical role of Immanuel Christian School is to partner with families to encourage students to be imitators of Christ. This necessarily involves the school’s understanding and belief regarding biblical morality and standards of conduct. I understand that the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman. My role as spiritual mentor to my children will be taken seriously.
Read a satirical article on this: Media Astonished To Learn Christian School Teaches Christian Beliefs