Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Court OK's Firing of 3 By Adventist University For Violating Church Doctrine

Last week the Riverside, California Press-Enterprise reported on a March 5 decision by a Riverside County Superior Court judge dismissing a lawsuit against Seventh Day Adventist-affiliated La Sierra University by the school's former vice president of development; former Arts and Science dean, and a former biology professor.  The three were pressured by the University's board president into resigning after they made derogatory remarks about church officials and violated church teachings on the consumption of alcohol.  School officials found out about remarks the three made when a conversation between them that had been recorded fell into officials' hands. (Transcript of conversation.) The trial court said in part: "the church is entitled to make its own decisions about how to respond when employees of a church-run school are deemed to have violated SDA (Seventh-day Adventist) doctrine."

A comment on the decision published by ReligiousLiberty​.TV contends:
While the official line was that the three plaintiffs had been caught drinking alcohol on an audio recording the real motivation had more to do with the heretofore untouched issue of creationism.  Two of the plaintiffs were outspoken critics of the Adventist view of literal creationism and the lawsuit revealed the concerns that church leadership has had regarding the way that Adventist beliefs had been downplayed at La Sierra.
UPDATE: Here is the full transcript of the March 5 summary judgment hearing in the case, Kaatz v. Graham.