Thursday, August 6, 2009

Belmont Abbey to defend truth against EEOC threat

According to an article in the Gaston Gazette, Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC has been deemed guilty, by the EEOC, of gender discrimination and of mistreatment of faculty. The background: Upon realizing in 2007 that the health coverage provided to employees of the College covered contraceptive benefits, BAC's president Bill Thierfelder quickly moved to eliminate that provision, understanding its incompatibility with ethical and moral norms. As a private, Catholic institution, the College has the right to deny such coverage and theoretically should have faced no difficulty. Some of the faculty, however, expressed extreme discontent, and submitted a complaint against the College to the EEOC. The verdict: The decision made by Belmont Abbey to refuse coverage of contraceptive benefits only affects women, and since it has no immediate effect on men, who cannot be prescribed contraceptives, it is therefore a case of gender discrimination. Furthermore, Belmont Abbey "retaliated" against those supposedly poor, enfeebled, wronged employees who brought forth the complaint because the letter sent by the administration to faculty and staff explaining the issue listed the names of said plaintiffs.

"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes," but let's hope Belmont Abbey will not have to fight against it alone. The issue should be close to the hearts of all interested in the preservation of morality, ethics, and the whole of society.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The EEOC action was correct. Nobody asked the college to reinstate coverage for abortions or sterilization, the only issue was contraception coverage. This was not decided on religious issues but rather discrimination under the civil rights act under established standards. It is generally accepted that if an employer pays for diseases unique to blacks, i.e. sickle cell, it should pay for those unique to hispanics, asians, and whites. In this case the EEOC ruled that if the college pays for any prescription used by men, for example prostate cures, it should also pay for any medicine used by women, including birth control pills. The government cannot and should not consider one particular group's religious issues, especially at this college where the majority of faculty and students are not Catholic. An employer should not impose its religious beliefs on employees, otherwise a Muslim business owner could force female employees to wear burqas.

W. Esser said...

As both an Abbey grad and an Irish grad, I'm shocked that the Irish Rover would post a blog lauding the EEOC for such an action. The Irish Rover's website says that it is an organization dedicated to the "mission to keep Notre Dame Catholic." I support that mission, just as I support the mission of keeping Belmont Abbey College Catholic. The person who posted this blog would do well to read Sections 2370 and 2399 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in which contraception is referred to as "morally unacceptable" and "inrinsically evil." I can see no reason to "laud" the EEOC for an action which seeks to force a Catholic college to pay for and sanction morally unacceptable behavior. Please reconsider your poorly thought out position on this matter. In Our Lady,

Laura Lindsley said...

To W. Esser: I extend my sincerest apologies that the sarcasm in my post was not made clear enough; perhaps for such a grave and sensitive matter I ought to have simply taken to direct reporting. I had hoped that the quote from Macbeth would further clarify the tongue-in-cheek tone as it was meant to indicate the imminent storm brewing as the EEOC's flawed reasoning becomes a regular and accepted argument in society. I assure you, and any others who suffered for my lack of clarity, that neither I nor the Irish Rover support the EEOC's decision. Indeed my loyalty is to truth, and so I will fight on that side and no other. Thank you for your impassioned comment- I agree whole-heartedly and am reassured by it.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why birth control pill should be considered a medicine. Is pregnancy a disease?

Anonymous said...

Pregnancy can have the same effect as a disease on womens' ability to compete with men in the workplace. This is why the EEOC decided to require that employers cover prescription contraception if they have a prescription drug benefit plan nine years ago.