Back a few weeks, there was a discussion on this blog about women working outside of the home and what the church’s actual position on it might be (which i claimed isn’t very black-and-white, as opposed to church culture, which is pretty intensely one-sided, i think). I said in an email conversation with one of the commenters on that post that at some point i’d post my thoughts on it given hiring practices at the Brigham Young University campuses (i used to work at one of them), so here it is:
I have to admit that i have difficulty believing that the prophets actually want women who desire to work outside the home not to do so. I mean, consider that faculty appointments at the Brigham Young University campuses are subject to approval by the Church Educational System Board of Trustees, and that group includes half of the Quorum of the Twelve and all of the First Presidency (among others). If the prophetic stance was actually that women (or at least women with children at home) shouldn’t work outside the home, then wouldn’t there be no appointments of women with children at home to the faculty of Brigham Young University? And yet there they are…
And before it happens, in case someone says it’s because of nondiscrimination rules, that doesn’t apply here. Colleges and universities in the United States with clearly defined religious missions are exempt from nondiscrimination rules in two ways: They’re allowed to discriminate based on religious affiliation, and they are allowed to discriminate in other ways that clearly relate to the religious doctrines of the affiliated religion. In other words, the BYUs can give hiring preference to practicing, devout Mormons—which they do—and they can refuse to hire anyone whose hire would contradict the religious doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That they hire women with small children at home anyway at the very least sends a signal that that isn’t a point of religious doctrine for the church.
Faith Hill: Where Are You, Christmas?
4 years ago