Christian Gospel Mission Sues for Right to Hire Like-Minded Employees

A religious organization, whether it’s a battered women’s shelter, homeless shelter, or thrift store, has a constitutional right to hire people who share the tenets of its faith. Part of the Yakima Union Gospel Mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it’s reasonable — and constitutional — to hire people committed to doing the same.

But leftists disagree. There are no “safe spaces” for Christians or women under their regime.

The Mission, a homeless shelter in Washington state, also provides addiction recovery programs, meals, and health clinics in the community. Naturally, this religious organization seeks to hire like-minded individuals in this ministry, although it serves anyone who wants help.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents the mission, said that after the Washington Supreme Court reinterpreted a so-called non-discrimination law, people who openly disagree with the mission — and even outright hostile to it — have applied for jobs. To protect itself, the mission took down the job notices and filed a federal lawsuit to protect its First Amendment right to religious freedom. According to the Washington Times, the court limited employment restrictions to those that qualify for a “ministerial exception.”

“Courts have consistently recognized that the government will undermine a religious organization’s purpose if it forces the organization to hire those who do not subscribe to the group’s beliefs,” ADF Legal Counsel Jake Reed said. “The Yakima Union Gospel Mission is doing important ministry outreach in Washington state and we urge the court to uphold its freedom to carry out its calling through its staff of likeminded people of faith.”

These organizations aren’t merely providing services but are also sharing their religious beliefs with their clients. Physical and material support are noble efforts, but the organizations also offer spiritual guidance and comfort. Employees must support providing these kinds of guidance as well.

The Constitution protects the freedom of religious organizations to select employees who share their beliefs and  prohibits the government from interfering with the free exercise of religion. This protection extends to the hiring practices of religious organizations, which are allowed to hire employees who share their religious beliefs without fear of legal repercussions.

A Christian rescue mission in Wyoming settled with the state in November after being under investigation for 16 months. State and federal officials settled with the mission and agreed to pay its attorney’s fees. And the mission can continue hiring like-minded employees.

Check Also

Oregon Revokes Grant Funds for Youth Ministry Over Statement of Faith

Oregon has stripped a youth ministry of funding because it requires employees and volunteers to …