Cheers and jeers: Hiring and firing at World Vision | Editorial

Cheers and jeers to the landmark court decision involving three former employees of World Vision. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a ruling in favor of the Federal Way-based humanitarian organization's policy of hiring Christian employees. In 2006, three employees were fired for their religious beliefs after disavowing World Vision's statement of faith. All job candidates at World Vision agree to the statement as a condition of employment. The ex-employees filed a complaint in 2007, then appealed the District Court's decision in 2009.

Cheers to the employees for calling attention to a head-scratching gray area. World Vision is exempt from the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars religious discrimination in hiring. Exemptions apply to organizations that are "primarily religious." World Vision's foundation is based on Christianity.

In contrast, jeers to the three ex-employees for complaining in the first place. They understood and agreed to World Vision's religious conditions when hired. Rather than damning their dismissal, perhaps they should curse their own oversight. Religious beliefs and morals aside, why pretend to be something you are not? The human spirit, whether guided by religious or secular forces, deserves better.

Cheers to the calm before the local fall election storm. Election season will heat up after Labor Day, and this one will be historic. Federal Way voters will elect their mayor for the first time, choosing between two formidable candidates in Jim Ferrell and Skip Priest. A debate is slated for 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at Federal Way High School. For the three Legislature races, a debate will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at Federal Way High School. The Mirror is offering candidates an opportunity to speak to readers in their own words by answering a pair of questions. Their answers will appear in The Mirror in the coming weeks.

Cheers to speed enforcement in Federal Way school zones, which began Sept. 2. In a school zone, the speed limit in Washington state is 20 mph. The fine for violating the limit ranges from $189 to $250. Any effort to protect children and pedestrians is an effort well spent.

Jeers to the latest standardized test results for Federal Way and Washington state. Randy Dorn, state superintendent of schools, may call for more revisions for student testing. In this case, "revisions" translates to "lowering standards to avoid further embarrassment by helping more kids pass." Dorn needs to hurry. Starting in 2013, students will be required to pass all state exams to be eligible for a diploma.

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