The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Conversion aversion: professor alleges discrimination after she became Christian

posted by jmcgee

A lecturer at Oxford University’s Center for Jewish Studies claims colleagues discriminated against her after she converted to Christianity.

From the Telegraph:

Dr Tali Argov says she was overlooked for promotion, stripped of her privileges and cold-shouldered at social gatherings.

She says staff wanted to vet her lectures to make sure that, as a Christian, she would not criticise Israel.

Eventually she claims she was made redundant from her post at the prestigious Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies, despite offering to take on new roles.

“It is my belief that, following firstly the conversion of my husband and then the conversion of myself, the treatment which I received as an employee of the Respondents was very different and a number of incidents occurred which led me to believe that I was being discriminated against,” Dr Argov told Reading Employment Tribunal hearing this week.

Dr Argov told the hearing, where she is claiming unfair dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, that she and her husband, Eran, were raised in the Jewish faith and lived in Israel until he was offered a place at Brasenose College, Oxford, to write a doctoral thesis.

They moved to England in 1996 and in 2000 Dr Argov, then studying for a PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was offered the full-time post of Lector of Modern Hebrew at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies. The centre is independent but its students are part of the traditional Oxford college system.

Dr Argov said she was welcomed and appreciated but the “honeymoon” ended after her husband was baptised into the Church of England in 2005, after which time “all those kind, heart-warming gestures disappeared overnight” and she was “considered guilty by association”.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 7:30 am

Many years ago, something similar happened at a “Christian” college in Ohio. This college had a “Faith and Beliefs Statement” that any potential employee had to sign before joining the staff. A woman who believed she met all of the qualifications signed-off on the document and was hired to teach. Sometime along in the next several years, she developed a relationship with a non-Christian man (not sure if he was Jewish or Islamic) and they were married. They decided (perhaps because of the traditions of his culture) that she would covert to his beliefs so that they were one in their faith as well.
The college promptly fired her. The case was reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education (trade-paper of everyone in college work) and the feedback from among college faculty throughout the country was loud and noisy.
Neither the lady-faculty member nor her former college backed down.
When it was all said and done, he college has what is known in law as a BFOQ — “bona-fide-occupational-qualification.” She knew that BFOQ in advance of her employment; decided to violate that BFOQ after some time on that college’s faculty, and was let go.
Most Roman Catholic dioceses require some similar statement to be signed-off from their elementary and secondary teachers as well.
Sad, perhaps,but perfectly legal and ethical.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 11:51 am

As long as so many conservative Christians define our God through their hatred, our religion will be associated with everything Christ is NOT.

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posted July 31, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Panthera, perhaps it has escaped your attention that those you most likely call “conservative christians” are the only ones actually attempting to practice the commands of our Lord. While hatred for any individual is unfounded regardless of their faith, for all are sinners in need of the Saviour, a clear distinction must be made between the world and the Church. To forgo this command of Scripture is to invite a liberalism the seeks only the destruction of the Way, The Truth, and the Life.
It is also interesting that the article highlights an incidence of bigotry against a Christain, not the other way around. Fiergenholts relation of the “discrimination” against another college employee is quite ethical. To be employed at a Christian college, where the beliefs of the faith are to be taught and obeyed, it is perfectly reasonable to expect adherence. If this is not required the institution will likely follow the liberal bias of what used to be an exceptional Christian college network in this country. May God bless you and guide you, opening your eyes to the truths of our Savior Christ Jesus.

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posted August 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm

What part of:
Non occides
is unclear to you?
Who cares what a Roman Catholic Priest says when it is in conflict with GOD’S word?
He’s wrong,m God is right.
Be happy to bring in evidence for all my statements.

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posted August 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Funny how what is in conflict with God’s word is used when convenient. God also said Thou shall not kill–please remind the abortionists and the women who use them about that one.
Is adultery/fornication any worse than same sex activity? Love how people twist things when it suits. Must be pretty smart to be able to interpret God’s word by oneself.

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posted August 1, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Panthera, please forgive me if I fail to see something that you seem to indicate is obvious. In which way did I define Christainity in American political terms? I merely state what is in Scripture itself. It is interesting that you refernce Matthew 22 as you do. Speaking in terms of eternity your quote is the most relevant. Is it more loving to encourage sinful behaviors throughout a life time, thus allowing them the “right” of eternal judgment in the lake of fire? Or would it be more loving to actually try and lead them down the paths of righteousness? While this topic is no where mentioned in the article you have chosen this as your soap box. Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But in the end it leads to death.”(World English Bible) I fail to grasp how you jumped to the topic of allowing people of all races attend college? The Word of God said long ago that people are equal regardless of skin color. All are made in the image of God. Abortion clinics are murder mills. The people working there commit infanticide for profit. This being said, the people who murder abortionists are also murderers. Neither is right. You mention fornicators but think the institution of marriage should be demeaned to include people of same sex. Obviously you haven’t read Scripture in a long time. Add to that the various accusations you level against Christians with no backing what-so-ever, and clearly no understanding of the topics themselves, and one clearly begins to see a reason for doubting your faith. Imigration laws are not a religious topic, they are a national one. You can not name a single individual or organization that supported a “kill the gays” law in Uganda. The people in the Catholic school who declined admission for the child did so based upon their pre-existing contracts with the parents. It would do no good to teach the child the ways of righteousness and have them washed away by immoral parents at home. I am not Catholic, but it was their call to make. The war in iraq and afghanistan was not a choice based upon a religious belief. Let me make this clear, there is no such thing as a liberal Christian. Matthew 7: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” One cannot follow the path of an ungodly culture and still claim to be on the narrow way.
RomCath, I would definately agree with you on your basic premise of individuals taking what they want out of Scripture. However, I would have to call into question the underlying principle beneath your last statement. As a child of God the Holy Spirit becomes ones teacher. Surely we must seek out more information, and that includes the help of people better instructed then ourselves, but God’s Word is open for everyone. A priest is not intrinsically more close to God than you are. God loves YOU and wants to speak to you through His Word. Will people get some things wrong? Of course, but the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone so the opportunities for correction should abound.

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posted August 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm

How very very right you are.
I should have added ‘some’ or ‘many’ or ‘a plethora’ to ‘conservative Christians’. My response was to the universal condemnation of all liberal Christians by MJG.
It’s a mystery to me how all those pesky, inconvenient things in the Bible like charity and tolerance don’t count, or, like telling lies which NOM do all the time, or adultery which pretty much all conservative Christian politicians in the US seem to do are forgiven and forgotten.
You served your wife with divorce papers on her death bed in the hospital because your girl friend demand syou marry her? Hey, no problem – just have a \saving relevation\ and you, too, can run for president as the favorite of conservative Christians.
Your wife stayed loyal to you throughout your captivity, raised your kids but was foolish enough to have a bad car accident, leaving her scarred and ugly? No problem, just have an affair with another woman, divorce your loyal wife and, heh presto! you, too, can be the Christian candidate for all conservatives.

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posted August 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

You left out our former liberal pres who had a fling with Monica and now his wife is a big shot. Seems the world had forgiven him too. Look at the media circus at the daughter’s nuptials!
Oh and that wonderful Congressman Rangel who has cheated on his taxes etc. Oh and half the members of the current administration who forgot to pay taxes too. The list goes on on both sides.

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posted August 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Yes, RomCath, it does, sadly go on.
The trouble is, the conservatives arethe ones who are now the face of Christianity, not us.
For all our flaws, we liberal Christians genuinely love God and define our love of Him through our attempts to follow his two great commandments.
How many gays have been turned away from God by statements I read here directed at me every single thread:
You can’t be gay and a Christian.
Being gay is a choice.
My 27 year monogamous marriage is only about anal sex, nothing else.
I don’t know what love is.
I hate God.
I should leave my husband and marry a woman solely to have kids – love is not relevant.
Our marriage should be torn asunder by the state.
And so on.
Really winning gays for God, no?
The rest is analogous. My loving, committed, faithful, monogamous marriage is the greatest sin possible. Newt Gingerich’s fornication and adultery are just fine, torture is great, the death penalty is chosen by God,the list goes on and on.
We liberals do make mistakes, yes. But we are not hate driven in our definition of loving God.
[Pan … I appreciate the passion and anger you bring to these arguments. But the one-note musical score is getting tiresome. Every post, no matter what the subject, reverts back to you and your same-sex marriage — usually, with conservative Christians being at fault. Can you please find another lens through which to view the world? Your simplistic and reductive liberals=good/conservatives=evil view is not helpful. In the end, the fact is, the Catholic Church teaching about homosexuality isn’t going to change. And screaming about eeeviiil conservatives makes you no better than those you criticize. Can you please grow up and move on? Thank you. Dcn. G.]

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posted August 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm

That’s perfectly reasonable, Deacon Kandra. There is more than enough politically motivated, ethnocentrically focused browbeating of everyone who doesn’t see the world through conservative Christian eyes to provide argument.
I am well aware that the Catholic church is not ready to accept gay marriage. It would be nice, though, if the conservative Christians who so often claim to speak for God actually accepted all Church teaching, not just that which fits their motivation.

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