NUACS has the right to decide whom to hire

To the editor:

The recent non-renewal of Missy Marti’s dance coaching contract at NUACS has caused a level of outrage in our small community that is normally reserved for departures in standards of lawn maintenance. For this reason, it seems the following observations may be relevant:

First, it really doesn’t matter how long Marti has been employed by NUACS. When one is hired by a private, religious institution, one must expect to adhere to the standards set forth by that institution, no matter how long the employee’s nonstandard behavior appeared to be previously flying under the radar. The fact that the NUACS administration has decided that Marti’s unmarried cohabitative status is now an issue doesn’t mean that it was previously acceptable; it just means that the administration is exercising its right at this point to release her. Perhaps because Marti is herself not Catholic she may fail to see why flaunting the teachings of the Church while at the same time accepting a paycheck and having a significant influence over impressionable young minds might cause a certain degree of consternation among the faithful. Marti may be an exemplary choreographer and dance coach – I personally don’t know — but no doubt there are others who can do the same job and not lead their charges into error.

Second, one of the reasons the Church is against living together before marriage is because it is also against sex before marriage and, generally speaking, if one is doing the first they are most likely doing the second. Even if they aren’t, the optics suggest otherwise. This used to be called “causing scandal to others” but, in our Morally Incoherent Society, no one really grasps this concept anymore. Nevertheless, NUACs is right and has the right to do what it needs to do to uphold the beautiful Church teaching that sex is reserved for the commitment of marriage. Expecting an institution to both have standards and then pay an employee who openly goes against those standards seems a bit ridiculous, if not fiscally irresponsible.

Finally, the best argument for Marti’s firing appears to come inadvertently from one of her former dancers who recently wrote a letter to the editor in support of the coach. The writer claimed, “Marti would never let her living situation impact the way she coaches her dancers.” Except that, intentionally or not, she just did.

Kathy Sonnek

Lake Crystal

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