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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:58 AM
Original message
CSU East Bay teacher fired over loyalty oath gets her job back
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

HAYWARD -- A Cal State East Bay math teacher and practicing Quaker who was fired for refusing to sign a state-required loyalty oath got her job back this week with an apology from the university and a clarification that the oath does not require employees to take up arms in violation of their religious beliefs.

"It's the best possible outcome," said Marianne Kearney-Brown, 50, a graduate student in mathematics who was teaching a remedial class for undergraduates. "My concerns have been addressed."

As a Quaker, Kearney-Brown is committed to nonviolence and was unwilling to sign the state oath of allegiance that required her to "swear (or affirm)" that she would "support and defend" the U.S. and California constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." She tried inserting the word "nonviolently" in front of the word "support," but was told by university officials that altering the oath was unacceptable.

Kearney-Brown, a former high school math teacher, was fired Feb. 28 after six weeks on the job at the Hayward campus. She filed a grievance with the help of her union, the United Auto Workers.

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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. Good for her!
My wife's grandfather was thrown into jail and treated very badly for insisting upon non-combatancy status during WWI (he was an SDA). They finally agreed to let him serve as a front-line nurse in France, where he saw some pretty horrific action with the 88th Division...but he "stuck to his guns" and served unarmed.
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DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. Looks like they've set themselves up for a religious discrimination lawsuit ... and dodged it. n/t
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 02:29 AM by DRoseDARs
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. In a sane world, this would put them in more danger of such a suit
In a sane world, a non-Quaker would have the same rights. But this isn't a sane world, or at least it's no longer a sane country.
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. In the Reich It's all about loyalty oaths and empty displays of patriotism.
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selador Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. this oath been in place for years
i knew several when i was in college who worked for the university (california) but refused to sign the loyalty oath. that was over 20 yrs ago

they were allowed to work, but the university would not PAY them until they signed the oath
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
26. the Bushist Brownshirts will reload
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:08 AM
Response to Original message
4. Wasn't Nixon a Quaker?
I'm a little bit dubious on this whole "Quakers are against war" theory.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. And Bush is a 'christian.' Some people are liars and hypocrites.
Quaker Nixon: 2 million slaughtered in Southeast Asia.

Christian Bush: 1.2 million slaughtered in Iraq, and counting.

The Quakers--also call the "Friends"--believe in non-violence, and most of them completely disavow war, and sometimes even self-defense (of a violent kind). They look for and develop ways to avoid situations ever coming to blows or arms, and also ways to defuse violent situations and to peacefully disarm attackers. This is their abiding philosophy, and there is no Christian group that more exemplifies what Jesus actually said. "Turn the other cheek" means "turn the other cheek." "Love thy enemy" means "love they enemy." There is no other way to interpret these words except as a bar to violence, even when attacked. The Quakers also have a highly developed ethical sense, as to social justice and the real causes of violence--the roots of violence in greed and powermongering. The American Friends Service Committee--U.S. Quakers--were very active during the Vietnam War helping young men avoid the Draft and/or seek 'conscientious objector' status (non-combatant). In fact, if you know any young people now, you should advise them to join the Friends, to help document their objections to war. The Draft rules have been more nazified since Vietnam, so it will be much harder to evade the Draft (if a new one is instituted) or to obtain CO status. The Friends are a non-proselytizing Christian group. They are the best Christians, the real Christians--open-minded, gentle, courageous, creative, intelligent. Can't harm anybody to hang with the Friends. They are the only Christian group that is generally acknowledged to be totally antiwar, thus, if you belong to the Friends, you have more official backing of your freedom of religion right not to kill.

The Catholic Church--and I believe it was Thomas Aquinas--did a real disservice to Christianity when it developed the concept of a "just war"--the use of violence in a just cause. They thus deprived most Christians of official backing on the right not to kill. (Most Christian groups adopted their view. So, if you are a Catholic or a Methodist, or whatever, you can't just say, 'Jesus said not to kill'--Church doctrine doesn't back you up, doesn't agree with Jesus.)

It also did the Iraqi people an egregious disservice, since the concept of "just war" led straight to the deaths of 1.2 million of them. Where does Jesus say it's okay to slaughter 1.2 million people if they have "weapons of mass destruction," or "WMD program related activities," or..well, no WMDs or WMD-program related activities, but their leader is a bad man...and...and. This bullshit comes right from the Vatican. To be fair, current Popes opposed the Iraq War, but they have put their blessing on war as acceptable 'christian' behavior, if it can somehow be justified as aiming at a greater good--rescuing innocents, putting down aggressors, creating peace. But never does what it is supposed to do--even in the case of WW II.

WW II seems justifiable, by almost any criterion, except for two things: The Treaty of Versailles placed economic sanctions on Germany so severe that the German economy collapsed, creating the conditions for Hitler's rise. WW II was preventable. Predatory capitalists and war profiteers induced Germany to fight its way back into industrial might and become out-of-control aggressors. Secondly, after WW II, there was no demobilization by the western powers. WW II segued right into the Korean War, the Vietnam War--by which time the war profiteers were basically dictating U.S. foreign policy-- and the tremendous escalation of nuclear weapons around the world, and the "Cold War," primarily between the U.S. and the Soviet Union--all the way to today, and the Iraq War and the "war on terrorism" and the "war on drugs." Everything is a "war," requiring huge expenditures in war materials, and ultimately--as now in the U.S.--nazi laws and stolen elections to control democratic rebellion against war. WW II--the so-called "just war"--led to all of this, a completely militarized world, in which the super-rich have hijacked the machinery of war to secure resources--oil, etc.--by force, exactly as Hitler did.

Also, during "Cold War" period, the CIA went around the world assassinating populist leftist leaders, and destroying one democracy after another, in the "third world," where predatory capitalists wanted to steal resources. The nazi enemy morphed into the communist enemy because the war profiteers needed an "enemy." Also because any kind of leftist--socialist, New Dealer, elected communist, dictatorial communist, all lumped together--advocated limiting profits to the rich, for the benefit of the poor. Really, the poor became the new "enemy."

The Quaker belief is that you have to tackle the root problems--our militarized world, for instance. If you have vast arsenals of weapons, they WILL be used wrongfully--for aggression, for preemptive war, to steal resources, to dominate. The current political paradigm is that, if you don't have vast military power, and can't threaten people with potential violence, you can't be effective at diplomacy. But that is not true. You just have to be cleverer, more intelligent, more generous, more empathetic, more into cooperation and collective problem solving--more ingenious. If your true object is the welfare of others--and not stealing from them, and dominating them--you can effectively head off problems that lead to violence, and solve any problem that arises. You don't need a nuclear arsenal. But what if the other guy has a nuclear arsenal? Well then you address HIS problems--or his country's problems--in such a way that you can all disarm. Most of the world's peoples and leaders have to be clever to achieve their ends. We have nukes. We don't have to be clever. The vast arsenals themselves create stupidity and boorishness--and, with Bush, we have come up against the serious threat of stupidity, boorishness and greed resulting in nuclear holocaust.

There's got to be another way. And there is is. The Quaker way. Become the higher beings that we are capable of becoming. Transcend war, starting with transcendence of greed.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. Just War Theory was Augustine's doing.
Mennonites, the Amish, Hutterites and the Church of the Brethren also hold to a peace witness, btw.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Theory? It's part of their traditional doctrine going back centuries.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. But did have its limits.
In the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s, two people were convicted of Rebellion, and the leading attorney in Pittsburgh, the Center of the Rebellion, blamed they lawyer for picking Quakers for the Jury. He noted even in the 1790s, Quakers were good on juries for Murder or other crimes, they tended to want to be kind to Criminals, but when it came to Rebellion, Quakers were the quickest to convict and send a person to the Gallows. Washington later pardoned both defendants for one being Insane the other a Simpleton. What I always liked about the two trials were Quakers were willing to send an Insane person and a Simpleton to the Gallows for rebellion (and most Quakers backed the British in 1776, Quakers like Law and Order above all).

For more on the Whiskey Rebellion:
This is not that good a cite, but it ignores the real problem with taxation of Whiskey in the 1790s Western Pennsylvania. At that time they was LITTLE or NO hard currency in Western Pennsylvania, so people used Whiskey as a medium of exchange. Thus when the Federal Government Taxes Whiskey it was like taxing money (Not wealth, for whiskey was the same as cash, thus it was like taxing someone for having cash, but if he had a Credit Card, Land or other valuable he did NOT have to pay any tax).

This was the big problem with the tax on Whiskey in the Western Parts of the United States, the East had access to other medium of exchange (including cash) but those just did NOT exist in Western Pa in the 1790s. Thus the affect of the tax on Whiskey was NOT like an Income tax for Whiskey was NOT income, the affects was NOT like an excise tax, for you could NOT avoid it do to the fact Whiskey was the only thing most people accepted as Cash, It was NOT even a head tax, for it depended on how much whiskey you had on you, not just one single fee. Furthermore the tax was to be paid by Cash, something in short supply in Western Pa (The tax collectors could NOT accept whiskey for the tax).

In simple terms, you had a shortage of Cash, to solve that problem people had substitute Whiskey for Cash. Now the Federal Government wanted every person who produced whiskey for any reason (Even to be used in exchange for other things) to pay CASH on every barrel of Whiskey produced (And remember Cash did NOT really exist at that time period).

It also ignores the fact that the Rebellion was organized through the Militia and its monthly meetings NOT the churches. Churches had been important centers of most previous Rebellions in the Wester World, including even the American Revolution. Many such revolutions were NOT religious in nature (Including the American Revolution) bu till the Militia were formed the only way to get information to people was through the Churches. The Whiskey rebellion shows that this was changing, future US Political parties would NOT be religious based, but based on Political parties, including the Democratic Committees popular in the 1790s. The Political PArties would have three bases, such committees, the Militia and various Churches, in that order. The Militia would hold its own in the South till and after the Civil War, while it was on decline after 1815 in the North (Being replaced by newspapers, which also tended to replace churches as places where people picked up what was happening in the Country).

A third fact the Article ignores, is the affect of the Yellow Fever Epidemic that hit Philadelphia in 1793. It closed down the Federal Government at the Height of the Rebellion (Which actually started in 1792). When the Rebellion started in 1792, it was to late for the Federal Government to do anything, the Epidemic prevented any action from being decided upon in 1793 so nothing was done till late 1794, when the locals had managed to calm down most of the people from going into open revolt. Had the US Army been sent in in 1793, it would have lead to bloodshed, but the movement for Rebellion was down by 1794 when Washington and the rest of the Government returned to Philadelphia to ask Congress to put down the Rebellion. Not only did the people of Western Pennsylvania calmed down so did Alexander Hamilton, who given the situation in Western Pennsylvania (of which he seems to have no knowledge till he came with the troops in 1794) was much more generous in 1794 then he had been in 1792 when the rebellion first broke out.
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HockeyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. Why loyalty oaths to a State?
We have free travel between the states and people can and do move around frequently. I recently moved from New York to Florida. When I went to work for a school district in Florida, I had to sign an oath swearing allegiance to the United States AND the State of Florida. Ok, I can see swearing allegiance to the USA, but the State of Florida? Gimme a break. I can decide tomorrow that I don't want to live here and move to a different state.

Stupid. I did entertain thoughts of crossing out Florida and just swearing to the US.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Is there a Pledge Of Allegiance to the state flag?
Why stop with loyalty oaths?
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Don't joke--we've got a pledge to the Texas flag.
I hardly ever hear it used, though. Looks like we got the words "under God" added last year. Whew! Dodged that lightning bolt in the nick of time.

The pledge of allegiance to the Texas state flag is
"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."

According to The Handbook of Texas Online, "In 1933 the legislature passed a law establishing rules for the proper display of the flag and providing for a pledge to the flag: "Honor the Texas Flag of 1836; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible." The pledge erroneously referred to the 1836 national flag, known as David G. Burnet's flag, instead of the Lone Star Flag. Senator Searcy Bracewell introduced a bill to correct this error in 1951, but the legislature did not delete the words "of 1836" until 1965."

The pledge was again amended by House Bill 1034 during the 80th Legislature with the addition of "one state under God." The revised wording became effective on June 15, 2007.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Wow, I did think I was joking!
I wonder what happens if one's pledge to the Texas flag conflicts with one's pledge to the American flag. (What if Texas secedes, for example?) And what if you have taken some loyalty oath to the Republican Party that conflicts with one or more of the other pledges? This is getting confusing.

Good thing they put that "under God" bit in there, though. We wouldn't want to separate church and state.
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Oklahoma has a state flag pledge
My daughter's class recites it every day, along with the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. It's not too bad:
"I salute the flag of the state of Oklahoma, it's symbols of peace unite all people."

Still, to me any sort of required "pledge" or "loyalty oath" is reminiscent of "Sieg Heil!" :eyes:
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IntravenousDemilo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. You mean like this?

This is in a really good article about flag-burning:

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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. OMG! What a photo!
Thanks for that link.
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. They had loyalty oaths for new teachers in the 70's (in NH)...
I had no idea that there was still a state in the union that required one.
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selador Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. california requirement
california has had this oath in place for years. it applies to people being PAID by the state of california iirc.

when i was in college, i knew that you needed to sign it if you wanted to be paid for any work for the university, for instance (public university).

i knew some that signed it, and others that didn't. the ones that didn't WERE allowed to work for the school (various positions) but could not be paid

this is a good ruling, obviously.

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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
11. This BS kept a qualified teacher off the job for more than a week.
What the hell kind of government takes umbrage at the word "nonviolently"?
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
13. the university
looked real bad and real stupid on this one. i'm happy for her.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
21. Good!
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
22. I signed that darn oath without giving it much thought.
I didn't mean it. I don't even believe in countries. I did not even notice that the California Constitution was in it. I have never read the California Constitution.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I am pretty sure a loyalty oath must be unconstitutional
It certainly isn't enforceable if you don't mean it. I mean, does leaving the state for a job elsewhere make you disloyal to California? I think not. And what does it mean to defend the Constitution anyway? Yell at Bush for destroying it? Talk about disloyal- He should be impeached for failing to live up to HIS oath.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
25. I'm happy to hear this,
thanks for the thread, Newsjock.
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