I read with interest Fred Snowden’s opinion piece “The Problem with Loudoun County”. My opinion differs. The problem I have seen is religion encroaching in the public sector.
Mr. Snowden correctly pointed out that not all Christians agree with his interpretation of Christianity. Many do not find things as “crystal clear” as he does. His views differ markedly from the Deism of many of the founding Fathers such as Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson. There is a reason that the Founding Fathers established a separation between church and state. They were not too many years removed from the numerous religious wars that had wracked Europe and the persecution many suffered at the hands of government sanctioned churches.
I am sure that the leadership of the Loudoun County Public Schools developed the new policy without regard to any particular religious views, as should be the case in this country.
The incident that his piece focused on involved The Loudoun County school teacher, Tanner Cross, who reportedly stated that he would not follow a policy that was being considered by Loudoun County Public Schools, because his religion would prevent him from doing so. That policy, among other things, would require teachers to refer to transgender students by pronouns that correspond to a particular student's gender identity.
Mr. Cross has a public sector job paid for with Loudoun County tax money. Therefore, he should not be allowed to practice his personal religious views while on the job that are at odds with the policies established by Loudoun County Public Schools. If the rules of his workplace are too much at odds with his religious views, he is free to request a religious exemption that is acceptable to his employer or to work for another school whose policies are more in line with his own.
Mr. Cross has the right to express his opinion about the policy and to hold any religious views he wants to. The school system went too far when it suspended him for stating his objection to the policy and his intention to violate it. The time to suspend Mr. Cross would be when he actually violates the policy.