a question was posed on my favorite forum about whether it is ok for a church to specify that they want to only hire someone of their own denomination. Sadly, the discussion got rather emotionally out of control, but I do think that I have some very helpful thoughts to contribute, that I want to re-post here.
But shouldn't "be a practicing Catholic" be one of *many* helpful qualifications for a job? If people of similar qualifications were applying for a job at an Episcopal church, wouldn't the person who had been Episcopal (and attending Episcopal services) for their whole life be more experienced and knowledgeable about little details about various services? And I would be interested in hearing if anyone disagreed with the idea that someone who was born and raised and still a practicing member of a particular denomination would have a *personal* attachment to the church that would make them more devoted and attached to their job, compared to someone who had the *exact same* qualifications otherwise?
But of course if it were just one qualification among many, you ought to hire someone with superior keyboard/conducting/people skills over someone who was "just" a Catholic but lacking in other musical areas.
So is the question, can one make ANY assumptions about a possible future employee based on whether they are applying in a church of which they are already a theologically-agreeing member?
If *I* were a church in the position of hiring someone, I would certainly hire someone who was that denomination over someone who wasn't (with the same qualifications,) because I would have to assume that the person of that denomination had better reasons for wanting to work there. (and for the same reasons I think it is very appropriate and permissible to ask.) What I mean by that is, I could safely assume that the person of that denomination wanted to work there because, as I mentioned above, they probably have a personal attachment to that particular church, BUT I would have to wonder about the person not of the denomination: why do they want to work in my church? Isn't it "just a job" for them? WHY do they care about making the music in my denomination better? --Since I cannot think of another reason off the top of my head, I am very curious to hear people's reasons who are not Catholic for wanting to work in the Catholic church (other than, it happened to be open when I was looking for a job and the pay is ok, etc.)
I can say all of this because of my own personal views on my current job-- I view it as a vocation, a calling. I'm not working just for a salary. I'm working to make the music of the RC church as best as it can be. I would probably do this even if there was no money in it for me. I do this precisely because I believe that the fullness of the truth is found in the RC church, and therefore I should give it everything I have. How could a similarly-qualified non-practicing-Catholic have as much dedication to their job as I will to mine? (I really think it would be helpful to this conversation to hear any reasons.) And if there aren't any, then of course a church should hire someone belonging to it's denomination.
[Also, a side question after my main point- Wouldn't (or shouldn't) a Catholic school ask if someone was Catholic, and consider them a more appropriate teacher EVEN if they were teaching a non-religious subject? If so, why? Would the same reasons apply to a MD?]