FFRF in no mood for religious discrimination (July 18, 2014)

Moody Air Force Base (AFB) Ga., has removed a requirement that only Catholics need apply for a position as music director.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation was alerted to the July 15 job advertisement, which requested a “Catholic Music Director to provide worship services at Moody AFB Chapel.” The job posting specified a requirement that “the contractor shall maintain a lifestyle consistent with Catholic principles” for the position, and that the applicant would “not be required to perform duties that are incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover informed Moody Air Force Base on July 18 that it “must modify the discriminatory solicitation to comport to the requirements of the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act.”

Grover noted that the religious test violates the equal employment provisions of the Civil Rights Act, which guarantee that military departments may not discriminate on the basis of religion. He recommended they change the position titles “so as not to indicate a requirement that the contractor be Catholic.”

Within 15 minutes of receiving the letter, an AFB representative called FFRF to apologize for the impermissible language in “all of the solicitations” and indicated that Moody AFB intends to “modify the verbiage” used in all of the base’s job postings as well as remove the “Catholic lifestyle” requirement. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation