Well, GiC, I don't think that argument holds water.
The problem the state faces is that if they take your argument too far, the defense will be Affirmative Action programs and the equal protection clause. Mind you, the state would have to force Moslems to hire female imams and force a vast number of independent churchs to prove non-discrimination the way banks are forced to by lending practices. In a nutshell, it will open up a can of worms that even the courts right now are assiduously avoiding.
The bigger risk for churches are the regulation of Sacraments, such as Marriage rites. However, if the Justice Department goes after the hiring of clergy, it will open a firestorm that will bring down the administration.
I never said Moslems would have to hire female imams, just that if they didn't, they would not be allowed to pay their imams. I only suggest regulating jobs, regulating economic activity, not clerical positions, the two do not have to be one and the same. In fact, I would argue that insisting that clergy must be paid for their services is Simony, something the christian churches (in theory at least) already condemn. And I don't think the Apostles demanded cost of living adjustments and health care benefits, but correct me if I'm wrong.
The concern here has nothing to do with religion, per se
, but with insuring equal opportunity in the market place...to prohibit the creation of jobs for one class of people that others are denied by virtue of birth. It's not only the Churches that I think we should go after, we should also go after the military (though, we must give them credit for making more advances on their own than many Churches have managed, most notably the recent opening of the submarine programme to women and other things that we're not allowed to talk about on this board). But these are purely economic concerns, not matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the first amendment but within the jurisdiction of the interstate commerce clause.
No one's saying you shouldn't believe in a male priesthood, no one's even saying you shouldn't be able to have a male priesthood, I'm only saying that you shouldn't be able to have a male priesthood and