Are U.S. colleges hostile to Christian students?
So, how tough is it on college campuses these days for Christian students? Pretty grim, as evidenced by lawsuits colleges keep losing -- in which they are charged with blatant religious discrimination.
BY: Rob Kerby
Because of the Martinez decision.
“San Diego State views it as ‘religious discrimination,’ in violation of the campus nondiscrimination policy, when a Christian group requires its officers or members to believe in Christianity,” writes Lorence.
“So that means the vegan club can exclude student deer hunters and those who advocate eating steaks, but the Christian groups must permit Buddhists and atheists to join.”
The case before the circuit court involve a Christian fraternity and sorority which declined to agree to the university’s nondiscrimination statement. As a result, the university rejected their applications to become officially recognized student organizations.
“That means the groups cannot meet in campus buildings for free, cannot set up tables in the main mall where students walk each day,” noted Lorence. “The Christian groups are in effect banished from the main avenues of communication with students and relegated to a second-class status.”
Incredibly, the circuit court upheld the university’s discriminatory policy, 2-1.
“Although the judges admitted that the policy as applied here treated the religious groups worse than non-religious student groups, it was constitutional because there is ‘no evidence that San Diego State implemented its nondiscrimination policy for the purpose of suppressing Plaintiffs’viewpoint.’” The precedent? Martinez.
“Judge Ripple, a visiting appeals court judge from Wisconsin,” notes Lorence, “reluctantly agreed with the ruling because of precedent for the Ninth Circuit. But in his concurring opinion, he urged the Supreme Court to take the case, and rule strongly in favor of religious liberty:
“The net result of this selective policy is therefore to marginalize in the life of the institution those activities, practices and discourses that are religiously based. While those who espouse other causes may support their membership and come together for mutual support, others, including those exercising one of our most fundamental liberties – the right to free exercise of one’s religion — cannot, at least on equal terms.”
But are Christian students really facing discrimination on college campuses?
Student Larinda King was astonished when Georgia’s Savannah State University suddenly shut down a student group called Commissioned II Love, one of the most popular clubs on campus. Administrators