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.

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However, the “hazing” at Savannah State was nothing of the sort — instead a voluntary foot-washing ceremony, in which Christians for 2,100 years have followed Jesus’ example of showing humility and an attitude of service. Annually the Pope washes a fellow priest’s feet. Jesus did it at the Last Supper.

Stunned at the college’s action, King, who is the student president of Commissioned II Love, enlisted the National Litigation Foundation to sue Savannah State on her behalf, citing their violation of her group’s First Amendment-protected right to assemble and express religious faith. The school eventually agreed to a settlement that restored the club to its former place on campus and asserted the right of Christian organizations at any university to meet and act in accordance with their religious beliefs.

In Washington state, Beth Sheeran was a nursing student at Spokane Falls Community College when she spearheaded an effort by aChristian club on campus to sponsor a pro-life event.

Nursing student Beth Sherran

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“She had almost completed the extensive preparations when she learned the college was shutting down the event,” reports the website Speak Up. “Her determination to know why brought her face-to-face with the sometimes absurd objections of the faculty and administrators (“Washington is a pro-choice state, and we can’t use school grounds for a pro-life display.”) and their very real determination to silence free speech on campus. She and other club members were threatened with expulsion, should they so much as hand out flyers with pro-life themes.

Realizing that “the abuse of authority would also shut doors to the Gospel,” and worried that fear for their education might keep many Christian students from speaking the truth, Beth reluctantly decided to file a suit against the school district whose policies were being enforced at Spokane Falls and other colleges and universities throughout the area.”

The district settled the case, agreeing to change its restrictive speech policies and restore the First Amendment protections of all students.But why should a student have to go to court to secure her freedom of free speech on a college campus?

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Rob Kerby
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