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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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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?

In November, 2008, shortly after California voters had voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman, Los Angeles City College student Jonathan Lopez addressed the topic in his public speaking class. He gave reasons for his support of traditional marriage as only properly between one man and one woman.

Los Angeles City College

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“Reportedly, Lopez’s Professor abruptly stopped him, calling him a ‘fascist bastard’ in front of the class and then prohibited him from finishing his speech,” writes Randy Sly for the website Catholic Online.

“Later, the student approached the professor, John Matteson, to inquire as to his grade. The faculty member then allegedly told him to “ask God what your grade is.” Lopez also reported that Matteson threatened to have him expelled when he complained about theincident with school officials.”

Again, the Christian student had to go to court. Lopez describes himself as a committed Christian who must speak out openly on issues as they relate to his deeply held faith.

“He was expressing his faith during an open-ended assignment, but when the professor disagreed with some minor things he mentioned, the professor shut him down,” attorney David J. Hacker told the Los Angeles Times.

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Rob Kerby

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