Tuesday, September 09, 2014
College Campuses Eliminating The "Wrong" Kind Of Christians
In 2011, Vanderbilt, a private university with Christian roots, removed official student group standing from Christian campus organizations that required the leadership of that group to hold stated biblical views.
Intervarsity Fellowship International was one of the groups affected.
A student leader at the time wrote an article describing how she was apparently "the wrong kind of Christian."
The policy essentially welcomed religious organizations as long as they did not require their leadership to profess any particular beliefs.
At the time, many claimed it was no big deal. I wrote about it and received comments claiming I was an alarmist and needed to relax because this was merely a "tempest in a tea pot."
The tempest is no longer in the tea pot. It now shows signs of becoming a category 5 hurricane if you are a biblical Christian.
Last week the California State University system---which includes 23 different colleges and universities, announced an identical policy to that of Vanderbilt.
Christian organizations can no longer require their leadership to be Christian in the state of California.
Ed Stetzer wrote this week, "Will students with actual beliefs be allowed to have organizations on campus?"
Intervarsity Fellowship, Stetzer says, "has been 'derecognized' by California State University schools, because they require their leaders to hold Christian beliefs."
The impact of this far exceeds IVF. It impacts every biblical Christian organization on campus.
Those close to the matter are certain the policy was specifically aimed at Christian groups, however, it is also impacting other non-Christian groups.
Under this new policy, for example, PETA (the radical animal rights organization) could conceivably be required to allow a hunting or fishing guide to become the leader of their campus group.
Stetzer says even Oscar Meyer would have to be allowed leadership of PETA.
While Christianity is not being banned from the campuses, their loss of recognition means at least 3 things:
1. They lose free access to meeting rooms. They will now be required to pay from $13,000 to $30,000 per year for rental of meeting rooms.
2. They lose access to student activities programs, including the new student fairs where they meet nearly every new student.
3. They lose standing when they engage faculty, students and administrators. In effect, their voices are silenced in campus matters and they have no influence on campus decisions.
Other public university systems are considering adopting the same policy.
The Christian clubs no longer have equal access to the university community, like the environmentalist club has, the chess club and the LGBT club has.
Stetzer says, "The bigger and ongoing issue is the continual santization of unacceptable religious voices from the universities."
"It's ironic," he says, "those who champion non-discrimination, are creating rules that push out those who 'discriminate' based on biblical belief statements."
While about 100 million (1/3 of the population) people in America claim to be evangelical Christians, our public education system has begun the march to marginalize, then eliminate the wrong kind of Christianity in the marketplace of ideas.
Vanderbilt claimed they were "establishing principles equality" with their policy. Those close to the matter say they were intentionally creating "inequality" with a policy aimed at silencing the biblical Christian's voice and influence on campus.
Not only is higher education saying "Campus Closed" to Christian organizations, but in effect they are placing a moratorium on religious freedom.
I will be sharing a few more thoughts on this on the radio today.
You may join me live at 9 AM PDT or re-broadcast at 7:30 PM PDT on the air, your computer or by app on your phone or tablet. Here's how.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.