Christian groups aren’t allowed to require Christianity

Vanderbilt’s ruling that campus Christian groups may not require their leaders to be Christians would seem to violate every canon of reason, let alone the freedom of religion.   This happened awhile ago, but I noticed something about the story.  Consider this account:

Is Vanderbilt University flirting with the suppression of religion? Yes, according to Carol Swain, a professor at Vanderbilt’s Law School.

Specifically, Swain is referring to four Christian student groups being placed on “provisional status” after a university review found them to be in non-compliance with the school’s nondiscrimination policy.

Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values. Carried to its full extent, it means an atheist could lead a Christian group, a man a woman’s group, a Jew a Muslim group or vice versa.

If they remain in non-compliance, the student organizations risk being shut down.

So what’s behind this? Flashback to last fall. An openly gay undergrad at Vanderbilt complained he was kicked out of a Christian fraternity. The university wouldn’t identify the fraternity, but campus newspaper the “Hustler” reported it was Beta Upsilon Chi. As a result, the school took a look at the constitutions of some 300 student groups and found about a dozen, including five religious groups to be in non-compliance with Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy. All were placed on provisional status.

Among the groups threatened with shut down is the Christian Legal Society. It ran afoul with this language from its constitution. “Each officer is expected to lead Bible studies, prayer and worship at chapter meetings.” CLS President Justin Gunter told me, “We come together to do things that Christians do together. Pray, and have Bible studies.”

To that, Rev. Gretchen Person – interim director of the Office of Religious Life at Vanderbilt – responded “Vanderbilt policies do not allow this expectation/qualification for officers.” Gunter has been negotiating with the university and has taken some language out of the CLS constitution – including the requirement that Student Coordinators “should strive to exemplify Christ-like qualities.” But he says he has to draw the line at the requirement regarding Bible studies, prayer and worship.

He told me, “At the point where they’re saying we can’t have Bible studies and prayer meetings as part of our constitution – if we go beyond that – we’re compromising the very identity of who we are as Christians and the very thing we believe as religious individuals.”

Vanderbilt officials refused to be interviewed, and instead released a statement saying in part “We are committed to making our campus a welcoming environment for all of our students.” In regard to the offending student organizations, officials said they “continue to work with them to achieve compliance.”

via Professor Says Vanderbilt Suppressing Christian Student Groups Amid Shutdown Threats | Fox News.

So is Vanderbilt opposed to religion?  Not really.  It’s a Methodist-related school.   It has an Office of Religious Life.  And the person laying down the hammer on these Christian organizations is the director of that office, a minister, the Rev. Gretchen Person.  In other words, this  suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Just wondering how much education is needed to achieve this level of stupidity? Here’s the best joke of the week; “We are committed to making our campus a welcoming environment for all of our students” – unless you happen to be a Christian who choose to attend a “supposedly” Christian university. Really, I’m not all that surprised “Rev.” Gretchen doesn’t have a clue how much she is discriminating – much too busy being tolerant. Kyrie Eleison.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Just wondering how much education is needed to achieve this level of stupidity? Here’s the best joke of the week; “We are committed to making our campus a welcoming environment for all of our students” – unless you happen to be a Christian who choose to attend a “supposedly” Christian university. Really, I’m not all that surprised “Rev.” Gretchen doesn’t have a clue how much she is discriminating – much too busy being tolerant. Kyrie Eleison.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    remind me again of the difference

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    remind me again of the difference

  • Dennis Peskey

    It has been said you shall know a tree by it’s fruit – but I doubt Gretchen’s read this book to any extent.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    It has been said you shall know a tree by it’s fruit – but I doubt Gretchen’s read this book to any extent.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • James Sarver

    So an organization that clearly holds its officers, employees and even paying clients (the students) to certain behavioral standards (determined by that organization) will not tolerate in its facilities or premises any organization that holds its officers or members to certain behavioral standards. I think there is a word for that….

  • James Sarver

    So an organization that clearly holds its officers, employees and even paying clients (the students) to certain behavioral standards (determined by that organization) will not tolerate in its facilities or premises any organization that holds its officers or members to certain behavioral standards. I think there is a word for that….

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    There is no end to the madness of political correctness.

    Way too many “Christians” are beholdin’ to these more generous words than they are to the Word itself.

    Come Lord Jesus.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    There is no end to the madness of political correctness.

    Way too many “Christians” are beholdin’ to these more generous words than they are to the Word itself.

    Come Lord Jesus.

  • Random Lutheran

    Stalin was a seminarian; Lenin’s mother was a believing Lutheran. Actions such as these related above should surprise no one.

  • Random Lutheran

    Stalin was a seminarian; Lenin’s mother was a believing Lutheran. Actions such as these related above should surprise no one.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    RL,

    Lenin’s mother was a believing Lutheran?

    Do tell…

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    RL,

    Lenin’s mother was a believing Lutheran?

    Do tell…

  • nativetexasn

    Ever hear the expression “don’t be so open-minded your brains fall out”? Seems appropriate to this situation.

  • nativetexasn

    Ever hear the expression “don’t be so open-minded your brains fall out”? Seems appropriate to this situation.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    And the shift to Relativism continues…

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    And the shift to Relativism continues…

  • Joe

    I am not totally familiar with the situation at Vanderbilt but generally these situations are nothing more than funding issues. If you want the school’s money you have to play by the rules of “tolerance.” Getting the money is why you become a recognized “Student Organization.” So not really a suppression of religion unless you think religion is deserving of free gov’t money. Want to exclude atheists – fine go ahead just don’t ask the school to cut you a check. Just be a non-recognized student group and you can have whatever rules you want. Why the need for official recognition?

    And, before any says but their targeting Christians – read the article again the “tolerance” policy applies to all groups, so the local recognized GLBT student organization can’t prevent, a straight evangelical Christian from holding office or being a member.

    for what its worth this is not an undecided issue, the CLS has already lost this battle in the US Supreme Court. They sued Hastings Law School for basically the same issue and lost. The decision came down in the last year or so, not much of a chance that the same Court will change its mind.

  • Joe

    I am not totally familiar with the situation at Vanderbilt but generally these situations are nothing more than funding issues. If you want the school’s money you have to play by the rules of “tolerance.” Getting the money is why you become a recognized “Student Organization.” So not really a suppression of religion unless you think religion is deserving of free gov’t money. Want to exclude atheists – fine go ahead just don’t ask the school to cut you a check. Just be a non-recognized student group and you can have whatever rules you want. Why the need for official recognition?

    And, before any says but their targeting Christians – read the article again the “tolerance” policy applies to all groups, so the local recognized GLBT student organization can’t prevent, a straight evangelical Christian from holding office or being a member.

    for what its worth this is not an undecided issue, the CLS has already lost this battle in the US Supreme Court. They sued Hastings Law School for basically the same issue and lost. The decision came down in the last year or so, not much of a chance that the same Court will change its mind.

  • Random Lutheran

    Here’s a good, reasonably recent source on Lenin: Lenin: A Biography, by Robert Service. He calls her a “tepid Lutheran” at one point, but emphasizes that she continued to worship at a Lutheran church while others in the family were RO, at least in practice if not belief.

  • Random Lutheran

    Here’s a good, reasonably recent source on Lenin: Lenin: A Biography, by Robert Service. He calls her a “tepid Lutheran” at one point, but emphasizes that she continued to worship at a Lutheran church while others in the family were RO, at least in practice if not belief.

  • Booklover

    A liberal Protestant minister (also female) gave a lesson at our Christian school, and announced that “the Holy Books of all three religions, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, all proclaim the same thing–that God is Love.”

    Really. It’s enough to make one yearn for “one Holy Apostolic Church,” with enough authority to stop this foolishness. But that opens up another can of worms.

  • Booklover

    A liberal Protestant minister (also female) gave a lesson at our Christian school, and announced that “the Holy Books of all three religions, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, all proclaim the same thing–that God is Love.”

    Really. It’s enough to make one yearn for “one Holy Apostolic Church,” with enough authority to stop this foolishness. But that opens up another can of worms.

  • MHB

    Our LCMS campus ministry is a recognized student organization at our state university, and receives no funding at all from student fees through the university. We do benefit from free use of university rooms and the privilege to hang posters on dorm floors more widely than if we were non-rso. We are prepared to let go of that status if the university prohibits this line in the organization’s constitution: “Opportunity to hold office may be limited to those members who exhibit adherence to this organization’s beliefs and practices.”

    But not all discrimination is prohibited, apparently. The university’s format for the rso constitution includes this line under the required non-discrimination clause: *As exempted by Federal law, Social Greek organizations may omit “gender”* Either reason or big money influenced that Federal law.

  • MHB

    Our LCMS campus ministry is a recognized student organization at our state university, and receives no funding at all from student fees through the university. We do benefit from free use of university rooms and the privilege to hang posters on dorm floors more widely than if we were non-rso. We are prepared to let go of that status if the university prohibits this line in the organization’s constitution: “Opportunity to hold office may be limited to those members who exhibit adherence to this organization’s beliefs and practices.”

    But not all discrimination is prohibited, apparently. The university’s format for the rso constitution includes this line under the required non-discrimination clause: *As exempted by Federal law, Social Greek organizations may omit “gender”* Either reason or big money influenced that Federal law.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    “Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values.”

    You’re kidding me, right?

    As to the crux of the matter, may those Christians being harrassed by this continue to be steadfast in the truth!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    “Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values.”

    You’re kidding me, right?

    As to the crux of the matter, may those Christians being harrassed by this continue to be steadfast in the truth!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Here’s the point though: these anti-discrimination policies cut both ways. So why ddo the Christian groups, as a form of protest, not join the atheist groups en-masse, and change their whole character? Then repeat the exercise somewhere else? I think as aprotest movemment, it ought to show the imbicility of such extreme policies. Whereas the idea of fighting discriination is a good one, one can take it to the point where the fight itself becomes discriminatory, like here.

    Common sense ought to prevail.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Here’s the point though: these anti-discrimination policies cut both ways. So why ddo the Christian groups, as a form of protest, not join the atheist groups en-masse, and change their whole character? Then repeat the exercise somewhere else? I think as aprotest movemment, it ought to show the imbicility of such extreme policies. Whereas the idea of fighting discriination is a good one, one can take it to the point where the fight itself becomes discriminatory, like here.

    Common sense ought to prevail.

  • Lori B

    Calling Vanderbilt a Christian school is like calling Harvard a Christian school. It may have been at one time, but alas, no more.

    Also, what about the GLBT and their ilk. If I were a member of one of those organizations, I would be up in arms that a straight person could come in be the president. Or just imagine if a Jewish person joined a Muslim group. You don’t really think Vanderbilt officials would just stand idly by while a Jew became the president of a Muslim organization, do you? No, this comes back to discrimination of conservative Christians dressed up to look like ‘inclusion of all.’

  • Lori B

    Calling Vanderbilt a Christian school is like calling Harvard a Christian school. It may have been at one time, but alas, no more.

    Also, what about the GLBT and their ilk. If I were a member of one of those organizations, I would be up in arms that a straight person could come in be the president. Or just imagine if a Jewish person joined a Muslim group. You don’t really think Vanderbilt officials would just stand idly by while a Jew became the president of a Muslim organization, do you? No, this comes back to discrimination of conservative Christians dressed up to look like ‘inclusion of all.’

  • Bethany

    Seems like a related issue to the post a couple weeks ago about being personally offended for someone else.

  • Bethany

    Seems like a related issue to the post a couple weeks ago about being personally offended for someone else.

  • Jonathan

    Joe @10 makes the most sense, but I thought that this comment, in a slightly different context, was also appropriate. “What you have here is classic – and imagined – victimology…. Historically, Christians have embraced marginalization, even persecution, as a sign of their unworldly priorities. The martyrs were celebrated because they were targets of the state….If hostility to Christians is expressed, Jesus had an obvious recommendation: embrace the hostility, love your enemies, be utterly unconcerned with worldly power, because the most important things are beyond that. Contrast that with Christianism’s neurotic desperation to be vindicated and affirmed in the public square, for fear that without such public support, faith could wither. The truth is: this kind of tribal victimology is really a leftist import that is profoundly alien both to conservatism properly understood and to the message of the Gospels.” – Andrew Sullivan.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/12/perrys-religious-war.html

  • Jonathan

    Joe @10 makes the most sense, but I thought that this comment, in a slightly different context, was also appropriate. “What you have here is classic – and imagined – victimology…. Historically, Christians have embraced marginalization, even persecution, as a sign of their unworldly priorities. The martyrs were celebrated because they were targets of the state….If hostility to Christians is expressed, Jesus had an obvious recommendation: embrace the hostility, love your enemies, be utterly unconcerned with worldly power, because the most important things are beyond that. Contrast that with Christianism’s neurotic desperation to be vindicated and affirmed in the public square, for fear that without such public support, faith could wither. The truth is: this kind of tribal victimology is really a leftist import that is profoundly alien both to conservatism properly understood and to the message of the Gospels.” – Andrew Sullivan.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/12/perrys-religious-war.html

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Liberal Protestantism has been trying, and fairly well succeeding in doing the same thing to the Chaplain core of the Military. At least that was my experience while I was in, and even while working to become a Chaplain. So this doesn’t surprise me much. Liberal Protestants are far worse than atheists when it comes to this kind of junk.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Liberal Protestantism has been trying, and fairly well succeeding in doing the same thing to the Chaplain core of the Military. At least that was my experience while I was in, and even while working to become a Chaplain. So this doesn’t surprise me much. Liberal Protestants are far worse than atheists when it comes to this kind of junk.

  • Jerry

    “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    In the words of Garrison Keillor, “What’s your point?”

  • Jerry

    “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    In the words of Garrison Keillor, “What’s your point?”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Gene Veith: “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    Do Liberal Protestants suppress the religious expression of Islam too?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Gene Veith: “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    Do Liberal Protestants suppress the religious expression of Islam too?

  • kerner

    All this makes me wonder about the usefulness of all these separatist organizations in the first place. Maybe Christians should not be starting their own fraternities at all. For that matter, maybe there shouldn’t be separate Muslim or GLBT organizations either.

    Are we called to start our own Christian clones of existing social structures, or are we called to be salt and light in the existing world we live in?

  • kerner

    All this makes me wonder about the usefulness of all these separatist organizations in the first place. Maybe Christians should not be starting their own fraternities at all. For that matter, maybe there shouldn’t be separate Muslim or GLBT organizations either.

    Are we called to start our own Christian clones of existing social structures, or are we called to be salt and light in the existing world we live in?

  • DonS

    Joe @ 10: Vanderbilt is a private school. It’s not government money at issue, but rather mandatory student activity fees. And, more importantly, access to campus meeting space, which is the real issue in these matters. If you aren’t a recognized student group, your members are probably going to have to meet off-campus, which is a real inconvenience when transportation is an issue. It will certainly have a major impact on the effectiveness of your student group.

    The linked article doesn’t talk about pending litigation, which is obviously a harder row to hoe when the institution is private. This is a case of applying political pressure to a bunch of ivory tower administrators who simply believe that any organization that holds to an objective standard of beliefs is unfit to exist and be recognized. According to the article, administrators have held that even requiring leaders of Christian groups to hold Bible studies and lead prayer is too restrictive. The foolishness of worldly wisdom is at issue here.

    However, to clarify the legal issue, the Hastings case was advisory, to the extent that the Supreme Court established an “all comers” standard for student-recognized groups, but didn’t actually decide whether Hastings met that standard. Here’s the rub — fraternities and sororities. An all-comers policy, properly applied, would not permit gender discrimination, so on a campus environment is pretty much impossible to achieve.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 10: Vanderbilt is a private school. It’s not government money at issue, but rather mandatory student activity fees. And, more importantly, access to campus meeting space, which is the real issue in these matters. If you aren’t a recognized student group, your members are probably going to have to meet off-campus, which is a real inconvenience when transportation is an issue. It will certainly have a major impact on the effectiveness of your student group.

    The linked article doesn’t talk about pending litigation, which is obviously a harder row to hoe when the institution is private. This is a case of applying political pressure to a bunch of ivory tower administrators who simply believe that any organization that holds to an objective standard of beliefs is unfit to exist and be recognized. According to the article, administrators have held that even requiring leaders of Christian groups to hold Bible studies and lead prayer is too restrictive. The foolishness of worldly wisdom is at issue here.

    However, to clarify the legal issue, the Hastings case was advisory, to the extent that the Supreme Court established an “all comers” standard for student-recognized groups, but didn’t actually decide whether Hastings met that standard. Here’s the rub — fraternities and sororities. An all-comers policy, properly applied, would not permit gender discrimination, so on a campus environment is pretty much impossible to achieve.

  • –helen

    Joe:
    I’ve been on the university student council. T
    The issue is not “free government money”.
    All students pay “activity fees” even if they do not participate in any club or organization. If they do, the club can apply for funding from these student activity fees, based on their number of members, (and how much clout they have with the officers, I’ve observed). So the organizations refused support are being refused a share of their own money!
    If the university would not collect fees for “activities”, each group could pay its own way. [There would probably be fewer of the "desirable" groups on campus... i.e., those that promote liberalism and anti-Christianity on the Christian's dime!]

  • –helen

    Joe:
    I’ve been on the university student council. T
    The issue is not “free government money”.
    All students pay “activity fees” even if they do not participate in any club or organization. If they do, the club can apply for funding from these student activity fees, based on their number of members, (and how much clout they have with the officers, I’ve observed). So the organizations refused support are being refused a share of their own money!
    If the university would not collect fees for “activities”, each group could pay its own way. [There would probably be fewer of the "desirable" groups on campus... i.e., those that promote liberalism and anti-Christianity on the Christian's dime!]

  • SKPeterson

    Well, when the ECUSA has women priests who are also professing Muslims, or Goddess-worshipping Lutheran priestesses what’s the big deal? Orthodox Trinitarian Christianity is already optional in large swathes of the ECUSA, ELCA and UCC.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, when the ECUSA has women priests who are also professing Muslims, or Goddess-worshipping Lutheran priestesses what’s the big deal? Orthodox Trinitarian Christianity is already optional in large swathes of the ECUSA, ELCA and UCC.

  • DonS

    Well said, Helen. That’s the issue, exactly! Those who argue “What’s the big deal, just pay your own way and don’t take the money”, whether it be government funding or mandatory student activity fees, seem to always fail to consider the fact that people are paying into the system but, because of their beliefs, are being denied a return on those funds. They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints.

    Here’s the thing — every one has an equal opportunity to form a group and apply for funding. That is the very meaning of equal access. These so-called “non-discrimination policies”, which are actually specifically designed to discriminate against objective value systems, are the antithesis of non-discrimination and true equal access.

  • DonS

    Well said, Helen. That’s the issue, exactly! Those who argue “What’s the big deal, just pay your own way and don’t take the money”, whether it be government funding or mandatory student activity fees, seem to always fail to consider the fact that people are paying into the system but, because of their beliefs, are being denied a return on those funds. They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints.

    Here’s the thing — every one has an equal opportunity to form a group and apply for funding. That is the very meaning of equal access. These so-called “non-discrimination policies”, which are actually specifically designed to discriminate against objective value systems, are the antithesis of non-discrimination and true equal access.

  • SKPeterson

    Helen @ 24 and Don @ 23 – I can tell you though that as a member of a fraternity, we never received a dime from student activity fees. We were allowed to post announcements on student bulletin boards, which was about it, as well as have a table at Fall and Spring Rush events. Even those were paid for by fees levied on each fraternity or sorority by the IFC or PanHellenic groups. Those may have received funding from university fees, but that would be about it. For the most part, the fraternities and sororities were on their own. Granted this was one college, but it has also been my experience at other campuses across the country.

  • SKPeterson

    Helen @ 24 and Don @ 23 – I can tell you though that as a member of a fraternity, we never received a dime from student activity fees. We were allowed to post announcements on student bulletin boards, which was about it, as well as have a table at Fall and Spring Rush events. Even those were paid for by fees levied on each fraternity or sorority by the IFC or PanHellenic groups. Those may have received funding from university fees, but that would be about it. For the most part, the fraternities and sororities were on their own. Granted this was one college, but it has also been my experience at other campuses across the country.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 27:

    The fraternity angle came to me from consideration of this section of the posted article:

    So what’s behind this? Flashback to last fall. An openly gay undergrad at Vanderbilt complained he was kicked out of a Christian fraternity. The university wouldn’t identify the fraternity, but campus newspaper the “Hustler” reported it was Beta Upsilon Chi. As a result, the school took a look at the constitutions of some 300 student groups and found about a dozen, including five religious groups to be in non-compliance with Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy. All were placed on provisional status.

    Among the groups threatened with shut down is the Christian Legal Society. It ran afoul with this language from its constitution. “Each officer is expected to lead Bible studies, prayer and worship at chapter meetings.” CLS President Justin Gunter told me, “We come together to do things that Christians do together. Pray, and have Bible studies.”

    So, maybe fraternities don’t get activity fee funding, but they must be subject to university recognition for other purposes. Perhaps meeting space? Anyway, it was the constitution of a Christian fraternity which triggered the whole “investigation”, apparently. I just extended it, logically, to gender discrimination.

    Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees, and the entire problem goes away.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 27:

    The fraternity angle came to me from consideration of this section of the posted article:

    So what’s behind this? Flashback to last fall. An openly gay undergrad at Vanderbilt complained he was kicked out of a Christian fraternity. The university wouldn’t identify the fraternity, but campus newspaper the “Hustler” reported it was Beta Upsilon Chi. As a result, the school took a look at the constitutions of some 300 student groups and found about a dozen, including five religious groups to be in non-compliance with Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy. All were placed on provisional status.

    Among the groups threatened with shut down is the Christian Legal Society. It ran afoul with this language from its constitution. “Each officer is expected to lead Bible studies, prayer and worship at chapter meetings.” CLS President Justin Gunter told me, “We come together to do things that Christians do together. Pray, and have Bible studies.”

    So, maybe fraternities don’t get activity fee funding, but they must be subject to university recognition for other purposes. Perhaps meeting space? Anyway, it was the constitution of a Christian fraternity which triggered the whole “investigation”, apparently. I just extended it, logically, to gender discrimination.

    Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees, and the entire problem goes away.

  • DonS

    Oh, and maybe restore the quaint notion that university campuses are supposed to be a cauldron for imagination and the exchange of ideas.

    What a concept.

  • DonS

    Oh, and maybe restore the quaint notion that university campuses are supposed to be a cauldron for imagination and the exchange of ideas.

    What a concept.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Are we called to start our own Christian clones of existing social structures, or are we called to be salt and light in the existing world we live in?”

    Who do you think built the existing social structures if not the Christians? Please name an existing social structure that was built by a group that was even 51% non-Christian. What bastion of freedom and excellence and tolerance has been built by secularists?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Are we called to start our own Christian clones of existing social structures, or are we called to be salt and light in the existing world we live in?”

    Who do you think built the existing social structures if not the Christians? Please name an existing social structure that was built by a group that was even 51% non-Christian. What bastion of freedom and excellence and tolerance has been built by secularists?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@28):

    Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees, and the entire problem goes away.

    And how, exactly, should we “do away with mandatory student activity fees”? Should the government force private universities to do that? That is, does the solution lie in telling private universities how they can and can’t collect and spend money for their own purposes?

    As to your earlier comment (@26):

    Those who argue “What’s the big deal, just pay your own way and don’t take the money” … seem to always fail to consider the fact that people are paying into the system but, because of their beliefs, are being denied a return on those funds. They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints.

    Yeah, you know who else is being forced to subsidize opposing viewpoints? Everyone. Even before these silly issues occurred at Hastings and Vanderbilt.

    Were you likewise troubled that Ku Klux Klan sympathizers were forced to fund the Black Student Association, even as they weren’t allowed to form their own official club? Were you troubled that slackers who fail to join any club at all are forced to subsidize those resume-stuffers who do?

    Because I never heard anyone complaining about student activity fees along those lines before — only when the issue became discrimination against Christians. All of which makes me think that the complaints about “being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints” aren’t terribly serious absent this specific Christian context.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@28):

    Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees, and the entire problem goes away.

    And how, exactly, should we “do away with mandatory student activity fees”? Should the government force private universities to do that? That is, does the solution lie in telling private universities how they can and can’t collect and spend money for their own purposes?

    As to your earlier comment (@26):

    Those who argue “What’s the big deal, just pay your own way and don’t take the money” … seem to always fail to consider the fact that people are paying into the system but, because of their beliefs, are being denied a return on those funds. They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints.

    Yeah, you know who else is being forced to subsidize opposing viewpoints? Everyone. Even before these silly issues occurred at Hastings and Vanderbilt.

    Were you likewise troubled that Ku Klux Klan sympathizers were forced to fund the Black Student Association, even as they weren’t allowed to form their own official club? Were you troubled that slackers who fail to join any club at all are forced to subsidize those resume-stuffers who do?

    Because I never heard anyone complaining about student activity fees along those lines before — only when the issue became discrimination against Christians. All of which makes me think that the complaints about “being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints” aren’t terribly serious absent this specific Christian context.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 31:

    And how, exactly, should we “do away with mandatory student activity fees”? Should the government force private universities to do that? That is, does the solution lie in telling private universities how they can and can’t collect and spend money for their own purposes?

    I was actually speaking as a matter of policy, not government intervention. We used to be a self-determinative people who acted according to political will. Now we simply assume that if we are going to “do away with” something, it has to be by government action. Why do you think that is? What happened to us as a people, and why is it that when the establishment imposes freedom, i.e. the freedom from discrimination, it tends to look like authoritarianism?

    Yeah, you know who else is being forced to subsidize opposing viewpoints? Everyone. Even before these silly issues occurred at Hastings and Vanderbilt.

    I don’t have a problem with subsidizing opposing viewpoints, per se, except for my ordinary philosophical opposition to mandatory subsidization of ANYTHING. What I do object to is the modern leftist tendency to force people of faith to subsidize other activities and groups, many of which they oppose, but which just so happen, conveniently, to have viewpoints and political aims aligned with leftist philosophy, while at the same time denying them a similar subsidy, claiming they can’t be subsidized because their viewpoints are discriminatory. It’s this attitude: “we’ll take your hard earned money for our groups, but we won’t let you have any of the money we’re taking for your groups because we find them distasteful. So, if you want to have your group, you pay for the whole thing. And, meet off campus.” This is what I object to.

    Were you likewise troubled that Ku Klux Klan sympathizers were forced to fund the Black Student Association, even as they weren’t allowed to form their own official club? Were you troubled that slackers who fail to join any club at all are forced to subsidize those resume-stuffers who do?

    So, are you equating faith groups with the Ku Klux Klan? As I said originally, not extracting mandatory fees is the best solution. You want to form a club — right of free association — form a club. Sign up for a meeting room — first come, first served, and pay a fair market rental fee for the room. This is, of course, the best solution.

    However, if you are going to insist on charging mandatory student activity fees, then you are in a conundrum. Censor and exclude some groups, while favoring others, or treat all applicant groups the same. Actually, if you are going to insist on requiring students to subsidize groups, then I think any group wishing to form that is not intending to or actually engaging in illegal activity should be in line for its fair share of the funding and room access. That would include, theoretically, the Ku Klux Clan, assuming it conducts itself lawfully, and the Black Student Union. How about the notion of once again viewing the university as the marketplace of ideas? What a concept. Let each group influence the campus by the strength and power of its ideas, instead of imprinting some kind of official sanction as to which ideas are acceptable and which are unworthy of subsidy. Let the students be exposed to everything, rather than just the p.c. But, that doesn’t fit into the educratic world we love in, does it?

    Were you likewise troubled that Ku Klux Klan sympathizers were forced to fund the Black Student Association, even as they weren’t allowed to form their own official club? Were you troubled that slackers who fail to join any club at all are forced to subsidize those resume-stuffers who do?

    Cite examples, please. Slackers have the same opportunity to join and form clubs as everyone else, and the equal opportunity not to. That is wholly different than being denied the right to meet on campus because you are a Christian organization. And I am unaware of any contemporary examples of the KKK being denied club status when they have applied for it.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 31:

    And how, exactly, should we “do away with mandatory student activity fees”? Should the government force private universities to do that? That is, does the solution lie in telling private universities how they can and can’t collect and spend money for their own purposes?

    I was actually speaking as a matter of policy, not government intervention. We used to be a self-determinative people who acted according to political will. Now we simply assume that if we are going to “do away with” something, it has to be by government action. Why do you think that is? What happened to us as a people, and why is it that when the establishment imposes freedom, i.e. the freedom from discrimination, it tends to look like authoritarianism?

    Yeah, you know who else is being forced to subsidize opposing viewpoints? Everyone. Even before these silly issues occurred at Hastings and Vanderbilt.

    I don’t have a problem with subsidizing opposing viewpoints, per se, except for my ordinary philosophical opposition to mandatory subsidization of ANYTHING. What I do object to is the modern leftist tendency to force people of faith to subsidize other activities and groups, many of which they oppose, but which just so happen, conveniently, to have viewpoints and political aims aligned with leftist philosophy, while at the same time denying them a similar subsidy, claiming they can’t be subsidized because their viewpoints are discriminatory. It’s this attitude: “we’ll take your hard earned money for our groups, but we won’t let you have any of the money we’re taking for your groups because we find them distasteful. So, if you want to have your group, you pay for the whole thing. And, meet off campus.” This is what I object to.

    Were you likewise troubled that Ku Klux Klan sympathizers were forced to fund the Black Student Association, even as they weren’t allowed to form their own official club? Were you troubled that slackers who fail to join any club at all are forced to subsidize those resume-stuffers who do?

    So, are you equating faith groups with the Ku Klux Klan? As I said originally, not extracting mandatory fees is the best solution. You want to form a club — right of free association — form a club. Sign up for a meeting room — first come, first served, and pay a fair market rental fee for the room. This is, of course, the best solution.

    However, if you are going to insist on charging mandatory student activity fees, then you are in a conundrum. Censor and exclude some groups, while favoring others, or treat all applicant groups the same. Actually, if you are going to insist on requiring students to subsidize groups, then I think any group wishing to form that is not intending to or actually engaging in illegal activity should be in line for its fair share of the funding and room access. That would include, theoretically, the Ku Klux Clan, assuming it conducts itself lawfully, and the Black Student Union. How about the notion of once again viewing the university as the marketplace of ideas? What a concept. Let each group influence the campus by the strength and power of its ideas, instead of imprinting some kind of official sanction as to which ideas are acceptable and which are unworthy of subsidy. Let the students be exposed to everything, rather than just the p.c. But, that doesn’t fit into the educratic world we love in, does it?

    Were you likewise troubled that Ku Klux Klan sympathizers were forced to fund the Black Student Association, even as they weren’t allowed to form their own official club? Were you troubled that slackers who fail to join any club at all are forced to subsidize those resume-stuffers who do?

    Cite examples, please. Slackers have the same opportunity to join and form clubs as everyone else, and the equal opportunity not to. That is wholly different than being denied the right to meet on campus because you are a Christian organization. And I am unaware of any contemporary examples of the KKK being denied club status when they have applied for it.

  • Jonathan

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/opinion/in-syria-expelling-the-peacemakers.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    And then there are Christians who acutally know a thing or two about suppression….

  • Jonathan

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/opinion/in-syria-expelling-the-peacemakers.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    And then there are Christians who acutally know a thing or two about suppression….

  • DonS

    Yes, of course, Jonathan. What we’re doing is fine, because we’re not oppressing people as much as other countries do.

  • DonS

    Yes, of course, Jonathan. What we’re doing is fine, because we’re not oppressing people as much as other countries do.

  • Joe

    If you guys think Vanderbilt takes no federal money – I have a bridge to sell you.

    But anyway, even if it is not federal money it is still the school’s money. They may have collected as a mandatory fee – but that is just a nice term they use so they can lie about how high the tuition is. I know all about how this works from first hand experience as a student and as a part of a committee that approved the use of these student funds. You want the money that the school collects you have to play by the school’s rule. And, if it is a truly private school then those of use who claim to be small gov’t conservatives and libertarians should not be trying to make a discrimination claim out of this. We should instead be saying we think Vanderbilt is wrong but we support their right to do whatever they heck they want without interference from the gov’t (i.e. regulation or litigation based on a anti-discrimination statute or some cleaver argument that the First Amendment applies to this private institution). Let the market decide if this is a good idea. If it isn’t students will not got there and Vanderbilt will need to readjust its policy.

  • Joe

    If you guys think Vanderbilt takes no federal money – I have a bridge to sell you.

    But anyway, even if it is not federal money it is still the school’s money. They may have collected as a mandatory fee – but that is just a nice term they use so they can lie about how high the tuition is. I know all about how this works from first hand experience as a student and as a part of a committee that approved the use of these student funds. You want the money that the school collects you have to play by the school’s rule. And, if it is a truly private school then those of use who claim to be small gov’t conservatives and libertarians should not be trying to make a discrimination claim out of this. We should instead be saying we think Vanderbilt is wrong but we support their right to do whatever they heck they want without interference from the gov’t (i.e. regulation or litigation based on a anti-discrimination statute or some cleaver argument that the First Amendment applies to this private institution). Let the market decide if this is a good idea. If it isn’t students will not got there and Vanderbilt will need to readjust its policy.

  • Jonathan

    @34 Simply putting your chronic CavChap whining up against the lives of real men who suffer for the faith.

  • Jonathan

    @34 Simply putting your chronic CavChap whining up against the lives of real men who suffer for the faith.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 35: No one said Vanderbilt doesn’t take federal money, at least indirectly by accepting federal aid on behalf of students, research grants, etc. But that federal money is not at issue, so why bring it up?

    Why can’t we make a discrimination claim against a private institution, applying political pressure on that institution to change its rules for the benefit of its Christian students? I agree with you that it is not a legal case, or shouldn’t be, but even small government conservatives and libertarians can speak out against injustice and wrongdoing, can’t they? In essence, my argument has been one of illumination for the purpose of hopefully imposing market pressures on these institutions to do the right thing and restore the concept of the contest of ideas to the university setting.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 35: No one said Vanderbilt doesn’t take federal money, at least indirectly by accepting federal aid on behalf of students, research grants, etc. But that federal money is not at issue, so why bring it up?

    Why can’t we make a discrimination claim against a private institution, applying political pressure on that institution to change its rules for the benefit of its Christian students? I agree with you that it is not a legal case, or shouldn’t be, but even small government conservatives and libertarians can speak out against injustice and wrongdoing, can’t they? In essence, my argument has been one of illumination for the purpose of hopefully imposing market pressures on these institutions to do the right thing and restore the concept of the contest of ideas to the university setting.

  • Joe

    Don – I read “discrimination claim” and I here law suit. Also, the article informs us that CLS is at least considering a lawsuit. (Apparently, it likes losing). So on what basis who someone sue if not on the basis of some type of law or theory that says the gov’t should get to impose its will on Vandy? I can’t support that.

    If the idea is simply to talk about why the policy is wrong – they I’m all for it, but any part of the conversation that starts involve a complaint that Vandy is infringing on the rights of someone is out because as a private institution Vandy doesn’t need to care about your rights.

  • Joe

    Don – I read “discrimination claim” and I here law suit. Also, the article informs us that CLS is at least considering a lawsuit. (Apparently, it likes losing). So on what basis who someone sue if not on the basis of some type of law or theory that says the gov’t should get to impose its will on Vandy? I can’t support that.

    If the idea is simply to talk about why the policy is wrong – they I’m all for it, but any part of the conversation that starts involve a complaint that Vandy is infringing on the rights of someone is out because as a private institution Vandy doesn’t need to care about your rights.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 38: I thought you were Joe the attorney, frequent commenter here, but maybe not? Perhaps my comments come off wrong because I’ve been directing them to the wr0ng person.

    Obviously, you can assert that an institution is discriminating against a particular group of people, and should change its policies, without the specter or actuality of a lawsuit. It’s sad that we have gotten to the place in our society where everyone automatically thinks lawsuit, whenever issues of policy are discussed.

    It’s unknown at this point if the national Christian Legal Society will make another trip to court over the Vanderbilt issue. Justin Gunter is hopeful that it can be worked out before it comes to that point.

    This is the only statement is the article about a future lawsuit. That is hardly a statement that CLS is “considering a lawsuit”. It’s merely the reporter asking Gunter and Gunter being unwilling to say that he completely rules it out. That’s just smart. Realize that why Gunter is involved is not necessarily because of the possibility of litigation but because it is the local CLS chapter which has been impacted by Vandy’s asinine policy.

    If the idea is simply to talk about why the policy is wrong – then I’m all for it, but any part of the conversation that starts involve a complaint that Vandy is infringing on the rights of someone is out because as a private institution Vandy doesn’t need to care about your rights.

    There are innate rights that are not necessarily enforceable in a court of law. If you are Joe, the attorney, you of all people should know this to be so. Moreover, at least I haven’t been talking about rights, per se. Just fairness. You’ll recall that I was the one who corrected you when you were couching the issue in terms of “free government money”, reminding you that we were dealing with a private institution.

    And you also should know, if you are Joe the attorney, that being a private institution or business doesn’t shield you from adherence to anti-discrimination laws, particularly if you take government funding.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 38: I thought you were Joe the attorney, frequent commenter here, but maybe not? Perhaps my comments come off wrong because I’ve been directing them to the wr0ng person.

    Obviously, you can assert that an institution is discriminating against a particular group of people, and should change its policies, without the specter or actuality of a lawsuit. It’s sad that we have gotten to the place in our society where everyone automatically thinks lawsuit, whenever issues of policy are discussed.

    It’s unknown at this point if the national Christian Legal Society will make another trip to court over the Vanderbilt issue. Justin Gunter is hopeful that it can be worked out before it comes to that point.

    This is the only statement is the article about a future lawsuit. That is hardly a statement that CLS is “considering a lawsuit”. It’s merely the reporter asking Gunter and Gunter being unwilling to say that he completely rules it out. That’s just smart. Realize that why Gunter is involved is not necessarily because of the possibility of litigation but because it is the local CLS chapter which has been impacted by Vandy’s asinine policy.

    If the idea is simply to talk about why the policy is wrong – then I’m all for it, but any part of the conversation that starts involve a complaint that Vandy is infringing on the rights of someone is out because as a private institution Vandy doesn’t need to care about your rights.

    There are innate rights that are not necessarily enforceable in a court of law. If you are Joe, the attorney, you of all people should know this to be so. Moreover, at least I haven’t been talking about rights, per se. Just fairness. You’ll recall that I was the one who corrected you when you were couching the issue in terms of “free government money”, reminding you that we were dealing with a private institution.

    And you also should know, if you are Joe the attorney, that being a private institution or business doesn’t shield you from adherence to anti-discrimination laws, particularly if you take government funding.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@32), I think Joe has done an admirable job (@35, 38) of replying to you — largely along the lines I would have, though he knows more about law than I do — but you directed your reply to me in particular, so …

    I was actually speaking as a matter of policy, not government intervention. We used to be a self-determinative people who acted according to political will. Now we simply assume that if we are going to “do away with” something, it has to be by government action. Why do you think that is?

    Oh, brother. Remember that the statement of yours (@28) to which I was replying was “Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees”. Please note that the first part of that necessarily involves government action. If the intent of your obviously parallel sentence structure was that I was to read the first “do away with” as carried out by the government, and the second “do away with” as carried out solely by private petition, could you at least do me the favor of acknowledging that you weren’t terribly clear about it, and spare me the authoritarianism lecture?

    I don’t have a problem with subsidizing opposing viewpoints, per se…

    Then how peculiar it was for you to conclude your paragraph opposing mandatory student activity fees with “They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints”!

    …except for my ordinary philosophical opposition to mandatory subsidization of ANYTHING.

    It’s kind of ludicrous to refer to activity at a private university to which you have to apply as somehow being “mandatory”, isn’t it?

    What I do object to is the modern leftist tendency to force people of faith to …

    Right, see, this is why I said (@31):

    I never heard anyone complaining about student activity fees along those lines before — only when the issue became discrimination against Christians.

    You’re not making an argument for equality so much as you’re making an argument in defense of Christians in particular. But you’re appealing to notions of equality. I find that frustrating.

    So, are you equating faith groups with the Ku Klux Klan?

    Are you being fatuous on purpose? Though there are obviously a vast number of differences between the two, what they have in common is that they both raise hackles in this day and age. Except that the KKK isn’t terribly sympathetic, and I assume you wouldn’t be biased toward them.

    As I said originally, not extracting mandatory fees is the best solution. You want to form a club — right of free association — form a club.

    Sure, the “best solution” … for you. But are you expecting every private university to enact this policy just to keep from offending you personally? Because it seems self-obvious that quite a lot of people consider the current student-fee system to be working out for them.

    Also, you’re a lawyer, Don. Are you really going to tell me that the Constitutional “right of free association” extends to all private institutions? Or are you abusing that phrase?

    How about the notion of once again viewing the university as the marketplace of ideas? What a concept.

    Well, as Joe noted, how about viewing our country as a marketplace of ideas, one in which some private universities have policies you consider sub-optimal, while other private universities are run just how you want? What a concept. Or do we need “some kind of official sanction as to which ideas are acceptable and which are unworthy” of enacting at private universities?

    Slackers have the same opportunity to join and form clubs as everyone else, and the equal opportunity not to.

    It’s not a question of “same opportunity”. Again, your original complaint was about people “paying into the system but, because of their beliefs, are being denied a return on those funds”. Well, guess what? Slackers — those who don’t join any clubs — are, because of their beliefs, also being denied a return on those funds that they paid. Does that upset you? Or is it just part of the system? Why aren’t you advocating for a Slacker Refund policy at all private universities?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@32), I think Joe has done an admirable job (@35, 38) of replying to you — largely along the lines I would have, though he knows more about law than I do — but you directed your reply to me in particular, so …

    I was actually speaking as a matter of policy, not government intervention. We used to be a self-determinative people who acted according to political will. Now we simply assume that if we are going to “do away with” something, it has to be by government action. Why do you think that is?

    Oh, brother. Remember that the statement of yours (@28) to which I was replying was “Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees”. Please note that the first part of that necessarily involves government action. If the intent of your obviously parallel sentence structure was that I was to read the first “do away with” as carried out by the government, and the second “do away with” as carried out solely by private petition, could you at least do me the favor of acknowledging that you weren’t terribly clear about it, and spare me the authoritarianism lecture?

    I don’t have a problem with subsidizing opposing viewpoints, per se…

    Then how peculiar it was for you to conclude your paragraph opposing mandatory student activity fees with “They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints”!

    …except for my ordinary philosophical opposition to mandatory subsidization of ANYTHING.

    It’s kind of ludicrous to refer to activity at a private university to which you have to apply as somehow being “mandatory”, isn’t it?

    What I do object to is the modern leftist tendency to force people of faith to …

    Right, see, this is why I said (@31):

    I never heard anyone complaining about student activity fees along those lines before — only when the issue became discrimination against Christians.

    You’re not making an argument for equality so much as you’re making an argument in defense of Christians in particular. But you’re appealing to notions of equality. I find that frustrating.

    So, are you equating faith groups with the Ku Klux Klan?

    Are you being fatuous on purpose? Though there are obviously a vast number of differences between the two, what they have in common is that they both raise hackles in this day and age. Except that the KKK isn’t terribly sympathetic, and I assume you wouldn’t be biased toward them.

    As I said originally, not extracting mandatory fees is the best solution. You want to form a club — right of free association — form a club.

    Sure, the “best solution” … for you. But are you expecting every private university to enact this policy just to keep from offending you personally? Because it seems self-obvious that quite a lot of people consider the current student-fee system to be working out for them.

    Also, you’re a lawyer, Don. Are you really going to tell me that the Constitutional “right of free association” extends to all private institutions? Or are you abusing that phrase?

    How about the notion of once again viewing the university as the marketplace of ideas? What a concept.

    Well, as Joe noted, how about viewing our country as a marketplace of ideas, one in which some private universities have policies you consider sub-optimal, while other private universities are run just how you want? What a concept. Or do we need “some kind of official sanction as to which ideas are acceptable and which are unworthy” of enacting at private universities?

    Slackers have the same opportunity to join and form clubs as everyone else, and the equal opportunity not to.

    It’s not a question of “same opportunity”. Again, your original complaint was about people “paying into the system but, because of their beliefs, are being denied a return on those funds”. Well, guess what? Slackers — those who don’t join any clubs — are, because of their beliefs, also being denied a return on those funds that they paid. Does that upset you? Or is it just part of the system? Why aren’t you advocating for a Slacker Refund policy at all private universities?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@39) said to Joe (who I’m pretty sure is the lawyer Don was thinking of):

    It’s sad that we have gotten to the place in our society where everyone automatically thinks lawsuit, whenever issues of policy are discussed.

    Oh brother. Again. I’m with Joe (@38). Don, here’s what you said:

    Why can’t we make a discrimination claim against a private institution, applying political pressure…

    (my emphasis) Are you just not familiar with the most common usage of the phrase “discrimination claim”? Why don’t you ask Google how people use the phrase, and see if it’s mainly used in a legal context before you start lecturing us? Come on.

    Sorry, Don, but I guess you’re just not aware of how your words sound today.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@39) said to Joe (who I’m pretty sure is the lawyer Don was thinking of):

    It’s sad that we have gotten to the place in our society where everyone automatically thinks lawsuit, whenever issues of policy are discussed.

    Oh brother. Again. I’m with Joe (@38). Don, here’s what you said:

    Why can’t we make a discrimination claim against a private institution, applying political pressure…

    (my emphasis) Are you just not familiar with the most common usage of the phrase “discrimination claim”? Why don’t you ask Google how people use the phrase, and see if it’s mainly used in a legal context before you start lecturing us? Come on.

    Sorry, Don, but I guess you’re just not aware of how your words sound today.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 40: I directed my reply to you because, well, you had directed your reply to me ;-)

    Oh, brother. Remember that the statement of yours (@28) to which I was replying was “Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees”. Please note that the first part of that necessarily involves government action. If the intent of your obviously parallel sentence structure was that I was to read the first “do away with” as carried out by the government, and the second “do away with” as carried out solely by private petition, could you at least do me the favor of acknowledging that you weren’t terribly clear about it, and spare me the authoritarianism lecture?

    I was speaking in the universal society sense, so the parallelism is appropriate. Obvi0usly, WE don’t do either of them, at least on our own. But, if we, as in voters and the representatives whom we elect do away with government subsidy of education, and if we, as in voters and the representatives we elect with respect to public institutions, and we, as in boards of trustees, alumni, parents, students, and administration of private institutions, do away with mandatory student activity fees … a bit more cumbersome, don’t you think?

    Then how peculiar it was for you to conclude your paragraph opposing mandatory student activity fees with “They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints”!

    Did you even read the rest of what I wrote? You know, this discussion thing involves a bit of good faith on behalf of the participants. All right. I’ll put it out there again, since apparently you missed it the first time. I also wrote, in the very next sentence:

    What I do object to is the modern leftist tendency to force people of faith to subsidize other activities and groups, many of which they oppose, but which just so happen, conveniently, to have viewpoints and political aims aligned with leftist philosophy, while at the same time denying them a similar subsidy, claiming they can’t be subsidized because their viewpoints are discriminatory. It’s this attitude: “we’ll take your hard earned money for our groups, but we won’t let you have any of the money we’re taking for your groups because we find them distasteful. So, if you want to have your group, you pay for the whole thing. And, meet off campus.” This is what I object to.

    In other words, tODD, if you, as a government or institutional authority, are going to enforce the subsidy of viewpoints, with mandatory taxes or fees, then you have at least a moral, if not legal obligation of fairness — you need to subsidize all sorts of viewpoints, not just the ones you favor — rejecting the others because of your own viewpoint that they aren’t “inclusive”. Do you at least see the problem with the notion that a university is determining what are and what are not acceptable groups and ideas? And that this newfound notion that equal access principles means that every group has to be principle-free, and permit even those opposing the very principles of the group to be in leadership, rather than the traditional notion that equal access simply means that all groups have an equal access to available funding, is an absurd form of new discrimination against groups based on objective principles? Do you understand why people get tired of having their money taken to support other people’s antithetical pursuits, while they are told that because they are “haters”, they can just use their remaining funds to form their own group, off-campus?

    “It’s kind of ludicrous to refer to activity at a private university to which you have to apply as somehow being “mandatory”, isn’t it?” — um, no. If you want to attend Vanderbilt, and almost every other institution in America, you are required to pay these fees. They are identified on the invoice as ……”mandatory”.

    You’re not making an argument for equality so much as you’re making an argument in defense of Christians in particular. But you’re appealing to notions of equality. I find that frustrating.

    So, are you equating faith groups with the Ku Klux Klan?

    Are you being fatuous on purpose? Though there are obviously a vast number of differences between the two, what they have in common is that they both raise hackles in this day and age. Except that the KKK isn’t terribly sympathetic, and I assume you wouldn’t be biased toward them.

    tODD, did you read my comment? Did you also miss the part where I specifically said that if you are going to establish this system of mandatory fees, and doling out money to groups, that you should not trod on the dangerous ground of determining worthy and unworthy ideas? That, as a cauldron of ideas, such a university should, indeed, fund the KKK, if there are applicants wanting such a group and they are not doing anything illegal? Did you not see that? Read my comment again, please, before you roll through the same old arguments you made the first time.

    “But are you expecting every private university to enact this policy just to keep from offending you personally? ” No. But are you saying I shouldn’t argue for the policy positions I believe in, and try to persuade them? The rest of your comment seems to run along these lines — you seem to think that because I am arguing for a certain policy position, I am demanding that it be uniformly enacted. I am engaging in the marketplace of ideas — you and others are certainly free to reject what I am saying. However, I haven’t heard your input on the issue, just sniping about the fact that I have a viewpoint.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 40: I directed my reply to you because, well, you had directed your reply to me ;-)

    Oh, brother. Remember that the statement of yours (@28) to which I was replying was “Do away with government funding for education, and do away with mandatory student activity fees”. Please note that the first part of that necessarily involves government action. If the intent of your obviously parallel sentence structure was that I was to read the first “do away with” as carried out by the government, and the second “do away with” as carried out solely by private petition, could you at least do me the favor of acknowledging that you weren’t terribly clear about it, and spare me the authoritarianism lecture?

    I was speaking in the universal society sense, so the parallelism is appropriate. Obvi0usly, WE don’t do either of them, at least on our own. But, if we, as in voters and the representatives whom we elect do away with government subsidy of education, and if we, as in voters and the representatives we elect with respect to public institutions, and we, as in boards of trustees, alumni, parents, students, and administration of private institutions, do away with mandatory student activity fees … a bit more cumbersome, don’t you think?

    Then how peculiar it was for you to conclude your paragraph opposing mandatory student activity fees with “They are being forced, essentially, to subsidize opposing viewpoints”!

    Did you even read the rest of what I wrote? You know, this discussion thing involves a bit of good faith on behalf of the participants. All right. I’ll put it out there again, since apparently you missed it the first time. I also wrote, in the very next sentence:

    What I do object to is the modern leftist tendency to force people of faith to subsidize other activities and groups, many of which they oppose, but which just so happen, conveniently, to have viewpoints and political aims aligned with leftist philosophy, while at the same time denying them a similar subsidy, claiming they can’t be subsidized because their viewpoints are discriminatory. It’s this attitude: “we’ll take your hard earned money for our groups, but we won’t let you have any of the money we’re taking for your groups because we find them distasteful. So, if you want to have your group, you pay for the whole thing. And, meet off campus.” This is what I object to.

    In other words, tODD, if you, as a government or institutional authority, are going to enforce the subsidy of viewpoints, with mandatory taxes or fees, then you have at least a moral, if not legal obligation of fairness — you need to subsidize all sorts of viewpoints, not just the ones you favor — rejecting the others because of your own viewpoint that they aren’t “inclusive”. Do you at least see the problem with the notion that a university is determining what are and what are not acceptable groups and ideas? And that this newfound notion that equal access principles means that every group has to be principle-free, and permit even those opposing the very principles of the group to be in leadership, rather than the traditional notion that equal access simply means that all groups have an equal access to available funding, is an absurd form of new discrimination against groups based on objective principles? Do you understand why people get tired of having their money taken to support other people’s antithetical pursuits, while they are told that because they are “haters”, they can just use their remaining funds to form their own group, off-campus?

    “It’s kind of ludicrous to refer to activity at a private university to which you have to apply as somehow being “mandatory”, isn’t it?” — um, no. If you want to attend Vanderbilt, and almost every other institution in America, you are required to pay these fees. They are identified on the invoice as ……”mandatory”.

    You’re not making an argument for equality so much as you’re making an argument in defense of Christians in particular. But you’re appealing to notions of equality. I find that frustrating.

    So, are you equating faith groups with the Ku Klux Klan?

    Are you being fatuous on purpose? Though there are obviously a vast number of differences between the two, what they have in common is that they both raise hackles in this day and age. Except that the KKK isn’t terribly sympathetic, and I assume you wouldn’t be biased toward them.

    tODD, did you read my comment? Did you also miss the part where I specifically said that if you are going to establish this system of mandatory fees, and doling out money to groups, that you should not trod on the dangerous ground of determining worthy and unworthy ideas? That, as a cauldron of ideas, such a university should, indeed, fund the KKK, if there are applicants wanting such a group and they are not doing anything illegal? Did you not see that? Read my comment again, please, before you roll through the same old arguments you made the first time.

    “But are you expecting every private university to enact this policy just to keep from offending you personally? ” No. But are you saying I shouldn’t argue for the policy positions I believe in, and try to persuade them? The rest of your comment seems to run along these lines — you seem to think that because I am arguing for a certain policy position, I am demanding that it be uniformly enacted. I am engaging in the marketplace of ideas — you and others are certainly free to reject what I am saying. However, I haven’t heard your input on the issue, just sniping about the fact that I have a viewpoint.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 41: Did you notice that, in the very same sentence you quoted, containing the phrase “discrimination claim”, I also used the phrase “political pressure”, rather than “litigation”? Doesn’t that mean anything to you? And in that very same comment, two sentences later, I said “I agree with you that it is not a legal case, or shouldn’t be.”

  • DonS

    tODD @ 41: Did you notice that, in the very same sentence you quoted, containing the phrase “discrimination claim”, I also used the phrase “political pressure”, rather than “litigation”? Doesn’t that mean anything to you? And in that very same comment, two sentences later, I said “I agree with you that it is not a legal case, or shouldn’t be.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Christian groups aren’t allowed to require Christianity

    Dr. Veith: “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    Sometimes I wonder if these Pharasaic Liberal Protestants realize their own hypocrisy.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Christian groups aren’t allowed to require Christianity

    Dr. Veith: “In other words, this suppression of religion in the name of tolerance is being perpetrated not by atheists but by liberal Protestants!”

    Sometimes I wonder if these Pharasaic Liberal Protestants realize their own hypocrisy.

  • moallen

    My opinion of these “religious” groups and the college top down system of control stems from my college experience – I went to a college associated with a specific denomination. They did not allow any Christian groups on campus other than one they ran from the top down, and for some reason Fellowship of Christian Athletes. All Christians were supposed to avail themselves of this one group – and forget doctrinal distinctives. The group was nothing but some quasi-religious social club who’s student leaders were elected by the student body, both Christian and non-Christian. Completely pointless. Disassociating a Christian group from official campus money or recognition may be a good thing – especially when the University starts dictating how and who. If you think this is wrong, imagine a campus where organizing a Christian group is officially restricted – and pretty much the students went along with it, although there were “unofficial” groups.

  • moallen

    My opinion of these “religious” groups and the college top down system of control stems from my college experience – I went to a college associated with a specific denomination. They did not allow any Christian groups on campus other than one they ran from the top down, and for some reason Fellowship of Christian Athletes. All Christians were supposed to avail themselves of this one group – and forget doctrinal distinctives. The group was nothing but some quasi-religious social club who’s student leaders were elected by the student body, both Christian and non-Christian. Completely pointless. Disassociating a Christian group from official campus money or recognition may be a good thing – especially when the University starts dictating how and who. If you think this is wrong, imagine a campus where organizing a Christian group is officially restricted – and pretty much the students went along with it, although there were “unofficial” groups.

  • Apocryphon

    @30 Who do you think built the existing social structures if not the Christians? Please name an existing social structure that was built by a group that was even 51% non-Christian. What bastion of freedom and excellence and tolerance has been built by secularists?

    This entire nation was built by deists and Freemasons.

  • Apocryphon

    @30 Who do you think built the existing social structures if not the Christians? Please name an existing social structure that was built by a group that was even 51% non-Christian. What bastion of freedom and excellence and tolerance has been built by secularists?

    This entire nation was built by deists and Freemasons.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “This entire nation was built by deists and Freemasons.”

    In your imagination, maybe. They were there also. Some were even leaders, but not a majority, then or ever.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “This entire nation was built by deists and Freemasons.”

    In your imagination, maybe. They were there also. Some were even leaders, but not a majority, then or ever.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    if you are going to establish this system of mandatory fees, and doling out money to groups, that you should not trod on the dangerous ground of determining worthy and unworthy ideas?

    Actually universities could solve this democratically. Each student upon enrolling could fill out a form checking off all the organizations that he thinks are worthy of university recognition. The university could have each organization write a short description of itself for students to read and could tick boxes of all the ones they think should get funded. It is their activity money after all. It wouldn’t change how much students pay, just the proportion that goes to each group based on how much student interest there is or some such. I have more faith in the students’ judgement than the administration’s.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    if you are going to establish this system of mandatory fees, and doling out money to groups, that you should not trod on the dangerous ground of determining worthy and unworthy ideas?

    Actually universities could solve this democratically. Each student upon enrolling could fill out a form checking off all the organizations that he thinks are worthy of university recognition. The university could have each organization write a short description of itself for students to read and could tick boxes of all the ones they think should get funded. It is their activity money after all. It wouldn’t change how much students pay, just the proportion that goes to each group based on how much student interest there is or some such. I have more faith in the students’ judgement than the administration’s.

  • Danny

    Does the proprietor of this blog ever respond in comments? Some really good points and questions. Perhaps one of those autoblogs.

  • Danny

    Does the proprietor of this blog ever respond in comments? Some really good points and questions. Perhaps one of those autoblogs.

  • https://profiles.google.com/114761676313688657626 P. C.

    What’s lacking today in education and in the government is moral courage. Marquette University, like Vanderbilt University, has done the same unChristian action against Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). Marquette suspended this organization from the university because IVCF removed a student from a leadership position, not from the organization itself, because this individual did not live by the tenets of Christian behavior. I would have certainly thought that a university that calls itself Catholic, Jesuit, or Christian would support IVCF since this organization’s bylaws mimic those that are commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ himself.

    Although I am unfamiliar with Marquette’s internal policies on who can be the President of this fine university, I am sure that, at a minimum, the candidate must be Catholic, a Jesuit, a priest and consequently, a man. That policy is not being tolerant or diverse in any way if you understand my point that IVCF should also have the right to determine what qualifications and beliefs their leadership should hold.

  • https://profiles.google.com/114761676313688657626 P. C.

    What’s lacking today in education and in the government is moral courage. Marquette University, like Vanderbilt University, has done the same unChristian action against Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). Marquette suspended this organization from the university because IVCF removed a student from a leadership position, not from the organization itself, because this individual did not live by the tenets of Christian behavior. I would have certainly thought that a university that calls itself Catholic, Jesuit, or Christian would support IVCF since this organization’s bylaws mimic those that are commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ himself.

    Although I am unfamiliar with Marquette’s internal policies on who can be the President of this fine university, I am sure that, at a minimum, the candidate must be Catholic, a Jesuit, a priest and consequently, a man. That policy is not being tolerant or diverse in any way if you understand my point that IVCF should also have the right to determine what qualifications and beliefs their leadership should hold.

  • Apocryphon

    In your imagination, maybe. They were there also. Some were even leaders, but not a majority, then or ever.

    I’m talking about the Founding Fathers. I’m not saying the actual masses of early Americans and proto-Americans were anything like them, but this country’s intellectual foundations rooted from distinctly non-mainstream pseudo-Christian traditions. And you are right, it definitely wasn’t a majority of Americans. But likely many of the FF’s and Framers were, and they would be quite shocked that Unitarianism never caught on here.

  • Apocryphon

    In your imagination, maybe. They were there also. Some were even leaders, but not a majority, then or ever.

    I’m talking about the Founding Fathers. I’m not saying the actual masses of early Americans and proto-Americans were anything like them, but this country’s intellectual foundations rooted from distinctly non-mainstream pseudo-Christian traditions. And you are right, it definitely wasn’t a majority of Americans. But likely many of the FF’s and Framers were, and they would be quite shocked that Unitarianism never caught on here.

  • helen

    I have more faith in the students’ judgement than the administration’s. –sg

    If you will look at our present field of politicians…..they all went to college!
    If they went intending to go into politics, they were “student government”.
    Nuff said.

  • helen

    I have more faith in the students’ judgement than the administration’s. –sg

    If you will look at our present field of politicians…..they all went to college!
    If they went intending to go into politics, they were “student government”.
    Nuff said.

  • helen

    Sorry, sg, you said “each student”… I was thinking about student government when I reacted to your last sentence.

  • helen

    Sorry, sg, you said “each student”… I was thinking about student government when I reacted to your last sentence.

  • moallen

    Yes – some of the founding fathers were freemasons – are we sure they weren’t Christian as well? Now, I am not a mason, nor a fan – but aren’t sinners saved by grace – even those involved in fratenal organizations with false teachings? Also, Deism was the spirit of the age – just because some founders were influenced by these false beliefs does not mean they were not Christians – true, some outright rejected Christianity, but many combined false belief systems of their day with Christianity – which, by the way continues to happen today, and likewise goes unrecognized by those under the influence of the philosophies of the day.

  • moallen

    Yes – some of the founding fathers were freemasons – are we sure they weren’t Christian as well? Now, I am not a mason, nor a fan – but aren’t sinners saved by grace – even those involved in fratenal organizations with false teachings? Also, Deism was the spirit of the age – just because some founders were influenced by these false beliefs does not mean they were not Christians – true, some outright rejected Christianity, but many combined false belief systems of their day with Christianity – which, by the way continues to happen today, and likewise goes unrecognized by those under the influence of the philosophies of the day.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Danny, only when I have time. I can’t monitor all of these discussions, nor can I always respond to specific questions. I do what I can when I can. I do try to read the comments, but that sometimes happens only several days after they have been made. To accuse me of autoblogging–given how much time I DO devote to this thing–is a low blow.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Danny, only when I have time. I can’t monitor all of these discussions, nor can I always respond to specific questions. I do what I can when I can. I do try to read the comments, but that sometimes happens only several days after they have been made. To accuse me of autoblogging–given how much time I DO devote to this thing–is a low blow.

  • Lou G.

    “Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values. ”
    Then why even have student organizations? Just put them all of the students together in a room and let them do whatever it is they do. Of course, after a few minutes, people with like affinities, beliefs, gols and values will find one another and sit together to share each other’s company. And the person or people in those groups who are followed by the others will most likely be the ones who represent their collective beliefs, goals and values.

    Therefore, how can this stupid, silly requirement actually be enforceable or played out in reality?? Sure, the words in the constitution can be changed, but does anyone really that it will make that much of a difference?

  • Lou G.

    “Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values. ”
    Then why even have student organizations? Just put them all of the students together in a room and let them do whatever it is they do. Of course, after a few minutes, people with like affinities, beliefs, gols and values will find one another and sit together to share each other’s company. And the person or people in those groups who are followed by the others will most likely be the ones who represent their collective beliefs, goals and values.

    Therefore, how can this stupid, silly requirement actually be enforceable or played out in reality?? Sure, the words in the constitution can be changed, but does anyone really that it will make that much of a difference?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There seems to be an active cultural campaign against the right to free association.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There seems to be an active cultural campaign against the right to free association.

  • –helen

    Therefore, how can this stupid, silly requirement actually be enforceable or played out in reality?? Sure, the words in the constitution can be changed, but does anyone really that it will make that much of a difference?

    Oh, yes. A gay student will complain that he wasn’t allowed to be President of the “Christian straights association” and the CSA will be on the carpet. Nobody will observe that the GLBT wouldn’t elect him President either!

  • –helen

    Therefore, how can this stupid, silly requirement actually be enforceable or played out in reality?? Sure, the words in the constitution can be changed, but does anyone really that it will make that much of a difference?

    Oh, yes. A gay student will complain that he wasn’t allowed to be President of the “Christian straights association” and the CSA will be on the carpet. Nobody will observe that the GLBT wouldn’t elect him President either!

  • Lou

    helen: then I say we go pre-emptive and send Christian straights into GLBT and have them run for office! See how that goes.

  • Lou

    helen: then I say we go pre-emptive and send Christian straights into GLBT and have them run for office! See how that goes.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    I always thought it was LGBT.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    I always thought it was LGBT.

  • Joe

    DonS said “In other words, tODD, if you, as a government or institutional authority, are going to enforce the subsidy of viewpoints, with mandatory taxes or fees, then you have at least a moral, if not legal obligation of fairness — you need to subsidize all sorts of viewpoints, not just the ones you favor — rejecting the others because of your own viewpoint that they aren’t “inclusive””

    What do you mean by “institutional authority”? If you mean it to include private colleges and universities such as Vandy, then I completely disagree. A private institution has no obligation to do anything. If you don’t like what they are doing, don’t patronize the institution. It is only an “authority” over you if you chose to let it be an authority.

    And for the record, the previous comments are in fact mine and I am the lawyer the comments here often.

  • Joe

    DonS said “In other words, tODD, if you, as a government or institutional authority, are going to enforce the subsidy of viewpoints, with mandatory taxes or fees, then you have at least a moral, if not legal obligation of fairness — you need to subsidize all sorts of viewpoints, not just the ones you favor — rejecting the others because of your own viewpoint that they aren’t “inclusive””

    What do you mean by “institutional authority”? If you mean it to include private colleges and universities such as Vandy, then I completely disagree. A private institution has no obligation to do anything. If you don’t like what they are doing, don’t patronize the institution. It is only an “authority” over you if you chose to let it be an authority.

    And for the record, the previous comments are in fact mine and I am the lawyer the comments here often.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 61:

    What do you mean by “institutional authority”? If you mean it to include private colleges and universities such as Vandy, then I completely disagree. A private institution has no obligation to do anything.

    Well, obviously, as an attorney, you must be speaking about the world you would like to see, as a libertarian, rather than the world that is. Likewise, I have been speaking on this thread about the world I would like to see, where the law takes a back seat to nonsectarian, secular, prestigious universities doing what is right for a supposed marketplace of ideas — freely allowing them to flourish and to thus permit the student population to be fairly exposed to ideas in their full panoply, rather than engaging in a rigid political correctness and indoctrination, as most of them currently do. So, we disagree as to that ideal world — you are fine with these universities representing themselves to students as being these vast idea marketplaces, where they will be fully equipped and prepared for the world in front of them, exacting mandatory student activity fees from them, and then imposing a narrow, doctrinaire policy as to who can actually claim a share of those fees, and access to university facilities, based on their willingness to shed all adherence to a set of objective values or ethics. I think that’s a moral outrage — you apparently don’t. Just go somewhere else, you say (good luck with that, by the way).

    OK, fine, that’s your opinion. We can disagree on moral imperatives. And I’m with you — as I’ve stated all along on this thread, I would prefer this thing not to end up in the courts.

    But, as a lawyer you know full well that this statement “A private institution has no obligation to do anything” is an utter falsehood in our present world. Unfortunate or not, that is the case. And, the fact of the matter is that, if these institutions take that kind of haughty attitude with their students of faith, then they are liable to find out that, particularly since they suckle at the teat of government funding, they do, indeed, have a substantial obligation in this regard. Even if they didn’t accept funding of any kind, were they to deny access to student organizations based on race, faith, or gender, they would be in court in five minutes. You must know this to be true, which is why you must know that the statement you made is false, at least in the world in which we actually live. They, cleverly, they think, have attempted to avoid these suspect categories, and worse yet, couched their discrimination in “nondiscrimination” clothing, by developing these “values-free” criteria for student organization leadership. But, it’s not such a difficult task to show this obfuscation for what it is — faith-based discrimination. I’ll bet there’s a paper trail a mile long, and some judge would be sympathetic to the obvious notion that a legitimate faith-based club cannot operate if its leadership can’t be required to pray or conduct Bible studies, or to support the faith statement of the club. At least I hope so, or we’re a lot further gone than I think we actually are.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 61:

    What do you mean by “institutional authority”? If you mean it to include private colleges and universities such as Vandy, then I completely disagree. A private institution has no obligation to do anything.

    Well, obviously, as an attorney, you must be speaking about the world you would like to see, as a libertarian, rather than the world that is. Likewise, I have been speaking on this thread about the world I would like to see, where the law takes a back seat to nonsectarian, secular, prestigious universities doing what is right for a supposed marketplace of ideas — freely allowing them to flourish and to thus permit the student population to be fairly exposed to ideas in their full panoply, rather than engaging in a rigid political correctness and indoctrination, as most of them currently do. So, we disagree as to that ideal world — you are fine with these universities representing themselves to students as being these vast idea marketplaces, where they will be fully equipped and prepared for the world in front of them, exacting mandatory student activity fees from them, and then imposing a narrow, doctrinaire policy as to who can actually claim a share of those fees, and access to university facilities, based on their willingness to shed all adherence to a set of objective values or ethics. I think that’s a moral outrage — you apparently don’t. Just go somewhere else, you say (good luck with that, by the way).

    OK, fine, that’s your opinion. We can disagree on moral imperatives. And I’m with you — as I’ve stated all along on this thread, I would prefer this thing not to end up in the courts.

    But, as a lawyer you know full well that this statement “A private institution has no obligation to do anything” is an utter falsehood in our present world. Unfortunate or not, that is the case. And, the fact of the matter is that, if these institutions take that kind of haughty attitude with their students of faith, then they are liable to find out that, particularly since they suckle at the teat of government funding, they do, indeed, have a substantial obligation in this regard. Even if they didn’t accept funding of any kind, were they to deny access to student organizations based on race, faith, or gender, they would be in court in five minutes. You must know this to be true, which is why you must know that the statement you made is false, at least in the world in which we actually live. They, cleverly, they think, have attempted to avoid these suspect categories, and worse yet, couched their discrimination in “nondiscrimination” clothing, by developing these “values-free” criteria for student organization leadership. But, it’s not such a difficult task to show this obfuscation for what it is — faith-based discrimination. I’ll bet there’s a paper trail a mile long, and some judge would be sympathetic to the obvious notion that a legitimate faith-based club cannot operate if its leadership can’t be required to pray or conduct Bible studies, or to support the faith statement of the club. At least I hope so, or we’re a lot further gone than I think we actually are.

  • Joe

    “But, it’s not such a difficult task to show this obfuscation for what it is — faith-based discrimination.”

    You mean the same way the task wasn’t difficult in the Hastings Law School case.

  • Joe

    “But, it’s not such a difficult task to show this obfuscation for what it is — faith-based discrimination.”

    You mean the same way the task wasn’t difficult in the Hastings Law School case.

  • DonS

    Joe, we already talked about Hastings. That case was decided on the basis of an alleged “all-comers” policy which you and I both know is and would be impossible to actually enact and apply. It was remanded to determine whether Hastings actually applied an “all comers” policy, if the issue had been properly preserved, and the case was ultimately dismissed because it had been poorly argued, the 9th Circuit finding procedural disarray and a failure on the part of CLS to preserve that issue.

    So, it’s far from a done deal.

  • DonS

    Joe, we already talked about Hastings. That case was decided on the basis of an alleged “all-comers” policy which you and I both know is and would be impossible to actually enact and apply. It was remanded to determine whether Hastings actually applied an “all comers” policy, if the issue had been properly preserved, and the case was ultimately dismissed because it had been poorly argued, the 9th Circuit finding procedural disarray and a failure on the part of CLS to preserve that issue.

    So, it’s far from a done deal.

  • Pingback: Erosion of Religious Rights in America « life of a female bible warrior

  • Pingback: Erosion of Religious Rights in America « life of a female bible warrior

  • Jay

    Good thing all male fraternities are there with NO FEMALES allowed unless the want to have sex. Yes, I was a president in a fraternity and it was very much about drugs, alcohol, and as much sex as you can handle. Filthy stuff happened over and over and was known and encouraged by universities. We were asked to speak at their freshman events every year. Why? Because that is what college is today. It is a self serving, abuse of your body screw you parents, screw your religion, it is time to party and live life for only yourself. Who wants to here about Christian groups. It is very sad as to what is going on in our high schools, colleges, and in our culture. Sad day when Christians are openly being discriminated against. Hopefully, you will see the alumni step up and makes some changes or put there money in another school who thinks character still matter. Understand in many universities it is the goal for the “professors” to discourage them from ANY religious views. Atheist rule the colleges and we pay them to brainwash our children.

  • Jay

    Good thing all male fraternities are there with NO FEMALES allowed unless the want to have sex. Yes, I was a president in a fraternity and it was very much about drugs, alcohol, and as much sex as you can handle. Filthy stuff happened over and over and was known and encouraged by universities. We were asked to speak at their freshman events every year. Why? Because that is what college is today. It is a self serving, abuse of your body screw you parents, screw your religion, it is time to party and live life for only yourself. Who wants to here about Christian groups. It is very sad as to what is going on in our high schools, colleges, and in our culture. Sad day when Christians are openly being discriminated against. Hopefully, you will see the alumni step up and makes some changes or put there money in another school who thinks character still matter. Understand in many universities it is the goal for the “professors” to discourage them from ANY religious views. Atheist rule the colleges and we pay them to brainwash our children.

  • DonS

    The Tennessee legislature is challenging Vanderbilt’s religious discrimination policies, threatening to take action against the University with respect to state subsidy funding unless Vanderbilt either: 1) stops discriminating against religious student organizations, or 2) truly applies its supposed “all comers” policy to all organizations, including fraternal organizations, rather than in the current discriminatory manner.

    Here is more information, including sizable excerpts from the legislature’s letter: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/296544/battle-vanderbilt-tennessee-legislature-steps-david-french

  • DonS

    The Tennessee legislature is challenging Vanderbilt’s religious discrimination policies, threatening to take action against the University with respect to state subsidy funding unless Vanderbilt either: 1) stops discriminating against religious student organizations, or 2) truly applies its supposed “all comers” policy to all organizations, including fraternal organizations, rather than in the current discriminatory manner.

    Here is more information, including sizable excerpts from the legislature’s letter: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/296544/battle-vanderbilt-tennessee-legislature-steps-david-french


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