More College Crackdowns on Faith
A secular war has been declared against people of faith, and our Western universities are leading the charge. I have documented numerous examples of how our higher education system is deliberately and regularly targeting people of faith – Christians especially.
It is getting to be the point that the most dangerous place for a Christian nowadays is on a Western college campus. It seems that the thought police, secular humanists, and forces of political correctness are doing all they can to stamp out any vestige of faith, and to hound believers out of town.
Consider the latest case of anti-Christian bigotry on campus, this time coming from Tennessee. The powers that be at Vanderbilt University have told Christian groups there that they will be in big trouble if they do not accept anyone into membership – even those who reject their statements of faith.
One write-up about this goes like this: “Christian student clubs [are] fighting for their right to continue existing as officially recognized campus groups. Losing that status could mean no longer having access to things like campus meeting space and college advertising outlets, which are essential to club growth.
“The groups affected include the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Christian Legal Society and Graduate Christian Fellowship. They were placed on ‘provisional status’ after campus officials determined that the clubs may be out of compliance with the school’s ‘nondiscrimination’ policy.
“A particular sticking point is whether Christian clubs have the right to require their leaders to share their beliefs and adhere to faith-based standards. For example, the Christian Legal Society is under pressure to change language in its constitution stating that ‘each officer is expected to lead Bible studies, prayer and worship at chapter meetings.’
“According to Fox News, the club already tried to negotiate with campus officials by agreeing to remove requirements for student coordinators to ‘strive to exemplify Christ-like qualities,’ among other things. But this latest demand threatens the club’s very existence and integrity, according to its student president, Justin Gunter: ‘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.’
“Once again, this controversy seems to have started as a result of a cultural flash point revolving around homosexuality – the campus decided to review some 300 clubs’ constitutions , after an openly gay student reportedly complained that he was asked to leave a Christian club. About a dozen clubs were found to be in possible violation of the nondiscrimination policy.”
Hey, why are we not surprised that once again, the real source of anti-Christian bigotry here is coming from the militant homosexual lobby? These activists are probably behind the great majority of these attacks on Christianity. And once again spurious “anti-discrimination” policies are behind all this.
Jim Lundgren, Senior Vice President and Director of Collegiate Ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA said this: “We love the university environment and we welcome all students and faculty into our chapter activities at Vanderbilt. However, it is essential that InterVarsity student leaders be committed Christians who understand their faith as they seek to lead their peers. No organization of any kind can survive without leaders committed to its basic beliefs.”
David French offers some telling commentary here: “A few things stand out. First, the university did what universities often do — compare Christian students to segregationists — but the students were not intimidated by the rhetoric. The comparison is offensive in the extreme. The vast majority of these religious student groups are open to all students without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, or even religion. Many of these students are minorities themselves and several actively work in racial reconciliation ministries. Yet they’re compared to segregationists because they want the same rights that every single off-campus Christian organization in America enjoys — the same rights the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed this year — the right to use faith-based criteria when selecting leaders.
“Second, the university was directly confronted with the contradiction between its purported ‘all-comers’ policy, which mandates that anyone can join or lead any student group, and its massive system of Greek life, with its gender-segregated, highly-exclusive fraternities and sororities. Such questions strike at the heart of the university’s argument and expose the political reality on campus: Universities are less concerned with ‘all-comers’ than they are with finding a fair-sounding policy hook to exclude orthodox religious viewpoints from campus. If Vanderbilt truly was dedicated to ‘all-comers,’ the fraternity and sorority system would cease to exist — as would gender-segregated intramural sports, men’s glee clubs, and any number of other campus organizations the university, students, and alumni deeply value….
“Something is happening in the American religious community, and these students are the tip of the spear. With dozens of churches facing expulsion from public property in New York because of Mayor Bloomberg’s nonsensical and punitive policy against religious expression, with Catholic and other Christian organizations forced to cover sterilization and birth control services as part of their insurance plans, and with campuses becoming increasingly hostile to religious organizations, we may be witnessing the birth of a mass movement for religious liberty. A nation cannot turn its back on its founding principles without a backlash, we are not a ‘post-Christian society,’ and these Vanderbilt students have now joined New York pastors and Catholic bishops at the vanguard of a defining cultural battle.”
The only good news here is that not every believer is simply allowing this ugly censorship and anti-Christian bigotry to go unchallenged. Many concerned students and some faculty have had the courage to directly challenge this discriminatory stance by the university. See this short video clip for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oopc3N3_LQs
Universities used to be a place of genuine inquiry and real freedom. Increasingly they are becoming hotbeds of bigotry, intolerance and anti-Christian jihads. Unless people stand up and be counted, things will only get worse.
13 Replies to “More College Crackdowns on Faith”
Bill, I have been teaching for nearly 25 years, When I was doing my training, the Christian Community Centre on Campus, which was built by donated money and labour from Christian businessmen in town, had a compulsory name change to “Chaplaincy”, and shortly thereafter became the Islamic prayer room, and eventually the first of the town’s mosques.
The Campus Christian group that I was involved in raised thousands of dollars, and purchased books that addressed subjects being taught in the University from a Christian perspective. We donated the books to the campus library. Not one of them made the library shelves. All of them were trashed (brand new books).
The anti-Christian jihads on University campuses in Australia are older than 25 years. This phenomena you have reported is not new.
Lance A Box
This is happening on a regular (seemingly almost daily) basis in schools all over America (and likely, other “Western” countries– but as an American I’m not as up to date there). And it’s happening at all education levels. Primary students being told retroactively that they can’t read portions of their favorite book to the class– like everyone else can– just because that book happens to be the Bible. High School students told they can’t wear a cross or crucifix (sometimes because it’s a supposed “gang symbol”). College students being told they can’t talk about abortion from a pro-life standpoint (unless they register two weeks ahead of time for the “right” to sit at a small table in a single room of the campus to share their views with a non-existent audience).
These and many more cases clearly violate the Constitution as well as Supreme Court rulings, but school administrators are either ignorant (if we’re assuming the best) or, more likely, just don’t care. They’re truly the elite who trample on the rights of Christians because they think they can get away with it. What they seem not to realize is that they’re gambling on waking the sleeping giant.
For regular updates on these kinds of cases (and frequent notices of new cases) you can follow the Alliance Defense Fund and the ACLJ, among others.
The good thing is that these and other legal aid groups are often successful in getting schools and local governments to back down and reverse their rulings.
So far, in the case Bill discusses here, the schools have not backed down. Actually, I kind of hope they don’t, only because most of these cases are settled out of court– and it might help stem the tide of abuse if there were more cases where the government lost in court.
I believe that all of these things (the rise of militant “gay rights” groups, the persecution of Christians in the Schools and Colleges and their workplaces) is indicative of the end times. All of these things have been prophesied – I don’t mean we should just sit back and accep;t what is happening, but, personally I feel like rejoicing when attacked for my Christian beliefs, as it proves to me, that the Bible is absolutely true – else why would Satan be taking such pains to try to destroy Christianity? Christianity is the only real enemy Satan has, but he does not have enough power to destroy Christianity. I hold on to that thought, and am constantly praying for the strength to hold on to my faith – no matter what may occur.
How ironic is this, considering the origins of universities – they were founded by the church!!
What would happen to these “universities…” if Christians boycotted them.
Being bullied by secular humanist thugs only works if these thugs intimidate students if the students accept the reigning foolishness that; “I have to have what this battlefield provides…” !
Christians need to start considering if; an indoctrination by secular humanists and aggressive atheists, is all it is claimed to be. A piece of paper declaring – “I survived 4 years of rather pathetic propaganda – and was able to return enough dribble to satisfy the demands of these pathetic thugs…” is worth looking elsewhere.
What a horrifying report about College life for Christians in the ‘land of the Free’.
Tragically the closing down of Christian institutions in Colleges is a logical extension of the ‘Closing of the American Mind’ (Allan Bloom, 1987). In his book about the demise of the Humanities in the American university in the 1960s he brilliantly exposes the ‘same dismantling of the structure of rational inquiry as the German university in the 1930s.’
In Germany it was totalitarian Nazism, now it is totalitarian cultural Marxism exercised through ‘political correctness.’ After the Mind has been stupyfied the Soul is next on the execution list. Time to wake up and stand up!
Alan Williams, UK
I’d like to know what the answer is!!
The answer is to pray more, work more, and get involved more.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Bill, a while ago you wrote a review on The New Atheism and the Erosion of Freedom by Robert Morey. About the book you wrote “This book may be even more important now than when it was first released over twenty years ago.”
So I bought that book.
Chapter 2 begins;
But what does Christendom expect after ceding all intellectual and moral authority over to the forces of secularism and relativism? Christians have hardly bothered to train people up to think and engage in scholarly and vocational ways.
Any wonder now that Christians are at the mercy of what Dennis Prager has recently called ‘secular jihadism’
“The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism. The Western world is threatened by secular fanaticism. Both seek to dominate society and to use state power to do so. Both seek to eliminate the Other — for Islamic fanatics, that means non-Muslim religions and secularism; for secular fanatics, it means Christianity and virtually any public invoking of God. The Islamists impose Sharia law; the American Civil Liberties Union and the left generally impose secular law. The Taliban wiped out public vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan; the ACLU and its allies seek to wipe out public vestiges of Christianity in America — as it did, for example, in Los Angeles County, when it successfully pressured the County Board of Supervisors to remove the tiny cross from the county seal. A city and county founded by Catholics — hence the name “The Angels” — was forced to stop commemorating its founders because they were religious.”
Ironically, today, our local liberal newspaper had reported:
“A global evangelical group that strives to place young missionaries in public schools has sparked concern among some Vancouver teachers who fear the Pais Project volunteers in their school are trying to convert students.” (Pais obeys the school rules by not preaching Christ inside the public schools.)
“After hearing about the concern, the Pais team issued an appeal for prayers to open the teachers’ hearts.” Please place the Pais Project in your prayers for their continued success reaching our children before the colleges do…
Bill, do you have an evidence of similar pressure being applied against Islamic student organisations? My hunch is that the gay and lesbian lobby are a bit more circumspect here.
I just wanted to share the good news with everyone that today at my parish church a newly ordained young priest spoke on Satan and how he manipulates people. Prayer, he said was the answer and to be like Jesus and to say to Satan “get behind me”. and we must continue to pray, pray and pray.
Our evening Mass was packed and he gave the same sermon to the young ones.