Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stripping Freedom of Religion from Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt University has denied recognition of Christian student organizations for restricting leadership positions to only Christians. Rather, "ivory tower" intelligentsia say, for example, homosexualists who deny Scripture must lead the groups' Bible studies.

For background read, Supreme Court Ends Christian Witness on Campus - Christian College Clubs Must Accept Atheists and also read Vanderbilt Forces Abortion on Nursing Students

UPDATE 5/7/12: Congressmen chastise university for creating an “environment that is hostile” to the existence of religious groups

UPDATE 2/1/12 Vanderbilt doubles-down against freedom of religion (FOX News video):

UPDATE 3/29/12: Catholic student group says it must leave campus

UPDATE 10/19/11: Congressional Prayer Caucus denounces Vanderbilt rule

-- From "Religious groups at Vandy say policy unfair" by The Associated Press 9/27/11

Vanderbilt University has asked about a dozen student organizations to comply with a policy banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

But the Tennessean reports that members of some religion-based groups say they are being unfairly singled out because of their beliefs. College Republicans President Stephen Siao says the university has "launched an assault on religious groups on campus."

Vanderbilt began a review of the policy after a gay student complained last year that he was dismissed from a Christian fraternity.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Vanderbilt University nondiscrimination policy called unfair to religious groups" by Michael Cass and Jennifer Brooks, The Tennessean 9/27/11

The Christian Legal Society’s bylaws require its officers to “lead Bible studies, prayer and worship at chapter meetings.” The university’s Office of Religious Life pointed out that the requirement means officers are expected to hold certain beliefs — contrary to Vanderbilt policy.

In a letter last week to Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos, the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said the university’s Office of Religious Life had objected to “the Biblical passage of Romans 1:21-32” in the Christian Legal Society’s constitution. That passage says, in part, that God punished men and women by “(giving) them over to shameful lusts” as punishment for worshiping false idols and failing to glorify God.

The legal society’s “community life statement” lists several behaviors that members promise not to engage in, including “sexual relations other than within a marriage between one man and one woman.”

“We welcome everybody to be a member,” [law student Justin] Gunter said. But “we only have 20, 25 members. All it would take is 26 people (with different beliefs) to join and undermine our purpose.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Vanderbilt University Places Christian Societies on 'Provisional Status' for 'Discrimination'" by Gina E. Ryder, Christian Post Contributor 9/26/11

According to Vanderbilt’s student organization rules, organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values. That would mean an atheist could lead a Christian group, a man a woman’s group and a Jew a Muslim group or vice versa.

The groups under provisional status are Graduate Christian Fellowship, Christian Legal Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Sigma Phi Lamba.

Carol Swain, a professor at Vanderbilt’s Law School told Fox News, “It seems reasonable to require that leaders share the beliefs of the organizations that they seek to lead.”

Swain said, “I see it as part of a larger attack on religious freedom that’s taking place across the country – particularly when it comes to conservative groups.”

According to Fox [News], Interim Director of the Office of Religious Life at Vanderbilt Rev. Gretchen Person drew the line at the requirement regarding Bible studies, prayer and worship. Person is also negotiating the language in the group’s constitution that states coordinators should exemplify Christ-like qualities.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Florida Univ. Ordered to Recognize Christian Fraternity as well as Christian Clubs OK in Virginia Schools