Monday, October 29, 2012

Colleges Ban Student Groups for Christian Beliefs

Tufts University (Medford, Mass.) banned Tufts Christian Fellowship InterVarsity after a lesbian complained that she was denied a leadership position for refusing to adhere to the "basic Biblical truths of Christianity."  Separately, Solid Rock Christian Club has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Snow College of Utah for discrimination in favor of "the speech of popular groups and exclude unpopular ones."

For background, read
U.S. Supreme Court Forces Atheists into University Christian Clubs and also read Buffalo University Favors Gays, Suspends Christian Organization as well as University Strips Crosses from Students' Chests

UPDATE 6/16/14: Intolerance of Christian Clubs Now Rampant on College Campuses

-- From "Tufts student government votes to 'de-recognize' evangelical group" by Katherine Landergan, Boston Globe Correspondent 10/26/12

The Tufts Community Union Judiciary, which is the judicial branch of student government, voted last week to de-recognize the Tufts Christian Fellowship InterVarsity, Tufts officials said in a statement, though the University would not comment on why the judiciary voted for the group to lose its status as an official organization.

If the decision were upheld, the TCF would lose its funding from the student government and permission to use the Tufts name, according to members of the student judiciary. They will still be allowed to meet on campus and can still be affiliated with the Chaplaincy.

Greg Bodwin, Vice-Chair of the Tufts Community Union Judiciary said that the TCF’s leadership requirement violates the discriminatory clause of the Tufts student constitution and that they are the only group to have such a requirement.

The [Christian group's] constitution states that “leaders of TCF (1) should support and advocate for the letter and spirit of TCF’s Basis of Faith and (2) in response to God’s Love, Grace and Truth should seek to exemplify Christ-like characteristics such as humility, honesty, racial reconciliation, concern for the poor and oppressed of society, sacrificial love, sexual chastity, respect for lawful authority, respect for biblical authority, and integrity, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Christian Group Banned for Adhering to 'Biblical Truths of Christianity'" by Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor 10/23/12

The complaint was first logged by a student who claimed that she was denied a leadership role within the organization due to the fact that she was a lesbian.

Officials within the Judiciary had previously stated that should Tufts Christian Fellowship revise their constitution or remove leadership requirements that were deemed to be discriminatory by Oct. 18, they would accepted by the university.

The group's Vision and Planning team felt that they could not, in good faith, remove or revise those specific leadership requirements and abandon their Christian standards. Their refusal led to the Judiciary's final decision.

The decision means that the group will lose all rights and privileges to use the Tufts name in its title or any of their activities or events. It also will prevent the organization from reserving space through the school's Office of Campus Life.

Leaders from the Christian group have declared they will appeal the Judiciary's decision. They contend that as a Christian organization, they are allowed to put in place guidelines that would be concurrent with the stated mission of the organization.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Christian club sues Snow College over alleged free speech issues" by Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune 10/23/12

In a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court, the Solid Rock Christian Club alleges the ["second tier" student group status] designation deprives such groups from being able to reserve campus facilities without charge, to advertise events on campus and to receive funding from student fees. That allows the college to favor "the speech of popular groups and exclude unpopular ones," the club alleges.

Solid Rock has operated on the Snow campus, located in Ephraim, for eight years. The complaint describes the club as committed to "exalting and glorifying Jesus Christ on campus" and encouraging students and faculty to believe in Jesus Christ. The club is associated with Tri Grace Ministries, which according to their web site, also is committed to "challenging the heretical doctrines of Mormonism and ... leading as many Mormons as possible into a personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ."

With a brief exception during the 2010 school year, the club was able to use facilities without paying a community rental rate, the lawsuit states. It freely advertised activities and received student fee funding. During the 2010 school year, the college designated Solid Rock an "organization," with fewer privileges, but relented after student leaders of the group protested.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Federal Court Rules out Christian Beliefs at University