Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Christian Students Labeled “Discriminatory”

Many evangelical groups on college campuses are losing official student group status because they require their leaders to be Christians. Expecting the leader of a religious group to have certain religious views is considered discrimination at some universities. This school year will be the first time in 40 years that Bowdoin College in Maine has not had the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship. The group lost its status because it insisted that its Bible study leaders affirm basic Christian doctrine. More than a dozen groups at Vanderbilt University have run into similar problems, and the California State University system is preparing to withdraw official status from allegedly “discriminatory” Christian groups as well. Cal State is the largest university system in the country, so its decision may be a tipping point.

Losing official student group status means that a group no longer has access to the funds that come from student activity fees, no longer has easy access to student meeting rooms, and no longer has the chance to participate in the recruiting activities that often take place during freshman orientation. It can also mean that a group can no longer use the university’s name or advertise on campus. It’s absolutely absurd to say that religious groups can’t have religious requirements for their leadership. The groups in question have all stressed that students of all beliefs are welcome to join and attend meetings and activities. However, if you want to lead the group and oversee Bible studies, you have to profess Christianity. Christians leading Christian groups is no stranger than women leading feminist groups or Muslims leading the Muslim Student Association.

But it’s the Christian groups that are targeted. I think this is an attempt to push Christian groups off campus altogether and tell Christian students they are not welcome in academia.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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