Duke University… I remember blogging about them before. The first time, they falsely accused members of their lacrosse team of rape. The second time, a gay Duke University employee was arrested for selling his adopted 5-year-old to other gay men for sex. So, not a very good university. And they’re going to be an even worse university after banning Christian clubs on campus.
Here’s the story from The College Fix:
The Christian student organization Young Life excludes two categories from leadership: “persons who engage in sexual misconduct or who practice a homosexual lifestyle.”
The latter is apparently a ban on practicing homosexuals, not Christians who identify as gay and believe their faith requires them to remain celibate.
The Duke Student Government Senate didn’t see a distinction, and used the organization’s orthodox Christian beliefs on sexuality to deny official recognition to a proposed Young Life chapter last week.
This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened to Christians on secular university campuses. Before Duke University, there was Tufts University and Vanderbilt University.
Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, is the latest higher education facility to crack down on student-led religious groups. In a recent move, the school’s student government banned the Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF), an evangelical organization. The decision was made because TCF, which is the campus’ chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, requires that those serving in leadership positions must embrace “basic biblical truths of Christianity.”
The group’s demand that leaders be Bible-believing Christians was found to be in violation of Tuft’s non-discrimination policy. Last month, the Judiciary recommended that the belief requirement be moved from the constitution’s bylaws to its mission statement; while the bylaws are legally-binding, the mission statement is not. TCF didn’t comply and, now, the group is officially unrecognized by the university.
Vanderbilt University has decided that Christian student groups that hold traditional Christian religious views are not welcome on campus. They will no longer be recognized as valid student organizations. Vanderbilt’s reason is that such groups require that their leaders be Christian—that is, that their leaders embrace certain core principles of Christianity and try to live according to these principles. In Vanderbilt’s view, religious beliefs and standards “discriminate” against those students who do not subscribe to them. Therefore, student religious groups with religious beliefs and standards are banned.
The situation would be unbelievable—were it not true. The issue came to a head this year when a student group at Vanderbilt Law School, the Christian Legal Society, submitted its “constitution” to the university. The constitution provided that the group’s leaders should believe in the Bible and in Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior; that they should be willing to lead members in worship, prayer, and Bible study; and that they should “strive to exemplify Christ-like qualities.” Vanderbilt’s Director of Religious Life, Reverend Gretchen Person, replied that such views were forbidden. Vanderbilt’s policies “do not allow” religious groups to have such an “expectation/qualification of officers,” she wrote. Last week, the administration officially declared the policy that Vanderbilt will exclude student religious groups that “impose faith-based or belief-based requirements for membership or leadership.”
It’s probably a good idea for Christian parents to do a thorough evaluation of universities before sending your children there. Not every university beliefs in basic human rights like free speech or freedom of association or freedom of religion. But they all believe in separating you from your money, which is why you need to be careful. By the way, I don’t recommend joining Young Life, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade / CRU. The only good Christian club on campus is Ratio Christi. Make sure the university you pick has a chapter.