A school district in Fayette, Missouri has settled a legal dispute brought on by a secular group last year regarding alleged Christian prayers being held on campus.
Fayette High School, located in mid-Missouri, recently reached a settlement decree with the American Humanist Association, which filed a lawsuit against the school back in November 2013. The lawsuit alleged that the school district had violated the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment by showing favoritism to Christianity. The lawsuit argued that Fayette's former math teacher, Gwen Pope, participated in a weekly, Christian-themed prayer with her students in her classroom. Additionally, it alleged that such prayer meetings were announced on the school intercom by former Principal Darren Rapert, and the prayer gatherings were allowed to meet before school, even though other student-led clubs did not have the same privilege.
The agreement reached between Fayette High School and the American Humanist Association states that the school will amend its 2014 Student Teacher Handbook to explicitly outline the rules dictating a separation of church and state at public schools. The handbook will clearly state when student groups can meet and how teachers may participate in student-led religious expression. more >>
Despite claiming in a statement Tuesday that "religious freedom and spirituality are alive and thriving" on the campus, Bowdoin College, a private liberal arts school in Maine, insisted Friday that Christian groups on campus will lose their recognition status if homosexuals cannot become members or allowed to vie for leadership.
"They are discriminating and that is a violation of our policy if they were to do that. So they would lose their recognition," explained Scott Hood, vice president for communications and public affairs at Bowdoin College in an interview with The Christian Post Friday.
Bowdoin has been at the center of a tense battle unfolding across America between colleges and Christian groups on campus over bias policy since a New York Times article featured the fight between the school and the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship as a case study in a report Monday. more >>
Professor and Christian author Alex Chediak says that in order for parents to raise godly teenagers, they must use more than apologetics resources.
Alex Chediak, who teaches engineering and physics at California Baptist University, wrote about the topic in a book released earlier this year titled, Preparing Your Teens for College: Faith, Friends, Finances, And Much More.
"Information and logical arguments are helpful in making Christianity understandable and credible, and in dismantling false worldviews, but ultimately an act of the will (and the work of God in someone's heart) is involved," wrote Chediak. more >>
College and university policies that stipulate that Christian student groups on campus must follow non-discrimination policies in the selection of the groups' leaders could squelch student conversation about faith in the future, says a leader from InterVarsity.
Greg Jao, national field director for the Northeast InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, told The Christian Post that college institutions such as California State University (Cal State), the largest university system in the U.S., that are prepared to withdraw recognition from certain evangelical clubs this summer, are an example of a nation at a crossroads.
"There's just enough of them that it's not just Vanderbilt, for example, that have taken this to an illogical extreme, it's an increasing number of schools that actually believe that the best way to avoid discrimination is to prevent religious groups from becoming authentically religious. There is enough of them that it is actually a trend," Jao explains. "The United States is in the middle of reassessing what it thinks the role of religion should be in our society. Health and Human Service questions, denial of service questions, marriage equality, they are all different questions about religion and its role in society, but they are all being asked right now and the U.S. is coming to a very different answer than it used to come up with." more >>
Many years ago - early in my litigation career against campus censorship and repression - I challenged in court a policy that confidently declared, "Acts of intolerance will not be tolerated."
Think about that sentence for a moment - would the university violate its own policy against intolerance by not tolerating intolerance, and then be forced to punish itself? At any rate, a federal judge struck it down, and that particular phrase of repressive college doublespeak started to disappear into the memory hole.
The impulse to cloak censorship and repression in high-minded nonsense remains, however. Yesterday The New York Times covered the plight of Christian groups on campus, where groups at dozens of universities - including in the California State University System, the nation's largest - face exclusion from campus because they refuse to submit to demands that they not use their religious faith when determining the leaders of religious groups. As if it should be irrelevant whether a Christian bible study leader is actually Christian. Justified as a diversity initiative, it is motivated by nothing but malice - the desire to force Christian groups into a corner so that they either leave (the preferred outcome), water down their faith to accommodate university-approved ideologies (a decent second-best alternative), or lie about their policies and actions (an immoral response that also leaves the groups vulnerable to school discipline). more >>
The two candidates challenging for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's seat in November are both alumni of Christian colleges.
Princeton Seminary and Hope College alumna Dave Brat stunned Cantor and many political pundits by beating the top Republican on Tuesday, taking 56 percent of the vote of Virginia's 7th congressional district. This fall, Brat will take on his Randolph-Macon College colleague Jack Trammel, a graduate of Grove City College.
The Christian Post reached out to both of the schools for comment; Hope College declined to provide information besides confirming that Brat had graduated in 1986 with a business degree. GCC did not respond by press time. more >>