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 >>
"Thou Shall Not Move," a group dedicated to preserving a Ten Commandments display at a Pennsylvania public school against legal action from an atheist organization, held a rally Monday in support of the monument.
Pastor Ewing M. Marietta from Liberty Baptist Church in Uniontown, the group's organizer, told The Christian Post that "a good number of people" showed up to their rally earlier this week.
"We do these once a month at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Connellsville on the third Thursday," said Marietta, regarding rallies held in favor of the monument. more >>
The government of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, fell overnight to the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, also called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Mosul's panic-stricken Christians, along with many others, are now fleeing en masse to the rural Nineveh Plain, according to the Vatican publication Fides. The border crossings into Kurdistan, too, are jammed with the cars of the estimated 150,000 desperate escapees.
The population, particularly its Christian community, has much to fear. The ruthlessness of ISIS, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, has been legendary. Its beheadings, crucifixions and other atrocities toward Christians and everyone else who fails to conform to its vision of a caliphate have been on full display earlier this year, in Syria.
As Christian Post readers will remember, in February, it was the militants of this rebel group that, in the northern Syrian state of Raqqa, compelled Christian leaders to sign a 7th-century dhimmi contract. The document sets forth specific terms denying the Christians the basic civil rights of equality and religious freedom and committing them to pay protection money in exchange for their lives and the ability to keep their Christian identity. more >>
Evidence has again emerged indicting that if Western mainstream media actually reported more on the sufferings of Christians throughout the Islamic world, their lot would likely improve.
Meriam Ibrahim, a woman who is imprisoned in Sudan and sentenced to death on the charge that she apostatized from Islam and converted to Christianity-and who recently gave birth to a baby girl in prison-was reportedly going to "be freed in a few days," according to a BBC report:
Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman. Khartoum has been facing international condemnation over the death sentence. more >>
A U.S. District Court has ruled in favor of an evangelical student, who was barred from preaching on campus without prior approval, ruling that outdoor areas of a Virginia Community College System comprising 23 college campuses are "venues for free expression."
The VCCS has consented to the court order that prohibits it from enforcing unconstitutional speech policies and zones, said Alliance Defending Freedom, whose attorneys represented the student, Christian Parks, of Thomas Nelson Community College.
The policy changes affect all 23 of the system's schools, the ADF said in a statement Friday. more >>