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Wow. I hope people take a stand.

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:01 AM

Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


https://apps.facebook.com/aclj...ed+your+request.#_=_

No, Vanderbilt, You Cannot Use State Power to Restrict Liberty
By: David French
            Filed in: Free Speech   |  11:46 AM Feb. 15, 2013         
Students Praying at Vanderbilt
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Our nation’s large private research universities have perfected a rather ingenious scam. They’ve lobbied state legislatures and Congress so effectively that they annually receive hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal taxpayer dollars while at the same time escaping state oversight by pleading protection — as “private” organizations — from the prying eyes of the very taxpayers who keep them in business. In this manner they’re not that much different from the crony capitalists who clog the halls of power in Congress, always with the same refrain: More dollars, less oversight.

The end result is a taxpayer-funded “private” behemoth that sucks citizens dry even as it creates vast laboratories for far-left social experimentation. Nashville’s Vanderbilt University is perhaps the perfect example. As I’ve reported many times before, Vanderbilt, one of the top recipients of combined federal and state dollars, began a cynical and dishonest effort last year to cleanse the campus of Christian student groups by requiring that they open their leadership to individuals who don’t share the group’s faith. (Full disclosure: I’ve advised a number of Christian student groups throughout their struggle with the university.) In other words, according to Vanderbilt, a Catholic group must be open to Muslim leaders, a Baptist group to atheists, and Jewish groups to Hindus. More than a dozen Christian groups have now been forced off campus; it’s a policy that makes no sense except as a method of exclusion.

As part of its campaign to exclude campus Christians, Vanderbilt has compared Christian students to segregationists, has lied to the public about its policies and intentions, and has explicitly played favorites — imposing its policies on Christian groups while creating exceptions for the campus’s powerful fraternities and sororities.

Last year the Tennessee legislature stepped up in response, passing legislation — based on the amount of public funding Vanderbilt receives — requiring the university to protect its students’ most basic religious liberties. Unfortunately, however, Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Haslam, vetoed the legislation — claiming that he didn’t want to interfere with a “private” university’s freedom to define its own policies.

This term, the legislature may step up again. It turns out that Vanderbilt has a most unusual relationship with the state: It not only receives tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, it is permitted to operate its own police force — a force fully clothed with the power of state law. In other words, Vanderbilt doesn’t just deploy state funds, it deploys the state’s own police power.

Led by Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Mark Pody, conservative Tennessee lawmakers are supporting a bill that presents Vanderbilt with a simple choice: Respect religious liberty or lose your police power. The State of Tennessee has a clear interest in protecting the religious liberty of its citizens, and it has an equally clear interest in ensuring that its state-authorized and state-empowered police forces are not used to enforce blatantly discriminatory policies regarding campus access. Under this proposed legislation, Vanderbilt can enact the policies it wants to enact, it merely has to choose to become a truly “private” university if it wishes to do so. Tennessee has some of the finest private colleges in America (including my own alma mater), and they function quite well using security guards rather than police. Either Vanderbilt decides to respect religious liberty, or it bears the full burdens of its ideological devotion to religious persecution.

Throughout this long fight, Vanderbilt has broadcasted its intention of showing other universities how they, too, can restrict Christian student groups on their campuses. It wants to be the “tip of the spear” in campus religious oppression. However, it may instead offer a different kind of example: How academic overreach and arrogance can awaken a legislature — a legislature that understands there is no such thing a blank check, and that state power should be used to protect liberty, not suppress it.

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:43 AM

Re: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


Sure, I'm happy to take a stand. ACLJ doesn't seek "religious liberty", it seeks religious supremacy.

And the number one form of supremacy that the anti-Open Doors movement wants is the original position at issue: the right of Christian groups on VU campus to discriminate against gay Christians. Funny how your "Free Speech" article fails to even once speak the name of its actual agenda.

Instead it offers high-falutin' language about "religious liberty". Religious hokum, religious BS is much more accurate.
They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They're not laughing now. -Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003)

Posted: 2/18/2013 7:03 AM

Re: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


eek1 ohlord disbelief rolleyesflushedbangheadohlordeek1eek1

Posted: 2/18/2013 7:47 AM

Re: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


What drives me absolutely crazy about articles like this is the loaded phrases.  That Vanderbilt "began a cynical and dishonest effort to cleanse the campus of Christian groups".  That they have "lied to the public about their ... intentions".  That it has an "ideological devotion to religious persecution".

I've argued with several people here that they are wrong in their view of this policy.  I really don't understand the fuss - AT ALL - and see this as nothing but a non-discrimination policy that I am surprised wasn't on the books 25 years ago.

That said, people have a right to their opinions, but this article is just hate mongering.  The only reason they think this policy is "dishonest" is because Vandy claims it is not attacking Christian groups, but rather implementing a non-discrimination policy.  Well you know what, MAYBE THEY ARE JUST IMPLEMENTING A NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY!  The idea, that this article seems to support, that Vandy admin got together trying to think of a way they could purge Christianity off campus and came up with this is ludicrous.  Instead, since this author disagrees with the policy, he is unable to see it as anything other than a specific attack against him.

Get over yourself David French.  You are not that important.  

Even the people that I argue with here understand that the policy is not an attack on Christian groups, but instead believe (or seem to based on my understanding) that Christian groups are simply taking the brunt of a poorly worded policy that should either be refined or should exempt them.

Posted: 2/18/2013 8:02 AM

Re: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


Gee, thanks for bringing this to our attention, we never would have noticed it without your assistance, Dawgtalk.

Last edited 2/18/2013 8:05 AM by Gracchus

Posted: 2/18/2013 8:43 AM

Re: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


There's only one thing about this policy I don't like, and that's how it's killed, absolutely killed, our recruiting in football.

pirate

Posted: 2/18/2013 8:46 AM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


OP probably falls for the faux news "WAR ON CHRISTMAS" (tm) every year too.

6741_rotfl.gif

Last edited 2/18/2013 8:46 AM by bhoyal

Posted: 2/18/2013 12:03 PM

Re: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 



mathknapp wrote: What drives me absolutely crazy about articles like this is the loaded phrases.  That Vanderbilt "began a cynical and dishonest effort to cleanse the campus of Christian groups".  That they have "lied to the public about their ... intentions".  That it has an "ideological devotion to religious persecution".

I've argued with several people here that they are wrong in their view of this policy.  I really don't understand the fuss - AT ALL - and see this as nothing but a non-discrimination policy that I am surprised wasn't on the books 25 years ago.

That said, people have a right to their opinions, but this article is just hate mongering.  The only reason they think this policy is "dishonest" is because Vandy claims it is not attacking Christian groups, but rather implementing a non-discrimination policy.  Well you know what, MAYBE THEY ARE JUST IMPLEMENTING A NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY!  The idea, that this article seems to support, that Vandy admin got together trying to think of a way they could purge Christianity off campus and came up with this is ludicrous.  Instead, since this author disagrees with the policy, he is unable to see it as anything other than a specific attack against him.

Get over yourself David French.  You are not that important.  

Even the people that I argue with here understand that the policy is not an attack on Christian groups, but instead believe (or seem to based on my understanding) that Christian groups are simply taking the brunt of a poorly worded policy that should either be refined or should exempt them.

To me, “discriminate” is also a “loaded” word. It conjures up mental images of police dogs and the refusal to hire people and such – actual economic loss or physical harm. Here we are talking about the inability to join an organization that doesn’t want them because of a particular belief or action. IMO, an individual, or an organization, should be free to associate with whomever it wants. I “discriminate” every time I ask Bob to go to lunch with me or to play golf with me instead of Jim. I may not like Jim because of his rude behavior, his lousy table manners, even his politics. A group should have the same right as the individual. My church has the right to kick someone out for continued conduct that the church deems inappropriate: homosexuality, adultery, “bad” theology. My church believes that homosexuality is a sin, as do I. In centuries past the Church could excommunicate people (I assume in the Catholic Church, and possibly some other religious circles, that term still applies). I believe the Church should have that right. I believe an organization should have that right.

Posted: 2/18/2013 12:24 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


There are religious churches that openly welcome homosexuals (The American Episcopal Church, to name one), and others that don't. The question is why is Vanderbilt prying into a religious preference issue? Are there not organizations on campus for all flavors, colors and preferences? If not, why not? And why would Vanderbilt be interfering with that process?

Posted: 2/18/2013 1:21 PM

When you really get down to it... 



VUGearhead wrote: There are religious churches that openly welcome homosexuals (The American Episcopal Church, to name one), and others that don't. The question is why is Vanderbilt prying into a religious preference issue? Are there not organizations on campus for all flavors, colors and preferences? If not, why not? And why would Vanderbilt be interfering with that process?
... the bottom line is, "Do you consider homosexuality a moral issue or a equity issue?"

Just because a Church declares something immoral, doesn't mean society has to play along.  If, hypothetically, The Conglomeration of All Christian Churches presented a unified front to declare being black immoral, we would not stand for it.  We call that racism and discrimination and we say that is unacceptable.  It would be unacceptable if all churches did it, and it is unacceptable when a small handful of splinter groups do it.

So now we get into homosexuality.  Are churches choosing to protect their morality standards or are they delving into a more taboo area of simple hatred and exclusion?  Vanderbilt has chosen to declare homosexuality as not being a moral issue, but an equity issue.  We would be up in arms in an organization kicked out someone for being black.  I, for one, see no difference - none - between that and kicking someone out for being homosexual.  I am proud Vanderbilt is staying with the times.  Society is headed this way.  Same sex marriage is gaining steam.  Public opinion is changing.  I, for one, am calling this a good thing.  This isn't about policing Christian organizations, it is about protecting the rights of all students at the university.

Posted: 2/18/2013 2:44 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


No, all of society does not have to adhere to any singular religious moral. And in this case, no church organization was foisting any 'moral imperative' upon Vanderbilt or the student body. However, Vanderbilt has certainly foisted a 'social imperative' upon it's student body, in direct contradiction to some groups' values and beliefs - ones that are protected under our federal constitution. And it depends on your definition/separation of small/large/splinter groups that determines whether Vanderbilt is one as well, or not.

I still don't feel racism is an equitable comparison in the case you give. IMO, Biblical teachings don't use race as an exclusive determinator (I know, a debatable position). And, as I even stated, there isn't a united front in Christiandom against either race or sexual orientation. In fact, there is probably more of a bias against gender in Christianity than there is anything else, but I don't see feminists storming the Vatican on that issue (or converting to Islam for that matter). Now, if there WERE something biblical about racism, then you might have a point, but that's not the case.

As for the moral or equity decision, what makes the Vanderbilt administration the de facto authority in this situation (over and above federal or any governmental statute)? Does the Ivory Tower of Kirkland Hall bequeath some sort of moral high ground over and above Scripture, The Constitution, The Supreme Court and others? doubtful.

I don't see how this decision has strengthened the integrity of the University or expanded the horizons/options of the student body.

Posted: 2/18/2013 4:02 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 



VUGearhead wrote: Now, if there WERE something biblical about racism, then you might have a point, but that's not the case.

The Old Testament has been referenced for centuries as justification for racism, belief in the superiority/inferiority of different races. 

Just because YOU don't read the Bible that way, doesn't mean that it isn't read that way by others.

Posted: 2/18/2013 4:08 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 



VUGearhead wrote: As for the moral or equity decision, what makes the Vanderbilt administration the de facto authority in this situation (over and above federal or any governmental statute)? Does the Ivory Tower of Kirkland Hall bequeath some sort of moral high ground over and above Scripture, The Constitution, The Supreme Court and others? doubtful.
Being a private institution, I suppose, is what makes it the ACTUAL authority in this situation ... it has no obligation WHATSOEVER to grant official status to ANY religious organization. It has EVERY authority to put into effect rules by which organizations with OFFICIAL STATUS must abide. And organizations that take issue with those rules have EVERY OPPORTUNITY to cease their official ties with the University and to exist outside the OFFICIAL structure that is sanctioned by this PRIVATE University.

Why you seem to think otherwise is beyond me.

The persecution complex of my fellow Christians in this country knows no bounds.

Last edited 2/18/2013 4:10 PM by ORDore

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:06 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 



ORDore wrote:

The Old Testament has been referenced for centuries as justification for racism, belief in the superiority/inferiority of different races. 


I've heard that, but people in my church who know about the Bible than I say that is just not true. Do you have a specific verse/reference in mind? I know there is a verse that says something like (and I'm paraphrasing here) "slaves should subject themselves to their masters", but this not condone slavery, does not say that slavery is lawful.

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:48 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


geeznotagain wrote: ...I've heard that [the OT has been used to justify racism], but people in my church who know [more] about the Bible than I say that is just not true. Do you have a specific verse/reference in mind? I know there is a verse that says something like (and I'm paraphrasing here) "slaves should subject themselves to their masters", but this not condone slavery, does not say that slavery is lawful.
Having spent time in rural Mississippi, I've been lectured two times about the "children of Ham". Don't kid yourself: these concepts have existed. No, there don't have to be clearly racist verses in the Old Testament, people will invent & have invented their own just-so Bible stories to justify racism, segregation, you name it. We all know the quote about the Devil quoting Bible verses for his own purposes. Of course humans have done the same thing, for a couple of millenia now.

It's not the Bible's fault, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened with great regularity.
They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They're not laughing now. -Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003)

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:50 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


I'm not saying they're CORRECT interpretations of scripture, and they're not generally accepted today, but there's no doubt that the "mark of Cain" and, more notably, the "curse of Ham" have been used extensively to justify the idea that blacks are inferior.

Without passing judgment, I can remember my Seminary-educated grandmother referencing the curse of Ham as support for racial bias as recently as the early 90s. Now, these were quite possibly long-buried ideas that bubbled up in her old age, but they had their foundations in very real, very common interpretations of biblical scripture.

More here: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Ham#section_4

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:55 PM

Re: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


There is no such thing as a gay Christian, if you mean homosexual when referring to gay.  You may be a gay person who has come to know Christ & is beginning the process fighting your fleshly desires.  However, one can not be a practicing homosexual & be a born again believer according to Scripture.

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:55 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 



ORDore wrote: I'm not saying they're CORRECT interpretations of scripture, and they're not generally accepted today, but there's no doubt that the "mark of Cain" and, more notably, the "curse of Ham" have been used extensively to justify the idea that blacks are inferior.

OK, I misunderstood your post. I certainly agree that people have incorrectly interpreted the Bible, the US Constitution, and a host of other documents and other teachings to justify bad, and sometimes abhorrent, ideas and actions. The Crusades comes to mind.

Posted: 2/18/2013 6:56 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


Ha! Beat you to it! Curses! Hammed again!
They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They're not laughing now. -Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003)

Posted: 2/18/2013 7:07 PM

RE: Wow. I hope people take a stand. 


Modern Christians are no less capable of misinterpreting scripture to justify their prejudices and hate than their ancestors were.

Last edited 2/18/2013 7:08 PM by ORDore

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