Thursday, November 29, 2012

The More Things Change...

When I was in High School.. way back when.. there was a policy.. It focused on the entire separation of church and state concept. You know the one that was NEVER mentioned in the constitution? Anyway, they refused to allow us to have a Bible Study on campus. While all other clubs and groups were allowed this one wasn't. We fought, we petitioned and eventually the battle was won. I was not amongst the winners of that battle because I had transferred to a Private Christian High School, obviously having a Bible Study on campus was no longer an issue. But this battle stuck with me..

The reasoning was that because it was a "religious" group it was violating the constitutional rights of those who didn't believe. Not sure how that could be as it was a voluntary group of students who just wanted to share like minded beliefs. No on was forcing anyone to attend and certainly the school was not mandating it. It was on these arguments that the group won.

Skip ahead a generation, my daughter had a Bible Study at her HS.. and yes since it was a school club, they needed a sponsor and even though the sponsor was a Christian she was not allowed to participate in any way. She was there to unlock the doors, turn on the lights and make sure no school rules were broken, that was it. I had no problem with this.. it would have been nice had she been allowed to participate but I understand the basic rules. The thing is all the kids knew she shared their beliefs and would stand for them. They understood that while she was limited in that room, she was on their side in so many ways. Can you imagine the discomfort and dismay, even discouragement these kids would have had, if the sponsor didn't believe as they did. Say, the sponsor was an agnostic, an atheist.. shoot even a person of another faith.. It would underline them in some very insidious ways.. they would know.. they would fear sharing things.. and yes many might stop coming..

Now Vanderbilt University has instated a policy that requires religious student groups to accept leaders regardless of their faith, even requiring Christian groups to allow atheist leadership. The school has outrageously compared these Christian groups to segregationists. There is a petition being sent to Vanderbilt that says..

"To: Vanderbilt University
You have compared Christian student groups to segregationists because they want the same rights as other Christian organizations in America — the same rights the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed this year — the right to use faith-based criteria when selecting leaders. We demand that you immediately reverse your new policy that discriminates against these students."

If you want to support the rights of these individuals, if you want to ensure that everyone's Constitutional rights are secure.. that yes even Christians are allowed their faith.. you can go HERE to sign the petition.


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