Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Campus Christian Group Pressured to Accept Anyone, Even Atheists

The Hastings College of Law at the University of California has a policy where "recognized" student groups gain certain benefits from the school, including use of facilities, email, funding, etc. In what I assume is a well-intentioned policy, the school insists that anyone can belong to any group, even if that person's beliefs and practices are totally opposite those of the group.

In court right now is the policy that says a Christian group has to accept members who are non-Christian or who have vastly different fundamental beliefs than the group's other members. The schools' official position is shown by the Dean of the school. When asked if a Jewish group would be forced to admit a neo-Nazi, he said, "Yes."

That strikes me and others as just plain silly. Groups that wish to officially form would be expected to have some unified beliefs or interests. I can see how a school that wished to be fair to everyone might give equal access to benefits and facilities to both a Jewish group and a neo-Nazi group. But we still have freedom of association in the U.S., and that should be honored.

Suppose the school had a group of bird watchers, and that group regularly ventures into the countryside to watch various species of birds in their natural environment. And suppose that someone who hunts birds with his rifle wanted to join. Should the bird watchers go on their outings accompanied by spontaneous gunfire? That example is somewhat whimsical, but I think the point of free association is the same.

And beyond the right of free association for bird watchers, we also have a specific right of freedom of religion. But in many circles, recognizing freedom of religion seems politically incorrect.

Read about the Hastings situation below:

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