Saturday, September 4, 2010

First Amendment Limits Campus Law Enforcement??

A recent court case held that Davidson College, being a Christian college, could not enforce laws on its campus. It is the practice of the Attorney General of North Carolina to delegate enforcement duties to college police departments. But the court has said that it violates "separation of church and state" to give law enforcement rights to a college if that college is Christian.

The Founders, if one looks at their writings and actions, wanted to keep the government from establishing an official religion which citizens would be forced to follow. The college is being prohibited from enforcing laws solely because it is Christian (or religious). But allowing this police department to enforce laws such as DWI does not establish a religion. It has nothing to do with religion.

And the remedy? The college will now need to local police to patrol the campus, extending their workload and in effect channeling more tax dollars to support the college. The Supreme Court has ruled that it is not unconstitutional for local services, like fire and police or even school buses, to serve religious schools. So the local police may do this job. But I fail to see how the Founders' intentions would have led to religious schools being denied rights (or duties) that any other school would have.

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