If you follow the news on the college campus, you might recall a movement a few years ago to remove all religious based organizations that did not comply with a new campus statement, worded as a human rights policy, that required all student organizations to allow ANY student access to ANY student organization regardless of the students religious belief, sexual orientation, political views, gender identity, race, etc. In other words, even if an organization had stated and strongly held beliefs, they were required to allow other students with differing beliefs to not only join but also have leadership positions. Most religious organization didn’t have restrictions on membership, only on those serving in leadership. For most universities that was not enough, and one by one those organizations had their membership revoked. Many saw this as a Constitutional issue that denied freedom of speech and practice of private organizations, so several religious organizations took these schools to court.
Four years later, after dismissing a Christian organization off campus because it refused to change its beliefs, the University of Iowa will have to pay nearly $2 million to settle with two Christian groups: Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The university lost multiple rounds in court, including this year when the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Business Leaders in Christ.
“Administrators at the University of Iowa discriminated against religious student groups,” Judge Jonathan A. Kobes wrote in a separate opinion. “... The law is clear: state organizations may not target religious groups for differential treatment or withhold an otherwise available benefit solely because they are religious. That is what happened here. The individual defendants may pick their poison: they are either plainly incompetent, or they knowingly violated the Constitution.”
It is sad that we live in a world where religious organizations have to go to court to protect their Constitutional rights in this country. Our nation was founded on religious freedoms, but religion has now become a center point in the political realm. Politicians who have no history of religious beliefs now are pro or con based on what agenda serves them best at election time. True, politics have played a role in elections for a long time in our country, but it appears that we now have appointed judges, administrators and leaders who have a personal agenda to remove all religion from the public arena. Playing politics with religion has now caught up to us and religious organizations must use the court system to protect their rights. Due to political favors the number of bias appointees is growing.
In Isaiah chapter 3, the Lord pronounced judgment on Jerusalem and Judah. In verse 4 we are told: “I will make mere lads their leaders, and children will rule over them.” As you read through what God had for the nations because of their disobedience it sounds very similar to what is going on in our world today. When a nation rebels against the Lord and then takes it a step further and rebels against itself, it appears that the natural consequence is to be led by those who are poorly equipped and with little experience.
The Bible warns of what is to come and gives us history as a guide. Pray for our leaders and pray that Christians will take a greater role in speaking up and out for the sake and future of our nation.
Serving the Savior,
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