Skip to comments.Vanderbilt to religious students: Are your beliefs really that important?
Posted on 02/01/2012 3:13:43 PM PST by SeekAndFind
On January 20, Vanderbilt University announced that it will prohibit religious and political student groups from making leadership decisions based on their religious or political beliefs. University policy now holds that membership in registered student organizations is open to everyone and that everyone, if desired, has the opportunity to seek leadership positions.
Vanderbilts decision follows months of controversy. Last fall, the Christian Legal Society chapter at Vanderbilt Law School was warned that it could lose recognition after the university found that the groups constitution violated the universitys non-discrimination policy. The constitution required that all group officers must agree with the Christian Legal Societys statement of faith and would be expected to lead Bible studies and prayer groups. Vanderbilt objected, stating that the Christian Legal Societys constitution would seem to indicate that officers are expected to hold certain beliefs.
Tonight, the university is holding a town hall meeting to discuss Vanderbilts decision. At this event, students will likely wish to hear answers to questions such as these about the ramifications of the universitys policy:
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, where I work, wrote Vanderbilt of these concerns last September, but received no response. FIRE was not alone in its concern: Twenty-three members of the United States Congress, the national Christian Legal Society, Vanderbilt law professor Carol Swain, Roman Catholic Bishop David Choby of Nashville, and many others warned Vanderbilt that a decision to deny religious or political groups the right to require that their leaders believe in the groups mission would severely impair the rights of Vanderbilt students.
Indeed, Vanderbilt promises that students are entitled to exercise the rights of citizens, yet the universitys decision now forbids them from doing so. Vanderbilt students now have fewer rights than their counterparts at the University of Tennessee or their friends from high school who chose not to attend college at all.
I hope that Vanderbilt is prepared to answer the above questions in a way that will not alarm or dismay Vanderbilts students or the general public.
Robert Shibley is the senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
So much for “freedom of association”. The government gets to pick your friends and associates.
membership in registered student organizations is open to everyone and that everyone, if desired, has the opportunity to seek leadership positions.
Great! I’m a Buddhist, but I can be a Mullah? Woo Hoo! To my credit I have big, dark eyebrows and I can look like a SOB. Just need the beehive hat.
many college ‘religion’ professors are anti-Christian bigots these days.
“We will NOT comply!”
I`m quite certain that edict only applies to Christian groups. Highly doubtful muslims have to submit to the same requirement.
>>So much for freedom of association. The government gets to pick your friends and associates.<<
Vandy is not a government. However it is subsidized by taxpayer funds (financial aid) and should be required to operate within the confines of the USC.
But there is no such legal requirement and it can be as stupidly unfair as it wants. Students can choose to attend or not, depending on their individual proclivities.
Isn't a policy a statement of certain principles founded on beliefs? The hypocrisy is soooooooo apparent.
>>Great! Im a Buddhist, but I can be a Mullah? Woo Hoo! To my credit I have big, dark eyebrows and I can look like a SOB. Just need the beehive hat.
The beehive hat is for Sikhs. You need a rag on your head to be a mullah.
With college degrees costing a lifetime of repayment and many only netting manger jobs at McDonald’s it seems hardly worthwhile to subject oneself to their politically correct bullshit.
Go to a trade school.
This will first dilute, then divert, than disband religious based groups.
Look for takeovers not from other religions, but from the secular left.
“The beehive hat is for Sikhs. You need a rag on your head to be a mullah.”
I was thinking more of the hornet’s nest, sorry. Somewhere between the pull-starts and the push-starts.
“Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt, whose $1 million gift helped establish Vanderbilt in 1873 (largest charitable gift to that date), also gave large gifts to various churches in his latter days. I wonder if his RPM is 4 or 5 digits with this decision.
Modern liberal academia does not pray to God but to their substitute multiculturalism creed. Main stream values that have been the bed-rock of this nation will be demolished.
Government agencies cannot discriminate. If the university decides that political expression and student activities are central enough to its mission to receive government grants, than it also must permit that expression to any group which is not contrary to that purpose.
However, Vanderbilt is a private university. It does not receive any direct payments from the government, except, of course, there may be certain programs which receive certain grants. Financial aid is paid to the student, to spend how they see fit within the parameters of the grant or loan; it’s no more “government-subsidized” than any grocery store which accepts food stamps.
>>its no more government-subsidized than any grocery store which accepts food stamps.<<
Charlotte Iserbyt on youtube knows what’s happened to education. She was the senior Policy advisor to Ronald Reagan for Education.
Treasonous Marxist globalist idiots on parade . . . basically.
Like most large universities, Vandy receives tons of money in federal research grants for everything under the sun. They would be just another liberal-arts college without them.
The truth is that Vanderbilt has a rigid orthodoxy which nobody is permitted to question, which is that homosexuality and any other form of sexual conduct must be approved of and treated equally with married heterosexual behavior.
If your group holds religious beliefs that conflict with that orthodoxy, keep them under your hat and forget about living them out if you want your group to continue to be under the aegis of the university.
Denying rights under the guise of increasing rights and “fairness.”
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
Sounds like a threat to me...
Thanks for the culture war ping. I hope Vanderbilt is forced to retract this policy.
I hope alums will retract their giving. I had to stop sending money to Purdue when they had Bill Ayers on campus for a talk.
“many college religion professors are anti-Christian bigots these days.”
Well, you and I let them go to work every day unhindered, so I don’t guess we have any room to complain.
Yes, if enough of their alums stop giving and tell them why, that might motivate Vanderbilt to retract this policy.
What troubles me is Vanderbilts implication that religious beliefs are, like political ones, simply matters of opinion. That there is no truth in religion. That whether Jesus is the Son of God is a question on the same level as the constitutionality of social security.
Until recently, Vanderbilt nursing students were required to participate in abortion procedures, or risk flunking out. The anti-abortion students sued and won...but only because Vanderbilt takes government money, which forbids them to discriminate against someone’s religious beliefs.
First they came for the communists,
and I didnt speak out because I wasnt a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didnt speak out because I wasnt a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didnt speak out because I wasnt a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didnt speak out because I was Protestant.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
First they came ” is a famous statement attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (18921984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. The text of the quotation is usually presented roughly as follows:
Obama will fix this when he gets a chance. Acceptance of abortion must trump all rights in his mind.