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Vanderbilt to religious students: Are your beliefs really that important?
Daily Caller ^ | 02/01/2012 | By Robert Shibley

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.”

Vanderbilt’s 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 group’s constitution violated the university’s non-discrimination policy. The constitution required that all group officers must agree with the Christian Legal Society’s statement of faith and would be expected to lead Bible studies and prayer groups. Vanderbilt objected, stating that the Christian Legal Society’s constitution “would seem to indicate that officers are expected to hold certain beliefs.”

Tonight, the university is holding a “town hall” meeting to discuss Vanderbilt’s decision. At this event, students will likely wish to hear answers to questions such as these about the ramifications of the university’s 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 group’s mission would severely impair the rights of Vanderbilt students.

Indeed, Vanderbilt promises that students “are entitled to exercise the rights of citizens,” yet the university’s 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 Vanderbilt’s students or the general public.

Robert Shibley is the senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: college; university; valderbilt

1 posted on 02/01/2012 3:13:51 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

So much for “freedom of association”. The government gets to pick your friends and associates.


2 posted on 02/01/2012 3:21:56 PM PST by the_Watchman
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To: SeekAndFind

“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.


3 posted on 02/01/2012 3:22:08 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: SeekAndFind; Morgana

many college ‘religion’ professors are anti-Christian bigots these days.


4 posted on 02/01/2012 3:23:16 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: SeekAndFind

“We will NOT comply!”


5 posted on 02/01/2012 3:24:54 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: SeekAndFind

I`m quite certain that edict only applies to Christian groups. Highly doubtful muslims have to submit to the same requirement.


6 posted on 02/01/2012 3:28:02 PM PST by ScottinVA (Liberal logic: 0bamacare mandate is acceptable... but voter IDs are unconstitutional.Oh, let me gues)
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To: the_Watchman

>>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.


7 posted on 02/01/2012 3:28:50 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind
University policy now holds...... Vanderbilt objected, stating that the Christian Legal Society’s constitution “would seem to indicate that officers are expected to hold certain beliefs.”

Isn't a policy a statement of certain principles founded on beliefs? The hypocrisy is soooooooo apparent.

8 posted on 02/01/2012 3:30:19 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: USMCPOP

>>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.
<<

The beehive hat is for Sikhs. You need a rag on your head to be a mullah.


9 posted on 02/01/2012 3:30:41 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


10 posted on 02/01/2012 3:48:10 PM PST by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: SeekAndFind

This will first dilute, then divert, than disband religious based groups.

Look for takeovers not from other religions, but from the secular left.


11 posted on 02/01/2012 3:54:05 PM PST by DBrow
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To: freedumb2003

“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.


12 posted on 02/01/2012 3:56:43 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: SeekAndFind

“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.


13 posted on 02/01/2012 4:30:28 PM PST by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existance!)
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To: the_Watchman
So much for “freedom of association”.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
14 posted on 02/01/2012 4:35:59 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: freedumb2003

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.


15 posted on 02/01/2012 4:49:39 PM PST by dangus
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To: dangus

>>it’s no more “government-subsidized” than any grocery store which accepts food stamps.<<

Good point.


16 posted on 02/01/2012 4:59:59 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

IIRC

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.


17 posted on 02/01/2012 5:12:24 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: dangus

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.


18 posted on 02/01/2012 5:37:44 PM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: HarleyD
It's actually more than just hypocrisy, it's weasel words and dishonesty.

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.

19 posted on 02/01/2012 5:45:52 PM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: zot; Interesting Times

Denying rights under the guise of increasing rights and “fairness.”


20 posted on 02/01/2012 6:02:28 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: SeekAndFind; Warthog-2; Tzar; word_warrior_bob; risen_feenix; EnglishCon; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


21 posted on 02/01/2012 6:04:08 PM PST by narses
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To: SeekAndFind

Sounds like a threat to me...


22 posted on 02/01/2012 6:23:05 PM PST by mo
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To: GreyFriar

Thanks for the culture war ping. I hope Vanderbilt is forced to retract this policy.


23 posted on 02/01/2012 6:37:49 PM PST by zot
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To: zot

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.


24 posted on 02/01/2012 7:04:02 PM PST by Goreknowshowtocheat
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To: GeronL

“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.


25 posted on 02/01/2012 7:17:31 PM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Goreknowshowtocheat

Yes, if enough of their alums stop giving and tell them why, that might motivate Vanderbilt to retract this policy.


26 posted on 02/01/2012 7:23:45 PM PST by zot
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To: SeekAndFind

What troubles me is Vanderbilt’s 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.


27 posted on 02/01/2012 7:23:50 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


28 posted on 02/01/2012 7:33:19 PM PST by toothfairy86
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To: SeekAndFind; All

First they came for the communists,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,

and I didn’t 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 (1892–1984) 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:


29 posted on 02/01/2012 9:36:20 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass ,Divine Mercy <a and Rosary prayers!)
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To: toothfairy86
but only because Vanderbilt takes government money, which forbids them to discriminate against someone’s religious beliefs.

Obama will fix this when he gets a chance. Acceptance of abortion must trump all rights in his mind.

30 posted on 02/02/2012 3:24:40 PM PST by CommerceComet (A vote for Romney is a vote for the GOP-E to euthanize Reaganism.)
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