Smothering Christianity on Campus?

on March 11, 2014

The Kulturkampf against Christian faith and ethics marches forward, now striking at Bowdoin College in Maine, where leaders of an Evangelical campus ministry are effectively being excluded because they won’t bend their knees to the new religion of “sexual orientation.”

Longtime volunteer co-leaders of Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, a husband and wife, who operated the group under InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, resigned rather than submit to a new school policy requiring their pledge not to discriminate based on “sexual orientation.” The husband explained: “The Bible teaches that human sexuality is expected to find its fulfillment inside of the twoness of persons and the twoness of genders.”

The dean of students refused their offer to sign with religious reservations.

“If someone’s participating in an organization and they are LGBTIQA and they are not allowed to participate in that organization because of their sexual orientation or they cannot lead that organization because of their sexual orientation, then that’s discrimination,” the dean hardheadedly explained to the school newspaper. “And that is a violation of Maine law and therefore also a violation of College law.”

Hmmm, so even religious groups, in the dean’s interpretation of state law, must submit to LGBTIQA orthodoxy? The newspaper didn’t bother to explain that LGBTIQA, the ever growing acronym, stands, I believe, for lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-intersex-questioning-asexual.

The article cites Evangelical campus groups at three other major schools recently facing similar pressures, including one that was challenged for insisting on adherence to 8 major Christian doctrines. So “diversity,” in the new secularist thought dictatorship, excludes orthodox Christianity. Evidently “diversity” can’t withstand the challenge of a competing worldview.

For more info on the Bowdoin case, read this excellent essay by my friend Owen Strachan, a Bowdoin alumnus who teaches at Boyce College, and who alerted me. I first heard of Bowdoin over 20 years ago when watching PBS’ Civil War series by Ken Burns, which highlighted Gettysburg hero Joshua Chamberlain, who later became Bowdoin’s president. He was severely wounded at Petersburg. Did he sacrifice for a nation that would try to smother orthodox Christianity by ignoring its own heritage and Constitution?

The accelerating attacks on religious freedom and conscience, waged with increasingly brazen smugness, ultimately threaten all who cherish their right to think for themselves. In Orwellian fashion, the Kulturkampf against traditional faith styles itself “nondiscrimination.” Who among us will defend the right of dissent against this oppressive new secular orthodoxy?

  1. Comment by In The Beginning... on March 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Really? LBGTIQA? God created man and woman, not airline confirmations.

  2. Comment by Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD on March 13, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    That is a great line, which I intend to use elsewhere. Since I always try to cite such insights that are not of my own creation, I would gladly give you proper credit if you send me an e-mail:

  3. Comment by Rover Serton on March 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    When the university allows a group to be on campus, it is taken as an endorsement. If the group won’t allow all citizens to be considered equal, I don’t think the university should endorse it. The group can freely go off campus and discriminate in any way it wants as a private entity but don’t expect government or most companies to support it.

  4. Comment by Michael Young on March 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    So, as a non-African American, am I allowed to join African American student unions?

  5. Comment by Paul on March 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Yes! The university has every right to discriminate and not treat all its students equally!

  6. Comment by David Fischler on March 12, 2014 at 9:46 am

    So what your saying is, in essence, that the state can force any group to be open to leadership that is in direct opposition to its purposes. If enough If enough Muslims join Hillel, they can elect a Muslim who believes Judaism to be a religion for dogs and pigs president. If enough pro-lifers join a pro-choice group, they can proclaim the new purpose of the group to be the overturning of Roe v. Wade. If enough Republicans join the College Democrats, they can erect a platform opposing Obamacare and a minimum wage increase.

    Your position is incoherent, because you don’t recognize that the formation of every group involves a degree of discrimination. Simply by setting up a group focused on a common interest or belief, the members declare that they are about one thing and not others. For the state to decide that certain groups are legitimate while others are not is an incipient authoritarianism that is profoundly contrary to the First Amendment.

  7. Comment by EVA-04 on March 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    “When the university allows a group to be on campus, it is taken as an endorsement” – That makes no sense, but let’s apply that logic as far as it will go. When a student is admitted to the university, does the university “endorse” each student’s complete viewpoint or beliefs? Considering how diverse any college’s student body is, wouldn’t that be contradictory? It would, unless the university is insisting that all students follow a common and universal morality of its own, and excludes all others.

    The point of groups on campus is specifically to allow a diverse set of views for students to participate in a free exchange of ideas and not to serve as extensions of the university itself. Students live at university and it’s convenient for them to assemble there, but they also have the expectation that their student life will not be overrun by the opinions of the administrators who interpret that the First Amendment stops at the university gates.

    Hopefully after the next election cycle we’ll get a Congress that will act to cut off Federal funding to such oppressive and dictatorial organizations.

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