Supreme Court decision on religion upends campus religious groups

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RNS photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

RNS photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

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(RNS) A Supreme Court decision almost two years ago denying official recognition to a Christian student group that did not accept non-Christians and gays as potential leaders has had unexpected consequences -- from challenges to other religious campus groups to state legislation designed to protect the groups. By Adelle M. Banks.

  • Anselm

    It would seem that any student organization commited to any substantive position (environmental, civil rights, social justice, religious, political, etc…) would legitimately want to limit membership to those who support that substantive position. The only groups that wouldn’t ‘exclude’ anyone would be those who had no substantive commitment (ie, nothing for anyone to disagree with). It seems to deny the raison d’etra of groups to require that The Young Democrats admit Republicans, civil rights groups admit avowed racists, enviromental groups admit those actively opposed to environmental protection, etc….. This decision really seems to undermine the ability of students to form advocacy groups of any sort, given that that advocacy would be undermined by those holding the opposite view potentially destroying the group by becoming members. The ‘debate’ should be a central aspect of college life, that is, principled and civil disagreement over subtantive issues, not the erasure of debate by banning partisan organization.