DEBUNKING Alliance Defending Freedom “37 cases”

Ever since the release of the film “God’s Not Dead” there has been a added hysteria popularized by the general American Christian public. The film itself propagated the nonsensical “Christian persecution” mindset by making it appear that universities (in this case, a Misotheist philosophy professor) are trying to make it’s students lose their faith. After the credits of the film, there was a list of 37 court cases won by the Christian law group Alliance Foundation, giving the impression that “the schools are anti-Christian” feeling.

I say this film is nonsensical for many reasons, primarily because it is widely unrealistic. For example, a philosophy professor would never go to war with a freshman and give him entire class time. That said professor would be fired within a minute, he would be reported by his students – both religious and atheist.

But I am not here to discuss the movie itself. For that, I highly recommend reading a valid criticism of the film by an ACTUAL philosophy professor. All you need to know about this film is this: a Christian freshman refuses to sign a sheet of paper that his professor is demanding his entire class to write, “God is dead.” That’s what the whole thing is about, and that is all you have to keep in mind, a professor is literally demanding his students to abandon their faith outright.

Instead of reviewing the whole film, I will focus on the 37 court cases. I have already dedicated this blog to critical reviewing books chapter by chapter. Here I will do the same with these court cases, summarize what they are all about, and MOST IMPORTANTLY if they reflect anything close to what was portrayed in this film “God’s Not Dead.”

In the Alliance Defending freedom’s page listing these said court cases, their first statement is “Today numerous Christians and student ministries on public tax-funded university and college campuses are experiencing the same crisis of discrimination Josh Wheaton faced in this film – threats, hostility, and unconstitutional policies restricting their religious liberty.”

The SAME crisis of discrimination Josh Wheaton faced???

Let’s see for ourselves.

First case: Ward v. Wilbanks.

Julea Ward, a graduate student in counseling at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), asked her advisor if she should refer a client to another counselor. The client sought counseling over a same-sex relationship, and since Julea holds religious beliefs against such a relationship, she saw that as a potential conscience issue. For referring the client to another counselor as her advisor told her to do, Julea was ordered to appear before a faculty review board, which told her to “see the error of her ways,” and take an “remediation” course. She refused to do either, and was expelled.

Outcome: District court ruled for EMU, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District ruled for Ward. EMU settled out of court. District court ruled for EMU, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District ruled for Ward. EMU settled out of court.

Really? Right off the bat, you are listing a case where no one is asking a graduate student to abandon her belief in god, just asking a counselor to DO HER JOB? She’s a counselor, her job is to counsel students. And what is this over, not over her faith, it’s over her inability to put the student’s needs first (as she is supposed to).

Next!

Second case: Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley

Jennifer Keeton was enrolled in the Counselor Education Program at Augusta State University, seeking to obtain her master’s degree in school counseling. During her time in the program, Jennifer had respectfully voiced her Christian beliefs regarding sexuality and gender identity. After Jennifer completed her first year in the program, school officials asked her to participate in a remediation plan addressing what the faculty perceived as deficiencies in her “ability to be a multiculturally competent counselor, particularly with regard to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (GLBTQ) populations.” Keeton declined the remediation plan and claimed it violated her First Amendment free speech and free exercise rights.

Outcome: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled against Keeton.

“Ruled against Keeton” – imagine that!!! She is striving to be a counselor, counselors help people. ALL people, including the GLBTQ populace. And she could not keep her private beliefs out of her job. Basically, she hopes she can be a counselor while having the ability to tell certain students “I don’t like your lifestyle, therefore I won’t help you. Tough shit.”

Third case: Lopez v. Candaele

For a Speech 101 class assignment, Jonathan Lopez spoke about his Christian beliefs and marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Jonathan’s professor interrupted his speech, called him a “fascist bastard” in front of the class, accused him of “offending” the class, refused to grade his speech (writing, “Ask God what your grade is” on the evaluation sheet), and threatened to get him expelled when he complained to the dean about the mistreatment.

Outcome: After a win at the district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Lopez did not have standing to challenge the college speech code.

“ Lopez did not have standing to challenge the college speech code” – need I say more.

Fourth case: Dozier v. Houle

The college threatened a student, Ryan Dozier, with arrest and expulsion for sharing a Christian message along a Yuba College walkway. District policies limited student free speech activities to two hours per week and required students to obtain permission two weeks in advance.

Outcome: An Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit resulted in a settlement and elimination of the college’s unconstitutional speech policies.

Do I see a Josh Wheaton case here? Definite no!

The issue here is not this person holding a Christian belief, no! The issue here is the timing the college allows one to proselytize. You can hold your Christian, Muslim, Satanist beliefs all you want, the college has no concern whatsoever on that. They only wish to keep things from getting out of hand.

Why would anyone choose include this case in the credits of a film over a Christian taking a stand for his faith in class? It has nothing to do with students being stripped of their rights to believe what they want to believe or being persecuted. The college gave them the open air speak, they just tried to keep it fair for EVERYONE.

Fifth case: Adams v. The Trustees of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Dr. Mike S. Adams was an award-winning professor in the Department of Criminology until he became a Christian and a nationally recognized conservative writer. From then on, he became the target of numerous investigations and was denied promotion.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom sued the university and won an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit after the district court ruled against Professor Adams. A trial is scheduled to take place in late 2013.

Good!

I said it.

Free to be an academic and a jerk. You can hold dumb ideas about feminism, diversity, and homosexuality, but still move on up as an academic.

But you know what I don’t see here? I don’t see anything in this case about holding Mike Adams back because he is a Christian. Rather, him being a jerk was more of the reason, not his faith.

So, we can cross this case out as being anything resembling Raddisson in this film.

Sixth case: Cumana v. Miami-Dade Community College

Christian students at Miami-Dade Community College attempted to hand out business cards with the message “It’s the call you’ll never forget” and the phone number to a local ministry. Campus security halted distribution and informed the students they were not permitted to pass out literature without prior approval from the Student Life Director. The policy cited by campus security did not have any guidelines for approving or disapproving the literature.

Outcome: An Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorney filed suit in order to protect the student’s constitutional rights. The school settled and adopted a new policy allowing literature distribution on campus without prior review.

So this is not an issue regarding the school trying to force Christian students to give up their beliefs like Raddisson did in this film. The issue here is that campus security is making sure everything is in line. At the end of the day, the campus’s policies were not clear enough. So what do they do, made a better policy. Nothing in this court case hints that the school was trying to suppress the religious beliefs of their students.

Seventh case: Thomas v. Boren

The Beacon OU is a Christian student organization at the University of Oklahoma. Its members publish a student newspaper from a Christian perspective. In order to cover their printing and circulation costs, the group applied for funding just like every other student organization. But unlike most campus clubs, they were given only $150, compared to the other campus newspaper which received more than $4,000. The student committee cited a policy prohibiting use of student funds for “religious services.”

Outcome: After a lawsuit was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom against the university’s discriminatory practices, Oklahoma settled by changing its policies and providing extra funding for The Beacon newspaper.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about funds and student organizations.

Eighth case: Roberts v. Haragan

Jason Roberts, a law student, requested permission from the university to speak in a certain campus location, but administrators said he could only make his remarks in an approved speech zone – a “free speech gazebo.”

Outcome: A federal court struck down university speech policies as unconstitutional.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about free speech zones on campuses.

Ninth case: Sheldon v. Dhillon

June Sheldon, an adjunct professor at San Jose City College, was fired after one student complained about her answer (taken from a class textbook) to a student’s question about human heredity and homosexual behavior.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom sued San Jose City College and the district court refused to dismiss Sheldon’s lawsuit. ADF obtained a $100,000 settlement for lost earnings for Sheldon.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a issues of homosexuality.

For some insight, according to the report, Sheldon made “offensive and unscientific” statements, including that there “aren’t any real lesbians” and that “there are hardly any gay men in the Middle East because the women are treated very nicely.

I don’t know what to make of this, but I did not see anywhere in this case where Sheldon was telling the students that there is no god and/or all the students should sign declaration of x, y, z with no debate or be failed.

Tenth case: Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

University officials denied equal access to student activity funding for a Christian newspaper while funding other student publications. University policy prohibited funding for “religious activities.”

Outcome: The U.S. Supreme Court halted the university’s viewpoint discrimination and ordered equal access for the Christian student publication. The Court said universities must distribute money from student fees equally, in a viewpoint neutral manner, regardless of whether the activity at issue was religious.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a funds and student organizations.

Eleventh case: Southworth v. Regents of the University of Wisconsin

Law student and Wisconsin National Guard member Scott Southworth watched as the University of Wisconsin dispersed student fees collected from students like him to organizations engaging in left-wing radicalism and other causes he did not agree with. He sought to opt out of paying those student fees, but was rebuffed by the university.

Outcome: An Alliance Defending Freedom attorney filed a lawsuit against the university. The legal battle progressed from federal court to appeals court to the U.S. Supreme Court and back to the appeals court for a final and precedent-setting victory. Thousands of college students on every campus in America would benefit from the decision. The appeals court enabled Christian groups on every public campus in America to be accorded equal treatment with any other club, even when it came to funding. Student fee funding must be distributed in a viewpoint neutral fashion, regardless of whether the recipient has a religious purpose.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a funds and student organizations.

Twelfth case: Wayne State University Students for Life v. Driker

Law student and Wisconsin National Guard member Scott Southworth watched as the University of Wisconsin dispersed student fees collected from students like him to organizations engaging in left-wing radicalism and other causes he did not agree with. He sought to opt out of paying those student fees, but was rebuffed by the university.

Outcome: After Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a lawsuit, the school agreed to change its unconstitutional student fee and facilities use policies and pay back previously denied student fee funds.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a funds.

Thirteenth case: Steiger v. Lord-Larson, et al.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire officials prohibited student resident assistants from holding Bible studies anywhere in their dorms, including their own rooms. Among those resident advisors notified of the policy was Lance Steiger, who had led Bible studies in his room for the previous four semesters. The university threatened him with disciplinary action if he continued to lead Bible studies in the dorm.

Outcome: On behalf of Steiger, Alliance Defending Freedom and Allied Attorney Michael Dean sued the university over violations of the First Amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion. The university agreed to settle the case and changed its policy to allow resident advisors to have Bible studies in their dorm rooms.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith.

Fourteenth case: Fluehr v. Pennsylvania State University

Penn State had Orwellian speech code policies that suppressed the discussion of controversial viewpoints. The university encouraged students to inform on their fellow students who uttered words or engaged in actions deemed “intolerant.” The policies disadvantaged religious expression and favored viewpoint discrimination.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit on behalf of student A.J. Fluehr. Penn State officials agreed to revoke the school’s unconstitutional speech code.

Fluehr said he was interested in passing out copies of the controversial Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad and talking about the situation, but did not for fear of violating the school’s policies. What they don’t mention is that Fleuhr was aiming to strike down intolerance and harassment protections that took decades to set up.

Fifteenth case: Christine Mize, Southern Illinois University

A Southern Illinois University professor threatened a student’s grade when she refused to grade a paper that presented a faith-based recovery plan for women dealing with post-abortion syndrome.

Outcome: After Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys intervened, Southern Illinois university administrators ordered the student’s paper be graded.

Oh no, you poor lamb, you didn’t get your paper graded because you wanted to talk about fairy tales to women who had an abortion.

Why don’t we use “faith” in recovery plans? Darrel Ray, organizational psychologist, wrote a book on this subject matter. Faith not a tool for recovery, instead it is used to guilt and shame people. 

Sixteenth case: Scott Savage, Ohio State University-Mansfield

A librarian at Ohio State University-Mansfield suggested some conservative books for the freshmen reading list to counter the far-left bias of many of the books listed. He was accused of sexual harassment and investigated by the university.

Outcome: After an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney intervened, Ohio State University-Mansfield dropped the charges against the librarian.

Funny they never mention that this was all about Homosexuality, rather just leave it as it is as if this is allabout “Christianity.”

Here’s what the court case was about: This case involves the malice of radically pro-Homosexual faculty members who were permitted to drive a Christian librarian from his position at a public university – all because the faculty members would not tolerate a book selection discussion that they perceived as a challenge to their homosexual orthodoxy and to their “scholarship.”

I don’t see anything in this court case about the librarians Christianity, all I see is objection to his anti-homosexual bigotry.

Seventeenth case: InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship v. Rutgers

Rutgers University used a “non-discrimination” policy to throw a student ministry off campus for requiring leaders to adhere to Christian beliefs.

Outcome: After an Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorney intervened, the school quickly dropped its attack on the student group’s ministry and re-recognized the group.

Where is the college faculty lashing out at them for being “Christians”???

All I see is the college asking the club to be opened to all faiths, but nope it’s a Christian-only group. Great, how about we next start a All White Club.

Eighteenth case: Disciple Makers v. Spanier

Penn State University officials denied a Christian student group recognition as a registered student organization, claiming the campus already had “too many” Christian clubs.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom filed a civil rights lawsuit, prompting Penn State to grant official recognition of DiscipleMakers, a Christian club, as a registered student organization. Penn State also reversed its “uniqueness requirement” which said student organizations cannot “duplicate those of an already existing registered student organization.”

Here is what I found: DiscipleMakers Christian Fellowship was forced to file suit against Pennsylvania State University after university officials insisted that the group discriminated on the basis of religion in officer positions. In settlement, the university agreed to exempt religious groups from the nondiscrimination requirement.

So a college filled with Christian groups is being punished for having one more Christian club over “officer positions”? Why couldn’t he students joined any of the other already existing Christian clubs?

Nineteenth case: Badger Catholic Foundation v. Walsh

University officials denied equal access to student fees for a Christian student group because the group engaged in prayer, worship, and proselytizing during the activities.

Outcome: After Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys secured victories at the district court and appeals court, the Supreme Court declined to review the case. As a result of these victories, Badger Catholic has received equal access to student fee funding.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a funds and student organizations.

Twentieth case: Christian Legal Society Chapter at the University of Montana School of Law v. Russel

The Christian Legal Society Chapter at the University of Montana School of Law began sought official recognition, but the law school claimed CLS violated its non-discrimination policy because any student who wants to belong or serve in CLS leadership is required to sign and affirm a statement of faith. The law school refused to allow CLS access to the same funds granted to other student clubs.

Outcome: A federal district court sided with the university, but after Alliance Defending Freedom and Christian Legal Society attorneys appealed, the university agreed to settle the case and change their policy to allow for viewpoint neutral funding. It also agreed to recognize CLS as an independent student organization.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a funds and student organizations.

Twenty first case: Christian Legal Society of the University of Toledo v. Johnson

The Christian Legal Society (CLS) at the University of Toledo College of Law adopted the most recent chapter constitution required by CLS national and submitted it to the Office of Student Activities at the university. The assistant director of Student Activities reviewed the constitution and told the group that he would not approve it unless they removed all Scripture references and included the required conformity to non-discrimination policies. CLS tried unsuccessfully to resolve the situation.

Outcome: After filing a lawsuit, Alliance Defending Freedom and Allied Attorneys at CLS settled the case. Toledo accepted CLS’s Constitution and recognized the group as an official registered student organization. The university also agreed to allow all student organizations to include references and citations to religious texts, such as the Bible, in their constitutions and bylaws.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about asking a Christian group to remain non-discriminatory.

Twenty second case: OSU Students Alliance v. Ray

Oregon State University Students Alliance has published The Liberty, an independent student newspaper, since 2002, and has distributed the paper in bins on campus since receiving permission from the university to do so in 2005. But in 2009, university officials confiscated the independent student paper’s bins–which contained copies of the paper–without notice and threw them next to a dumpster. The university claimed it did so as part of an effort to beautify the campus, but it left untouched the numerous distribution bins of the other student newspaper, The Daily Barometer. Subsequently, the university refused to allow the bins back on campus except for in the immediate area of the student union, a restriction not placed on the other student newspaper

Outcome: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that university officials violated the constitutionally protected freedoms of an independent student newspaper when they confiscated its bins and tossed them onto a trash heap. Oregon State University is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a bins and news papers.

Twenty third case: Arizona State University Students for Life v. Crow

The campus chapter of Students for Life wanted to put up a display demonstrating the harm of abortion. The school administration tried to force the chapter to pay a number of fees and obtain liability insurance that no other group had ever been asked to do.

Outcome: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the case after the school changed its policy, and vacated the district court’s ruling in favor of the university.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a political movement and free speech.

Twenty fourth case: Chi Alpha, University of Texas – Pan American

University of Texas-Pan American officials denied a Christian student group, Chi Alpha, the right to have a speaker address the group at an event that included prayer, worship, and an invitation.

Outcome: An Alliance Defending Freedom ally sent a demand letter on behalf of Chi Alpha to the university, which allowed the event to proceed as planned.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith.

Twenty fifth case: Rock for Life v. Hrabowski

When Rock for Life-UMBC (University of Maryland-Baltimore County) attempted to hold a pro-life display on campus university officials moved the display to a nearly deserted area of campus under a policy that grants them unbridled discretion to move events without notice, resulting in blatant viewpoint discrimination. UMBC officials also informed the student group that any similar future events will also be assigned to this nearly deserted area. UMBC also has an unconstitutional speech code.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit on behalf of Rock for Life-UMBC against university officials for various First and Fourteenth Amendment violations. The university agreed to remove unconstitutional policy provisions prohibiting “emotional harassment” and “intimidation.” The university also agreed to amend its speech zone policy—eliminating the unlimited power it previously had over student events—and will provide safeguards for First Amendment expression.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a political movement and free speech.

Twenty sixth case: Justice For All v. Faulkner

Justice for All, a student organization at the University of Texas at Austin, was denied permission during a pro-life display to distribute a flyer that said “Life is Beautiful – Choose Life” on the university campus because it did not include the name of the student organization. The university also had a problematic speech zone policy.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed suit and prevailed in district and appeals courts. The case established the precedent that a college campus is a designated public forum for students, which entitles the students to greater free speech protection, and also for the principle that anonymous speech is protected by the First Amendment.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a political movement and free speech.

Twenty seventh case: Pro-Life Cougars v. University of Houston

The Pro-Life Cougars, a student group at the University of Houston, invited an organization called Justice for All (JFA) to participate in an outdoor pro-life display on campus. The university refused to allow JFA’s exhibit on the main part of campus because it found the pro-life message “potentially disruptive” according to university policy. University officials would only allow the exhibit to take place on the fringes of campus.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed suit in district court, which said the university violated the First Amendment, and issued a precedent-setting victory that can be used against content-based speech policies at other colleges and universities.

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a political movement and free speech.

Twenty eight case: Christian Legal Society Chapter at Arizona State University v. Crow

Christian Legal Society (CLS) applied for official recognition as a student organization at the law school. However, the application was denied because the Student Code of Conduct required all student organizations to pledge they will not discriminate, among other things, based on religion in selecting members and leaders. CLS requires all members and leaders to affirm its statement of faith.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom and CLS filed a lawsuit, alleging that Arizona State violated its First Amendment rights of expressive association, free speech, and free exercise of religion by failing to exempt the chapter from the “non-discrimination” provision in the Student Code of Conduct. ASU settled the case by agreeing to change the non-discrimination policy, which now allows religious student groups at ASU to limit membership or leadership to those who share the same religious beliefs.

I don’t see anywhere that says “you must reject that god exists and reject your faith”, all that is being asked is if you want to form a group, make it an open group for anyone to join.

Twenty ninth case: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship-UW Superior v. Walsh

Christian Legal Society (CLS) applied for official recognition as a student organization at the law school. However, the application was denied because the Student Code of Conduct required all student organizations to pledge they will not discriminate, among other things, based on religion in selecting members and leaders. CLS requires all members and leaders to affirm its statement of faith.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit against the University of Wisconsin System alleging its non-discrimination policies trample First Amendment rights. A settlement allowed InterVarsity to continue operating as a recognized student organization on campus, and all religious student organizations in the University of Wisconsin System will be able to associate freely based on beliefs defined by the organization.

I don’t see anywhere that says “you must reject that god exists and reject your faith”, all that is being asked is if you want to form a group, make it an open group for anyone to join.

Thirtieth case: University of North Dakota Christian Medical and Dental Association- University of North Dakota

Christian Legal Society (CLS) applied for official recognition as a student organization at the law school. However, the application was denied because the Student Code of Conduct required all student organizations to pledge they will not discriminate, among other things, based on religion in selecting members and leaders. CLS requires all members and leaders to affirm its statement of faith.

Outcome: University of North Dakota officials refused to grant the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) chapter recognition as a student organization because the group requires its members to adhere to orthodox Christian beliefs.

Soooooo, that’s it?

I don’t see a court case here.

All I see is a college campus, UNM, abiding by their Student Code of Conduct, that simply outlines that students not to practice discrimination. Then here comes the CLS, asking to be recognized as a group while being allowed to be untouched by the Student Code of Conduct.

Thirty first case: Alpha Iota Omega Christian Fraternity v. Moeser

Officials at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill withdrew recognition of a Christian men’s fraternity because of its requirement that all of its members and officers adhere to a Christian statement of faith and conform to certain standards of conduct.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit against University of North Carolina (UNC) officials. As a result of litigation, UNC changed its policy to allow student organizations to select their members based on beliefs.

So a school originally asking that all fraternities be open and non-discriminatory is too much to ask?

Thirty second case: Students for Life at E. Michigan Univ. v. Parker

Students for Life at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) sought fundingl to bring the Genocide Awareness Project to campus. EMU’s student government refused to provide any funding because it said the event was too “biased,” “controversial,” and “one-sided.” The student government also cited an EMU policy that prohibits funding for any student event that contains “political or ideological” speech.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit, which is still pending.

Still pending.

Thirty third case: Beta Upsilon Chi v. Machen

University of Florida officials refuse to recognize Beta Upsilon Chi (Brothers Under Christ fraternity) as a registered student group because the group limits membership to Christian men. The school did not apply a similar standard to other student organizations

So a school originally asking that all fraternities be open and non-discriminatory is too much to ask?

Thirty fourth case: Cowboys for Life v. Sampson

University of Florida officials refused to recognize Beta Upsilon Chi (Brothers Under Christ fraternity) as a registered student group because the group limits membership to Christian men. The school did not apply a similar standard to other student organizations.

Outcome: An Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit is pending.

Still pending.

Thirty fifth case: John Oller v. Nancy Roussel

Dr. John Oller, an internationally acclaimed professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, teaches applied language and speech. He was censored by the university for his viewpoints on creation, and he’s been excluded from teaching responsibilities, endured discrimination, and is not allowed to use his own textbooks for his classes.

Outcome: An Alliance Defending Freedom Ally’s lawsuit seeks to protect Dr. Oller from breach of contract and to defend his freedom of speech and the right to be free of retaliation. A jury trial is set for May 2014.

Thirty sixth case: Anderson v. Harrison

When Spencer Anderson, a student at Columbus State Community College, sought to discuss his religious and pro-life views and to distribute flyers about his new pro-life student group, college officials required him to get a permit 48 hours in advance. Then they confined his activities to a speech zone. College officials forbade him from exiting the speech zone to speak with people or to give them his flyer.

Outcome: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a lawsuit, which is currently pending.

Still pending

Thirty seventh case: Candler v. Jenkins

Deanna Candler decided to participate in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity by distributing written materials on the Louisiana State University campus. After asking where on campus she could hand out literature, the university informed her she could only do so in “Free Speech Alley,” a tiny portion of the university’s 650 acres. The university also told her she had to register with the Office of Campus Life prior to distributing any literature.

Outcome: Deanna Candler decided to participate in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity by distributing written materials on the Louisiana State University campus. After asking where on campus she could hand out literature, the university informed her she could only do so in “Free Speech Alley,” a tiny portion of the university’s 650 acres. The university also told her she had to register with the Office of Campus Life prior to distributing any literature

Still not seeing anything in here where a college or a professor telling their students “God is Dead” or demanding that they abandon their faith. This is about a political movement and free speech.

CONCLUSION

Throughout these 37 cases, I did not see one case where a professor or college faculty was forcing any student to abandon their faith. Most of them were about issues of homosexuality, abortion and free speech zones. The rest were mainly issues of student funding.

This list baffles me on how pathetic it is. 37 cases? Try comparing that to the number of cases of church/state separation violation! It amazes me when Christians (maybe) don’t get their way, the first words usually out of their mouths is “persecution.” When they don’t get to break the law and use the government or schools to force their religion onto others, they are being persecuted. It’s all nonsense. Its like the law that says you cannot break neutrality, but when one religion steps beyond that, they cry “persecution” to remain beyond neutrality and creep their way further away from neutrality to overlap everything. Christians can express their religious beliefs on the streets, in their car, in their yard, in their churches, and just damn near everywhere. That isn’t what they want, though. They want to use the state to lead their prayers in schools, usually under the guise of “religious freedom.” But this is a big lie too, because they would freak the **** out if a public school led a class in prayer to Satan, then they would rush to have prayer removed from classes. You see, the separation of church and state is set up to protect Christians and non-Christians alike, everybody wins. Let’s keep it that way.

But I will point out, if you were troubled by the performance of Professor Raddisson in this film, I invite you to read the words of professor Daniel Fincke:

“For example, if you were like me, you were troubled by the idea of Professor Radisson’s desire to have his students sign a statement of belief that “God is Dead” with threats of failure if they do not do so. He was forcing them to agree to a conclusion without any debate. He was being closed minded and dogmatic.

In the real world it is Christian universities that alone in America require of students and faculty that they sign faith statements to attend or teach. If Professor Radisson’s actions bothered you, in reality you should be bothered by these Christian universities’ behavior. This is not a point against secular universities. If any atheist philosophy professor (or any atheist professor of any other kind) at a secular school has ever had anyone pledge that says “God is dead”, I’ve never heard of it. Even if it’s happened, it would be a rare outlier rather than the routine practice of faith statements at various Christian universities. Rare outliers prove nothing about there being an inherent prejudice or persecution of people of faith by secular universities or philosophy professors. You might say that statements of Christian faith are acceptable for Christian universities since people apply to be there voluntarily, knowing in advance about the faith statements, so no one is being pressured to agree to something that goes against their intellectual consciences.

But there is, nonetheless, something completely contradictory to the spirit of true inquiry to have college students, in advance of their higher education, commit to believing things on pain of having to leave the school if they stop believing them. How is that openminded? How is that interested in really proving and testing one’s beliefs? That’s saying, “Come here and we will educate you and teach you to think critically. But before we educate you and teach you to think critically, please sign this statement that you will never come to conclusions different than your current beliefs and our beliefs.” To say that to eighteen year olds, who are only just becoming adults and only just having the chance to think outside their parents’ influence, is inherently stifling. It’s contrary to the entire point of education. But Christian universities do this.

And their faculty can be fired if they think the wrong things. Imagine that. These are people hired because they are highly qualified experts in their subjects. But if they think something not pre-approved, they can lose their jobs. Does that sound like what open-mindedness about truth would be? Is that a policy that is going to lead people to correct their mistakes or start challenging discussions that might lead to greater truth.”

6 comments

  • For #14 there professor, you claim "What they don't mention is that Fleuhr was aiming to strike down intolerance and harassment protections that took decades to set up.". I'm assuming this includes the mandated guidelines on "free-speech zones" that includes the phrase "intolerance will not be tolerated"? I took logic for a semester and while I'm not the smartest man in the world, I'm a bit confused how you can defend being intolerant to intolerance? Or am I missing something you read from that case. Maybe change now to 36 and I'll pick another?

    • Still remains at 37.
      Why?
      Because this case ultimately has no similarity to the situation in the film God's Not Dead. The schools are not mandating or telling it's students that "God is Dead" or the like. It's about freakin' Danish cartoons.

      This case only circles on, as you pointed out, free-speech zones on campuses. What you have to bear in mind is that campuses can make their rules, and as I mentioned the school was aiming to minimize harassment cases of other students. That's why they established the speech codes to begin with. It's a noble act, for schools ought to care for the well being of it's students and try to protect them. But Fleuhr wanted to break through that and harass any fellow Muslim students in Penn. University.

      What this case boils down to is the delicate debate of "should hate speech or hurtful speech be protected under free speech?" Like I said it is a delicate issue, but the MAIN issue here in this blog, is that this court case was included in a film that was propagandizing that schools are forcing their students to declare "God is dead."

  • While I support nondiscrimination policies towards businesses (beliefs and speech don't equal actions) and I support the college's in cases involving moronic professors, some of these cases do involve freedom of expression.

  • John

    “It was about… the counselor doing her JOB” – So, what would you have said if she didn’t contact her supervisor and instead just told the person seeking counseling that in her opionion the relationship is unhealthy? You would most probably have been even fiercer in your judgement. Basically, you are saying everyone has to share your* opinion, or else it is only fair that they should be fired… which is reminiscent of certain autocratic regimes, which we are all very glad not to live in. (*may also be fervently, but thinly disguised as “what should be clear to everyone” or “as is universally accepted by…” or “the right way(c) of thinking”)

    • TheGodlessWolf

      //what would you have said if she didn’t contact her supervisor and instead just told the person seeking counseling that in her opionion the relationship is unhealthy?//

      That would have been fine by me, at least she would have done her job and merely shared her opinion about same-sex relations. If you read the end of my response I said it’s not over her faith, it’s over her inability to put the student’s needs first (as she is supposed to). If she thought that a same-sex relationship was merely “unhealthy,” and shared that opinion, that would be one thing. But to reject consoling a student outright is another, she’s a COUNSELOR, she is supposed to counsel students, even if she thinks that same-sex relations are “unhealthy.” That’s the core of the issue. If she was the school doctor, but refused to help a injured student who happened to be gay, this would be a no-brainer. School doctors and counselors are supposed to help students, not turn them down over the students sexual orientation, lifestyle, skin-color, gender, or any reason.

  • Pingback: God’s Not Dead 2: He’s not dead, just still imaginary | The Godless Wolf

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