Monday, March 19, 2012

Roundup: U.S. Christian Discrimination Cases mount in 2012

Already in 2012, we've seen a slew of discrimination cases against Christians in the U.S. Here's a roundup of some of the worst. Although Christian groups are the first target, some schools and cities are installing across-the-board stipulations against religious groups. This contradicts the First Amendment. Follow the red links for more info on each case.

School gives religious groups until April to comply with Non-Discrimination policy -
Vanderbilt University in Nashville says religious clubs including the Christian Legal Society can’t make group leaders adhere to statements of faith. A dangerous precedent was set by a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving Hastings College of Law (San Francisco). The Court upheld the school’s demand that their chapter of the Christian Legal Society must allow people who don’t hold the same beliefs to join and even become leaders. See analysis of pros and cons here at findlaw.com (CLS v Martinez).

Student bullied by School Officials for supporting Biblical view of Family -
School officials at Shawano High School in Wisconsin invited a pro/con discussion about traditional and gay adoption in the school newspaper. But after the two sides were written, the boy who wrote on the side of traditional adoption was censored, punished, grilled by school staff without his parents' knowledge, accused of violating the school’s anti-bullying policy, threatened with suspension, and told he should regret what he wrote. The boy quoted Bible verses, but didn’t display any personal dislike or hatred. Yet, the school “apologized” to the other students for the boy’s biblical viewpoint...
Liberty Counsel has sent a letter to Shawano demanding they apologize to the 15-year-old for unconstitutional and irrational censorship, humiliation and violation of his First Amendment rights. And in a surprising move, The American College of Pediatricians also sent a letter to the School District Superintendent, cautioning him  not to react adversely to the student because of political pressure.

Public Library denies access for Christian law firm's meeting - 
Liberty Counsel, the law firm that fights for Christian rights like in cases above, was itself denied access at the Public Library of Seaside, Oregon. The nonprofit legal firm wanted to hold an educational meeting including religious content. 
The only reason given for the denial was the organization’s intent to provide educational training from a religious perspective. Other nonprofit groups are allowed to meet. A lawsuit has been filed.

Town suspends traditional prayers at meetings -
In Franklin, Vermont, one woman objected to a Christian pastor being repeatedly invited to open town meetings with prayer. She’s now supported by the ACLU in suing the town to stop the prayers, on the grounds that prayers “compel” hearers to attend religious worship. Franklin officials have suspended the prayer time upon advice from their lawyer.

Justice Department continues prosecuting Pro-Lifer -
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been prosecuting a pro-life educator for allegedly obstructing the entrance to an abortion clinic. But there is no evidence she was doing anything to violate the Freedom of Access Act. Holder’s case was thrown out by a federal court judge. However, Holder will pursue this relentless prosecution (Holder v Pine) to a higher court.
According to a Liberty Counsel News Release, the lack of evidence
caused Judge Ryskamp to write (paraphrased): The Court can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the Government and the plaintiff, which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell the defendant’s activities.

Wisconsin Schools allow Muslim students to pray during class time -
The principal says they can get up during class if they don’t disrupt the class (how will this not be disruptive?) miss “a minute or two of instruction” and that “the loss is minimal." This is a politically correct double standard, as the next case shows:

Christian students prevented from reading Bible on school grounds even during recess -
Although the incident happened in 2009, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio has just agreed to weigh the arguments in this case in which a lower court sided with the school district, stating children couldn’t even read the Bible on their own time.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Education’s document, Religious Expression in Public Schools, students cannot be prohibited from using their private time, even if on school grounds, to pray or read religious texts. The problem is, educators aren’t receiving this document.

Chick-fil-A blocked from college campus -
Under pressure from campus tolerance activists, the student government at Northeastern University in Boston has voted against  bringing a Chick-fil-A franchise on campus. Chick-fil-A promotes traditional values that some students and faculty don’t agree with, so they consider it to be “hate speech.”

New York schools stop churches from renting meeting space -
Due to a February injunction, the New York City School board is temporarily barred from forbidding churches to meet or hold events in public schools. Earlier this year, the board ruled against churches using school property, while still allowing other kinds of groups to rent. According to Speak Up.com, other religious groups, including Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim, meet in the schools. But a ruling in favor of the school board could rule out all religious groups.

(The writer of this article is not connected with, or receiving any compensation from, companies or organizations mentioned herein.)

4 comments:

quietspirit April 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM  

A Very informative post. I first read about the New York issue in Christianity Today. Thank you for sharing this.

Sheryl April 18, 2012 at 6:31 PM  

Thanks, "C"!

ministercreek August 9, 2012 at 9:17 AM  

This shews the tide is turning on Christians. Much open, blatant hostility towards Christians by the government and the powers that be. We are living in the last days!

Sheryl (author of post) August 9, 2012 at 9:28 AM  

Thanks for your comment, ministercreek! I agree.

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