Losing Our Religion?

My former college, one of the nation’s top-ranked schools, is considering banishing a highly respected national Christian group from campus for discriminatory practices. It may be a case study of coming hostility for Christians in America’s public square. If so, is this bad news or good?

The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at Vermont’s Middlebury College is unwilling to install any leader who advocates any form of sexual intimacy outside of marriage. A proposed college policy would not only force the group to accept leaders who don’t share their moral beliefs (or lose funding, meeting space, and campus affiliation), but even demand that no group "discriminate" on the basis of religion.

Okay, before I start to cuss, let me get this straight. Alcohol-abhorring Muslim groups have to consider wine-lovers as leaders? Jews have to entertain Gentiles? Whatever a Christian’s ethical conclusions, whatever one thinks about God, this amounts to an appalling act of censorship that suffocates the free exchange of ideas and the practice of religious liberty.

Imagine the uproar and college reaction if a white student demanded to lead the Black Student Union, a male the Feminist Association, or a heterosexual the Gay and Lesbian Alliance. Middlebury bends over backwards, as a secular institution should, to accommodate support groups for all kinds of minorities.

However, it is not Muslims and Jews who are being harassed. At least for now. A powerful subculture of American elites confessing "tolerance" as the highest virtue finds one group in particular completely intolerable—evangelical Christians with strong moral beliefs.

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 2000
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