vanderbilt university

Supreme Court Decision on Religion Upends Campus Religious Groups

RNS photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Students protest on the Vanderbuilt campus. RNS photo courtesy InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

When the Supreme Court ruled that a Christian student group could only be recognized at a small public law school if it accepted non-Christians and gays as potential leaders, some lawyers and campus advocates grew nervous.

While the 5-4 decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez was primarily aimed at public colleges and universities, some conservatives say the decision has upended university religious life, with both public and private schools reconsidering nondiscrimination rules.

Now, nearly two years after the decision involving the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, the case is causing strife across U.S. college campuses.

Catholic Group Leaves Vanderbilt Over Membership Rules

Public domain, Wikipedia Commons

Public domain, Wikipedia Commons

One of the largest student religious groups at Vanderbilt University is leaving campus in a dispute over the school's non-discrimination policy that bars student groups from requiring their leaders to hold specific beliefs.

Leaders of Vanderbilt Catholic, which has 500 members, says the rule make no sense. P.J. Jedlovec, the group's president, says the group's meetings are open to all students, but only people who share the group's beliefs can be leaders.

"If we were open to having non-Catholics lead the organization, we wouldn't be Catholic anymore," Jedlovec said.

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