Blog

23 Apr

Harvard Punishes Christian Student Group

Harvard University has sanctioned and placed on probation the largest Christian student group on campus, Harvard College Faith & Action (HCFA), for the group’s expectation that its student leadership follow orthodox Christian ethical teachings on sexuality.
 
HCFA had asked a Bible study leader to resign after learning she was in a same-sex relationship.  “We reject any notion that we discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in our fellowship,” wrote the HCFA co-presidents.  “The student in this case was removed because of an irreconcilable theological disagreement …”   In Christian theology, homosexual conduct – not people – is considered sinful.   “Our theological view is that – for professing Christians who are in leadership – celibacy is the only option outside the bounds of marriage.”
 
The situation at Harvard is not unique.  Clashes between religious clubs and campus diversity policies have occurred at Vanderbilt, Bowdoin, Wayne State, University of Iowa, and California State University systems, to name a few.
 
Religious clubs have the right to select their own leadership and set standards for leaders within the organization just as other campus groups do.   CitizenGoUSA wrote: “Would Harvard force a Muslim student group to retain a student leader who decided to convert to Christianity?  Would Harvard force an LGBT+ group to retain a student leader who expressed views critical of same-sex relationships?  Of course not.”                               
 
(citizengo.org, 2/24/18; freebeacon.com, 2/27/18; nbcnews.com, 2017; bpnews.net, 3/8/18; weeklystandard.com, 3/1/18)
 
“Unfortunately, there are powerful and well-funded interests who, with broad support in the academy and in media, have been working hard to associate our ‘first freedom’ (Freedom of Religion) with discrimination and prejudice.”        Professor Richard Garnett, University of Notre Dame Law School
16 Apr

“The Big Secret”

The following are headlines about schools that don’t know…
“The Big Secret”
The U.S. Dept. of Education Guidelines make it clear…
It’s OK for students to Pray in Public Schools!

* California Deputy Sheriff Visits Home of First-Grade Student to Warn Him Against Sharing His Faith with Classmates
* Sixth-Grade Student Prohibited from Mentioning Her Faith in “All About Me” Presentation
* New York Middle School Students Told to Turn Their T-Shirts Inside-out Because They Have Religious Symbols

Public Schools are not “God-Free Zones.” The courts have declared that students and teachers do not “shed their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gates …”

“Catholics For Freedom of Religion,” together with “Americans For Freedom of Religion,” have produced a 9 minute educational video titled: It’s OK to Pray.

You can see the video at www.youtube.com, type the words It’s OK to Pray in Public Schools in the search bar, and watch Long Island students explain denials of religious expression and act out protected rights to live their faith in public schools.

(First Liberty Institute; Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America)

“A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district … are the principle support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty.” Benjamin Franklin
09 Apr

Christians Are Persecuted, Not Privileged, as Students are Taught at GWU

George Washington University in Washington D.C. is hosting a training seminar to teach the perils of “Christian privilege.”  The event description asks, “How do Christians in the USA experience life in an easier way than non-Christians?” “… are there places where Christians have built-in advantages over non-Christians?”  The learning objectives indicate the session will touch on “white privilege” as well.  
 
However, the many Christians who have been mocked, ostracized, sued, lost jobs, businesses, or military rank for following their Christian beliefs and conscience, could challenge the premise of this training seminar at GWU and a similar philosophy at Simmons College in Boston and other universities.   Instances of prejudice and persecution against Christians has substantially increased in the U.S. and the world.
 
*  German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Christianity is “the most persecuted religion in the world.”
*  UK researcher, Rupert Short, says “Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers” and that Christianity is in peril, like no other religion.  He is concerned that “200 million Christians are socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs.”
*  The Scottish Parliament is demanding that more be done to protect Catholics who bear the brunt of religiously-motivated hate crimes in Scotland.  While Catholics comprise only 15% of Scottish population, they suffer 57% of hate crimes.
*  In the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, Christians are escaping or being killed, tortured, or enslaved.  For example, in 1990, Iraq had 1.2 million Christians.  Today, there are less than 200,000.
 

 

“… no one would be more zealous than myself to establish barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”  George Washington
26 Mar

Freedom of Worship’s Assault on “Freedom of Religion”

The right to live, work and worship according to one’s faith is a freedom foundational to the United States.  The Founders were clear, and the Bill of Rights makes it foundational to our Constitution, that the government should not infringe on the free exercise of religion.
 
In recent years, however, Americans have faced attempts to water down this robust understanding of religious freedom to a mere “freedom to worship.”
 
“Freedom of worship” means religious beliefs need to go in the Closet – or into four walls of a home or house of worship – and that faith should remain a private affair that is relegated to personal activities or weekend worship services.
 
“Freedom of religion” means religious believers can say and do as their conscience dictates in the public square.  It includes freedom of worship but is also the right to evangelize, change their religion, have schools and charitable institutions, and conduct their jobs and businesses according to their conscience and religious beliefs.
 
“The freedom of religion is much more than just the freedom to worship,” said Sen. James Lankford.  “Worship confines you to location.  Freedom of religion is the right to exercise your religious beliefs – it is the ability of Americans to live out their faith or choose to have no faith at all.”
 
(firstlings.comwsj.com, 6/10/16; ncregister.com, 8/18/16)
 “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”   First Amendment to the Bill of Rights

 

Action Steps:
1.  Pray that all Americans will cherish our freedoms.
2.  Learn all 5 freedoms in the First Amendment.
3.  Contact Catholics For Freedom of Religion at 631-896-8331 to arrange a speaker for your parish or ministry group.