Matthew J. Franck
Robert P. George
William J. Haun
David T. Koyzis
Robert T. Miller
James R. Rogers
Russell E. Saltzman
I wrote about this last week, and only scratched the surface. It’s this bad. Why any parents of intelligent young people would desire a Vanderbilt education for them, while this nonsense goes on, is beyond me.
Have T-shirts printed up that say “I’m proud to belong to the Christian Club!” (or “Jewish Club!” or whatever) and have everyone wear them to special events on campus. And have their photos taken in it.
Do fundraisers for a particular charity associated with the club’s theme.
Make a web page where everyone makes statements about what the club’s theme means to them and post them, so we can all see how these shining stars are “improving” the climate and culture of the club.
And have all the members write essays about what the club’s theme means to them, to be printed in an annual volume and sold to supportive organizations (like churches or temples).
Or are activities (in particular the sort that might have the ability to filter sincere from insincere) going to be controlled from the Dean’s office, too?
Looking into my crystal ball, I foresee that the Vanderbilt “nondiscrimination” policy, which I believe is actually not finalized yet, will not be implemented as it stands, or if it is, will not last long. It contains the seeds of its own destruction.
Is this anything different from what you wrote about last week or just the same thing? Assuming it is the same thing, an ‘all comers’ policy for using the money of ‘all students’ violates no freedom of religion, speech or association. The only exception would be if Vanderbilt was also enacting a policy requiring all student formed organizations to go thru the formal process of ‘recognition’ and use the communal pool of student money to fund themselves.
Why any parents of intelligent young people would desire a Vanderbilt education for them, while this nonsense goes on, is beyond me.
Because the overwhelming majority of parents do very little critical thinking about any aspect of their children’s education.
That can’t be true.
I just read that homeschooling is WAY up.
[...] How Bad is it Really, at Vanderbilt University? – You’ll have to click through to read the background and the update, but this provides some information about the application of a recent Supreme Court decision that may affect how public institutions, like public colleges, treat on-campus religious organizations. [...]
I guess I can use this with my college-age children as an object lesson in how NOT to be a Catholic!? It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
Blake, “way up” could mean 10%. There’s still plenty of room for an overwhelming majority of non-thinkers in the other 90%.
The problem is that most parents rely on university marketing guides to guide their choices. There are dozens of considerations placed first: the pleasant locale, the pretty library, the safe part of town. Vanderbilt would really need a lot of bad publicity over this for it to divert many applicants.
Besides – there is a market for this kind of oppressive thinking, a market that the university may be trying to exploit.
I am not sure what you mean. Vanderbilt is not a Catholic university. It was originally affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, but the affiliation ended approximately a century ago.
US News & World Report ranks Vanderbilt as #17 in the nation, tied with Rice, one notch below Cornell and one above Notre Dame. It may have a wacky policy for student organizations at the moment, but it is an excellent school.
I love the T-shirt idea. Here’s another T-shirt idea: “Vanderbilt: Keeping Christianity Subversive.”
Or, “Vanderbilt: Making Christians edgy.”
Or, “Vanderbilt: Where Christians Won’t Conform.”
Or, “Vanderbilt: Bringing Back the Coliseum.”
Way up by 10% could also, and more likely mean, going from 3% to 3.3%.
“Vanderbilt: Keeping Christianity Subversive.”
“Vanderbilt: Bringing Back the Coliseum.”
um…that might be a very profitable franchise….
Dave, all I’m referring to is Richard McCarty saying he’s a Catholic, but then saying he doesn’t let that “intrude” on his decision making. I grew up in Texas, and in Texas there’s a term that fits this type of thinking – in polite company we’d say “bull feces”!
To your point, this has nothing to do with Vanderbilt except that this prominent Catholic (in name only) happens to be the vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost. McCarty has the same warped view as many of the so-called Catholics in public and private institutions across the country. I just wish he’d kept his mouth shut about being Catholic! I can just hear my Protestant friends – “say, aren’t Catholics the ones who don’t let their personal faith intrude on their decision-making?” All the same, I can use it to make a point with my kids.
Vanderbilt: Keeping Christianity Subversive.
And here I thought we were worried about a Jew becoming the head of a Muslim student group!
Dave, all I’m referring to is Richard McCarty saying he’s a Catholic, but then saying he doesn’t let that “intrude” on his decision making.
Apologies! I understand your point now. I have made a limited defense of an “all-comers” policy, but in truth, I think some of the folks at Vanderbilt aren’t playing with a full deck.
I think that conservatives in such situations should take full advantage.
Let the religious join the pro-abortion, pro-gay organizations, let the Young Republicans join the Democratic clubs, Have the Jews join the Cardinal Newman society and the Catholics join Hillel; let those who cannot sing join the glee club, those who cannot run join the track team, etc. etc. etc.
Attend every meeting, run for every elected position.
I think that will show the error of this quicker than anything else.
let the Young Republicans join the Democratic clubs . . . let those who cannot sing join the glee club, those who cannot run join the track team, etc. etc. etc.
I don’t care for the policy, but I think you are misinterpreting it. Vanderbilt, according to their web site, is forbidding discrimination based on “race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or sexual orientation.” So while Jews could presumably join the Cardinal Newman Society and Catholics could join Hillel, Democrats could not join organizations for Republicans or vice versa. Short obese people could not join the basketball team, at least unless they had remarkable basketball skills, and and students who were non-swimmers could not qualify for the swimming team.
Now, as I said, I am not advocating the Vanderbilt policy, but would it is certainly plausible that an interested and sincere Catholic might be permitted to join Hillel, and I can’t imagine Venderbilt’s Newman Center would turn away interested members of any faith. (I don’t know if the Newman Center would count as a student organization, though.)
I think it doesn’t take much imagination to think of a situation in which it would be quite ugly for a group devoted to one particular religion turned away a member of another religion who had sincere reasons for wanting to join.
So I think it is not crazy to ask organizations to refrain from having charters that inflexibly and automatically exclude others based on “race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or sexual orientation.”
interested and sincere Catholic
I missed the part where the person has to be “interested” and “sincere”.
Where is that?
As I believe I have made clear, I do not agree with Vanderbilt’s policy. However, that does not mean that a Catholic organization should have a rigid “Catholics only” rule, or Jews should have a “Jews only” rule that cannot be relaxed. The National Organization for Women has men as members, NAACP has white members, and my niece, who is developmentally disabled, was given a place in many school organizations (the track team, for example) where she couldn’t be a fully participating member.
Boonton, I meant that “way up” could mean a current total of 10%. I doubt that it’s that high, but that’s my point — that would be WAAAAY up from where it is, and still have plenty of room for “overwhelming majorities” of all sorts, outside that range.
However, that does not mean that a Catholic organization should have a rigid “Catholics only” rule, or Jews should have a “Jews only” rule that cannot be relaxed
This whole thing started when gay students came into the Christian club and started telling the Christians what to believe – and sued the Christian club because the Christian club was prioritizing Christian beliefs instead of treating humanist beliefs as equal.
The courts agreed that the Christians had to stop having moral teachings and moral expectations, should stop suggesting its club members ought to abide by the rules of Christian sexuality, and ought to embrace humanist views of sexuality as equal to Christian ones. Or else.
That’s where this whole debate comes from. It started with this court case, which is where the whole idea of “all comers” comes from.
So we’re not talking about sincere, interested people.
We’re talking about gay students being ugly about shoving their beliefs down the throats of people who just want to live their lives without being harassed by the Thought Police.
You know, it’s funny how if a Christian gives a starving person food and water – then gives him a Bible – that Christian is accused of exploiting the person. But gays are allowed to not only proselytize, but to use force to shove their poisonous beliefs into other peoples’ lives.
Whether proselytizing is right or wrong, at least genuine Christians do it because they think they’re helping the person they’re proselytizing; they do it because they think it’s the right thing to do.
But gays come into Christian clubs not to help or be loving to Christians, but to be hateful, to dominate and to use force to make themselves powerful and make Christians not have control over their own space and person. There’s no justification other than a petty desire to make the world ugly, just because they can.
From the discussion on the other thread, the rule does not ban all discrimination, only those from official student clubs who take money from the common pool of student dues which are funded by what essentially a tax imposed on students. Private student clubs are free to impose any rule they want so what would essentially be a campus church could limit its members and officiers to only those of a particular faith.
And, more importantly, the rule does not ban all discrimination by official clubs, only race, gender, orientation, religion, vetern status and disability. Fraternities and atheletic clubs are exempted (as they have a need to discriminate based on gender and disability in the case of atheletics).
So yes you could have a gay rights club, a club that supports gay marriage and so on. But if you’re taking student money you can’t limit its membership to just gays. Likewise a Hispanic club, African American club etc. can’t take money from all the students but limit their membership to just one race. That would mean you could also have a club opposed to gay marriage. Yes you couldn’t ban gays from membership but you could require anyone who wants to join to oppose gay marriage.
And the rule has no impact on electing officers. A Newman Club may allow non-Christians to join but that wouldn’t stop members from choosing to elect only a Christian to club leadership roles.
I think the most important aspect to this is that this only applies to clubs taking funds from all the students. It is not an unreasonable requirement that if everyone is going to be taxed for these clubs then the benefit of the clubs should not be closed off on account of things people can’t change (their race, their gender, their orientation) or things we wouldn’t want people to be forced to change (their religion). Does a college have to have this rule? No it does not. But all the Christian Legal Society case said was that IF a college decides to have a rule like this, it is not an infringement of liberty. Again unless the college prohibits students from forming their own private clubs with their own money there is no liberty argument here.
You don’t even know the basic facts. There were no gay students telling the “Christian club” (a fraternity) what to believe, and there was no lawsuit.
Let’s also make it clear the ‘rule’ was not a court decision but a college one. A college had a rule that student fees could not go to student clubs that discriminated on the above categories. No court ever ruled that colleges had to adopt such a rule. A college and its students could, if it wanted, allow total discrimination by student clubs thereby allowing clubs that only allow disabled, Hispanic, Luthern, Roman Catholic, or whatnot members. Or a college could adopt an even stricter rule, banning even political viewpoint discrimination thereby ruling out Democratic or Republican clubs but allowing ‘plain Jane’ clubs like the Chess Club.
The argument against then is trying to argue that freedom of religion means that students get less freedom in deciding where their own money gets to go.
Let’s also make it clear the ‘rule’ was not a court decision but a college one.
I am talking about the court ruling that prompted the college decision.
I apologize: I thought that was clear. Apparently it is not.
No, a college had the rule and it was challenged by a Christian group that wanted to be able to access the benefits of ‘official’ recognition but not comply with the anti-discrimination rule. The court ruled that the college did not have to alter their rules to accomodate them.
There was no ‘prompt’ to Vanderbilt or any other college to adopt or change their rules. The students contribute to a collective pot of money and the colleges set the rules about what type of things that pot of money can be spent on. Different colleges, naturally, will choose different types of rules just as different college charge different tuitions and set different fees and so on. Not that hard a concept to follow Blake.
I was talking about the court ruling that said that humanists have the right to force their beliefs on Christians, but Christians do not have the right to force their beliefs on – heck, Christians don’t even have the right to HAVE their beliefs, if they are in the same space as a humanist.
It is the establishment of a religion.
Perhaps you genuinely don’t see it; you do seem to me to be so enamored of the new faith that you don’t see how faith-based it is; you think it is self-evidently “true”.
You do not appear to comprehend the other side’s point of view. I think you are being sincere when you argue that the only possible motive I could have for what I say is that I am irrational and motivated by hatred for you.
But there is indeed something amiss, whether you’re capable of seeing it or not; there is something not only wrong but actually terrifying about the government formally determining that one set of beliefs is good and another set of beliefs can and should be forced out of the public square.
I am reminded of the horrors that always come when a government formally sides with the “new” religion over an older one – the Inquisitions, the Bartholomew massacre. I hope we have all learned from the past, and that those of you who seek to grant your beliefs a monopoly – all the while justifying it with projections about how Christians want to build some fantasy-nightmare theocracy – I find it absolutely the stuff of nightmares.
The universities are yours. Fortunately the institutions are just now being discovered to be irrelevant (it’s not a coincidence: by turning them into ideological fortresses, you’ve done them harm).
I was talking about the court ruling that said that humanists have the right to force their beliefs on Christians, but Christians do not have the right to force…
Ohh really? OK please cite which ruling you’re talking about. You know as in X vs Y, YYYY where X is the first party, Y is the second and YYYY is the year that this case was decided. Since you have a very specific example in mind, it should not be a burden to ask you to provide us with it so we can read the decision for ourselves and respond to your arguments.