Universities Becoming Battlefield for Christians
For years the home school movement has spotlighted the dangers to children who attend public schools. Their focus has been primarily on elementary and secondary schools. Now, as those home schooled students are moving on to higher education, many of them are confronting a hostile world in the country's colleges and universities.
One of the latest examples of the intolerance of the "tolerance-and-diversity" movement comes from Rutgers University. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has, for decades, maintained campus ministries on most of the major colleges.
Last fall, Rutgers suspended the InterVarsity chapter on campus. They were charged with violating the university's anti-discrimination policies by requiring that their leaders be committed to the InterVarsity's Statement of Faith and Purpose.
According to Rutgers' Office of Student Affairs, this was considered religious discrimination and disqualified them from receiving financial support from the fund of activity fees paid by the students.
However, InterVarsity found that other student organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and the Students for a Free Tibet were not required to consider for leadership, people who did not believe what they believe.
And this is not an isolated case. According to InterVarsity, its "right to be a recognized student group on campus has been challenged on dozens of campuses in the past decade."
These challenges are first met by negotiation and sometimes are favorably resolved by appealing to the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. However, Rutgers refused to back down and InterVarsity has filed suit in federal district court to try to get a ruling that will protect the freedom of Christian clubs on these campuses.
To present an organized defense in these cases, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been formed. FIRE has published several "Guides" that give students information on their rights on campus. These are available through the FIRE web site: www.thefireguides.org/order.php.
For Christians, the modern universities are no longer just a mission field; they have become more like a battlefield. Bible believing students in these schools must make a stand. Churches in university towns need to stand behind Christian students and any student organizations on campus that are standing for righteousness.
Any such battle will not be pretty. Behind many of these anti-Christian attacks is homosexual activism. They have managed to entrench a philosophy of "tolerance and diversity" but will not tolerate anyone who speaks against their agenda.
Other forces that the Christian student must battle include a blind acceptance of evolution and socialist/communist politics opposed to American policies. These attacks on the Bible, the gospel and even America have never been more subtle and insidious.
Bible believers can soften up the battlefield with literature and then stand firm in defending our rights under the constitution. Most of the students don't even understand the issues, but are caught in the crossfire. We need to help them see the Truth.
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