I’d pay good money to see what happens when a Christian wants to be President of the Muslim Student Association.

I’d like to thank Mel, from Gay Conservative for posting the link to this article, that I’m about to write about, on facebook.

The only ever time that I’ve mentioned Vanderbilt University on this blog was when I was doing a review of Ky Dickens documentary, Fish Out Of Water. Vanderbilt was her university.

Now they’ve just reached a level of stupidity that is hard to match…unless your part of the Obama administration that is.

Vanderbilt’s new nondiscrimination policy requires all groups, including religious groups, to accept members of different sexual orientations or faiths and allows them to seek leadership roles.

As a result of the change, Vanderbilt reviewed the constitutions of every registered student organization to make sure they were in compliance with the policy after a dispute between the university and a Christian fraternity that expelled a homosexual member.

Student groups now have a choice – they can either revise their membership requirements or they will not be recognized as an official student group. That means the groups will not receive funding and they will not be allowed on campus.

Todd Starnes, Fox News & Commentary

Do I find the practice of banning homosexuals from certain organizations to be utterly stupid? Yes, I do. After all, at the very least, if you are trying to reach out to them, the last thing you want to do is tell them they can’t be part of your club because they are gay.

However, that should be up to the clubs to decide.

Luckily there are groups on the campus who have decided that this change in policy is…well…bullshit. They aren’t just going to change their constitutions.

The student religious groups have formed an organization called “Vanderbilt Solidarity.” They said they could not in good faith alter their constitutions to comply with the university’s new policy.

However, the groups represented by Vanderbilt Solidarity have submitted their applications without making any changes to their constitutions – an act of defiance said spokesman Pieter Valk.

“We don’t want to cause trouble,” Valk told Fox News. “We want to make it clear where we are coming from. We want to be back on campus next year but there are certain principles we cannot move from.”

Same article as above

The absolutely ludicrous part of this law is in two parts.

First of all, if the group doesn’t want homosexuals or people of other faith in it, it will not matter if they are forced to change their constitutions, they are not going to be any more welcoming to the new students.

And why would you want to join a group where you aren’t welcome? I make a concerted effort to not go places where I’m not wanted if I don’t have to. Case-in-point, avoiding the “Mexican” Wal-Mart on the west side of town. I don’t have a problem with the people who shop there and, in fact, there is a lot of great Hispanic food and spices that I’d like to buy there, however the people who work there and the majority of the people who shop there are not altogether pleased with the pale, Irish, red haired, white girl shopping in their store.

I also don’t intentionally interject myself into debates on Christian forums (anymore) or go attend church services at my parent’s Southern Baptist church. They don’t want me there and I have better things to do with my time than make myself, and others, feel uncomfortable just to stir up trouble.

Other than the gay student kicked out of the fraternity, I’d like to hear how many other students of different faiths or sexual orientations have been ejected from clubs.

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The second problem is this.

Vanderbilt’s new nondiscrimination policy requires all groups, including religious groups, to accept members of different sexual orientations or faiths and allows them to seek leadership roles.

So…wait. Let’s take the least horrible way this could go and look at this from that angle.

So, say that the Lutheran Student Fellowship (one of the groups protesting this change in Vanderbilt policy) suddenly had to deal with an influx of Catholic students. These students skewed the voting and put a Catholic president in charge of the group.

Lutherans and Catholics don’t get along all that well, in case you didn’t know. (How do I know this? I went to a Lutheran private school in middle school, there was a Catholic church down the street. It wasn’t pretty.)

So now there is a Catholic in charge of a Lutheran group…and a significant number of a Catholics in the group. Now, not only do the Lutherans in the group feel like they can’t discuss their Lutheran beliefs because the Catholics don’t like it, but they can’t even get the President of the group to allow Lutheran based activities.

Now here’s another possibility. A group of Atheists performs this same feat with the Vanderbilt chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or some other Christian group, and hobble the group. Even if they did not become President and they simply filled the room with Atheist members at every meeting and derailed every conversation about religion into a debate. That would be just as harmful.

Can you imagine the uproar if a group of Christian students did this to an Atheist group or to the Muslim Student Association?

If I went to Vanderbilt I would be breaking my own rule of not going where I’m not wanted and I’d be doing exactly that. Why? Because it would prove a point.

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Now here’s another problem.

This new rule only mentions faith and sexual orientation correct?

Well why is Vanderbilt being so sexist?

What if I wanted to join the “Men Promoting A Solution”?

What if a man wanted to join the “Women Law Students Association”?

Why can’t they join up.

Why can’t a man join a sorority?

Why can’t a woman join a fraternity?

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Now here is the final nail in the coffin of this issue.

Vanderbilt may be a private university, but that doesn’t mean they can ignore federal laws or Supreme Court decisions.

What the heck am talking about?

Well I’m talking about the 1995 Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, Supreme Court Case.

[T]he Court ruled that private organizations, even if they were planning on and had permits for a public demonstration, were permitted to exclude groups if those groups presented a message contrary to the one the organizing group wanted to convey. More specific to the case, however, the Court found that private citizens organizing a public demonstration may not be compelled by the state to include groups who impart a message the organizers do not want to be included in their demonstration, even if such a law had been written with the intent of preventing discrimination.

Wikipedia (Whatever, I know, they have good summaries. You try slogging through a supreme court case brief.)

So, in other words, this new rule at Vanderbilt is violating the Freedom of Association/Assembly of these groups.

[T]he United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others.

Expressive associations are groups that engage in activities protected by the First Amendment—speech, assembly, press, petitioning government for a redress of grievances, and the free exercise of religion.

Wikipedia

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So really, Vanderbilt, what are you thinking?

This is wrong on so many many many levels.

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