Colleges and Evangelicals Collide on Bias Policy

Michael Paulson, New York Times, June 10, 2014

For 40 years, evangelicals at Bowdoin College have gathered periodically to study the Bible together, to pray and to worship. They are a tiny minority on the liberal arts college campus, but they have been a part of the school’s community, gathering in the chapel, the dining center, the dorms.

After this summer, the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship will no longer be recognized by the college. Already, the college has disabled the electronic key cards of the group’s longtime volunteer advisers.

In a collision between religious freedom and antidiscrimination policies, the student group, and its advisers, have refused to agree to the college’s demand that any student, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, should be able to run for election as a leader of any group, including the Christian association.

Similar conflicts are playing out on a handful of campuses around the country, driven by the universities’ desire to rid their campuses of bias, particularly against gay men and lesbians, but also, in the eyes of evangelicals, fueled by a discomfort in academia with conservative forms of Christianity. The universities have been emboldened to regulate religious groups by a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that found it was constitutional for a public law school in California to deny recognition to a Christian student group that excluded gays.

At Cal State, the nation’s largest university system with nearly 450,000 students on 23 campuses, the chancellor is preparing this summer to withdraw official recognition from evangelical groups that are refusing to pledge not to discriminate on the basis of religion in the selection of their leaders. And at Vanderbilt, more than a dozen groups, most of them evangelical but one of them Catholic, have already lost their official standing over the same issue; one Christian group balked after a university official asked the students to cut the words “personal commitment to Jesus Christ” from their list of qualifications for leadership.

At most universities that have begun requiring religious groups to sign nondiscrimination policies, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and mainline Protestant groups have agreed, saying they do not discriminate and do not anticipate that the new policies will cause problems. Hillel, the largest Jewish student organization, says some chapters have even elected non-Jews to student boards.


Some institutions, including the University of Florida, the University of Houston, the University of Minnesota and the University of Texas, have opted to exempt religious groups from nondiscrimination policies, according to the Christian Legal Society. But evangelical groups have lost official status at Tufts University, the State University of New York at Buffalo and Rollins College in Florida, among others, and their advocates are worried that Cal State could be a tipping point.


At Vanderbilt, the decision to push groups to sign antidiscrimination policies was prompted by a Christian fraternity’s expulsion of a member who came out as gay. About one-third of the 35 religious groups on campus have refused to sign and are no longer recognized by the school; they can still meet and recruit informally, and the campus Hillel has even opened its building for meetings of one of the Christian groups.

“I am hopeful for a better future, but I’m not naïve, there are some issues that are irresolvable,” said the Vanderbilt chaplain, the Rev. Mark Forrester, who is a United Methodist minister. “This is a larger social and ethical struggle that we as a society are engaged in.”

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • dd121

    Democracy by way of Marxist totalitarians may not be such a good form of government.

  • Pro_Whitey

    This is a tangent, but this story is another good reason why we should abolish affirmative action and “antidiscrimination” policies. Without affirmative action, employers could again begin in-house training programs for high school graduates rather than relying on college credentials as a way to weed out undesirables. That would reduce the influence of the cultural Marxists entrenched in the colleges.

    • trouble maker

      I agree with Pro Whitey that getting rid of AA will definitely level the playing field !

  • Alfred the Great

    Whatever happened to freedom of association? Oh, I forgot, it’s called TYRANY!

  • Usually Much Calmer

    “[O]ne Christian group balked after a university official asked the
    students to cut the words ‘personal commitment to Jesus Christ’ from
    their list of qualifications for leadership.”

    How funny, since a “personal commitment to egalitarianism” is the dominant qualification for the pursuit of education in our institutions of higher learning!

    ” ‘I am hopeful for a better future, but I’m not naïve, there are some
    issues that are irresolvable,” said the Vanderbilt chaplain, the Rev.
    Mark Forrester. . . . ”

    Well, I’m glad that you have accepted REALITY into your heart, Reverend Forrester. I have accepted reality into MY heart as my personal lord and savior. . . it is, in the words of Philip K. Dick, what exists whether I believe in it or not, and a better God than yours. May I try to convert you to the faith?

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    The more multiculturalism there is, the less freedom there is for whites. Multiculturalism is the ultimate form of tyranny.

    Whites flourish best and can only reach their maximum intellectual potential in monoracial, monocultural societies. All of their greatest achievements, such as the Age of Exploration, the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the steam engine, manned space flights to the moon and the digital revolution happened when white societies were at their most homogeneous, racially speaking. The massive oversupply of cheap, nonwhite labor imported by the elites will ensure for a long time to come that whites will never reach their fullest intellectual potential ever again.

    • 1stworlder

      The worst part of affirmative action is that you have to entertain their stupid ideas and fix their mistakes. For most I have meet it would be better for companies to pay them to stay home.

    • JSS

      Like the old cliche says, you can have freedom or diversity but not both. What we have today in Amurrika is freedumb and luburdees. And we even get less of those as time goes on. Needless to say this college would encourage and call every kind of perversion and anti White nonsense a virtue. For now we have the freedumb as Whites to remain silent about it at best. If we decide to opt out in any kind of practical manner the establishment make us the object of its 2 minutes hate as these naive evangelicals found out.

      • A race-based tax revolt would not go unnoticed. When the government starts throwing whites in jail for refusing to pay for welfare programs disproportionately used by blacks, for ruinous foreign wars that create refugees, for his own destruction and for his children’s ruined future, then other whites will finally wake up.

        • JSS

          Your original post sure didnt last long. Makes me wonder if maybe Zuckerberg makes donations to the site. Anyway your idea might be coming soon because as the White middle class shrinks they simply won’t be able to keep being fleeced to pay for their own destruction.

      • JohnEngelman

        Diversity and freedom are compatible as long as the diversity is voluntary or based on merit.

        I like ethnic restaurants and ethnic festivals. I am always welcome at them.

        If employers are allowed to employ who they choose, plenty of Jews and Orientals will continue to get well paying jobs, even when the employers are white Gentiles.

        • JSS

          The high paying jobs that Jews and Asians gravitate to such as lawyer/ambulance chaser, industrial spy, tech thief, porn producer, to big to fail corporate welfare recipient etc are all things we do with out.

          • JohnEngelman

            You almost sound like someone on the left. The extremes meet.

          • WR_the_realist

            Gee I know plenty of gainfully employed Jews who have none of those jobs.

          • you forgot graft spreading accountant, drug pushing MD AMS union thug, shyster , private equity leveraged buyout criminal– but all of the jobs mentioned have a high proportion of gentile Romney types (its not religious but values based criminality )

          • JSS

            Those Romney types don’t have a shred of racial loyalty, they worship money and status like good goy. The chosens and Asians on the other hand while surely enjoying the shekels still racially network and act in accordance with what’s best for their own tribe.

  • 1stworlder

    So that means we could do like leftists and stuff the vote to be the leader of Gay Black Democrat groups.

  • IstvanIN

    Why would anyone expect a Christian group to have non-Christian members or leaders and find a commitment to Christ objectionable? And I don’t care if Hillel has elected non-Jewish leaders, that is weird, too.

    • ViktorNN

      It’s so incredibly ridiculous that only a leftist academic could convince themselves that they were doing the right thing.

    • Fr. John+

      Yes, but would Hillel elect a NatSoc to their President’s chair? Now, THAT would be ‘diverse’!

  • willbest

    If the organization doesn’t receive school funds, I am not seeing where the school has any basis to tell them how to associate.

    The evangelicals should overwhelm the GLAAD or whatever groups vote themselves in and then vote to dismantle the organization.

  • [Guest]

    I suppose it would be useless to point out to the self-righteous hypocrites who’re pushing these “anti discrimination” policies that their policies are discriminatory.

  • Pelagian

    It’s O-V-E-R, folks. We are now living in a Homocracy. There is nothing we can do except save our souls.

    • Katherine McChesney


  • ViktorNN

    Yes another example of the absurdities of leftist political correctness.

  • Hallie Eva

    Correct if wrong, the major tenet of Christianity is a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, is it not?
    But, what do we expect from our leftist controlled skoos when Ogabooga insists that Christian iconography behind him be covered when he speaks at any college, including those Christian based.
    B b b bu but, he claims he is a Christian.

    • dd121

      It’s not the first thing he’s lied about.

      • Hallie Eva

        DD, you have that right. Again.

      • Hallie Eva

        Right you are, dd. I am loyal to American Christianity in spite of personal disbelief.
        What rankles my a** more than words can express is the West uplifting Islam, downgrading Christianity.

        • dd121

          It’s part of their plan to undermine, and destroy our civilization. Obama and the dems are hard cord marxists.

  • Fr. John+

    Pogroms against Christians anyone? And can you guess who are the Tribal leaders behind it?

  • Fr. John+

    Bravo! Exactly right. This is a COMPETING RELIGION, with it’s own priesthood (PhD’s) sacraments (Abortion, sodomy) and caste system (Christians the untouchables). I’m just waiting for the throwing of Christians to the Lions at Yale, Harvard, and NYU. “Let the games begin!”

    And who is to blame? Who has the highest percentages of students admitted to Ivy League colleges these days? Hmmm?

    http://www.elephantrage (dot) com/2011/11/jews-and-asians-rule-the-ivy-league.html

    Yup. Thought so.

  • haroldcrews

    It is never a question of whether there will be discrimination or no discrimination. It is always a question of what forms of discrimination will be permitted or even required by the state. After the freedom of association was destroyed by the “Civil Rights” movement association became a legal and therefore a political matter.

  • kikz2

    nice that the tribe has ‘the’ hillel bldg on campus….. with which they can be so magnanimous to xtians.