ARTICLE

InterVarsity & Religious Freedom Prevail: The University Of Iowa Learns A Lesson

News Image By John Stonestreet/Breakpoint.org October 11, 2019
Share this article:

Back in February, federal judge Stephanie M. Rose ruled that the University of Iowa could not strip recognition from Business Leaders in Christ for requiring leaders to follow traditional Christian teaching on sexual morality.

Rose, an appointee of President Obama, didn't find a problem with the university's "Human Rights Policy," which the university claimed the Christian group violated. But she did think it a problem that the university applied the policy inconsistently, in a way that violated students' free-speech rights.


Did the University of Iowa learn their lesson? Ummm... no. Last week, university officials found themselves back in Rose's courtroom. Despite the very clear ruling from February, university officials de-registered InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in June, for the same reason.

I'm not sure what the university expected, but in the last seven months Judge Rose had not changed her opinion about what the Constitution requires.

In fact, this time she let them have it. Since the February ruling, she wrote in her opinion, university officials "proceeded to broaden enforcement of the Human Rights Policy in the name of uniformity applying extra scrutiny to religious groups in the process -- while at the same time continuing to allow some groups to operate in violation of the policy and formalizing an exemption for fraternities and sororities. The court does not know how a reasonable person could have concluded this was acceptable."


Back in her February ruling, Rose pointed out how "the Chinese Students and Scholars Association limits membership to Chinese students, and the Iowa Hawkapellas, an a capella group, only accepts women." Yet neither of these groups were de-recognized for violating the Human Rights Policy.

Nor were fraternities and sororities or LGBTQ student groups required to open their leadership policies. Just about the only groups the policy applied to, according to university officials, were Christian groups that uphold traditional Christian teaching about sexuality.

Rose made her opinion about that quite clear: "The Constitution does not tolerate the way defendants chose to enforce the human rights policy."  She correctly identified the double standard clearly at work, which can be summed up as "some freedom of speech and association is freer than others."

Frustrated with their stubbornness and determined to not have them re-visit her court for the same reason, Rose decided to hit officials where it really hurts: their wallets.


In her February ruling, Rose said that university officials were not personally liable for any potential damages awarded to the group Business Leaders in Christ. But that will not be true regarding any damages awarded to InterVarsity, since officials ignored her February ruling.

Becket's Daniel Blomberg, who represented InterVarsity, said it was "too bad it took twice for the university to learn its lesson." He added that "University officials nationwide should now take note that religious discrimination will hit them in the pocketbook."

Even if InterVarsity never collects a nickel from these hostile university officials, the ruling is still a big win for religious freedom on college campuses. And it's another chapter in what's becoming quite a long story of why believers ought to actively defend their religious freedom. InterVarsity's win is a win for every campus group in America.

To ensure religious freedom has a future, more will be forced to take action like InterVarsity did. And, we'll all have to learn to make the case for religious freedom and why it matters.

Originally published at Breakpoint.org - reposted with permission.




Other News

June 29, 2020Social Media War On Christian Content - Worship Now Deemed 'Harmful'

Instagram is censoring a Christian worship leader who wants to post videos of praise and worship from places where there has recently been...

June 29, 2020I Am A Watchman - Interview With Founder Of Prophecy News Watch

If you have been wanting to learn more about the origins of Prophecy News Watch and how it came about as well as some commentary on what i...

June 29, 2020The Culture Wars Come For The White Jesus Statues

What, exactly, did Jesus look like? Was he black? Brown? White? Red? Yellow? We know that he was a first-century, Galilean Jew. But, beyon...

June 29, 2020The Growing Use Of Social Credit Scores To Reward/Punish Citizens

The ever-increasing centralization of data is creating the push towards a scoring system by which governments will rate their populations....

June 24, 2020Globalists Reveal That The 'Great Economic Reset' Is Coming In 2021

Now in 2020 we see the globalist plan coming to fruition, with the elites revealing what appears to be their intent to launch their reset ...

June 24, 2020The Conservative Effort To Reshape The Supreme Court Has Failed

It is time to admit the truth. Throughout my entire lifetime, Republican presidential candidates have promised us that if we help get the...

June 24, 2020Race Is Not What Is Dividing Us

My fellow-Americans, we are being sold a bill of goods. Race is not what is dividing us. Rather, we are being divided by competing ideolog...

Get Breaking News