Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Stopping Universities From Stepping on Students' God-Given Rights

By Andrew Cochran | May 12, 2012

A hyper-Political Correctness movement is running rampant on our public universities, with taxpayer-funded university bureaucrats and teachers trying to crush the First Amendment rights of students to openly express their faith and conservative political views.

Students are reaching out to the top nonprofit pro-religious liberty litigators in America and exercise their God-given right to ask their neighbors and an independent judiciary to stop the universities.

For example, Vanderbilt University suddenly changed its student group recognition policy to demand that faith-based student groups remove any reference to their faith in the selection of group leaders. That's as stupid as telling the football coach to not time high school football recruits in the 40-yard dash before offering them a scholarship.

Officials sent an e-mail to one recognized Christian student group, stating that the group's application to keep its recognition was deficient because the group's constitution requires officers to demonstrate a "personal commitment to Jesus Christ." The university demanded that the group eliminate that criterion.

What's wrong with these idiots? Whose business is it of theirs if a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim-based group insists that its officers actually believe in the tenets of the faith upon which that group is based? What do they expect, a Muslim group to pick a Christian as the group president? And who made the university God anyway?

This story isn't unusual - universities across America are changing student group recognition policies, or imposing "Codes of Conduct," and purposefully discriminating against and punishing faith-based groups, especially Christian groups.

Time to go to court!

The Founding Fathers experienced this type of heavy-handed discrimination against their faith at the hands of civil authorities, so they enabled us to sue the daylights out of anyone who steps on our First Amendment rights.

The student groups are turning to the Christian Legal Society, the Alliance Defense Fund, and American Center for Law and Justice, and other faith-based litigation and religious liberty groups. These great organizations know that the civil justice system designed in the Constitution, and the God-given right to a civil jury trial protected in the 7th Amendment, are the protection and accountability system for all other rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The Founders used words such as "sacred" and "inviolable" to describe the 7th Amendment in state constitutions and declarations of rights.

And NO Founder wrote at ANY time of limiting or "tort reforming" any American's right to take a grievance to court, whether the case was about religious liberty, free speech, or the loss of property or personal injury. Neither did the Founders differentiate between personal liberty and property or injury causes of action in their promotion of the civil suit in our Founding Documents.

That's why I don't understand the insistence by too many Republicans, and a few Democrats, that legislated federal limits on medical malpractice lawsuits is allowable under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. No complete, unbiased and accurate reading of the Founders' writings could come to that conclusion.

P.S. As I write, the Tennessee Governor has not committed to signing a bill that would protect the individual freedom of the Vanderbilt University students. Vetoing that bill would make a court case against Vanderbilt inevitable.

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