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College Group Told to Eliminate 'Personal Commitment to Jesus' in Bylaws
christianpost.com ^ | Alex Murashko

Posted on 04/27/2012 9:23:36 PM PDT by Iam1ru1-2

A Christian student group at Vanderbilt University has been told by the school's administration that it will lose its recognized status on campus unless the group removes its requirement that its leaders have a "personal commitment to Jesus Christ," says a Christian legal association.

Despite a discussion with school officials at the beginning of the year that led members of the group to believe their bylaws were approved, the group was told last week that the university's new policy barring religious groups from selecting members and leaders based on faith requirements will disqualify the group next school year.

The Christian Legal Society told The Christian Post on Friday that the small Christian student group, which wants to stay anonymous, received an email from the administration last Tuesday that stated that the group's application to keep its recognition was deficient because the group's constitution states the following:

"Criteria for officer selection will include level and quality of past involvement, personal commitment to Jesus Christ, commitment to the organization, and demonstrated leadership ability."

CLS said that the student group was told that in order to retain recognition, it must eliminate the requirement that leaders have a "personal commitment to Jesus Christ." The private university, located in Nashville, Tenn., dictated that the following sentence be substituted instead:

"Criteria for officer selection will include level and quality of past involvement, commitment to the organization, and demonstrated leadership ability."

Although they do not want to bring attention to themselves, the issue with Christian organizations at Vanderbilt has become enough of a problem on campus that the group does want to let others know about the situation, said CLS spokesperson Kim Colby.

"When they went over their constitution on Jan. 31 they had been told that their constitution is fine. This past Tuesday, they were told it's not fine unless you take out these five words: 'a personal commitment to Jesus Christ,' requirement for your leaders," Colby told CP. "They were told they would not be recognized next year which means they cannot reserve space, or attend the student fair, or be a part of email blasts from the college."

Recently, Christian students at Vanderbilt University organized a video campaign highlighting their concern for the university's new policy that they say discriminates against Christians.

The nearly seven-minute video features several university students, alumni, and sponsors speaking on their rights to freely express their religious association, and the importance of electing religious leaders to the university's student run organizations.

The video also claims that there is a disparity in university requirements for Greek organizations and religious organizations, as the university allows Greek organization to "discriminate" for leadership and membership positions.

Students protesting the "all-comers" policy have formed the group Vanderbilt Solidarity, consisting of 11 Christian groups and supported by the Alliance Defense Fund.

The 11 Christian groups that have formed the alliance include Asian American Christian Fellowship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Cru, Medical Christian Fellowship, Navigators, Graduate Christian Fellowship, Bridges International, Lutheran Student Fellowship, Every Nation Ministries, Beta Upsilon Chi, and Christian Legal Society, according to Inside Vandy, Vanderbilt University's student newspaper.

Colby said that some Catholic student groups have decided not to try and reinstate themselves for next year and that some groups from the alliance have decided to comply with the university's new policy.

"By mandating the elimination of a Christian group's standard of 'personal commitment to Jesus Christ,' Vanderbilt requires students to abandon their religious integrity and undermines their religious freedoms," states CLS. "Leadership is crucial to the direction of any organization.

"Eliminating the requirement of a commitment to Jesus Christ in leaders takes away the group's ability to effectively fulfill its purpose and continue its ministry," CLS officials insisted. "By forcing religious groups to choose between remaining on campus and upholding their religious convictions, the university inhibits the development of a community based on freedom and inclusivity."

University officials continue to stand by the "all-comers" policy, arguing that the policy was initiated to prevent discrimination, and is not an issue of religious freedom.

"This debate is about nondiscrimination, not religious freedom, and we stand behind our policy," Beth Fortune, vice chancellor for public affairs at the university, previously told The Washington Post.

A comment from university officials about the administration's recent action could not be obtained at press time.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: christophbia; christophobia; persecution; religiousfreedom; vanderbilt
Everyone who lives in Tennessee should write Vanderbilt, and call their legislators about this atrocity.
1 posted on 04/27/2012 9:23:43 PM PDT by Iam1ru1-2
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To: Iam1ru1-2

wow.

I’m going to go demand to be put in charge of the Muslim group. :)


2 posted on 04/27/2012 9:27:14 PM PDT by Tzimisce (THIS SUCKS)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Slooooooly the frog in the water is being boil to death.


3 posted on 04/27/2012 9:27:52 PM PDT by doc1019 (Romney will never get my vote!)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

This school is a state school and exists by statute, correct? If so, a simple vote of the legislature to eliminate all funding, or the school itself, should be threatened. Which party controls the legislature?


4 posted on 04/27/2012 9:30:03 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: Iam1ru1-2
So now hundreds of students are transferring and thousands of alumni are refusing donations because of this completely unconstitutional totalitarian defiance by Vanderbilit - right?

Right?

5 posted on 04/27/2012 9:31:37 PM PDT by Talisker (He who commands, must obey.)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

I don’t see the point in telling a Christian group they can’t have Christian bylaws. Who but a Christian would want to join such a thing.


6 posted on 04/27/2012 9:32:57 PM PDT by BigCinBigD
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To: Iam1ru1-2

If this is the same case I’ve been following, I’m not sure why CLS is not naming the group— it’s already been publicly stated that it’s the local Intervarsity Christian Fellowship chapter. They’re an Evangelical Protestant parachurch group, and the officials at Vandy have been lying to them from day one.


7 posted on 04/27/2012 9:36:50 PM PDT by sthguard (The DNC theme song: "All You Need is Guv")
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Further info: https://www.facebook.com/VUReligiousFreedom


8 posted on 04/27/2012 9:38:00 PM PDT by sthguard (The DNC theme song: "All You Need is Guv")
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To: Republican Wildcat

“This school is a state school and exists by statute, correct? “

No

The private university, located in Nashville, Tenn.


9 posted on 04/27/2012 10:03:15 PM PDT by ThomasThomas ("Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!")
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To: ThomasThomas
The private university, located in Nashville, Tenn.

And has been rank liberal for many years. Too many kalifornians infested it.

10 posted on 04/27/2012 10:05:07 PM PDT by LouAvul
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To: Iam1ru1-2
What would be my chances to become a leader in the G&L (gay and lesbian) group if I stood up and told them I was straight? Would they even let me join their group?
11 posted on 04/27/2012 10:05:54 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Grammar & spelling maybe wrong, get over it, the world will not come to an end!)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

The good news is this: Many Vanderbilt alumni (who are continually being dunned for more money) have made it clear that they will contribute nothing further, until and unless Vanderbilt rescinds this rancid, politically correct policy.


12 posted on 04/27/2012 10:12:22 PM PDT by AmericanExceptionalist (Democrats believe in discussing the full spectrum of ideas, all the way from far left to center-left)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

The admin is right, a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ” is a little weak. I suggest replacing the phrase with “a life lived for the glory of the triune God with an absolute love and devotion to Him including striving to love Him with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind and all their strength and an acknowledgement that all things exist by Christ, for Him and to Him, He has all power and authority and is their all in all”. -— Yes that is much better!


13 posted on 04/27/2012 10:24:04 PM PDT by DaveyB (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. -John Adams)
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To: DaveyB; xzins; blue-duncan; wmfights; Forest Keeper; Dr. Eckleburg; Gamecock
Yes that is much better!

Much better.

I would suggest that in order to be a member of the Christian Club, prospective members should only be required to sign a statement of agreement with the larger Westminster Confession. Chances are that none of the Liberal Professors and Administrators would ever be able to decipher the underlying theme that this would require a REAL personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

14 posted on 04/27/2012 10:39:39 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
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To: P-Marlowe
be required to sign a statement of agreement with the larger Westminster Confession

While I subscribe to the WCF and the catechisms, it would eliminate baptists, self-aware Lutherans and most Presbyterians.

15 posted on 04/27/2012 10:49:42 PM PDT by DaveyB (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. -John Adams)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

This is what Vanderbilt wrote to the head of the Muslim Brotherhood Chapter:

“Your constitution says that a member must have a personal commitment to Mohammed and to jihad.

Initially, we asked that those words be removed.

Since you have threatened to cut off our heads and sell our children into slavery, we have decided that it is absolutely OK to keep that requirement in your student chapter constitution.

Carry on.”


16 posted on 04/27/2012 10:55:54 PM PDT by exit82 (Democrats are the enemies of freedom. Be Andrew Breitbart.)
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To: DaveyB; xzins; blue-duncan; wmfights; Forest Keeper; Dr. Eckleburg; Gamecock
While I subscribe to the WCF and the catechisms, it would eliminate baptists, self-aware Lutherans and most Presbyterians.

OK, then the Shorter Westminster Confession. :-). Something with some teeth. Something that will confound the "wise."

17 posted on 04/27/2012 10:56:26 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
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To: P-Marlowe
>> I would suggest that in order to be a member of the Christian Club, prospective members should only be required to sign a statement of agreement with the larger Westminster Confession. <<

That would make sense if it were a "Calvinist" club. But any "Christian" Club that would require members to sign the Westminster Confession would make about 80% of Christians ineligible for membership. Catholics wouldn't sign any document that declares the Pope is the Antichrist, and that the Roman Catholic mass is a form of idolatry. That makes as much sense as having an "Computer club" that forbids members to buy non-Apple products.

18 posted on 04/27/2012 11:08:34 PM PDT by BillyBoy (Illegals for Perry/Gingrich 2012 : Don't be "heartless"/ Be "humane")
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Which 1s more important, religious freedom or non-discrimination?

There will always be discrimination of some sort or another. Can I join the university woman’s softball team, since there is no men’s softball team. Can I join a sorority, if I am a guy? Can I use the men’s restroom if I am a woman? Can the Catholic group be forced to accept a Hindu as its president?


19 posted on 04/27/2012 11:08:40 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: DaveyB
>> While I subscribe to the WCF and the catechisms, it would eliminate baptists, self-aware Lutherans and most Presbyterians. <<

Not to mention Catholics, Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, and various other non-Calvinist protestants. In other words, the vast majority of practicing Christians would not be allowed to join such a "Christian" club.

20 posted on 04/27/2012 11:11:24 PM PDT by BillyBoy (Illegals for Perry/Gingrich 2012 : Don't be "heartless"/ Be "humane")
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To: BillyBoy
That makes as much sense as having an "Computer club" that forbids members to buy non-Apple products.

Actually computer clubs should forbid members from using Apple Products. Most computer Geeks wouldn't be caught dead using an Apple. They prefer PC's with Linux.

21 posted on 04/28/2012 12:15:12 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
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To: BillyBoy
Not to mention Catholics, Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, and various other non-Calvinist protestants. In other words, the vast majority of practicing Christians would not be allowed to join such a "Christian" club.

So if that were actually the requirement to join one of the Christian Clubs at Vanderbilt, would you support the University if they prevented the club from making that a requirement of membership?

22 posted on 04/28/2012 12:17:41 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
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To: DaveyB

Amen!


23 posted on 04/28/2012 12:20:39 AM PDT by ssschev
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To: BigCinBigD
Who but a Christian would want to join such a thing.

A community agitator.

24 posted on 04/28/2012 12:28:23 AM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Wasn’t Vanderbilt established by a Christian church?


25 posted on 04/28/2012 12:54:19 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again.")
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Students, parents and alumni should strike back with the only thing these atheists understand - money. Run, don’t walk, to a schol that doesn’t persecute Christians. Withhold contributions. Pay tuition to another school.

Watch the conversion rate among the atheists when they suddenly lose a million dollars, two million and five million.


26 posted on 04/28/2012 1:55:46 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

There should be wholesale firings and replacement of the entire Administration over this fscist nonsense. Surely many if us are sick & tired of this crap!


27 posted on 04/28/2012 3:05:29 AM PDT by Da Mav
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To: Iam1ru1-2

There should be wholesale firings and replacement of the entire Administration over this fscist nonsense. Surely many if us are sick & tired of this crap!


28 posted on 04/28/2012 3:05:41 AM PDT by Da Mav
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To: Iam1ru1-2

This is what passes for higher education in our country today.

Telling a Christian organisation that they cannot force members to believe in Christ.


29 posted on 04/28/2012 4:06:31 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Republican Wildcat

Bump.

Government teachers union socialists have adopted an anti-America agenda.

Time to view them, and treat them, as an enemy.

Start, by eliminating “tenure”. Then shut them down, and start over.

Liberals have destroyed, what was once the world’s finest education system.

And our side, has done nothing about it.

Nothing.


30 posted on 04/28/2012 4:13:41 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (Obama ate his own dog as a child in Indonesia??)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Matthew 10:33

English Standard Version (ESV)

33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.


31 posted on 04/28/2012 4:45:28 AM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Welcome to the USSA, comrades, where The State is the only allowable God.


32 posted on 04/28/2012 4:46:50 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: fella
Wasn’t Vanderbilt established by a Christian church?

It was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1872 and funded by Cornelius Vanderbilt who was the wealthiest man in America at that time.

33 posted on 04/28/2012 4:48:24 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: P-Marlowe; DaveyB; Gamecock; wmfights; Dr. Eckleburg; Alamo-Girl; betty boop

The article points out that the Greek organizations are permitted to be explicit about their leadership. I would assume they’re permitted to insist that the leader be a member of the group. A 3D leader has to be a 3D.

Just my guess. Don’t know if I’m right or not.

The Christian group, though, covers a lot of Christian denominations. That’s probably why they went general with: “must have a personal commitment”. My guess is they were trying to parallel the “must be a Lamda” thing that the Greeks get away with.

I think I’d say they use: “must be a member (or equivalent term used by) of some Christian church”.


34 posted on 04/28/2012 6:54:40 AM PDT by xzins (Vote Goode Not Evil! (the lesser of 2 evils is still evil))
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To: Venturer

“This is what passes for higher education in our country today.

Telling a Christian organisation that they cannot force members to believe in Christ.”

Good Comment, Venturer

I have one question, why are the Christian students still at that place? If my God is not welcome somewhere, it is not a place for me, either.


35 posted on 04/28/2012 7:17:56 AM PDT by Tomato lover (Jesus is Lord)
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To: Tomato lover

Good Point.


36 posted on 04/28/2012 7:27:44 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Iam1ru1-2
In the years prior to the American Civil War, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South was considering creating a regional university for the training of ministers located centrally for the congregations of the church.

*************

How far our once-noble Christian institutions have fallen...
Sad to see...

RECOMMENDATION:
Sniff around a little...
...findout which desk-jockey radical is driving all the PC nonsense...

Perhaps invite them to update their resume...

Things on the campus would settle right down, I s'pect.

37 posted on 04/28/2012 7:38:36 AM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: ThomasThomas; Republican Wildcat

It’s a private university that receives huge quantities of state and federal funding.

They’ve already indicated their contempt for those who embrace history and heritage, so the attack on Christianity should come as no surprise.


38 posted on 04/28/2012 7:48:40 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: BigCinBigD
I don’t see the point in telling a Christian group they can’t have Christian bylaws. Who but a Christian would want to join such a thing.

They want to make it possible for homofascists to take the groups over the groups, and destroy them from within. 

39 posted on 04/28/2012 9:22:00 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: P-Marlowe
The "Christian Club" would have to change its name to "Calvinist society of Vanderbilt University" if it enacted the requirements you want, since the vast majority of practicing Christians (whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Protesant) are not calvinist and would therefore be ineligibile for membership since they DO NOT agree with the statement of the larger Westminster Confession.

It would be no different than requiring people to sign an oath that they believe in the Book of Mormon in order to join the "Christian Club". That's not "Christian", it's LDS. No one would agree to do so unless they're members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And no one is going to pledge support for the Westminster Confession unless they're Calvinists.

Fortuntantely, I can't think of any "Christian club" at any university that has such a requirement. I have no problem with the club requiring members accept Jesus Christ as their as Lord and savior. EVERY practicing Christian does that.

40 posted on 04/28/2012 10:43:44 AM PDT by BillyBoy (Illegals for Perry/Gingrich 2012 : Don't be "heartless"/ Be "humane")
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To: BillyBoy

Would you object to the University sanctioning a Calvinist Club that made allegiance to the WCF a requirement for membership? Is that too exclusive and discriminatory for you?


41 posted on 04/28/2012 1:09:18 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
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To: P-Marlowe
>> Would you object to the University sanctioning a Calvinist Club that made allegiance to the WCF a requirement for membership? Is that too exclusive and discriminatory for you? <<

No, I have no problem with that. I'd likewise have no problem with the university sanctioning a Catholic Club that made allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI a requirement for membership.

I'd simply object to a "Christian" club making allegiance to the WCF a requirement for membership, for the same reasons you'd object to a "Christian" club that made allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI a requirement for membership.

42 posted on 04/28/2012 6:59:30 PM PDT by BillyBoy (Illegals for Perry/Gingrich 2012 : Don't be "heartless"/ Be "humane")
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To: BillyBoy; xzins
I'd simply object to a "Christian" club making allegiance to the WCF a requirement for membership, for the same reasons you'd object to a "Christian" club that made allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI a requirement for membership.

Actually I wouldn't object. First come first served on the claim to the the "Christian" club. If the Catholics didn't claim it first, then they would have to start a "Catholic" club.

The whole idea of a "Club" is to have a creed or common interest that the members are dedicated to. I suppose we could limit the membership to those who were in agreement with the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed and this would open it up to both Catholics and Traditional Protestants. But the Mormons and Jehovah's witnesses would object. Do you really care if they objected?

The problem we have in this society is that we are not willing to promote individuality and to discriminate on the basis of beliefs. The Universities want everyone to be part of the collective and therefore nobody can be excluded from membership in any club merely because they disagree with everything about it.

You start your "Christian Club" and make agreement with the Catholic Catechism a requirement for membership. Great, more power to you. I'll start a different club with a different creed. That's the American way.

43 posted on 04/28/2012 7:14:36 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (Virgil Goode! Because everyone else is Bad!)
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To: xzins

Thank you for sharing your insights, dear brother in Christ!


44 posted on 04/28/2012 9:21:03 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: PAR35
It’s a private university that receives huge quantities of state and federal funding.

It's state funding at least needs to immediately disappear...and its alumni need to cease with contributing. No hope of getting the Federal funding revoked under the current administration.

Has anyone in TN gotten a response from their legislators on the state funding?

45 posted on 04/28/2012 10:00:07 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: Republican Wildcat

Typical political posturing, but no real action from the politicians last I heard. The university has threatened to quit treating poor folks at its hospital if it is forced to quit discriminating.


46 posted on 04/29/2012 5:18:15 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: BigCinBigD
I don’t see the point in telling a Christian group they can’t have Christian bylaws. Who but a Christian would want to join such a thing.

"Paging Sandra Fluke. Ms. Fluke, please pick up on the white courtesy phone..."


47 posted on 04/29/2012 5:22:23 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (FUMR)
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