Dozens of Christian schools win Title IX waivers to ban LGBT students

by December 1, 2015 74 comments

titleix

Nearly three dozen religious institutions of higher learning have asked the federal government to waive laws that protect LGBT students, according to government documents obtained by The Column. The schools are asking the U.S. Department of Education to waive portions of Title IX that might apply to students and staff who are transgender or who are in same-sex relationships. Twenty-seven schools have been granted a waiver from Title IX by the department in the last year, many with the help of conservative religious organizations. Another nine have applications pending.

When Title IX was passed in 1972 to combat discrimination based on sex, Congress added a small but powerful provision that states that an educational institution that is “controlled by a religious organization” does not have to comply if Title IX “would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.”

These “right-to-discriminate” waivers were relatively rare until the last year. A handful were requested in the 1980s and 1990s, many by religious schools who wanted to ensure they could prevent women from being hired in leadership roles without running afoul of discrimination laws.

That changed in 2014 when the Obama administration issued guidance that the Title IX discrimination prohibition “extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity,” meaning that entities receiving federal funding could not discriminate against transgender and gender nonconforming people.

In response to that guidance, and several lawsuits, conservative Christian leaders have begun positioning the schools to expel transgender students.

Add to the mix the Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized same-sex marriage in 2015. Leadership at Christian schools have begun to worry that they will be forced to house legally married same-sex couples, and have been positioning themselves to withstand discrimination challenges.

The Department of Education has granted a waiver to 27 religious colleges and universities in 17 states over the last 18 months. The total enrollment of these schools tops 80,000 students, and nearly $130 million in federal research grants and student aid flowed to these institutions of higher learning in 2014. Those waivers are coming in at a rapid clip, and another 9 are pending as of August 2015. Though they span the United States, almost all are in the South or West.

Click on the interactive map for in-depth information for each college and university.

Thus far 36 schools have asked for the waiver. According to documents obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Column in July, these schools have asked the federal government for these waivers not only to deny enrollment to or expel transgender students, but the broad-based waiver requests have also targeted gay, lesbian, and bisexual students and staff. In some cases schools have even asked for, and been granted, a waiver to allow them to expel women who have been pregnant outside of marriage.

Banning transgender students
News that schools were requesting such waivers first surfaced in July 2014, when Inside Higher Ed reported that three Christian colleges — George Fox University in Oregon, Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and Simpson University in California — had requested and received a waiver from the federal government’s Title IX.

In the case of George Fox University, a transgender student had been denied housing at the Quaker school, and subsequently filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. That complaint was dismissed as George Fox had already been granted a waiver to Title IX, and could discriminate against transgender and gender nonconforming students. But, the case generated headlines and petitions, and the university made some small concessions including allowing transgender students who had undergone gender affirmation surgery to live in gender segregated housing. The university has since softened its stance to provide “housing units with private restrooms and living spaces will be provided for students identifying as transgender where possible.”

logo-biolaIn 2013, Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., began crafting language barring transgender students at the same time a fellow Christian college, California Baptist University, was facing a lawsuit after expelling a transgender student. Biola’s new ban on transgender students read, in part, “In employment and in student life, we regard sex at birth as the identification of the given biological sex of each member of our constituency. We will not accept as valid alterations of one’s sex at birth based on experiential variation or medical intervention.” The school reached that theological conclusion because “Jesus Christ himself affirmed this in his teaching correcting abuses of divorce stating at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female.’”

Biola then filed its request for a waiver on Nov. 14, 2014. “Our request for exemption is limited to the recent interpretation that ‘sex’ under Title IX also includes gender identity to the extent that such matters conflict with Biola’s religious tenets,” Biola wrote to the U.S. Department of Education. Biola’s waiver was not approved by the department, however. The school did not prove that it was controlled by a religious entity. Biola has the option of providing more information to DOE.

But Biola didn’t craft the discriminatory language it used for the anti-transgender portions of its handbook nor for the application for the waiver. Those were crafted by the Christian Legal Society as a “sample policy” and used by Biola verbatim.

Though Biola’s waiver still pending, dozens of other schools have had waivers approved. Anderson University based in South Carolina sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education on January 7, 2015 asking the department to waive “provisions of Title IX to the extent application of those provisions would not be consistent with the Convention’s religious tenets regarding marriage, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and abortion.”

The department granted that request in full. “The University is exempt from these provisions to the extent that they prohibit discrimination on the basis of marital status, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, or abortion and compliance would conflict with the controlling organization’s religious tenets,” the response, dated Feb. 11, 2015, stated.

Anderson University used language in its waiver that is similar to 15 other schools affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Those schools used nearly identical language that says they are seeking exemption from Title IX “to the extent application of those provisions would not be consistent with the Convention’s religious tenets regarding marriage, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and abortion.”

Enlarge

titleixfulllist
Click to view the full list of schools applying for Title IX waivers.
They are: Carson-Newman University, Charleston Southern University, East Texas Baptist University, Howard Payne University, Judson College, Louisiana College, North Greenville University, Oklahoma Baptist University, The Baptist College of Florida, Union University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, University of Mobile, University of the Cumberlands, William Carey University, and Williams Baptist College.

Several Catholic schools are among those that have been granted waivers. Belmont Abbey College wrote in its request: “Our request for exemption is limited to the recent interpretation that “sex” under Title IX also includes gender identity.” Belmont was approved a waiver along with fellow Catholic colleges Franciscan University of Steubenville and St. Gregory’s University.

Bethel College, part of the Christian Missionary Church denomination, even appears to want to be able to tamper with maternity leave.

The Indiana-based school requested an exemption from Title IX if it “would require the College to allow males and females to reside in the same housing, to visit within the housing of the opposite sex without restrictions, to allow an unmarried male and female to live together, or to allow a person with gender identity issues to be treated as a member of the sex which they have assigned to themselves…” or “would require that the College not discriminate in discipline, admissions, hiring, and employment decisions, in matters such as employment leaves for pregnancy, childbirth, and elective termination of pregnancy, or on the basis of pre-marital sex, unmarried pregnancy, extramarital sex, or homosexual activity.”

Training schools to discriminate
The rapid increase in schools that have applied for Title IX exemptions comes at the same time conservative Christian groups are hosting trainings and providing documents that schools can use to prove their “sincerely held religious beliefs” about LGBT people.

On Sept. 3, 2015, the Christian Legal Society hosted a webinar with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Christian Schools International, and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

Jim Davids, a law professor at Pat Robertson’s Regent University, listed the perceived threats against Christian schools including “two former students dismissed for lesbianism” who sued a Christian school and “a young man who thought he was a woman sued California Baptist University, when the school dismissed him for lying on his admission application that he was female.”

“Within the last couple of years two students claiming to be a different gender than their anatomy have filed complaints against CCCU schools,” Davids added.

Shapri LoMaglio, Vice President for Government and External Relations at the CCCU, called the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage “a sea change” for housing issues at Christian colleges, and noted the Department of Education’s extension of sex discrimination to include gender identity. She told attendees that the best offense is a good defense, and one defense is to gain exemption from Title IX.

“There is an ability for Christian colleges and universities to apply for an exemption from the Department of Education to this specific requirement of Title IX and the institution can do that by writing a letter to the Department of Education detailing the specific provision in Title IX they would like exemption from and their theological beliefs that create conflict with their ability to execute that specific provision.”

She added, “What’s most important to know is that there is an exemption and it is highly advisable to apply for one.”

Davids and LoMaglio, as well as Christian Legal Society’s Kim Colby and John Cooley of the CooleySublettPLC law firm, also provided guidance to college and universities on how to legally discriminate against LGBT students, faculty, and staff.

In addition to the webinar, the CLS has developed sample language for schools to include in their official policies; if a school hasn’t yet developed a student handbook policy about its “sincerely held religious beliefs” about transgender students, they can copy CLS’. Many schools have done just that.

Ohio Christian University, Belmont Abbey, Biola, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Oklahoma Wesleyan University have language either identical or remarkably similar to the CLS sample language.

In addition to CLS, the CCCU has been hosting trainings and conferences since late 2014 that delve into the issue of Title IX exemptions.

Entire denominations are issuing resolutions in order to keep LGBT students out of their affiliated colleges and universities. For example, Baptist General Convention of Texas adopted a resolution in February on the “transgender agenda.” That resolution was aimed directly at garnering schools a Title IX exemption.

“Some of our institutions may desire to seek a religious exemption to the Title IX requirement, and they asked that the convention speak specifically to the issue,” Ferrell Foster, director of ethics and justice for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, said in statement at the time “The resolution approved by the Executive Board represents both the truth of the biblical testimony regarding gender and the love of Christ for all people.”

In fact, “the request to consider the resolution came from several Texas Baptist university presidents” who said they needed to apply for a Title IX exemption in order to deny accommodations for transgender students, the Convention website stated. That resolution stated “great concern with the emergence of the transgender agenda and the notion that one’s gender is determined psychologically, not biologically” and “some people today are expressing a desire to identify themselves with the gender, which differs from their biological gender… Some of these persons are seeking to function in the broader society as if they are members of the gender that differs from their biological gender.“

Responding to the Exemptions
“The trend of religiously affiliated, but publicly financed, colleges receiving exemptions from the U.S. Department of Education in order to discriminate against LGBTQ students and employees is disturbing,” attorney Paul Southwick told The Column. “While we are seeing increased protections for transgender, intersex and LGB students through Title IX, we are also seeing the protections of Title IX gutted at the very institutions where students need those protections the most.”

Southwick has represented students who have filed action against Christian schools after having been expelled for being LGBT.

For students that do find themselves being disciplined or expelled from a college or university simply because of their LGBT identity, there are actions those students can take.

“First, if there is still time, students should file an internal appeal of any decision to expel, suspend or discipline them,” he said. Most institutions have an appeal process, but Southwick notes that some students may want to hire a lawyer for assistance with appeals.

“Additionally, students should file a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Southwick said. “This is important and should always be done. Even if their college has a religious exemption from Title IX, the exemption may not apply or it may not stick after being challenged.”

He also suggests that students file a complaint with accreditation institutions, and to check state and local nondiscrimination laws.

Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride, an organization that works with students and schools to create more LGBT-inclusive campuses, said that “anti-LGBTQ religion-based bigotry and intolerance is not a Christian teaching or belief.”

“Discrimination is never okay,” Windmeyer told The Column. “For these schools to espouse that their religion sanctions discrimination against any young person is careless and life-threatening. This list needs to be made public every time a school files for a Title IX exemption. It is shameful and wrong.”

He said exposing schools that apply for the Title IX exemptions is important for families and prospective students. “Families deserve to know that this list of schools are not loving, safe spaces for any young person to live, learn and grow — and taxpayers should definitely not have to pay for a private college to openly discriminate against anyone.”

Windmeyer was referring to the nearly $130 million in annual taxpayer funds flowing to these schools through grants and student aid, something Southwick says that money should come with strings attached.

“If a college receives public funding, it should have to follow public laws,” he said. “The government would be perfectly within its rights to make taxpayer funded aid to these colleges contingent on compliance with generally applicable nondiscrimination laws.”

He added, “If a college wished to continue discriminating against LGBTQ students and employees, it could do so on its own dime.”

Correction: A previous version of this referred to Anderson University in Indiana as having applied for a Title IX waiver. Another Anderson University, one in South Carolina, applied for a waiver to Title IX. We regret the error.

Here’s the entire data set obtained from the U.S. Department of Education:

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74 Comments so far

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  1. Tammy Rainey (@Tammy_Beth)
    #1 Tammy Rainey (@Tammy_Beth) 1 December, 2015, 21:41

    FTA: “The school reached that theological conclusion because “Jesus Christ himself affirmed this in his teaching correcting abuses of divorce stating at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female.’”

    From me: it is absolutely astonishing that a credible religious institution would cite, of all things, Matthew 19. Yes, Christ said that – he also said this:

    10 The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 ; <<>>; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

    See any condemnation there? See any reproach to people who are – BY DEFINITION – outside the gender binary he spoke of at the beginning of the chapter? If you believe, as these religious schools do, that the Bible is true and authoritative and should be rightly understood, then how can you POSSIBLY on verse 4 and completely ignore v. 12?

    I know how exegesis works, and context is vital. You can’t ethically pick out one verse and ignore other parts of the same chapter. It’s astonishing how otherwise intelligent people can will themselves to ignorance like this.

  2. Mike Hoppe
    #2 Mike Hoppe 2 December, 2015, 14:05

    Simple: they want to discriminate, remove all federal funding, all of it, every last red cent. My tax dollars go to fund these ridiculous institutions.

  3. chloealexa8888
    #3 chloealexa8888 2 December, 2015, 18:28

    Religious exemption is one thing, so with science on our side how can they be exempted, when they do not want to be present and aware of , and with the knowledge we have today. They want a personal exemption to Discriminate, and do not deserve any government funds for that act alone. That is blatantly, pure unadulterated Discrimination of a group of people that science has declared why they are, and who they are in today’s society. Religion cannot start to pick and choose what part of science to use as they do the misrepresentation of the Bible.

  4. aj
    #4 aj 3 December, 2015, 08:00

    I was distressed to see my alma mater, Anderson University (Indiana), on the list. However, if you look at the letters submitted by the colleges requesting these exemptions, it was actually the other Anderson University, which is in South Carolina. It’s affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and has no affiliation with its namesake in Indiana. Andy Birkey, can you confirm that it is indeed only the South Carolina school that’s trying to discriminate against LGBT students and not both Andersons, and correct the map to reflect it?

  5. Michael Hanegan
    #5 Michael Hanegan 3 December, 2015, 12:27

    The document for “Oklahoma Christian University” is from Oklahoma Baptist University. Can you please also upload the request from Oklahoma Christian?

  6. Robert Tucker
    #6 Robert Tucker 3 December, 2015, 17:48

    If they want fedusl grants thry should not recrive waviers..

  7. Anonymous
    #7 Anonymous 4 December, 2015, 08:27

    All of the helping professions have codes of ethics that ban discrimination, any university that codifies discrimination should by that standard lose accreditation to teach those subjects, i.e. social work, nursing, counseling… They should also not be receiving federal money, separation of church and state.

  8. James
    #8 James 6 December, 2015, 12:48

    Some of the comments I have read above are offended by these religious institutions getting wavers and/or receiving “federal funding.” And they want to take away these college’s rights to maintain their mission and integrity. I am offended that my money (federal funds) are going towards colleges and universities that teach things that violate my conscience and religion. The LGBT organization and its adherents discriminate against people like myself. They want to FORCE me to agree with them and to take away my right to choose an institution that corresponds with my beliefs. The LGBT group is a Fascist organization.

  9. Kit9
    #9 Kit9 7 December, 2015, 08:30

    You’ll have to excuse me for only pretending to care….for at least a few moments. In terms of Scripture used to support these primitive and savage bigotries…they have mutilated the words of Christ and “chosen” the most astringent views possible. Not one person in any of these fake institutions of “learning” could bear such rigid scrutiny in terms of Biblical Law. NOT ONE! My next point is why? Why would any self respecting gay person or woman associate themselves with these sort of rabid, carrion eating pack dogs? The deny human equality. They deny science. They deny woman’s rights to their own bodies. They promote genocide in Africa and the encourage hate and violence in America. As for James…I’d like to thank you for that piss dribble of a comment. James it is just so easy to violate your conscience as you are a creation of irrationality and pure hate. Allow me to explain. You say that you follow Christ but he commanded you to obey the law. You don’t want to because you are an ignorant cretin. You are disobeying your own God. This is not rational. Equal rights for all human beings is no crime…unless you are a perversion of humanity that believes you get more rights than your neighbor. I am quite sure that you also belong to several White Supremacy groups. They too believe they have the right to thrust their primitive hate on others. Thank the Universe that fools such as you are dying out. Grow up.

  10. James
    #10 James 7 December, 2015, 10:09

    KIT9, there is no logical in your statement — just hate. You’re full of hate.

  11. Catfish
    #11 Catfish 7 December, 2015, 12:37

    James, get a life. I highly doubt any lgbt person is forcing anything on you. Guess what, there are LGBT people who also just want to “choose an institution that corresponds with (their) beliefs.” This might sound crazy, but you can be Christian and LGBT.

    You are a white, heterosexual, protestant male….but please, tell me how you are discriminated against.

  12. James
    #12 James 7 December, 2015, 14:14

    Virtually every college & universities in the US accommodates LGBT people. Why don’t you leave others alone? You are so full of hate you can’t even reason properly.

  13. Catfish
    #13 Catfish 7 December, 2015, 17:22

    When you say accommodates, I think you mean allows. And you do not know me and have no grounds to assess that I am full of hate. I wish that colleges and universities and freaking everywhere would just relax about who’s gay and who’s straight and just move on instead of making it a gigantic deal.
    Why don’t you leave others alone, dude?

  14. James
    #14 James 7 December, 2015, 18:52

    You and LGBT are the ones trying to FORCE others to accept your way of way of life and your ideology. If anyone disagrees with you, you call them names and try to destroy them. You are the one want leave others alone. You don’t believe in freedom.

  15. Catfish
    #15 Catfish 7 December, 2015, 19:13

    Alright James, I’m just gonna leave you here with your anger and victim mindset bc I’m about done with all your assumptions about me and the LGBT, though I’m sure you and my parents could have a riveting conversation about how horrible the LGBT community is and how they’re out to ruin our nation.
    Good day.

  16. James
    #16 James 7 December, 2015, 20:26

    Once again, you can’t reason. Reality alludes you.

  17. tomcogburn
    #17 tomcogburn 8 December, 2015, 09:51

    James… No one is forcing their lifestyle on you. No one is making you participate in a same-gender relationship or marriage. And surely you don’t believe that in this day and age you can walk through life with blinders on–refusing to interact with anyone from the LGBT community. We are your doctors, nurses, police officers, teachers, professors, cashiers, and so on. We ask only that you respect and love us the way that you would want to be respected and loved. It’s really not so hard when you think about it. Don’t be frightened by us. Don’t misunderstand us. Don’t be offended.
    Christianity is safe in this country. Every president who has held office at the White House has been Christian. Christianity is by far the largest religion in this country–in fact it is the largest faith in the world. It still wields great power in society and politics. It shapes many areas of our lives.
    You are not under attack. We just want to be able to live our lives as we see fit–that includes those of us who are gay Christians.
    I pray that you don’t feel attacked in my post. That isn’t the intention at all. Just trying to help you to see things through a different perspective.

    Tom Cogburn, Knoxville, TN

  18. James
    #18 James 8 December, 2015, 11:46

    Tom. Look at the article above. Look at Christian businesses under attack for standing up for their Constitutional rights and trying to protect their consciences. The list goes on. LGBT and others are using the government to FORCE others to make them bend to their will. Yes, Christianity is large, but it has no place in the public square any more because of Supreme Court rulings. And by the way, you prefer that, unless it is your brand of Christianity. You pretend Christianity is safe because it is big, I beg to differ. Nazism, Communism, and variant forms of Fascism has always been led by minorities — and look at the cost. Think for a moment. Why are we even having this discussion? It isn’t me or other people or other religions trying to FORCE their morality on you. You say to want to be treated the same as anyone else. You are. Christianity and other religions have left you alone, to flourish in America. It is called freedom. But you and LGBT does NOT want FREEDOM for others. You want everyone to ACCEPT your lifestyle — no matter what. Same-sex marriage is rejected by most major religions, not just Christianity. Moreover, some major atheists and agnostics do not agree with your position either. At the end of the day, LGBT and others are trying to FORCE others to accept your life style as normal. That not only violates the Constitution, but natural law, natural right, and simply — people’s right to believe and function as they see fit – not by a minority nor forced by the government.

  19. Catfish
    #19 Catfish 8 December, 2015, 16:35

    Good try, Tom. Good try.

  20. Candace T.
    #20 Candace T. 9 December, 2015, 11:21

    I’m sorry James, but are being bullied, murdered, or drawn to suicide because of who you are? How many times have you been scared to leave your house because of what a homophobic neighbor might do? How many times have you been called “sick, crazy, or diseased?” Have you ever been forced into conversion therapy? Yet, you’re the victim, I’ll wait.

  21. Alex
    #21 Alex 9 December, 2015, 21:26

    HI James. I have read your post, and respectfully I think your under some serious misconceptions. I am Australian, but I am fascinated by American law even though I am not a lawyer, and I have read both the Declaration of Independence and large parts of the Constitution numerous times (Both brilliant and Eloquent documents). Everything herein is my own research, and if I am wrong I would like a citation to the correct information. I have obtained my legal information from the following law firm’s website: http://deskinlawfirm.com/.

    1.
    James — Tom. Look at the article above. Look at Christian businesses under attack for standing up for their Constitutional rights and trying to protect their consciences.
    correction —
    Civil Rights Act of 1964 – CRA – Title VII – Equal Employment Opportunities – 42 US Code Chapter 21
    Sec. 2000e-2. Unlawful employment practices

    (a) Employer practices
    It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
    (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual,
    or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect
    to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of
    employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion,
    sex, or national origin; or
    (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or
    applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend
    to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or
    otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of
    such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

    2.
    James — LGBT and others are using the government to FORCE others to make them bend to their will.
    correction — Your use of emotive language (‘using’, ‘FORCE’, ‘bend’) does not validate your argument. Gender rights groups are taking governments and businesses to court on the grounds that certain US citizens are being denied their constitutional and civil rights, as is their right under the law. Groups opposed to gender rights are doing likewise, as is their right.

    3.
    James — Yes, Christianity is large, but it has no place in the public square any more because of Supreme Court rulings.
    correction — ARTICLE [I.] 13
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
    or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom
    of speech, or of the press; of the right of the people peaceably
    to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    This was written into the original constitution by the founding fathers. And the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land – the final arbiter of ALL laws, most especially the constitution. You are aggrieved because you disagree with them.

    4.
    James — Nazism, Communism, and variant forms of Fascism has always been led by minorities — and look at the cost.
    correction — So was Christianity in its earliest days. so was every Religion.

    5.
    James — Think for a moment. Why are we even having this discussion? It isn’t me or other people or other religions trying to FORCE their morality on you.
    correction — No-one is forcing their morality on you – or forcing you to change it. This is about laws and legally enforceable rights. What you choose to believe in the privacy of your own home or head is still absolutely yours.

    6.
    James — You say to want to be treated the same as anyone else. You are.
    correction — If this were the case, the Supreme Court would not have recently overturned D.O.M.A. on the grounds that it violated the constitutional right to equal protection under the law. Then there are adoption rights, wills, custody over children, employment, religion, etc

    7.
    James — Christianity and other religions have left you alone, to flourish in America. It is called freedom.
    correction — Christian groups have in no way left the LGBT community alone to ‘flourish’. The Westborough Baptist Church is but the most extreme example of opposition to LGBT rights; The Catholic church has until recently consistently claimed that homosexuality is an abomination. Islam advocates imprisoning/stoning homosexuals.

    8.
    James — But you and LGBT does NOT want FREEDOM for others.
    correction — Which freedoms are they James? The LGBT community is demanding that the protections you have also apply to them. no more, no less.

    9.
    James — You want everyone to ACCEPT your lifestyle — no matter what.
    correction — Yes, absolutely, but only from a legal standpoint, and no other.

    10.
    James — Same-sex marriage is rejected by most major religions, not just Christianity.
    correction — Irrelevant as per the Constitutional amendment above. Freedom of religion implies and includes freedom _from_ religion.

    11.
    James — Moreover, some major atheists and agnostics do not agree with your position either.
    correction — irrelevant. There is only one valid opinion in this entire case: that of the law. Not Yours, mine, atheists, religious institutions, etc.

    12.
    James — At the end of the day, LGBT and others are trying to FORCE others to accept your life style as normal.
    correction — In terms of forcing others, see point 9 above. Please define ‘normal’ – there is nothing that an LGBT person can do sexually or emotionally that you can not do. LGBT is not a lifestyle – it is not a choice. In the same way that you do not ‘choose’ to be sexually and emotionally attracted to women. It is simply who you are. And LGBT people are simply who they are. As we all are.

    13.
    James — That not only violates the Constitution, but natural law, natural right, and simply — people’s right to believe and function as they see fit – not by a minority nor forced by the government.
    correction — Your assertions are contradicted by what we know from numerous European countries that have had full LGBT rights for years. Their society has not fallen. No-ones rights have been abridged – rights for some have been raised to an equal level for all, no-ones rights have been lowered or curtailed. In fact those countries are, not coincidentally, the ones with the highest consistent living standards in the world.

    Finally James I would like you to consider a simple but critical viewpoint: ‘LGBT’ people are just that. Just people. They are as different from you as you are from me. They are ordinary people trying to go about their ordinary lives. You are entitled to all your opinions, including religious ones, just as they, and we, all are. But I cannot force you to conform to my religion, if any, so why should you be able to demand that they conform to yours, to be treated differently because your (or any religion) says so? They are not out to get you any more than you are out to get them. They are prominent in the media at the moment because they are asserting their legal rights. Something about them is clearly upsetting you – I think you need to do some serious soul-searching to understand what that is. The bible has many passages about compassion and forgiveness, but it seems they are being blithely ignored when it comes to LGBT.

    I beseech you James – In the name of Christ himself, consider that you may be wrong.

  22. Constitutionalist
    #22 Constitutionalist 11 December, 2015, 12:09

    It’s not discrimination — it’s about PROMOTING an alternative lifestyle that was NEVER an issue until these freaks decided to come out of the closet and promote their lifestyles for all to see.

    Behavior that is wrong is not a protected category.

  23. Textualist
    #23 Textualist 11 December, 2015, 19:04

    I’m surprised that the headline here would be so wrong: what the Column says concerning what Title IX is “Prohibition against discrimination; exceptions. No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, except that:”

    But what it actually says is “Prohibition against discrimination; exceptions. No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, except that:” (emphasis added)

    And of the excepts” (#3) reads: “this section shall not apply to any educational institution which is controlled by a religious organization if the application of this subsection would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization;”

    Thus, it seems strange that people here and elsewhere are openly speaking of punishing these colleges for doing nothing worse than claiming their rights on the basis of the very law that people are trying to use to crucify them.

  24. NATURAL RIGHTIST
    #24 NATURAL RIGHTIST 12 December, 2015, 09:53

    James, I want to thank you for mentioning the Constitution, natural law, natural rights, etc. in your comments. In my judgment, these should be the focus of a discussion concerning issues of conscience (in this case, religious conscience). Various statements in the article suggest and even insist that religiously-based institutions of higher education that take positions concerning sexual behavior and sexual relationships should be revoked of their accreditation and students who attend such institutions should be denied federally backed student loans and grants. In other words, such institutions and their students should be punished for the exercise of their consciences (i.e., their religiously informed beliefs). James, this is simply the ominous manifestation of the rejection and/or diminution of natural rights, enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment, that is, the rejection of the idea that written in human nature each person, including persons of religious conviction, has the right to follow his/her conscience and not be lorded over by those of a differently informed conscience. James Madison and the Constitution are clear, “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]; or abridging the freedom of speech … or the right of the people peaceably to assemble” (Amendment I to the US Constitution). If we were to follow the reasoning expressed in the article and by some of your respondents, a physician should be denied Medicaid payments for treating Medicaid patients because he/she refuses to perform abortions because doing so would be a violation of his/her conscience, perhaps a religiously informed conscience. Such reasoning also implies that colleges and universities, typically religiously based ones (e.g., Brigham Young University), that prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages should have their accreditations revoked because their prohibitions are biased against and discriminate against those students who voluntarily attend yet may have a disposition to engage in the behavior of imbibing alcoholic beverages. James, you have identified what this is, unabashed tyranny instead of regard for natural rights (the free exercise of conscience, religious or otherwise; the freedom of speech; and the liberty to peaceably associate with whom one wills) topped off with ad hominem attacks, incivility, and crudity.

  25. James
    #25 James 12 December, 2015, 15:58

    Textualist, thank you for clarifying what the law actually says. Your reasoning is sound.

  26. James
    #26 James 12 December, 2015, 16:04

    Constitutionalist, you bring out an important point. Positive law is usually constructed with negative behavior (e.g. murder). Whereas natural law and natural rights do not come from the positive law or government.

  27. James
    #27 James 12 December, 2015, 16:39

    Natural Rightist, you touched on some important issues. My main concern, as you brought out, is liberty for everyone. I find it paradoxical that religious organizations ad sound religious beliefs are under attack in America. What is equally puzzling is some of my inter-lockers invoked Christ name – as if Christ is for same-sex marriage. I understand there are some religious organizations who now support it, but they are a minority. Be that as it may, they would be hard-pressed to find where Christ supported their position. But liberty does not come from the government. Liberty stems from natural rights, which is based in natural law. Natural law and natural rights are against arbitrary decisions. In the Supreme Court case, Obergelfell v. Hodges, we find an arbitrary ruling. Out of thin air five judges over ruled millions of voices and many state laws — passed by the people. The Supreme Court is slowly taking the country back to a time where absolute monarchs ruled by prerogative and oligarchs passed laws without the consent of the people. In other words, the Supreme Court is above the law. It is above natural law and even natural rights. They have become the conscience of the country, in many respects. Five un-elected judges has become the veto power (executive) over the people, and the people’s legislature on important issues that ought to be decided by the people and their elected officials. The prolific Walter Lippmann stated it succinctly, “The rights of man are not the rights of Robinson Crusoe before his man Friday appeared. They stem from the right not to be dealt with arbitrarily by anyone else, and the inescapable corollary of the rights of man is the duty of man not to deal arbitrarily with others,” (The Essential Lippmann: A Political Philosophy of Liberal Democracy, 173.) In other words, someones rights do not have the right to tramp on other’s rights. Thank you for your post.

  28. Alex
    #28 Alex 13 December, 2015, 03:12

    No response to my post James? I expected as much. But then your response to Constitutionalist, who classifies other human beings as ‘freaks’ and wouldn’t know facts if they poked him in the eye with a sharp stick, indicates that your neck is as red as his. Why are you both so afraid of LGBT people?

  29. James
    #29 James 13 December, 2015, 11:17

    The real question, Alex, why are you so afraid of people who disagree with your position? As to why I did not respond to your other post is because you don’t know what your talking about. I frankly don’t have time to educate you. Most of what you said was taken out of context and they are misleading and non sequiturs. Have a great day.

  30. Alex
    #30 Alex 13 December, 2015, 20:22

    Seems I know more about your laws and constitution than you do James. you couldn’t educate me if you tried. You’re a homophobe and still don’t have one single good reason why homosexuals should be excluded from your universities when adulterers, thieves and the like should. My information comes from YOUR constitution and an AMERICAN legal firm with offices in many US states. If I was scared of people who disagree with me, I would have answered you like Constitutionalist did – with hatred and zealotry. Instead I gave you calm, researched refutations to your post. And this reply of yours is the best you can come up with? Dismissal? You fail James. Have a sad, bigotted life.

  31. Libby Ral
    #31 Libby Ral 13 December, 2015, 21:44

    Does anyone else appreciate the absurdity of this statement “Christian schools have begun to worry that they will be forced to house legally married same-sex couples”. Think about it.

  32. NancyP
    #32 NancyP 16 December, 2015, 16:09

    Schools that are exclusively devoted to credentialing ministers (seminaries) can discriminate however they like, because they are not getting federal money, as long as all employees are contracted as ministers of the church, and the students are either paying their own way or the denomination is paying for their education.However, a seminary that hired non-minister individuals as secretaries, cooks, janitors, and then for the same job paid wages according to race or sex would be in legal trouble. Schools that serve any amount of secular purpose and take federal money in the form of student loan payments, grants to faculty, etc are obliged to adhere to federal regulations to keep on getting the federal money. Non-seminary schools that don’t take federal money in any form have more leeway in theory, but it is true that most regional non-sectarian accrediting bodies (private agencies) may refuse accreditation, which may affect the students’ ability to get tuition loans from commercial banks. Non-seminary schools that discriminate against intersex individuals could be liable under Americans with Disabilities Act.

  33. Mary Hunt
    #33 Mary Hunt 17 December, 2015, 13:55

    I am a straight minority female that doesn’t feel one way or another about this issue in terms of it impacting me in that I have never felt like the Gay Agenda was out to make me gay.

    All of you Christians that are concerned about the Gay Agenda. Please stay strong in your sexuality and Gays really won’t penetrate you. Promise!

    And I also feel, despite the old timey language of the Old Testament, that Jesus in the New Testament would probably welcome the gays, unmarried moms, and those that have had abortions. He welcomes and loves all and tries to save souls.

    So by not permitting them in your colleges, it’s actually not very Christ Like. Just pointing that out.

    In addition, You can’t take the cake without the salt and baking powder: You want the exemption from the law, but still expect the Federal Grants and student loans. Nope! I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that.

    If you chose to walk this talk, have the coverage of your convictions to walk this talk all the way. Don’t take heathens’ tax dollars. Do not accept our tax dollars.

    You don’t know where that money has been.

    And I plan to fight this.

    Just say NO to federal funds and grants going to ANY school that discriminates. That just makes sense that even a heathen can understand.

  34. NATURAL RIGHTIST
    #34 NATURAL RIGHTIST 18 December, 2015, 11:11

    Alex, In your December 13 post, you call out James for making a reference to Constitutionalist who uses the term “freaks.” You then proceed to level an ad hominem against James characterizing him as a fearful red-neck. So, James is guilty of something nefarious simply by making reference to a point that James believes Constitutionalist made? When did guilt by “association” become legitimate? With this line of reasoning, President Eisenhower would be guilty of something truly reprehensible for patterning the US interstate system after Hitler’s autobahn system. Now that I have made reference to your post, what does that make me? Does my “association” with you make me courageous, enlightened, and evolved? Would that acquiring such were so easy! Furthermore, while calling out James for “associating” with Constitutionalist, I note that you do not call out other contributors who have manifested crudity, ad hominem attacks, and incivility against the colleges and universities mentioned in the article as well as against James. After all, being consistent is a standard of thinking critically.

  35. NATURAL RIGHTIST
    #35 NATURAL RIGHTIST 18 December, 2015, 11:14

    Textualist, Thank you for drawing our attention to the full text of Title IX. The question is: Why does Title IX make the exception that it does? From a natural rights perspective, it is because by nature human persons have the right to exercise religious conscience. The exception clause of Title IX recognizes what the First Amendment to the US Constitution recognizes and acknowledges, namely, a natural right. The First Amendment proscribes government from making any law that would prohibit the natural right to freely exercise religious conscience, the natural right to freedom of speech, and the natural right to peaceably assemble including assembling with persons of like conscience. When natural rights are duly recognized and acknowledged, the justification and purpose of government becomes clear. As the Declaration of Independence noticeably declares, the justification and purpose of government, given natural rights, is to secure those natural rights. Since natural rights are not granted to the people by government, natural rights supersede political power and, thereby, take their stand against the abuse of political power that would encroach upon the innate liberties of the people. Unfortunately, we are living during a period of time, hopefully a short one, in which natural rights are seemingly perceived as subject to amendment rather than recognized as unalienable. So, we are living during a period of time in which there are calls (e.g., Paul Southwick, Shane Windmeyer, Mike Hoppe, Chloealexa8888, Robert Tucker, Anonymous) to punish, in this instance, institutions of higher education and those associated with them who affirm and seek to exercise what the Bill of Rights affirms, namely, self-evident liberties that we have by nature! Sadly and tragically, we are witnessing the call to subject those self-evident liberties to political agendas, will, and whim. Rather than hearing demands to bind mischievous political agendas, will, and whim by the Bill of Rights (i.e., to natural rights), we hear what have become incessant expressions of tyranny, either a tyranny by the majority or a tyranny by self-appointed masterminds, that would enfeeble self-evident unalienable natural rights and usurp them with unwarranted and arbitrary dictates that bring in their wake destruction to the blessings of liberties.

  36. NATURAL RIGHTIST
    #36 NATURAL RIGHTIST 18 December, 2015, 11:16

    James, In your December 12 post, you made the statement that government (specifically, the Supreme Court) has taken upon itself to serve as the conscience of society. This raises the relevant question: Is it a legitimate function of government or some agency thereof to function as the conscience of society? Though there are those (e.g., Thomas Hobbes) who have argued that this is a legitimate function of government, if one affirms with the Declaration of Independence that it is self-evident to the attentive mind that we are endowed, though not by government, with certain unalienable rights including the exercise of religious conscience, then it is never a legitimate function of government to serve as the conscience of society. The First Amendment to the US Constitution acknowledges and affirms the free exercise of the conscience, more specifically, the religious conscience of the individual! Even prior to the 18th Century, in the 16th Century, Martin Luther acknowledged that to act against conscience is neither safe nor right. He was not referring to the conscience of government or pope or bishop or priest or deacon, but to his own! We, the people, have never consented to have government or an agency of government serve as the conscience of this society. Nowhere can such consent be found in either the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution. The First Amendment makes clear why this is the case; it recognizes that the exercise of conscience, specifically religious conscience, belongs to the individual and government has no legitimate power to prohibit the free exercise of conscience whether expressed through religious belief/practice, speech, or peaceable assembly. Those who would seek to punish the religiously based colleges and universities mentioned in the above article as well as those who voluntarily associate with them for exercising their religious conscience, freedom of speech, and their unalienable right to assemble are laying waste to the unalienable rights (i.e., those natural rights) enumerated in the First Amendment. Those who call for punishment seek to rack the religiously informed consciences of those who seek to live in fidelity to such consciences. This is tyranny devouring natural rights. Though I am not a historian, it is rather clear to me that human history bears witness to the fact that when natural rights are not acknowledged and revered, the political and social landscape becomes fertile for those who would seek to utilize the instrumentalities and agencies of government to lord it over others.

  37. James
    #37 James 19 December, 2015, 17:26

    Natural Rightest, I am glad you elaborated more on the “Supreme Court being the conscience of the nation.” I find it astonishing the Supreme Court can determine the fate of millions of Americans. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the Courts have power to legislate or make up laws. Neither does it give the Supreme Court veto POWER over the free exercise of conscience. We, as a nation, are far removed from natural right theory. What is left are the master-minds who tell us what is right and wrong. To illustrate, the resent Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, only five lawyers infringed upon the religious liberty and conscience of the people. They, in their “infinite wisdom,” overruled state laws and millions of voices – just five lawyers, unelected judges. The Supreme Court’s job was never meant to undermined the rule of law. This is the very definition of tyranny. To my interlockers who think it is their job – then what about Dred Scott v. Sanford, where the Supreme Court overruled the Missouri Compromise and declared a slave was not person. Or Plessy v. Ferguson, where Supreme Court declared the “separate but equal,” doctrine. Or in Buck v. Bell, where the Supreme Court upheld state law based on eugenics. All these cases violated the right to exercise conscience and natural right. All these cases violated these people’s Constitutional rights. The same atrocity has occurred with the Obergefell v. Hodges case. These judges have violated people’s natural right. They have violated the First Amendment right of a religion to function within their rights without harassment and assault from the government or any other group. The government should not be in the business of FORCING others to violate their consciences. Whenever five judges have the POWER to determine religious fundamental issues, that nation is no longer free, it is living in tyranny. Thank you for your comments.

  38. david
    #38 david 21 December, 2015, 10:13

    This article states:

    These “right-to-discriminate” waivers were relatively rare until the last year. A handful were requested in the 1980s and 1990s, many by religious schools who wanted to ensure they could prevent women from being hired in leadership roles without running afoul of discrimination laws.

    Are there any examples that we are aware of where exemptions were requested in the 80’s and 90’s? I would love to see a specific situation from this time period and compare it to the situation today.

  39. Edward Becker
    #39 Edward Becker 24 December, 2015, 18:22

    These schools want to have their cake and eat it too. If they want to discriminate against LGBT students, they should not expect Federal taxpayers (including LGBT taxpayers!) to pay for it.

  40. Jennifer R.
    #40 Jennifer R. 28 December, 2015, 10:31

    What I’d really like to know and maybe I can find it somewhere or it’s been said or asked already, is this: Are any of these institutions of higher learning receiving federal money to support their institutions? If they are, then they should not be allowed exemption under Title IX and should have investigations filed into their treatment of students, employee’s and professors. If they are wholly funded privately thru their student bodies tuition and private sources such as the churches backing their teaching, then fine, do whatever they want as long as their policy is known and explicitly explained to all potential students and employee’s of these institutions prior to requesting admittance or accepting employment.

  41. NATURAL RIGHTIST
    #41 NATURAL RIGHTIST 7 January, 2016, 11:47

    Alex, We should not confuse James’ vigilance in defending natural law and natural rights for fear (your December 13, 2015 post); an egregious conflation if there ever was one. The free exercise of conscience including religiously informed conscience, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to peaceably assemble are necessary and essential to civil living, even to good government, and to the happiness of humankind, because such liberties secure a check against self-appointed master-minds and the tyranny they seek to mandate. Reason and experience inform us that we cannot expect political, cultural, and social freedom and prosperity to prevail in the absence of the free exercise of these natural rights that are indispensable to a civil society and a republic. The free exercise of natural rights creates a wall that obstructs the self-appointed master-minds in conceiving various manners of tyranny (e.g., denying the religiously affiliated institutions of higher education in question and their students federal funds) and forbids their tyranny. The free exercise of natural rights is the best safeguard against the tyrannical designs of the self-appointed master-minds that are incompatible with civil living, good government, and happiness. While we do speak, perhaps not very intelligibly, of a wall of separation between church and the state, we cannot with legitimacy speak of a wall of separation between the free exercise of conscience, religious or otherwise, and the state. Not in the sense that the instrumentalities of government are to be used to establish the exercise of conscience of one group over another group, but in the sense that the Declaration of Independence declares that the function of government is to secure unalienable rights (i.e., natural rights); yes, to be vigilant in the defense of the free exercise of both religiously informed conscience and non-religiously informed conscience.

    The self-appointed master-minds in seeking to have government or some aspect (e.g., Title IX) thereof serve as the conscience of society seek to stir up strife between those with religiously informed consciences and those with non-religiously informed consciences. Consider these calls (e.g., Edward Becker, Jennifer R, and others) for denying religiously-affiliated institutions of higher education and their students the funding available to other institutions of higher education and their students. This shouldn’t surprise us. Experience and history (e.g., the French Revolution of the late 18th Century) have taught us that the disposition of the self-appointed master-mind is to perpetuate strife and is inclined toward coercion (i.e., tyranny) against those who would be of a different perspective. Hence, for government to respect and privilege, thereby establishing, the exercise of conscience, say, a non-religiously informed conscience, of one group of citizenry over another group of citizens (e.g., the institutions of higher education in question and their students) would constitute a flagrant usurpation of the free exercise of religiously informed conscience and, hence, of the First Amendment. Defending and securing natural rights, especially those enumerated in the Bill of Rights, are not for the fearful, but for the ever vigilant; just consider those who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor during the Revolutionary War. James, I thank you for your vigilance.

  42. NATURAL RIGHTIST
    #42 NATURAL RIGHTIST 7 January, 2016, 11:53

    David, Your post gives rise to some important points, two come to mind:
    1. Why should these religiously-affiliated institutions of higher education be required to request a waiver from Title IX for exercising their First Amendment rights (i.e., their natural rights)? To put it another way, why are federal statutes, laws, and rules written in such a way that those with religiously informed consciences are required to request waivers in order to exercise their natural rights? Shouldn’t federal statutes, laws, and rules be written in such a way that the free exercise of one’s natural rights is expressly acknowledged in those statutes, laws, and rules?

    Requesting implies that a request can be denied. Are these requests for waivers from Title IX necessarily granted? Even if they are, given the First Amendment, the question still remains: Why must those who are merely exercising their natural rights be required to request a waiver in order to exercise their natural rights enumerated in the First Amendment?

    2. A number of posts (e.g., two of the latest posts by Edward Becker and Jennifer R.) have asserted that students attending the religiously-affiliated institutions of higher education in question should not receive federal funds available to other students attending, for example, non-religiously affiliated institutions. So, these students, their religiously-affiliated institutions of higher education, and their tax-paying parents should pay a penalty (e.g., be denied access to federal funds that are available to other students and their non-religiously affiliated institutions) in order to exercise their natural rights which according to the Declaration of Independence are to be secured (i.e., protected) by government! According to this line of reasoning, should those institutions of higher education that prohibit their students from consuming alcoholic beverages, even those students of legal age who are inclined to consume alcoholic beverages, and their students be denied access to federal funding? Being denied access to federal funding for exercising one’s First Amendment rights is not exactly a form of protecting those natural rights; it strikes me as a form of extortion, a form of tyranny!

    By freely exercising their consciences, their speech, and exercising their freedom to peaceably assemble with persons of like conscience, these religiously-affiliated institutions and those associated with them are merely following the law, specifically, the First Amendment. Hence, given that these religiously-affiliated institutions and those associated with them are merely exercising the natural rights enumerated in the First Amendment, they should continue to have access to the same kind of federal funding to which any other student and non-religiously affiliated institutions have access. To deny religiously-affiliated institutions and their students such access would constitute a genuine form of discrimination and inequality, not a concocted form of discrimination and inequality of which they are accused.

    Access to the federal funds that the self-appointed master-minds seek to deny the aforementioned institutions and their students is a means, though not a necessary one, by which the free exercise of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom to peaceably assemble are encouraged. As a matter of fact, Thomas Jefferson in his day spoke with satisfaction of the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists meeting for their religious services in the court-house, a tax-supported public building, in Charlottesville near his home. The fact that these religious assemblies were utilizing a tax-funded public building was not even an issue for Thomas Jefferson because the free exercise of religious conscience (i.e., a natural right) was fundamental, more fundamental than the question as to whether the court-house was tax-funded, and for Jefferson those natural rights of the First Amendment ought to be not only secured but also encouraged. The free exercise of religious conscience cannot be separated from liberty. Unfortunately, to the self-appointed master-minds the free exercise of natural rights, or of at least certain natural rights like a religiously informed conscience, is seen as divisive rather than a unifying adhesive. The self-appointed master-minds would seek to prescribe law and punishment inconsistent with the free exercise of these natural rights because they seemingly have either totally abandoned the notion of natural rights or deny that natural rights are fundamental to peaceful co-existence, to respect for others, and to law. What the self-appointed master-mind seeks to do is use Title IX to violate the very equality which the master-mind claims ought to be the essential basis of Title IX and for that matter all law. I take it that Thomas Jefferson would consider such usage as condemnable, arbitrary, and despotic as well as, yes, unconstitutional.

  43. James
    #43 James 26 January, 2016, 15:27

    Natural Rightist, thank you for expounding on my December 12 post. Indeed, the Supreme Court has taken up the mantel of being the “conscience” of society. In the end, only five lawyers tell everyone else what is right and wrong on fundamental issues. The courts have become the engine to fundamentally changing society by force. The courts embody a religious ideology: the “progressive church.” Progressivism functions as a religion. It has its core beliefs that cannot be questioned. If questioned, one is labeled a heretic and ad hominem attacks ensue. Same-sex marriage is part of this “religious” ideology.

    Since the courts have become religious zealots for the progressive “church,” it must do all it can to advocate (i.e., force) others to accept its religion. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ..” The Framers understood whenever anyone particular religion is preferred over another – the government will force others to adhere to it. Such as taxation, closing schools and colleges that do not support the established “church.” This leads to anxiety in society and even to war. Hence, the religious wars in Europe. Even today, we see it being played out in the Middle-east.

    But today, we have a new type of religion. The progressive “church” must use government to radically change society. The new religion (now a little over hundred years old) is elevated above all other religions and world-views. Government – like before – has embraced this new religion. Government, like before, is punishing others who have another religion and/or world view who is exercising their natural right by not participating in it. And the Supreme Court has become the conscience of this new religion. That is why leftist-radicals work hard to keep their temple (Supreme Court) and its high-priest (Supreme Court justices) pure. So that society can be purged from anything or persons that maybe a threat to its “religion.” Thank you for your post.

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