June 28th, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Court rules against Christian group in discrimination case

The Supreme Court has ruled against a Christian campus group that sued after a California law school denied it official recognition because the student organization limits its core membership to those who share its beliefs on faith and marriage.

At issue was the conflict between a public university's anti-discrimination policies and a private group's freedom of religion and association.

The 5-4 ruling was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was on the bench a day after her husband passed away.

The law school, wrote Ginsburg, "caught in the crossfire between a group's desire to exclude and students' demand for equal access, may reasonably draw a line in the sand permitting all organizations to express what they wish but no group to discriminate in membership."

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, "I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today's decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country." He was supported by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote in this contentious case.

The Christian Legal Society - which has chapters around the country - had sought official recognition from the University of California's law school in San Francisco. The 30-member group is still in existence, even after its application was rejected five years ago.

Any student may attend the group's meetings, but voting members and officers must affirm a "statement of faith," that includes the belief "Christians should not engage in sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman," according to the society's website.

The school says that leads to discrimination which, under law, it cannot sanction.

The court drew sharp lines over how far both the school and the student group must go to claim "institutional autonomy" in their respective policies, and to satisfy conflicting First Amendment claims of free speech and association.

Lawyers for the group say members should have the discretion to hold their own views and ensure their campus leaders share similar religious ideas.

They told the court that the school, Hastings College of the Law, had singled them out for rejection, while recognizing other groups that limit membership to those of shared beliefs.

But the school cited its policy as the main reason for turning down the group's application, saying it should be open to all. The school said the "statement of faith" would essentially keep gays and lesbians from joining.

Groups given official endorsement by the University of California can receive school funding, office space and the freedom to recruit on campus, but may not reject anyone because of sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or other criteria protected under federal and state law.

The case could have broader applications for so-called "charitable choice" programs, where religion-based groups provide social services, often with federal funding. Such a group's tax exemptions and hiring practices could be affected by how the justices apply the law in this school dispute.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco last year ruled against the student group. But a similar lawsuit against Southern Illinois University two years ago was successful, and the Christian Legal Society received official recognition there.

The case was Christian Legal Society Chapter of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law v. Martinez (08-1371).

soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. Ellid

    Good. About time the Court remembered that there's such a thing as separation of church and state.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • OHVillager

      How is that Seperation of Church and state with a private club? It isn't a Church or the State.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy Bob

      And what exactly does your comment have to do with this case?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Yogismom58

      It wasn't a private club, it was a PUBLIC college!

      June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      OHVillager...the point it it isnt a private club. Its a public university and this club would have been university club for students.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      This isn't a seperation of church and state issue – if the club changes it's membership rules, it will be recognized by the college. The same group, with no changes to its mission – i.e. remaining a religious group, will join the college. This is a case about freedom of expression.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      I don't understand. Again I ask, what college is this and also, what is the problem? If you're not Christian, why do people care about being excluded. If they had some really good pot, and I was a Jew, maybe then I'd care, otherwise, so what. There are clubs for model airplane flyers. You have to have a plane to join. Yacht clubs where you need a boat, etc. I'm not sure what "recognition" brings this group, but I doubt it was a big enough deal for the supreme court.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Tabbitha rae

      John, recognition brings funding. At a public university, that means tax dollars are involved. This ruling means public universities can continue to deny recognition and funding to clubs that want to discriminate against who can join. The fact that this was a Christian club is beside the point. If the Court had ruled the other way, any kind of discriminatory group could possibly gain access to the funding.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      What the story failed to mention is that the Christian group was asking for public funding. University said if you want to exclude members you can't get public funding.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • milehighjdg

      @OHVillager: it's separation of church and state because this private group wanted to be subsidized by the university - a public university, funded by the taxpayers - to discriminate.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      If this were a mid-eastern fundamentalist based religion would anyone be upset with the ruling? I really doubt it.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • P-Diddy

      ohvillager – It is not a private club if it is receiving support from the college which is supported by public funding. Student organizations all receive monetary, facility, and staff support from the student life department. It is not so much a separation of church and state. Rather, it is a matter of discrimination. Not only is it illegal for them to discriminate it is immoral and extremely narrow minded.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • paulbark

      This was a public university, receiving public funds. When a school does that, it can't discriminate. The Christian organization specifically prohibited membership based on beliefs of members. No can do.

      Now, if this were a private school, this would not be an issue.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Being a student group doesn't necessarily mean that you are receiving public funds. At my school, you had to be a university recognized group just to be able to use a room on campus. Furthermore, the funds in question usually come from a fee in the tuition and are specifically reserved for the use of student groups. They are usually distributed based on the needs and membership of the group. If I am paying into the fund, then doesn't my group have the right to some of the money from it?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Victoria

      First off there is no where anywhere where it says Separation of Church and State. Second, I reserve the right to discriminate agains anyone or anything I choose. I do it all the time, every day, probably hundreds of times a day. You May NOT tell me what I have to accept anymore than I have the right to tell you what to accept. People or things, it doesn't matter. If I choose not to hire someone it is my business and no one else's. If I choose to not be friends with someone, that's my choice, NOT YOURS! We all discriminate in many ways and that is our God given right. We don't all have to agree with everything or everybody , just to agree to disagree and get on with it. Besides, why in the h*ll would anyone want to be with or any place they knew they weren't wanted? Get real people. The Human Race is Devolving instead of Evolving when you say discrimination is wrong. People have always had "discriminating" tastes in all forms of life. That is just a FACT and trying to make it illegal is the most assinine thing I've ever heard of!

      June 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Victoria, you can discriminate against anyone you want on your own. Once you get federal dollars, you cannot. So please continue to worship your angry God that hates everyone that doesn't share your beliefs.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      God is not angry. Fraternities discriminate all the time for much more hurtful reasons. This publicly bans religious groups from participating within a University for believing their core belief. Even religious people pay taxes. This would actually seem to violate the separation of church and state because the state is dictating what the church and its members can believe at least to participate like any other group within the University.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Kevin,
      You could argue that the school is discriminating only by arguing that they are discriminating against discriminators. The law states that by accepting federal dollars, you cannot discriminate against people for their gender orientation. This group clearly does that. Fraternities are privately funded.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hunatic

      Enough hiding behind this "private group" semantic.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamie

      Yes...I agree. Religious organizations will not stop until they have influenced every inch of this planet. If you want to believe that Jesus is going to return with golden chariots in the sky then fine. But, my tax and tuition should not benefit you in any way.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Truth, Liberty and the American way of life have been protected – Thank You Supreme Court – Separation of Church and State protects us from modern day Elmer Gantry’s like Pat Robertson and his Dominion Theology – The Evangelical Locusts have been stopped – Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      The separation of church and state has to do with making laws...

      June 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Fraternities take money allocated by the University for that purpose. Excluding religious groups is nothing more than another form of discrimination. Religious freedom...or freedom from religion was one of the reason people came to the US. If you want an organization free from religion that is your right. It is also peoples right to have an organization that involves religion. Anyway...this really does not matter because these organization will just get outside money free of strings...with much much more resources. The outside will flood this organization with dollars now because of this case. Thanks and nice job!

      June 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Brad:
      By the same token, if I am paying into the fund but I don't agree with your group's mission or beliefs, don't I have the right to keep your group from getting the money I contributed? That's too much of a "slippery slope," to use a well-worn law school expression.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Breal123

      Christians already have their own private groups....Its called church.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Auburn

      So according to this ruling a black students club would have to allow neo nazis to join their club, be voting members, and hold office in the club? That because someone does not agree with what your club is about is not a reason to exlude them?

      June 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yep, image a Christian Legal Society with a membership majority of Muslems. Now that makes sense! Thank you Supreme Court for teaching us the logic in your decision!

      June 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Agreed ! It's about time religion is removed from schools !

      June 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil Z

      Every school better be consistent then! NO official Muslim student groups, NO official Jewish student groups, etc. Has anyone ever challenged the "official" status of LGBT student groups? I bet if you checked court records that you would find pitifully few, if any, court rulings against any of these groups except Christian. Anti-Christian professors constantly push their Secular Humanist worldview in the classroom, but scream bloody murder if Christians dare to seek any official forum for their views. When will we recognize the fact that Secular Humanism is as much a religion as any other and it is hypocritical beyond the pale to allow this widespread official proselytizing! By the way, despite government denials of taxpayer funded abortions, my tax dollars routinely fund abortions which I find highly objectionable (e.g., public support of Planned Parenthood for one). One more thing: Jesus only fed the poor and healed the sick so that He could proclaim the Gospel. Healing, feeding, etc. were means to an end, not the end in itself. Christ came to redeem lost sinners from the wrath of God, not make sure they went to hell with full bellies. People should actually read the Bible before making statements concerning what it actually says.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      I agree with you. It is about time someone stand up to something that is fair.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      "I would not join any group that would have me as a member." Groucho Marx

      June 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      Almost all university clubs discriminate...MENSA members must be able to demonstrate certain levels of knowledge, club sports require athletic skills, club bands (pep bands) require you play an instrument...just sayin'...

      June 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      I remember not too long ago when I was trying to decide what college clubs to join. I remember very well looking at the list and instantly saying now way to about 95% of them. Why did I do that? Because I could tell by the names or the abstracts that I had NO interest in them. Exactly the same way that if this club had been at my school I would not have joined. Nor would I have given to sh**s about it. However, every club at my school could not limit it's membership. That's why we had the abstracts. If I would have read something saying that you could not have premarital intercourse then that club was not going to happen for me, I wouldn't need to sign a piece of paper. No one is going to join a club they don't feel welcome in. And I very seriously doubt someone would do it just to disrupt the club. Get a grip, John.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOLChrist

      LOL Christians got pwnd!

      June 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      Phil Z, you must be joking..."scream bloody murder if Christians dare to seek any official forum for their views". Yeah, that poor Christian voice just can't be heard over the throngs of LGBT student groups. When will the poor Christians be able to get their message out to the people! They really should organize quickly before that 2,000 year old "message" gets lost in the wrinkles of time!

      Maybe as soon as you all decide on a message that doesn't involve constant hypocrisy (like, for example, showing your obvious annoyance of Jew, Muslim, and gay groups while skipping over the "judge not" passages in said Bible), talking down to those of us that don't believe exactly what you believe, and forcing religion in every aspect of the world of others while ignoring it in your own (not you specifically but the "grocery cart Christians") we could all get along a little better. If Jesus was really a man who lived and spread the messages he did, he would be ashamed at what it has turned into.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Lane

      Based on this decision, it would appear that Christian or other religious groups that are approving of gay/lesbian activities would be able to obtain campus recognition, with associated funding, while Christian or other religious groups that are disapproving of such activities would not. The latter group would include many smaller and some major Christian groups – namely many smaller Protestant groups, and the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church – these are groups that allow gays/lesbians to attend services, but not to participate fully in the church's activities or leadership. They, or clubs adhering to their teachings, would henceforth be denied such recognition on account of their beliefs and practices.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shannon

      1st-Seperation of Church and state was established to keep the state out of the church, not the other way around (read a history book) 2nd-Faith in most casese is not discriminitory in that it is exclusive RATHER faith (especially the Christian faith) is simply inclusive. No one would be mad if somone who hated the innocent killing of fish was asked to not come to a fishhing club. And a comittment to abstanence till marriage (which what this was about) is simply part of the Christian faith. If you don't like it pick one where you can do what you want.

      This my friends is a slippery slope. If you can be told that you can have no representation unless you compromise your faith (hitler) you can also be told what you must represent (natzis)

      June 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • rahila87

      great.

      http://rahilasreflections.blogspot.com/2010/06/auto-fare-hike-common-man-being-taken.html

      June 29, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      OHVillager: Because it is NOT a private club. They are trying to officially recognized, which means public funding, which means any ignorant, bigoted right to discriminate that these pompous zealots thought they had is moot. Neanderthals.

      August 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michelle

    If the religious group can discriminate against people who don't share common beliefs, why should they be granted special recognition? I find it funny that they filed a discrimination claim when they practice the act themselves... I completely agree with this ruling! Thank you Justice Ginsburg! And may your husband Rest Peacefully.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy Bob

      lol – what? how did they discriminate against anyone? apparently you are ignorant on the definition of the word.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      Why would you want to join a group where you don't share common beliefs? That's like me wanting to join a group called Murdering Moms of America (though I have never murdered my children) then suing them because they won't let me join. If there were such a group, I'm sure our government would be sure to give them special priveledges and no lawsuit would ever be allowed against them. The only difference here is that this group has faith in our Lord, they are standing for their beliefs and that angers people! How sad....

      June 28, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I agree 100% It scares me to see that our SC head and the conservative justices don't see it that way. I guess they too have forgotten about discrimination when it applies to their values. I wonder if a school that only let in atheists would have the same opposition from SC Thomas, Scalia and Roberts.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Tabbitha rae

      Dawn, you don't seem to understand that this case had to do with university recognition. With recognition comes access to student body fees. At a state university, that essentially means access to tax funded dollars. Surely you don't think a state funded university should recognize the Murdering Moms of America. Is that how you think your tax money should be spent?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      With recognition comes access to funding which is usually derived from a specific fee within the tuition, not tax dollars. Furthermore, everyone pays into the fund, so whatever group they choose to align with should have a right to these funds. By not recognizing this group and not allowing them to have the funds, the school is the one discriminating here.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You could certainly form Murdering Moms of America if you wanted. You could raise your own funds, etc. HOWEVER, under this decision, you could NOT get public money if your club only allowed murdering moms to join. However, if non-murdering moms (and men) were allowed to join the Murdering Moms, then you could get public funding.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jayh

    Yes folks, this was the right choice.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Hunatic

      Aye, thank you Ruth!

      June 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paul

    Would you expect anything less form a Ca law school and liberal S. Ct. Justices. They are the cesspools that have spawned the legal manuevering that is bent on including everything but freed of religion. When its Buddism, Islam, or anything other than Christianity, then its supported in the name of diversity and tolerance. When it involves a Savior who causes them to question their own values and beliefs, its immediately heralded as bigotry and hatred. The double standard on the left is the epitomy of hipocrisy.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      An imaginary character is at fault for all of this nonsense. If we didnt have religion I'm sure we wouldn't even be having this problem in the first place, since laws against descrimination have already been put in place. face it, your bogus supersticious nonsencial hypocritical imaginary character is losing ground to the non-religious and we are all better for it.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Maryann Rose - Orlando FL

      Ummmm.....NO.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      I agree with Paul. The Roman Empire, prior to Constantine, was tolerant of all religions except Christianity. Why? Because Christians would not pay homage to the genius of the Emperor. Therefore, they were executed. The way I see it, on one level, we may just be going back to a pre-Constantine day that says, we are tolerant of all religions because they all bow a knee to everything, but we are not tolerant of Christians, because they claim there is only one God. How far will our legal governmental system go to disconnect itself from the prinicples that at one time made it great?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      What principles would that be MJ?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      That would be the Judeo-Christian principles as found in the Torah and the New Testament. If I shaped it into a smaller context, it would be the 10 Commandment along with many of the prohibitions that our laws are based, and then an interpretation of many of those we find in Matthew, chapter 5-7 which is where Jesus presents a new interpretation of that Torah.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Ellid

      I hate to tell you this, but Emperor Constantine wasn't baptized until his deathbed. He supported Christianity for political reasons, not out of religious conviction, as can be seen from his use of coinage referencing the cult of Sol Invictus, the sun god equivalent to Apollo.

      Not only that, the state Christian church was abolished by Emperor Julian a few generations later. Had Julian not been killed in battle shortly into his reign, Christianity at best have been only one cult among the many of the Roman Empire.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • CNN Junkie

      Its infuriarating to see some people of Christian faith which is the majority religion in the US crib and moan about how hard it is. If you people were given free rein you would be no better than Hi!ler – killing all Jews, Hindus and Muslims. Being a minority in this country is tough but due to the separation of church and state, one can manage.
      When you make accusations that it is difficult for Christians vs. other religions provide specific examples where Christians were denied something that other religions were allowed. Do you see any Muslim groups in public colleges having the ability to disallow membership based on not having Muslim faith? Let me know if you see any...

      June 28, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      I am sure, you are not telling me anything I don't know. I am not talking about Constantine's faith personally, I am speaking about the persecution Christians suffered at the hands of the Empire prior to him changing the laws to protect Christians and not have them killed, murdered, sacrificed etc... The point I made has not changed, prior to Constantine one had to bow their knee to the Emperor or die. Christians would not. Furthermore, this is not about take it or leave it Christian faith, there will be a time where Christians again will have to sacrifice much in order to show the truth we proclaim is the eternal truth. In this postmodern world where you feel your truth is the same as mine and on equal basis...well, it is just a return to that which already was prior to those laws changing under Constantine. Was he a loyal member to the way of Christ or just in it politically? You decide. What I am saying is the Christian Truth is both inclusive (those who come to Christ and believe) and exclusive – those who refuse to believe and come in. Intolerance will always come against the Christian. Christianity is the Center of Gravity that made if possible for a democracy like ours.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • bogus info

      http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html
      excerpt
      "The 1796 treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was "in no sense founded on the Christian religion" (see below). This was not an idle statement, meant to satisfy muslims– they believed it and meant it. This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams."

      June 28, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      Hypocrisy is saying you believe the Bible which says, "You cannot serve God and mammon (money)" but yet you want a group which limits is membership to those who believe as they do and who support marriage to receive public funds. Which one is it? Either God is going to provide or you will have to open your membership to everyone to receive funding. I don't understand why Christians fight so hard to get the financial benefits of society, including Not-For-Profit status, but don't want to follow the requirements to get it.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Gregg S

      COLIN is an imaginary character.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      MJ, Thomas Jefferson said "Christianity neither is nor ever was a part of the common law." I will defer to Jefferson.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Law Student

      I assume Paul that by stating: "Would you expect anything less form a Ca law school and liberal S. Ct. Justices", you are stating that Republicans are liberals. Currently on the high-court, 6 of the 9 justices have been placed there by Republican presidents. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, and Stevens.

      Furthermore, one of the foremost legal thinkers in the history of the law and the most cited in current law (and a conservative), Richard Posner, rated all the SOTUS judges since 1937 based on their rulings from most conservative to liberal. 4 out of the top 5 most conservative judges are currently on the court. Only one current justice is currently on the court that is in the top 10 most liberal: #9 Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Check it out: http://politics.usnews.com/news/national/articles/2008/05/12/ranking-the-politics-of-supreme-court-justices.html

      So are Republican presidents liberals or are you misinformed?

      June 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alverant

      Paul, in case you forgot it's the christian groups demanding special rights, not other religions in this country.

      MJ I couldn't help but notice you never listed any specific christian values used in founding this nation. I've read your bible, there was no mention of important American values like democracy, equal rights, freedom of religion, etc. In fact christianity was dead set against those values.

      On other thing, the Roman Empire would have tolerated christianity if they gave tribute to the roman gods. You know like how christians demand the rest of us to pay tribute through tax exempt status, the Pledge of Allegiance, and so on. I guess it's only OK if you're christian.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alex

    When people call liberals "libtards," it's hard to take them seriously. Rather, I envision someone who is lacking teeth and a serious education.

    Daniel, I am glad that the Christian faith is losing ground. It should.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Kind of like those that call people "teabaggers"? I'm not religious but I would never be pompous enough to declare that the Christian faith is or should be losing ground. There is such a lack of tolerance all around.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Chris, I would never use the term teabagger. It's not in my vocabulary, but I have teeth and an education. 😉

      I'm sorry you feel that way. I am an atheist, and love that Christianity is losing ground. Sorry, but I'd be lying if I said otherwise.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      Chris, they actually named themselves that. That is not something that was invented for the sole purpose of ad hominem attacks.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      Alex,
      Of what use is an education that does not compel you to really take in the grandeur of this entire universe and still think that there is no maker?
      The problem in the US is the extreme stance that the left and the right have taken regarding Christianity. Its unfortunate that the essence of Christ's teachings are lost due to the rigid stance taken by both parties and the doctrine that is ingrained into the young folks of this country.
      PS – I am educated too (a PhD in the sciences)

      June 28, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Einherion

      and why should christianity lose ground?
      sigh, i feel i waste my time yet proverbs 26:4-5 compeles me.
      what the point of your evangellical atheism? you dont belive, so why do you care. i dont believe in bigfoot, yet i dont wish for all bigfoot hunters to come to their senses. same for ghosts, i dont belive so i dont care. if you truly did not believe you would not care.

      mull this over, ye mighty and educated : the opposite of love is not hate, its indifference. its the indifference you feel when an ex starts dating again that you know you are over her.

      you may try to forgett God, but he willnot forget you.
      ill pray for your soul

      June 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrickc3000

      If you really believed that there is nothing out there, you wouldn't need an abandonment of religion by everybody else around you to confirm the validity of your beliefs.

      As far as this article is concerned, I guess they need to get rid of the Black club, the Hispanic club, the Muslim club, and the Gay club. They're all discriminatory as well, by definition.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Opinions

      Alex, the Christian faith will never 'lose ground' you can count on that. That being said, its probably a good idea for that particular organization to collect funds on their own and thereby gain recognition. Their story made it to CNN, so they are already being helped.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alverant

      Einherion it matters because the christian groups are demanding special rights they would not give to others. They want to take public money and use it to promote their religion. That's a violation of the first amendment prohibition of establishment of one religion over others. Wouldn't you be upset if the bigfoot group got YOUR money?

      June 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • TurdFurgason

      Actually, christianity HAS lost a lot of ground. Numerous articles and reports from reputable organizations has shown the statistics of the decline in church attendance. Some even indicating that it will be all but gone as early as 20 years from now...

      I sure hope this is true. The sooner, the better.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    I disagree with ruling, but I also disagree with the ideals of this group. As Christians we're supposed to love everyone, just like God. it's really sad to see Christianity falling so rapidly...

    June 28, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      It's a good day in history when people stop believing in an imaginary character. Another good day when stop having any sort of significant influence over politics or education. Thankfully those days are drawing closer.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Einherion

      Colin, colin, colin.... did your podunk mama teach you everthign you know? cause it is universally accepted that christ was a living historical figure. even those who deny his Son of God status and Messiah standing acknolodge his historical relevance.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregg S

      Colin,
      You're only able to have your say, and walk the ground alive, in a free country with laws and values because of the efforts of countless people that came before you, many or most of whom had very strong life-altering convictions about "imaginary" characters. Without which faith the accompanying values and morality of the world would have been so vastly dark and empty that chances are you and I would not have been born to trade words with one another at all. To disqualify the immeasurable good and light that faith has brought into the world in favor of harping only on the negative and the darkness is a logical fallacy, and rather shallow from an intellectual standpoint if ultimate truth really is your goal.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Gregg,

      To want to believe in an ultimate truth is so silly and shallow. Your need for one Absolute answer that divines the essence of truth, justice, beauty, liberty, freedom, etc., is just a sign of weakness on your part.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregg S

      Hi Rich,
      Thanks for the comment. I'm probably not qualified to comment on "justice, beauty, liberty, freedom, etc.", or at least just not in the mood to try which is why you find no reference to those in my post. Rather, I was commenting to Colin that if intellectual discourse in search of truth, and especially historical truth in this case is his goal, he should be careful to examine ALL the facts, and not just use his notes from 'bad religion 101' class as his traveling guide. Sorry I wasn't more clear, that's what 50k and graduating in the top 10% of your university will get you. Good luck finding a job for yourself after you finish high school...

      June 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      Well Gregg, Christ was never proven to exist as a person. If you say otherwise provide cited, studied examples (actually factual literal proof) of his existence. You will find none, other than people claiming otherwise. You mention logical fallacy like it legitimizes what you're saying, when in fact the mere use of it in your case simply backfires because the simple belief in a supersticious character is a logical fallacy in itself. It's quite sad really (for you) when you look at studies like this: http://religions.pewforum.org/reports that show the ever gaining decline of your 'faith.' In another 50 years it will be demarginilized to a small sect of the population. Too bad for you and your self delusion.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregg S

      Hi Colin,
      You make this easy. First your denial of Christ's existence is not important to me in this discussion. It's not healthy, as the historical evidence screams against you, but understandable as you've talked yourself into filtering data to support an extreme denial. That's okay. What interests me is your note that Christianity is on the decline along with links to back that up. Okay...and? The fact that you throw that out there is a fallacy itself. Faith is faith. God is God. My faith, and God's existence won't be diminished by the popularity or unpopularity of "Christianity" or "organized religion". Fallacy #2, you unwittingly made a strong case for Biblical faith as the Bible prophecizes that there indeed WILL come a time when men will turn from God. Is that considered that a "point backfire?" The Bible also states that that there is a way that seems right to man, but that the path is narrow and few will find it. I encourage you to read what else it has to say about the future, sounds like we may agree on something. Good reading.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      Sorry but I totally agree with the ruling. I really don't understand why this group is crying about it so much. The Black club, hispanic club, even the gay club all allow anyone into their clubs. Only people that share their views are going to join these clubs. A neo nazi is not going to join the gay club. Rather than say you have to sign this pledge of theirs, all you have to say is that you promote it. Look, people are not going to join clubs they are not wanted it.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Doc

    I thought christians are not supposed to sue?

    June 28, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      Christians are not suppose to take one-another to court. However, I am sure that has been done. We all need to put into practice to walk as we claim to be. If I claim to be a Christian, but my rights to practice this faith is undermined by the intolerance of those who claim to be tolerant, then I can sue for the right to be heard, and present my case. Christianity is only exclusive because we say there is only one way in, the Cross. It is inclusive to all those who enter into that way. That is why in the first century, before Christians were called Christians, they were called, "Those of the Way."

      June 28, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Gregg S

      No, Christian's are not supposed to name their kids Sue. Duh! : -)

      June 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DocBlogger

    The problem with some of the judges is, they thank god for their appointment, and feel that they have a duty to return favor to god. Perhaps they don't have confidence in their own abilities to get to judgeship. Maybe, I rest my case.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. joe sixpack

    Wow, what a shame,you god less heathens! Why would ppl who aren't christian want to join a christian group anyway?o yeah, to cause problems like this!

    June 28, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      just because some one does not believe in god does not mean they are terrible people.... we still have morals you know. Why would they want to join? No clue. But they should be able to. Maybe they wanted to see what it was about. Maybe they had an OPEN MIND

      June 28, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I fail to see how non-christians can claim to have morals. Morals are derived from religious (Doesn't matter what religion) beliefs. If an "athiest" says he/she has morals, they have to get them from somewhere. I believe that there are no athiests. They all have a "god". Usually it is themselves, and their own perceived morality based on their own religious beliefs that they are their own god. If no God exists, then there are NO morals, only survival of the fittest.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      I have started some Pagan groups – only to have Christians join and wreak havock, bullying and proselytizeing to the point we had to close the group.
      "Christian Morals" – what an oxymoron.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Bob... Morals are not derived from Religion. You don't have to worship anything to be a decent person. Now, maybe YOU are only a decent person because you fear the punishment of some imaginary old man in the sky, but many people are decent, good people because that is just who they are, because it is the right thing to do.
      Many morals and morality tales come from Philosophy, not religion. Aesop was a Pagan and is considered a main source of Moral teaching. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesop's_Fables)

      June 28, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • stejo

      so Bob, all non-christians are atheists? Father Abraham would beg to differ with you.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • tgmee

      Despite the narrow view of Christianity that some have, I know very devote Christian people who are also gay that might be interested in joining this club. They should not be able to discriminate.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      Bob, you do not need a God to have morals. Morals do not have to come from him. CS Lewis, one of the great Christian authors wrote a book called Meer Christianity. I really just started reading it but he talks about something called natural law. That would be humans having an innate feeling about what is right and wrong, fair and unfair. Like I said, I just started reading the book and considering who wrote it I'm sure he'll tie it to faith one way or another, but that's not the point. the point is people know by themselves what is right and wrong. It's as natural as breathing and you don't need a God or a book to tell you what it is.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. OHVillager

    Does that mean that Gay Rights groups have to admit people that don't argee with their lifestyle? Or the NAACP has to admit memebers of the Klan or Aryan Brotherhood? Or the Aryan Brotherhood has to admit people of color?
    It seems with the Freedoms we have, one is to associate with people we want to associate with.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      It means exactly that. The gay groups on campus have to be open to everyone, including bigots like you and the religious right. And now we have an even playing field; atheists can belong to the Chrisitan groups. It seems reasonable to me.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Maryann Rose - Orlando FL

      @OHvillager: If they get PUBLIC money, then yes.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • JohnQuest

      OHVillager, if they are seeking official recognition then Yes that have to and open door policy, if people decide on their own not to join that is another story.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Only if they want to have groups on the campus of that Public University. Private Groups in Private Homes can do anything they want.
      Public groups in Public forums can not discriminate.
      The Pagan Student Alliance can not deny a Christian membership and still be an Official University group. What do you think makes a Christian group so special that it should be able to deny membership??

      June 28, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      If they want to be an official club at a public university, then yes they do...

      June 28, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • OHVillager

      @Dave, How does asking a question make me a bigot or of any religious persuasion? Do Soccer groups HAVE to admit people that hate soccer? That seems like it could be very disruptive.
      Does the University fund these groups? Are any Public funds involved?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Taylor

    The student group was discriminating against people who wanted to join the group. That is not allowed at this school, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with religion. Any other group that did the same thing would have had the same outcome.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      Yes it does. But, one thought about allowing individuals into this religious organization. Maybe, exposure to truth spoken consistently in love and fairness would lead those wanting to check out this organization & become a "real" member. I do not know the policies or membership goals and vision of this Christian organization, but, I believe that presentation of the truth will influence and shape all who hear. On the other hand, unless one wanted to be a real part of this group for its mission and goals why would they want to be part of it? Why would a small number of people push to become part of a truth they don't agree? This truth, at least of a Christian group, is that Christ Jesus is the very Son of God. So, let a person come in, but don't force them to stay, As long as they are not being disruptive, but participating according to the goals of that group. Maybe, the organization's goals are to do something different, but my goals when I have a platform to share will always be to present the truth to anyone who will hear. It is that truth which will transform a person's life.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Horvath

    Ah, yes, freedom of speech and expression, denied to the Christian. I am not surprised.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • alan

      This group can speak and express all they want, they just don't get to be "officially recognized" as a student group of that particular college because they discriminate based on religion. It's really simple, and it isn't preventing the group from meeting or speaking in any way.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      How is their freedom of speech being denied?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      "freedom of speech and expression, denied to the Christian.", like that could ever happen. Christians are some of the biggest mouths in the States. If you want to see Christians in action just look to the GOP.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • matt

      hateful christers denied right to discriminate while taking public funds.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • stejo

      so, it's okay for them to stifle the free speech of anyone who doesn't agree with them, yet wishes to join their public university student group, but if they are required to allow kids with opposing views into their group, that's stifling their (the group's) freedom of speech? Please clarify

      June 28, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. Amom

    Thank You NRA and 2nd Amendment rights.I'm glad that your here for us.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. gary

    Daniel,
    This nation was founded on Protestant beliefs not Christian and there is also a seperation of church and state.
    Also the reason they can not be recognized is that they are discriminating against people just becuase they dont share their beliefs. Not how America works.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      You're wrong Gary. It was not founded on any religious beliefs. Try reading about the Treaty of Tripoli where it is pecifically stated (and signed by the president) that it is not a religious nation. Here, Ill help you. Read the fourth paragraph (and the entire article if you like) at the start of the page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

      "The first treaty is cited as historical evidence in the modern day controversy over whether there was religious intent by the founders of the United States government. Article 11 of the first treaty has been interpreted as an official denial of a Christian basis for the U.S. government."

      June 28, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Gary, Protestant is part of what religion?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Ranquen

      Franklin D. Roosevelt described the United States as “the lasting concord between men and nations, founded on the principles of Christianity.”

      June 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alverant

      Ranquen just because FDR said it, doesn't make it true. Many christians claim this nation was founded upon christian values. But I never heard of one giving specific examples of such values. Quite the contrary, democracy and freedom are two American values that are anti-christian given the behavior of most christians up to 1776.

      June 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    There's a reason for separation of Church and State. "Pagan University"? No.. Secular. Pagan is another religion altogether.

    June 28, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
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