By Jerry Guiltner
California has come to be known as “the left coast.” There is a reason for that. The government, most of its leadership and a host of citizens lean left politically. So far left that they are now going after faith-based colleges and universities for calling what they term “wrong views.”
On June 18, 2016, World Net Daily (WND) posted a story on the Internet saying the state legislature is ready to advance legislation that “could open Christian and other religious schools to a blizzard of lawsuits.” That indeed is a chilling thought.
Greg Corombos wrote, “California state lawmakers are poised to advance legislation they say will promote greater equality at the state’s colleges and universities, but religious freedom advocates say it’s just another attempt to advance the LGBT agenda by removing the ability of schools to determine their own criteria for selecting students and personnel and establishing codes of conduct.”
SB 1146, would amend the California Equity in Higher Education Act, or EHEA. In its current form, the statute forbids discrimination based on religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. But it also contains an exemption for religious colleges and universities. SB 1146 would change that.
According to Gregory Baylor, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel, who also directs the group’s Religious Schools Team, the problems with this are obvious.
Baylor says, “In essence, it restricts freedom of Christ-centered institutions of higher education in California that participate in the state tuition assistance program known as Cal Grants.”
In addition, Baylor believes removing the exemption could open Christian and other religious schools to a bevy of lawsuits.
“This is a very serious problem for these religious institutions that want to maintain their religious character by what they do and who comprises their communities,” said Baylor.
The California State Senate has already passed SB 1146. And “Baylor says a series of committee meetings are scheduled in the State Assembly.”
He further states that if SB 1146 does become law, he expects legal challenges to follow soon after.
Evangelist Franklin Graham weighed in on the issue posting a short article on his Facebook page. Graham cites seven things faith-based institutions other than seminaries would be required to do. Here are the seven bullet-points faith-based institutions would not be able to do:
- No longer be able to require a profession of faith from their students.
- Not be able to require Biblical courses or offer pastoral care.
- Not be able to integrate faith into the teaching curriculum.
- Not be able to require students to attend chapel.
- Not be able to lead faith-based community service programs for their athletic programs.
- Be forced (to) follow the state’s bathroom laws, allowing students to use the restroom of their gender identity rather than biological sex.
- Be required to allow clubs to operate on campus that do not align with biblical teaching and tenant of the faith (such as LGBT).
Graham summed up the legislation saying, “In effect, we would no longer have Christian universities in this state – and unfortunately this secularism is like an evil plague that spreads. Everything bearing the Name of God or His Son Jesus Christ is being targeted today.”
This is another attempt of men to make religious institutions conform to their wishes using what may sound good, but is not. It is another “in your face” confrontation against Christians.
The Bible tells us that, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts” (Prov. 21:2). What man thinks is “right” often is “wrong.”