two of my worlds collide

you must check out this blog (from SCOTUS – what we law school nerds lovingly call the Supreme Court of the United States)…

a little excerpt:

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether it is unconstitutional for a state-run college to exclude from official status a student religious group that limits its officers and voting members to those who accept its religious beliefs.  The case involves a student group at a public law school, Hastings, in San Francisco. The case is Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (08-1371).

i know much of the backstory in this case, and honestly, it’s quite sad to me.  a few years ago, a religious group (a CHRISTIAN group) on hastings’ campus did not allow as voting members (basically, did not welcome as attendees) those who admitted to engaging in certain acts/lifestyles (which i can only assume are acts the christian group considers “worse” than others), such as extramarital sex & homosexuality, among others.

personally, i think the christian group was in the wrong here – legally & morally.  first, they violated the schools’ antidiscrimination policy, and they were validly kicked off campus.  second, what a sad story to have a christian group on a campus that desperately needs to hear the gospel be turning away potentially all if not most of the student body from membership?!  i only wish christian groups were more inclusive.  shouldn’t we, as christians, be welcoming to those  with ongoing sin in their lives (because, really, aren’t we all full of sin & selfishness)?  shouldn’t we be standing with open arms (and open eyes) to ALL people, regardless of how scary this may seem?

here’s another excerpt from the christian legal society’s site:

The CLS chapter asked school officials in early September 2004 to exempt the group and other religious student organizations from the religion and sexual orientation portions of the university’s nondiscrimination policy. As applied to CLS, this nondiscrimination policy would force the chapter to allow persons who hold beliefs and engage in conduct contrary to the CLS Statement of Faith, which includes a prohibition on extramarital sex, to join as voting members and to run for officer positions. School officials denied this request and stripped the chapter of recognition and the benefits of recognition, including student activity fee funding.

In its lawsuit CLS alleges that UC Hastings’ exclusion of its chapter violates, among other constitutional rights, CLS’ right of expressive association and CLS’ right to be free from viewpoint discrimination.

CLS argues that is a violation of the right of expressive association to force a religious student organization to accept officers and voting members who hold beliefs and engage in conduct in opposition to the group’s shared viewpoints, thereby inhibiting the group’s ability to define and express its message.

the saddest part of it all is that after the christian group in this lawsuit was kicked off campus, it took at least four years for another christian group to get the courage to continue meeting at hastings.  i’m only assuming that this was due, in part, to the fact that christians now have a horrible reputation on our campus.

in san francisco, i have seen christians who act exactly like this group (closed-minded, exclusionary, upright rude), and i have also seen some of the most welcoming, genuine, purely-focused  followers of christ than anywhere else i have lived.  this will be one of the marvelous lessons i learn from this city – to be humble, always seeking to fully acknowledge my own sin so that i can better reach out and be a light to those around me.

xoxo

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One Response

  1. very valid and true point, I couldn’t agree more. If we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus we have to live and love as Jesus loved.

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