The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is being sued after demanding that a Christian organization permit “atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies” in order to be recognized on campus.
While the school officials declined to comment on the situation, the Alliance Defending Freedom stated that: “The university refused to grant Ratio Christi registered status because it only allows those who share and personally hold beliefs consistent with the group’s mission to serve as its leaders.”
“As a Christian apologetics organization, Ratio Christi seeks to defend the Christian faith and explain how the Bible applies to various current cultural, ethical, and political issues. Any student can attend its events. Any student of any faith can become a member of Ratio Christi, as long as he supports the group’s purpose. But Ratio Christi requires that those who lead the Christian organization must share its religious beliefs. As a result, the university has denied it registered status, limiting its access to funding, meeting and event space, and administrative support,” said the legal team.
The lawsuit disputes the school’s belief that it can refuse registered status to groups if they choose leaders that agree with the group’s religious outlooks.
Additionally, it notes other biased actions by the school against the Christian group, including that “non-religious groups are allowed to select members who support their purposes. And the university allows fraternities that admit only men and sororities that admit only women to continue as registered student organizations, in contradiction to the university’s policy against ‘discriminating based on sex.'”
Director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, said that regardless of “claiming inclusiveness and diversity as its core values, the University of Colorado is failing to foster real diversity of thought and is, instead, discriminating against a Christian group based on its beliefs.”
“Today’s university students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, university presidents, and voters, but at the University of Colorado, students are learning the wrong message: that government can dictate who can lead certain student groups,” he stated. “It’s vital that public universities model the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students.”
According to WorldNetDaily, the filing is on behalf of Ratio Christi, Brian Blevins, Kayla Callender, Joshua Stoll and Emily Danis.
The filing discloses: “The First Amendment dictates that the ‘marketplace of ideas’ on a public university cannot prefer some viewpoints and cannot exile or denigrate others. It dictates that the government cannot force a religious organization to appoint as a leader someone who does not share that organization’s beliefs or to accept as a member someone who does not support its mission. Nor can the government force citizens to choose between exercising their constitutional rights on the one hand and participating in government-run programs on the other.”
Once school officials declined to register Christi “because this religious organization seeks to ensure that its leaders share its beliefs and that its members support its mission,” the bias became evident.
The case alleges that, through its practices, the school is supporting anti-Christian groups over Christian groups.
“This action is premised on the United States Constitution and concerns denial of plaintiffs’ fundamental and clearly established rights under the First Amendment.”
The complaint alleges that the school is requiring its students to pay activities fees while wrongfully depriving them of their use.
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