July 7, 2010

Permissible Discrimination

Justin Katz

Following up on a story that I mentioned a month ago:

An ideologically split Supreme Court ruled Monday that a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join, with one justice saying that the First Amendment does not require a public university to validate or support the group's "discriminatory practices."

The court turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law. The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and regards "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle" as being inconsistent with that faith.

As with tax exemptions and the like, my preference is for religious and other groups to remain free of the government's (or university's) financial thumb. Still, one suspects that this policy will not be (is probably not being) universally applied in an objective way — along the reasoning that it's not discrimination to discriminate against those who discriminate in ways that the dominant culture doesn't like. One also suspects, however, that few Christians and other cultural conservatives will be inclined to test the ruling's application by striving to infiltrate and undermine the principles of liberally minded student groups, as appears to have been an issue in the other direction in the case at hand.

That might make for an interesting project, though, for politically conservative students: Join a radical environmental group in large numbers, claim its offices, and reverse its statements of finding and principle. Such dishonest subversion isn't something that I'd encourage, but it sure would be entertaining to watch as a spectator.

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NO ONE, including the S.Court is saying the CLS can not exclude gays...just that if they want to do so they can't expect funding from the public university...seems fair and quit logical to me, just as it did to the Court.

Posted by: vocino at July 7, 2010 7:16 PM

Right. To receive official recognition, they just have accept members who disavow the very principles that define the group, even allowing them to hold offices and so on, as has apparently happened to similar Christian groups on the same campus in the past.

As I said, though, we'll wait and see whether the same rule applies if conservative religious students join some culturally left-wing organization, take it over, and reverse its principles. And if equal treatment does obtain, it'll be quite a scene we'll have created for young adults, in which no student group is safe from infiltration and subversion — especially those that represent ideological minorities.

Posted by: Justin Katz at July 7, 2010 7:34 PM

I guess Larry Craig or the Log Cabin Republicans types of examples of this phenom. But Chris Young is running for Mayor as a Democrat so that qualifies too.

Posted by: Swazoo at July 7, 2010 8:15 PM

Log Cabin Republicans are nothing like what I'm talking about. At issue with the Christian law school group is their ability to form a club in which they can comfortably discuss and explore their common academic experiences in light of their faith without having others deliberately subvert the group. Log Cabins would be more akin to the formation of a second Christian group with somewhat more liberal social views and requirements, but with which the conservatives work and associate when they share common ground.

Posted by: Justin Katz at July 7, 2010 8:22 PM

Sure Justin,
There are no similarities what so ever.

Posted by: Swazool at July 7, 2010 9:45 PM

Someone in this thread said, "That might make for an interesting project, though, for politically conservative students: Join a radical environmental group in large numbers, claim its offices, and reverse its statements of finding and principle." That someone must live in Never-Never land to think that conservative students exist in large numbers in many schools. They might be able to pull it off at Bob Jones University or some similar institution, but then again, they wouldn't allow radical students in in the first place.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at July 8, 2010 1:06 AM

OTL-most conservative students on major campuses(and smaller ones like RIC)keep their opinions below the radar because of the intolerant left wing a**holes who run academia today.When one has to pay the price in grade points and being browbeaten,it isn't worth it for many.After all,a low grade can wreck future career plans.The left wing academic commissars have no conscience.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 8, 2010 2:14 AM

Mr Bernstein
"conservative students on major campuses keep their opinions below the radar because of the intolerant left wing a**holes"

The URI and Roger Williams College Republicans, "White Heterosexual Male
Schoolarship" made National Headlines.

Hardly "under the radar"

Posted by: Sammy at July 8, 2010 11:42 AM

Get serious,okay?It was three or four people and they were harrassed over it.Check out the plethora of extreme leftist groups at Brown,or much more seriously the School of Social Work at RIC,a taxpayer funded institution where it was explicitly stated byt he faculty that no openly conservative would be welcome in their program.
The universities are,in the non-science,non-engineering programs, held in bondage by leftist operatives,many from my generation and some younger acolytes.They use political correctness and suppression of free speech combined with threats to stifle any opposition to their doctrinaire positions.
Yet you find a stunt by a few kids to be worse.Whew!!

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 8, 2010 12:31 PM

Come on, you might as well just admit that your prejudices are showing. ACORN was brought down because of the intolerant a**holes from the opposite side of the political spectrum and you never said a mumblin' word. It'll be interesting to hear you explain the difference. Try doing so with more reason and less emotion.
Your Pal,

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at July 8, 2010 1:18 PM

To begin with,ACORN had nothing to do with institutions of higher learning.
Anyhow,I'm glad ACORN was brought down.
ACORN was a corrupt organization involved in voter fraud embezzlement.They were Alinskyites,and I oppose Alinskyites wherever they pop up.
Check out David Horowitz-he made the whole trip,and writes well about it.
A book called "The Shadow University"whose author I don't recall at the moment was also interesting.
My college experience,which took 10 years,with almost 5 years out for the service,was quite different.I had a lot of good professors,many with extensive real world experience.City University of NY.Hunter College and John Jay College.Criminal justice and history majors completed with minors in zoology and geography.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 8, 2010 3:46 PM
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