Phi Beta Cons

My Thoughts on CLS v. Martinez

Should campus groups be able to limit membership only to those who share a set of beliefs? Put it that way and the matter seems pretty innocuous. Ah, but if you state that in a pejorative way — should they be allowed to discriminate against those who don’t share a set of beliefs? — then alarm bells go off in the academic world, because discrimination is contrary to the cherished notion that all groups must be “diverse.” And if it is a Christian group doing the discriminating, add flashing lights and sirens to the alarm bells.

In today’s Pope Center piece, I comment on the recently argued case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.

Even if five members of the Court have swallowed the diversity Kool-Aid and eventually decide against CLS and its First Amendment arguments, that doesn’t mean that universities have to go along with the diversity uber alles approach of Hasting Law School. College officials can and should recognize that there is nothing harmful in letting campus groups set standards for membership.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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