Phi Beta Cons

UNC-Greensboro Declares Christianity Not a Religion

A 2010 Supreme Court case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, is beginning to wreak havoc with the accepted standard (and the First Amendment right to free assembly) that student organizations can restrict membership and leadership roles to those who accept their basic beliefs. Just a few weeks after the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened a task force to explore eliminating the right to exclude non-believers, a second UNC school has started down that path. At UNC-Greensboro, the administration has determined that a Christian student club isn’t really religious and “therefore must allow students of other religions and belief systems to become leaders and members as a condition to being a recognized group.” (There is also this situation going on over at Vanderbilt.)

The Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit on behalf of the UNC-Greensboro student group Make Up Your Own Mind.  “Saying that a Christian club isn’t religious is flatly absurd,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.  Perhaps Make Up Your Own Mind v. UNC-Greensboro will clarify the matter more sensibly.

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