Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Liberty From Religion

Three stories show us what "diversity" and "toleration" often mean to the religious Left, and to the bureaucratic powers that be:

In sunny California:

Chuck and Stephanie Fromm already have been fined $300 for holding Bible studies for their friends at their home, and they face the potential for additional fines of $500 for each study held, according to a legal team taking their case to court.

The newest conflict over Bible studies in homes in America arose in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where city officials say city code section 9-3.301 prohibits religious organizations in residential neighborhoods without a conditional-use permit, a sometimes very expensive procedure.

Meanwhile at Vanderbilt University:

Vanderbilt University's Office of Religious Life quietly deferred its annual approval of several mostly conservative Christian organizations.

Groups affected included the Christian Legal Society, InterVarsity and the graduate chapter of Campus Crusade. These organizations face an uncertain future because of a new policy that prohibits religious organizations from requiring that their leaders share the same beliefs and goals of the organizations they seek to lead. The policy goes one step further by hamstringing Bible studies.

According to a letter from the acting director of the Office of Religious Life, Bible studies are suspect because they "would seem to indicate that officers are expected to hold certain beliefs.'' The letter goes on to explain: "Vanderbilt policies do not allow this expectation/qualification for officers.''

(Thanks to Phi-Beta-Cons )

Meanwhile, Drudge posted this story, about a boy who was suspended from school for saying that homosexuality is immoral.

Categories > Religion

Discussions - 5 Comments

I may be wrong, but as far as the California story, I believe that King James also prohibited private worship in homes by those who did not conform to the Church of England. This, of course, led the Pilgrims to first go to Leiden in Holland, before some emigrated to America.

So I'm glad to see that we have come nearly full circle as far as authoritarianism and penalties for failing to worship the official state religion goes. What's next from today's modern Stuarts--arguments for the divine right of kings?

I'm afraid nothing will change unless the Right becomes as militant as the Left. You'll notice how utterly successful the Tea Party has been -- using (toned-down) tactics of the Left has become the new "normal." It's about the only way to get things done. You have to stomp and fret like children to get noticed in this country, and the alternative is to be victimized.

I guess the incorrect liberal view of "separation of church and state" does apply in the case of the couple from California.

The first case does indeed sound problematic. They should be able to hold such Bible studies, of course. Not surprisingly, the LA Times had more pertinent info than that found on the absurd World Net Daily:

"City spokeswoman Cathy Salcedo declined to be interviewed by The Times. But in a brief email, she was emphatic the city does not prohibit home Bible studies.
Instead, the Fromms' case, she wrote, is about when a residential area has been transformed into a place where people regularly assemble.

"The Fromm case further involves regular meetings on Sunday mornings and Thursday afternoons with up to 50 persons, with impacts on the residential neighborhood on street access and parking," she wrote."

If your Muslim neighbor (haha) started holding prayer services in his home, I'd bet a dollar your view would become more nuanced on such matters. What I suspect is going on in San Juan Cap. is a neighbor is irked by parking or traffic or that the Bible scholar didn't loan him his lawn mower or something of that nature that neighbors spat about, and the feud took this new turn.

If the Cali. case teaches us about the religious Left, what does this case of church-or-prison say about the religious Right?

Could it not be seen as government promotion of Christianity? (probably a bad idea for both government and Christianity)

In the second case, it certainly does seem ridiculous to enact a policy "that prohibits religious organizations from requiring that their leaders share the same beliefs and goals of the organizations they seek to lead."

That's almost akin to putting Tea Party candidates ("Government is not the solution, it's the problem!") in charge of... the government.

The 3rd story - oh brother, Drudge?? - sounds like a teacher had a bad day and took it out on the wrong kid. It will be interesting to see how that one turns out - assuming that Drudge and Fox didn't just do some James O'Keefe-style "reporting" and it's all b.s.

And here, Redwald, since I was just re-reading this:

"2. Give up the conservative culture of victimhood."

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