Tag Archive: politics

Amy Hall, of Stand to Reason, reports in her article “Cal State Universities Derecognize InterVarsity Clubs,”

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s requirement that leaders in their campus clubs be Christian has been declared unacceptable discrimination by the Cal State University system. The clubs were told they must cease enforcing their requirement that leaders hold Christian beliefs. InterVarsity declined, and after a one-year exemption period, the 23 university campuses in the Cal State system “derecognized” InterVarsity. This means the clubs no longer have free access to campus meeting rooms, nor can they receive student activity money, participate in student fairs, or use the university name in the name of their clubs.

Reread that first sentence: Intervarsity, a Christian campus ministry, is being derecognized by the Cal State University system because they won’t consider leadership applications from those who are not Christians.  This is deemed unacceptable discrimination.

Hall continues,

It seems obvious to me that a Christian club choosing Christian leaders is legitimate religious discrimination. It should seem equally obvious that kicking out any Christian group that doesn’t conform to the administration’s ideas of the right kind of theology is illegitimate religious discrimination, and yet there we are.

I suppose it’s possible that this ridiculous situation is merely the result of a bureaucratic inability to make a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate discrimination rather than a targeted strategy to remove religious groups from campuses. But if that were the case, wouldn’t they also “derecognize” every fraternity and sorority on campus? After all, those clubs discriminate on the basis of gender, something clearly frowned upon in the university, so if no distinction can be made between legitimate and illegitimate discrimination, that should be it for the Greek system. But surprise, surprise, fraternities and sororities are exempted from this new non-discrimination policy, making this situation look less like a poorly reasoned principled decision and more like an excuse to excise “the wrong kind” of religious groups.

(See the rest of this article at the STR blog here: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2014/09/cal-state-universities-derecognize-intervarsity-clubs.html)

So how does one distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate discrimination? Or is discrimination always wrong?

Merriam-Webster defines discrimination in these ways:

: the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people

: the ability to recognize the difference between things that are of good quality and those that are not

: the ability to understand that one thing is different from another thing

By these definitions, clearly the first describes a morally negative condition, but the other two are not. Most often, when people use the word discrimination, they are using it in the sense of the first definition, and they forget the other definitions.  But I’m not just playing a word game here; even if we aren’t using the word as defined by the second or third definition, we still know and live by the concepts in a common-sense way. Let me give some examples of what I consider to be appropriate discrimination (and you probably will too).

When I committed myself to my wife in marriage, I began discriminating against every other person in the world by promising exclusive faithfulness to her.

If some life-threatening disaster occurred in which my family amid a larger group could be saved, yet I could only save a small group, I would discriminate in favor of my family.

If a Hollywood production decided to make a movie depicting the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., the casting crew would racially discriminate in favor of a black man to play the role of Dr. King.

Sororities and fraternities engage in appropriate discrimination when they disallow membership based on gender.

Religious clubs and other organizations discriminate in favor of members of the same religion when appointing leaders within that organization.

Of course, I saved for last the one that is the point of the discussion at hand. Is Intervarsity guilty of discrimination in their leadership appointment? Absolutely. Is it discrimination in which a group is unfairly treated differently than another group? Absolutely not. If Intervarsity dismissed from consideration for leadership in the student club applications based on gender, or body features (eye color, hair color, etc.), or ethnicity, then there would be grounds for a complaint of illicit discrimination. But of course that’s not what is happening here, is it? This student club, whose reason for existence is based on Christian beliefs and dedicated to the spread of the same, is being required to give equal weight in deciding the leadership to atheists, agnostics, muslims, hindus, whatever. If this was, say, a chess club, then that would make sense. Yet to assign in leadership of a religious club someone who may be completely opposed to that religion is to undermine the goals, effectiveness, and perhaps even the existence of the club itself.

I suppose it will be too much to expect consistency across the board with this ruling. We already see that sororities and fraternities have received an exemption from this anti-discrimination ruling, and appropriately so.

From the comments of Hall’s article mentioned above, “Tc” makes what I believe is an accurate observation:

I wonder.

Would the same rules apply to other groups?

Would Muslim groups be told that adhering to Islamic beliefs unacceptable?

Would a democrat group be told that it must allow itself to be open to republican leaders?

Would Holocaust deniers be able to appeal not bring selected a leadership position in a Jewish group?

Would feminist groups be required to accept male leadership who may have anti feminist ideas?

Would atheist groups be required to accept Young Earth Creationists as leaders?

Sadly, the answer is likely no.

Reblog from the STR blog:

“Ryan Anderson, co-author of What Is Marriage? is possibly the most clear and well-reasoned spokesman for man/woman marriage out there. His recent speech at Stanford (given amidst much controversy) covered three questions:

1. What is marriage?

2. Why does marriage matter?

3. What are the consequences of redefining it?

Here’s how he opened his remarks:

I’m not going to say anything about morality, anything about theology, or anything about tradition…. I’ll be making a philosophical argument, with some appeal to social science, largely to get at a public policy purpose of marriage. The question that I want to ask and then answer is, what is marriage from a policy perspective? What is the state’s interest in marriage? How does the state define marriage? How should the state define marriage, and why?

Below is the full speech, followed by a Q&A that was both challenging and refreshingly respectful. If you know someone who doesn’t understand the reasons for opposing a change in the definition of marriage, this is the lecture to share

Read the rest HERE.

From the transcript of testimony delivered on Monday, January 13, 2014 to the Indiana House Judiciary Committee.

Everyone in this room is in favor of marriage equality. We all want the law to treat all marriages equally. But the only way we can know whether any state law is treating marriages equally is if we know what a marriage is. Every state law will draw lines between what is a marriage and what isn’t a marriage. If those lines are to be drawn on principle, if those lines are to reflect the truth, we have to know what sort of relationship is marital, as contrasted with other forms of consenting adult relationships.

So, in the time I have today, I’ll answer three questions: what is marriage, why does marriage matter for public policy, and what are the consequences of redefining marriage?

What do you think?  Does he make a good point?  Does he miss any important points?

Libertarian Party Logo

Webster’s New International Dictionary defines a libertarian as “One who holds to the doctrine of free will; also, one who upholds the principles of liberty, esp. individual liberty of thought and action.”

In popular terminology, a libertarian is the opposite of an authoritarian. Strictly speaking, a libertarian is one who rejects the idea of using violence or the threat of violence—legal or illegal—to impose his will or viewpoint upon any peaceful person. Generally speaking, a libertarian is one who wants to be governed far less than he is today.


English: More formal image of self

The essential principles regarding the legitimacy of command can be established by reflection on our insular drama:

1. Adam may legitimately command Benjamin to refrain from action C if and only if C is a demonstrable initiation of aggression against the person or property of Adam or against the person or property of another innocent human being.

2. Adam may legitimately command Benjamin to perform action C if and only if C is an element of a freely (noncoercively) arrived-at binding agreement between Adam and Benjamin, and C does not violate condition 1.

3. In no other case may Adam legitimately command Benjamin.

4. If, in 1, Benjamin refuses to refrain from the action C, then Adam may use proportionate force to restrain or punish him.

5. If, in 2, Benjamin refuses to perform action C, Adam may use proportionate force to elicit compensation.

6. If, in 3, Adam commands Benjamin, Benjamin may refuse to comply with such a command and, where appropriate, may resist that command with proportionate force.

What is true of the one is true of the many so that if no one person has a right so to command me, no two persons acting severally or in concert have that right. They may, of course, combine to use their superior force to coerce me into doing what they require, but that is a matter of might, not right. Whether the number purporting to command me be one, two, seven, 1223, or 10 million, it cannot, except under the conditions sketched above, be a matter of right.

From “The Indefensibility of Political Representation” by Gerard N. Casey
http://mises.org/daily/3383 or MP3 version here.

What policies does Rand Paul believe in? Check out this interview.

Argonne Cross - Arlington National Cemetery - 2011

Following the results of this year’s Presidential elections, I’ve been feeling depressed off and on throughout the days since, and have been trying to determine the real cause.  Was it because my candidate did not win?  No, not exactly.  As a libertarian-minded conservative, I have been backing candidates this year with little to no chance of winning, so the results of the election were no surprise on that score.  The surprise was that Obama was reelected at all, after the economic and foreign events that have occurred, and the positions for which Obama has stood for in the last four years.

It seems amazing and unprecedented to me that America would choose him.  I’ve heard rumblings of voter fraud and intimidation, in favor of Obama, but I have no way I trust to verify or refute these.  I suspect there would be an equal number of cries of similar electoral shenanigans were the election to have gone in favor of Romney (indeed, even before noon on voting day, I saw articles about concerns for Republicans “stealing” Ohio).  America chose.  And what are we to make of this choice?  The choice was made in favor of increased debt, of further acceptance of abortions and gay marriages, of larger, nanny-state government, of class warfare and redistribution of wealth, and of socialized healthcare.

I’m so tired of the phrase “the lesser of two evils,” and frustrated that this has characterized the election choices of the last two cycles (or more, but I’ve only recently become politically aware enough to care).  Would Romney have been better?  I say marginally, but I’d rather see a completely different direction, instead of picking between flavors of statism.  Romney would have been a reprieve from the spiritual and economic collapse that seems impending, but only a temporary one at best.

So I’ve been grieving.  Grieving for the America we have lost – for the freedoms we have given away with our popular votes and for those taken bit by bit.  I grieve for the loss of Christian morals in our nation that no longer have a majority assent, however grudgingly given.  But I am late for the funeral; the Christian worldview as a dominant position has been dead for a while.  I am just now noticing that the corpse is dead, and no longer animated Weekend-At-Bernie’s-style.  As with grief, it hits me out of nowhere at various times of my day; as with depression, the brightest fall colors and bluest sky seem dim, like I am viewing them through an oily film.  But, also like grief, I can see a gradual lessening as my perspective begins to change.

This election is a wake-up call for Christians.  It’s no call to “take back America” – I submit it was never “ours.”  America is no theocracy, and we are best not to try to make it one; God got out of the human theocracy business when Israel crowned Saul king, and he won’t be back to take over until the end.  Besides, any human-led theocratic government could just as easily become Muslim theocracy, and that certainly isn’t desirable.  So what is this a call to?  It is a call for we Christians to arise from the laziness we are used to and be disciples and salt and light, instead of leaving it to our “Christian” presidents and our pastors and prominent ministry leaders .  I don’t think we can consider our duty done only with the few dollars we drop into the offering plate.

I feel the weight and urgency of the work we ought to be doing, but aren’t.  And by “we,” I mostly mean me.  But you, too.  There are organizations out doing the work that we need to involve ourselves in.  In fact, I feel rather overwhelmed and impotent in the face of it all.  We don’t have to go to Africa or Asia or the Middle East to do mission work.  America is part of the mission field, and there are real needs and issues that should be addressed, such as sex trafficking, abortion, homelessness and addictions of all sorts.  Relating the love of Christ to others through works of social justice is vital, but we must also couple the acts with the knowledge of God.  “Social justice without spiritual justice is not justice at all.” – Chris Hodges

Please Christian, open yourselves to big, specific dreams of ministry and teaching here in our country.  It may be that we are at an end to a chapter of American history.  If economic collapse occurs, it might even mean major political changes as well.  But if this is what it takes to get more of us awake and involved, then let it not be in vain.  Let’s show America something worth choosing.