Where Religious Toleration and Campus Free Speech Intersect

Christian universities have long been a part of the United States’ educational landscape, but Mary Eberstadt notes in The Federalist that there have been increasing “legal and other attacks on Christian colleges, Christian associations and clubs, Christian schools, Christian students, and Christian homeschooling,” including calls to deny accreditation to Christian schools.

For instance, Trinity Western University, a Christian university in Canada, is facing a difficult accreditation battle because of the code of conduct it expects its community members to abide by.

Christian clubs have also faced difficulties. The Christian Legal Society lost a 2011 Supreme Court case (CLS v. Martinez) over whether it could restrict the leadership positions in its club to those who were Christians.

While Eberstadt argues that secular “activists today do not tolerate genuine diversity, including and es­pecially in the realm of ideas,” she ends with a note of optimism:

“Today’s renewed interest outside religious quarters in the fate of free speech on campus is one hopeful sign that this, too, might pass, and maybe even that religious education may yet find allies it didn’t know it had—at least if consistency and tolerance are allowed to rule.”

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