Skip to content

Christian students in U.S. not allowed to speak to other students without permits

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

5/3/2016 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (

'It's an amazingly broad speech restriction.'

In a move reminiscent of the early 1900s, North Carolina State University segregated a student Christian group from the rest of the student population.

Christian liberties denied at North Carolina State University (Wikipedia).

Christian liberties denied at North Carolina State University (Wikipedia).

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grace Christian Life is a registered student Christian group on NC State's campus.

The group was told they were no longer able to approach other students to talk about Jesus or the church without a permit. They were also to stay at their assigned table in the Talley Student Union building as representatives of other clubs and student organizations were seen collecting signatures, explaining their groups and handing out pamphlets.

Grace Christian Life teamed up with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a firm specializing in religious liberty cases.

ADF attorney Tyson Langhofer told Fox News: "It's an amazingly broad speech restriction. Public universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not places where students need a permit just to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.

"The University has not restricted the ability of other students and student groups to engage in expressive activity. Grace has witnessed other students, student groups and off-campus groups handing out literature either without a permit or outside of the area reserved by their table permit."

ADF claims an email was sent from one university official to another in relation to Grace Christian Life.

The email reads: "There is an individual named Tommy who works for Grace who is essentially soliciting throughout the building. He walks up to a single person or duo of persons, starts with a hello and then starts the conversation into religion, ending with giving them a card."

Members of student Christian group Grace Christian Life require a permit to speak to other students.

Members of student Christian group Grace Christian Life require a permit to speak to other students

The email continues, stating other groups have been asked to stop similar behaviors to "create that inclusive, welcoming environment."

The officials decided the best way to be inclusive and welcoming was to force the Christian group to fall into line with the other organizations the school supposedly forced into silence.

When the ADF attempted to persuade the University to allow Grace Christian Life to practice in accordance to the law, the school refused and cited Regulation 07.25.12 that "requires a permit for any form of commercial or non-commercial speech, which the policy broadly defines as 'any distribution of leaflets, brochures, or other written material, or oral speech to a passersby [sic]."

ADF Senior Counsel David Hacker explained: "The courts have well established that a public university can't require permits in this manner for this kind of speech - and certainly can't enforce such rules selectively. Unconstitutional censorship is bad enough, but giving university officials complete discretion to decide when and where to engage in silence students makes the violation even worse."

Meanwhile Grace Christian Life President Hannalee Alrutz stated: "Colleges are supposed to be places where ideas are freely shared - not gagged. The only permit a student needs to speak on campus is the First Amendment.

"I think this is an attack on my liberty as a citizen of the United States. If they could do it to us - they could do it to anybody."


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More College

Finding the right College

There's no magic formula for choosing a college, but there are steps you can take to find a good fit. Use this tool to start your journey.

Latest College News

Houston Graffiti Artist 'GONZO247' Signs on to Paint Mural

Image of he mural, of St. Thomas Aquinas surrounded by Houston landmarks, will be located on the side of Crooker Center.

In keeping with its ongoing "Be Your Bold Self" marketing campaign, the University of St. Thomas Houston has commissioned local graffiti ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas Brings its Mission to New Market

Image of

The University of St. Thomas Houston is poised to take new ground with the launch of a parallel college concept to enter the two-year ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas Names New Vice President of Academic Affairs

Image of Dr. Christopher P. Evans has been appointed as vice president of academic affairs.

University of St. Thomas has appointed Dr. Christopher P. Evans as vice president of academic affairs starting Nov. 1. Evans replaces ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas Honors Mattress Mack, Raises more than $176,000 for Center for Faith & Culture

Image of Jim McIngvale, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, Fr. Donald Nesti, CSSp (photo by: Gary Fountain)

The Rev. Donald S. Nesti, CSSp Center for Faith & Culture at the University of St. Thomas honored Houston hero Jim "Mattress Mack" ... continue reading

University of St. Thomas in Texas Recommended in 2018-19 Edition of The Newman Guide

Image of University of St. Thomas Chapel of St. Basil

The University of St. Thomas is recommended in the 2018-2019 edition of The Newman Guide, the flagship project of The Cardinal Newman ... continue reading

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.