Skip to content

Judge rules in favor of Christian club kicked off Iowa campus

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
2/11/2019 (6 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

 A federal court ruled Wednesday that a Christian club at an Iowa college cannot be kicked off campus due to its religious standards for student leaders.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/11/2019 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Judge rules, Christian club, Iowa campus


Iowa City, (CNA/EWTN News) - In the fall of 2017, the University of Iowa removed from its campus the Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) because the group required its leaders to affirm that they believe in and live out their Christian faith.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose said the university had engaged in religious discrimination in its application of the Human Rights Policy to Registered Student Organizations.

"The Constitution does not tolerate the way [the University] chose to enforce the Human Rights Policy. Particularly when free speech is involved, the uneven application of any policy risks the most exacting standard of judicial scrutiny, which [the University] ha[s] failed to withstand," Rose said.

BLinC membership is open to all the students at the university; however, leaders are required to accept and abide by the tenets of Christianity. The club's removal from campus took place after a complaint about the group's leadership requirements and views on marriage was filed with the university.

Before last Friday's hearing, the university said that 32 religious groups had been placed on probation because of their leadership standards. Other groups included the Chinese Student Christian Fellowship, Imam Mahdi Muslim organization, and the Latter-day Saint Student Association.

Becket, the religious liberty firm that is representing the business club, noted that the University of Iowa permits other groups, such as fraternities, to choose their leaders based on the group's shared mission.

Becket Vice President Eric Baxter said the judge's decision is a victory for justice.

"This ruling is a win for basic fairness, but it is also an eloquent plea for civility in how governments treat Americans in all their diversity. As a governmental body bound by the First Amendment, the university should have never tried to get into the game of playing favorites in the first place, and it is high time for it to stop now," he said.

Jake Estell, BLinC member, told Becket that the group was grateful for the court's decision, saying it reinforces the principle that religious groups on campus cannot be targeted for their faith.

"We are grateful the court protected our rights today' "to let us have the same right as all student groups to express our viewpoints freely on campus, and to be who we are," he said.

A parallel lawsuit against the University of Iowa is still pending. That case was brought by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship after also being deregistered by the university due to its student leadership standards.

The organization aims to create Christian communities on college campuses. It hosts Bible studies, charity projects, worship services, and community discussions.

Katrina Schrock, student president of InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellow, stressed the importance of religious liberty on campus.  

"We're grateful to have been part of the University community for 25 years, and we think that the University has been a richer place for having Sikh, Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, atheist, and Christian groups," she said.


Comments


More U.S.

Minnesota archbishop reflects on the significance of a pastoral heart Watch

Image of

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St Paul and Minneapolis reflected in a recent interview on several major milestones: his 60th birthday, 30 ... continue reading


Christian filmmakers win right to sue against Minnesota human rights law Watch

Image of

 A federal court has reversed a decision dismissing a lawsuit brought against the Minnesota Human Rights Act. In a decision issued ... continue reading



Arizona bishops welcome tuition break for undocumented students Watch

Image of

Arizona's Catholic bishops issued a statement Thursday in support of a change in policy that will offer a discounted college tuition rate ... continue reading


Archdiocese to break ground for Bl. Stanley Rother shrine in November Watch

Image of

The shy and unassuming Blessed Father Stanley Rother, a missionary priest and martyr from a farming family, would likely be surprised to ... continue reading


Children before politics say parents as Catholic adoption agency heads to court Watch

Image of

Parents of five adoptive children were present in court on Thursday in support of a Catholic adoption agency in Michigan that is threatened ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

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 >

Information
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

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
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

Socials
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.