Sunday, April 25, 2010

Court Splits Sharply on Campus Christian Argument

The college experience for many people is one of vast networking that many students have to go through if they want to make it ahead after graduation. And with networking we see these students join various clubs, be it physical (martial arts), mental (student United Nations). However, when it comes to joining a spiritual club, the student tries to find a sense of religious ideology with their fellow clubbers. However, one religious club at the Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, a branch of the University of California, in particular has one rule that must be followed pertaining to homosexuals and their exclusion. And in this article we will look at one club who has overstepped their boundaries on who to let in and the trial that ensued.

The case titled, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez deals with the club excluding homosexuals because it clashes with their religious beliefs. The main issue that this case will determine is whether religious-based and other private organizations that want federal funding have the right to discriminate against people who do not hold their core beliefs. The Christian Legal Society requires members to sign a proclamation of their faith and that they do not participate in sexual immorality that clashes with Christian beliefs thus the reason for no homosexuals. The group even wants the University of California to fund their club, but the university not only denied them but shut them down on the basis of discrimination. At first the case was thrown out by federal judges saying how the club violated the first amendment granting free speech and free exercise which is upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004. However, this case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court in which the justices are split on the issue at hand the official rule will happen this summer.

The big question that comes into play is the actions of the Christian Legal Society. One can understand that the group holds the Christian beliefs as their core value, but to deny someone entry on the basis of their sexuality is just wrong. There are clubs that do allow others in even if their ideals clash such as Democratic students entering into Republican clubs such as Justice Scalia puts it, so what is to stop them from allowing homosexuals into their club.

In my opinion, I believe that the homosexuals should be allowed into the Christian Legal Society. The club could make a rule in which the member, be it homosexual or not, must pass a biblical quiz in order to join them or something. However, by blacklisting these future candidates the Christian Legal Society is just limiting themselves and their image within the University.

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