Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tennessee Pols Protect Christians, Take On Vanderbilt U

David French, over at The Corner, has been following the Vanderbilt University/Christian campus organizations story, which now includes the Tennesseee legislature.

In a nutshell, Vanderbilt's administration does not like Christianity, so they refused to allow Christian organizations to use Christianity as a criteria for belonging to said Christian organizations. Got that?

On April 19, French wrote: "Unfolding in Nashville is a local encounter with national implications — where Christians, beginning first at the grassroots and now moving up to the legislature, have decided they will not quietly acquiesce to the intolerance and exclusion of the academic elite."

But Vanderbilt may have bitten off more than they can chew. Today French reports that the Tennessee legislature has indeed stepped up to the plate. He also gives some background on Vanderbilt:

Last year, Vanderbilt was caught unlawfully requiring applicants to a nursing residency program to sign a pledge that they’d participate in abortions. Vanderbilt’s initial reaction was to deny wrongdoing, but one day later the university reversed course and changed its blatantly unlawful policy."

He then moves on to the action of the legislature:

"Faced with this pattern of behavior, last night the Tennessee legislature came through, passing by overwhelming margins a bill that would force Vanderbilt either to apply the alleged all-comers policy to fraternities and sororities or grant Christian groups the right to choose leaders that share the group’s faith. The bill (which also protects religious liberty at state public universities) now goes to Governor Haslam for his signature. While many Tennessee legislators deserve credit for standing firm in the face of Vanderbilt’s threats and deception, Representative Bill Dunn and Senator Mae Beavers played critical roles."

Democrats are asking Governor Haslam to veto the bill. We will see.

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