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Lawsuit threatens religious college funding

by Steve West
Posted 3/30/21, 05:08 pm

Students who identify as gay and transgender sued the U.S. Department of Education on Monday to stop it from giving money to the institutions they attend. The students are enrolled at or graduated from more than two dozen religious universities such as Baylor, Bob Jones, Brigham Young, Fuller, Dordt, Cedarville, and Liberty—all of which receive federal funding. The lawsuit argues that the exemption religious schools have from federal nondiscrimination requirements is unconstitutional.

Why sue now? The Senate is considering the Equality Act, which would write LGBT protections into federal civil rights statutes. Some LGBT advocates want to add a broad religious exemption to the bill to secure its passage. The lawsuit could put pressure on senators to reject the amendment.

Dig deeper: Read my report in Liberties about the Equality Act.

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Steve West

Steve is a legal correspondent for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, Wake Forest University School of Law, and N.C. State University. He worked for 34 years as a federal prosecutor and is now an attorney in private practice. Steve resides with his wife in Raleigh, N.C. Follow him on Twitter @slntplanet.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 03/30/2021 10:43 pm

    I guess I'm having a little trouble understanding why LGBTXYZ students would want to enroll in a distinctively Christian college. 

  • BF
    Posted: Tue, 03/30/2021 11:39 pm

    Perhaps so they could sue? But I might just be cynical...

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 03/31/2021 12:28 am

    If Trump was president, this wouldn't be happening! Is anyone going to acknowledge this simple fact as our nation is assaulted in so many different ways by the left?  

  • not silent
    Posted: Fri, 04/02/2021 11:45 am

    For Cyborg, your comment raises several points.  I can only offer my opinion, but here it is: First of all, I think it is obvious that things in general would be different if Mr. Trump were president; but that does not mean they would all be better. Regarding the lawsuit in this article, I think it would have happened at some point regardless of the outcome of the recent election. 

    Regarding our nation being "assaulted by the left": I would agree that our nation is being "assaulted"; but I think it is coming from views, policies, and individuals from the extremes of both sides of the political spectrum. For clarity, I think it's important to distinguish between our nation (i.e., our current political system, geographical location, and citizenship) and the Church (i.e. believers in Christ). Our nation includes people from many cultures, religions, ethnic groups, etc who are all in a particular geographic location and under a particular political system.  The Church consists of believers in Christ all over the world, from every culture and ethnic group there is, and subject to several different political systems. The US as a nation has its own enemies which I don't need to list here.  There are also enemies of our system of democracy within our nation.  But the enemy of all believers, here and elsewhere, is the devil.

    I think it's also important to distinguish between individuals and their political viewpionts.  I may consider someone's political views to be a threat to this country and/or to be opposed to the gospel (and those views may make me feel "under attack" at times); but that does not mean the individual is personally attacking me or that they are my enemy.  I have family members and friends who are believers and who view themeselves as part of "the left."  I don't always agree with them about politics; but I can still view them as my friends, respect their right to have different opinions, and care about them as people and as my family and friends. My own views are not always one hundred percent correct anyway, and there is more to a person than their political views. I also have friends who are not believers, and it would be unreasonable to expect them to act as if they WERE believers. Very few people react well to someone coming in hard and telling them all the things they are doing wrong. Jesus did not ignore the sins of non-believers, but he showed love first before dealing with the sin.  

    Politics are important, of course; but the most important thing is the gospel.  As far as the gospel is concerned, both of the major political parties in the US seem to have some good policies and some bad. I admit to being confused, anxious, and even frightened at times; but it helps to remind myself that God is in control, that my main purpose on earth is to serve him and proclaim the gospel, and that he promised to send his Spirit to guide me in how I should live-now and in the future, and in spite of anything that may happen in the US and in the world. I have to cling to HIM instead of putting my hope in any human, nation, or political system.