Posted on Mar 6, 2012 by Tom Gilson
Legal documents (PDF) filed in a dispute between the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and the student group “Make Up Your Own Mind” (MUYOM), allege that
Defendants [the University] are enforcing their preference for student organizations affiliated with churches against MUYOM, by denying them recognition and the ability to restrict members and leaders to a set of religious beliefs because they are not affiliated with a church, but rather with a local, non-profit, Christian ministry.
The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom of church. What’s the difference? Like the newly coined and equally disturbing “freedom of worship,” freedom of church means freedom to practice religion in a defined, confined, private space. It is a transparent move towards eliminating Christianity and other religions from public view.
It is also government intrusion into theology, re-defining what counts as “religion” and doing so in a most novel and unusual way. Of course there are public-policy reasons why government must pay attention to realities of what is or is not religion. Its information for that purpose, however, ought to take account of what Christianity (in this case) has to say about itself. Government cannot rightly create new realities of what is or is not religion. That was never its role, and it never ought to be.
This is very disturbing.
See further at First Thoughts.