ADF has won the 61 of those cases decided – a most recent one being against the University of Wisconsin, a perennial base for anti-Christian sentiment and one that’s spurred several lawsuits in the last decade. Just last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear UW’s appeal of an appellate court ruling in favor of a student ministry at the university’s Madison campus.
The case, Badger Catholic v. Walsh, stemmed from the refusal of UW officials to allow the ministry the same kinds of student activity fee funding that the university makes available to other registered student groups on campus. Their reason for withholding the money: the Badger Catholics’ events include prayer, worship, and sharing their faith.
The university’s policy marked such a blatant attack on the students’ rights as protected by the First Amendment that a string of courts – culminating in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit – ruled flatly against them. And this is only the latest in a slew of clear-cut, ADF-backed cases dating back to 1995, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia that a school couldn’t provide funding for every campus student publication except the Christian one.
But the universities’ bigotry isn’t limited to mere budgetary considerations.
Full disclosure: ADF represented the plaintiffs in each of these cases, which all have two more things in common: (1) the schools involved lost their case – expensively – in court. (Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, how do you suppose they made back the money?) And (2), they are all the tip of the iceberg in an academic Cold War against Christians.
Across America, an estimated 274 public universities currently have speech codes that can be used to shut down points of view that a student, professor, or administrator might find “offensive.” (At Penn State, officials even went so far as to say that “intolerance will not be tolerated.”) And nothing offends the academic Left faster than a Bible, a prayer, or a Christian with a conscience.
Of course, ultimately, it’s not the people of faith that the Left objects to – it’s the faith itself. Their hatred is really aimed at a Truth that galls them to the deep, deep places of their souls…in the place where sins, and the need for a God bigger than themselves, can’t be denied.
They won’t go there. They can’t shut Him up. So they’re bent on removing some of the best students and most thoughtful professors they have. If that means destroying not just good people, but the holiest freedoms endowed by that Creator and ever cherished by mankind – well, surely that’s not too high a price to pay, for delusion?
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.