I can’t stand atheists. And I plan to do something about them. Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court has given me a powerful tool to use in my war against the godless. Earlier this week, the Court ruled that a public university may require all student organizations to admit any student as a voting member or officer. The decision applies even to a student who is openly hostile to the group's fundamental beliefs.
So, when I get back to the secular university in August, I plan to round up the students I know who are most hostile to atheism. Then I’m going to get them to help me find atheist-haters willing to join atheist student groups across the South. I plan to use my young fundamentalist Christian warriors to undermine the mission of every group that disagrees with me on the existence of God.
My friend, and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) President, Greg Lukianoff has a different take on this recent Supreme Court decision. He says “FIRE will continue to fight for the rights of expressive campus organizations to form around shared beliefs and for the principle that the College Democrats have the right to be Democrats, the College Atheists have the right to be atheists, and the College Christians have the right to be Christians." But I disagree with Greg. As a member of the dominant majority, I recognize the power of Martinez to destroy campus dissent.
And I like it. I like it a lot.
It was a close a 5-4 decision, in which the Court ruled that the University of California - Hastings College of Law did not violate the First Amendment rights of the Christian Legal Society (CLS) when it denied the group official recognition. That denial was on the basis of the group’s requirement that its voting members and leaders sign a "Statement of Faith" expressing belief in CLS' particular religious worldview.
By denying CLS recognition, the group is stripped of access to university benefits such as physical meeting space and student fee funding. The majority opinion in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez was authored by Justice Ginsburg. She held that Hastings' policy is constitutional. That means the same policy that has been used against a Christian group in San Francisco can now be used against heathen dissidents in the Deep South.In affirming the Ninth Circuit's 2009 ruling on behalf of Hastings, the Supreme Court majority limited its holding to the constitutionality of Hastings' "accept all comers" policy. That policy mandates that recognized student groups must accept all students into membership and leadership positions. It does not matter what beliefs they may hold.
Justice Ginsburg was not impressed by the argument that the policy allows students hostile to a group's core tenets to disrupt the group's mission, or even destroy the group altogether. Ginsburg claimed that such concerns are "more hypothetical than real." But I intend to make such concerns a reality for the unbelieving heathens.
The majority opinion stated that denying recognition to groups like CLS is permissible in part because groups denied recognition may nevertheless avail themselves of other means of communication, such as social networking sites, to reach fellow students. That means an invading group can turn a smaller, weaker group into second class citizens on campus. That’s what I intend to do to those groups who do not believe in God.
If they don’t like it they can go to hell. That’s where they’re eventually going anyway.
The Court acknowledges that such “accept all comers” policies may not in fact be desirable for maintaining robust debate on public college campuses. I concur. And I like it that way. I do not seek robust debate. I seek power over the godless heathen dissident.
The Court's majority opinion does not consider the constitutionality of non-discrimination policies as applied to belief-based student groups. Instead, the Court held that public universities like Hastings may only deny the right to freedom of expressive association to religious student groups like CLS if they deny this freedom to all groups.
The Court has remanded the Martinez case to the Ninth Circuit to determine whether Hastings' "accept all comers" policy was adopted as a pretextual means of censoring CLS or whether the policy has been selectively enforced against CLS. So we must be careful here in the Deep South. But I’m not worried. Who would ever suspect that a ban on belief-based groups could be turned against a bunch of non-believers?
In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito observed that the Martinez majority has provided public universities with “a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups.” Alito is right as usual. After we get rid of the heathens we’ll turn our weapon on the gays, the blacks, and the feminists. We might even go after the Italians, too.