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Things are Tufts All Over

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Tufts University, a private school in Massachusetts, has now officially ceased to be a university. Tufts has a national reputation for heavy handed suppression of free speech despite its close proximity to places where many of our nation's first great free speech victories were fought and won. Few who are familiar with Tufts will be surprised to learn that their student government has initiated measures to de-recognize a Christian group because its leaders are required to adhere to "basic Biblical truths of Christianity."

At Tufts, tolerance equals excluding people in order to be inclusive. At Tufts, discrimination is remedied by discriminating in the application of anti-discrimination measures. Both Orwellian practices are on display in the latest Tufts controversy.

Kimberly Thurler is a spokesman who has been assigned the difficult task of defending the latest shenanigans at Tufts. She would probably prefer that I call her a spokesperson but I refuse to adhere to sexist mandates. (All mandates are sexist. Otherwise, they would be called person dates). Thurler recently stated that the SGA de-recognition effort is a complex matter involving tension between efforts to promote religious freedom and non-discrimination. No, Kimberly, it isn't complex. Unless you suffer severe intellectual hernia, it is actually quite simple. Let me illustrate with a brief example.

Imagine that Stevie Wonder is applying for a job as a bus driver in Selma, Alabama. The City of Selma is allowed to prevent him from being a bus driver because he is blind. But they cannot keep him from being a bus driver because he is black. Anyone, even Stevie Wonder, can see that it takes vision to be a bus driver. Blindness, not blackness, will impede his ability to drive the bus. Blackness, not blindness, should be ignored as a job requirement. To do otherwise would promote arbitrary discrimination, which is the real enemy of liberty, not discrimination per se.

When it comes to discrimination, we have to be willing to distinguish between different types of discrimination. Discriminating between different concepts is called intelligence. Refusing to lump all forms of discrimination together is called common sense. It is what keeps us from having blind bus drivers.

Now back to Tufts University where the blind really do seem to be leading the blind.

Since no one is opposed to all discrimination - no one is urging justice for blind bus drivers - there is no necessary conflict at Tufts. By allowing Christian groups to select leaders who are actually Christian they are picking the only people who can lead a Christian group. They don't mind having someone who once was blind but now can see taking the wheel of the Christian bus. But if he's still blind then the Christian bus is going to crash. Buddha, take the wheel? I don't think so.

And that is the entire point at Tufts University. They want the Christian bus to crash. It is always the motivation of those who urge the application of nondiscrimination clauses to beliefs. The university knows that if you ban belief requirements you impede religious freedom. There is no "delicate balance of competing interests.” This is no "complex matter."

Adam Sax, Chair of the Tufts Community Union seems distraught over the fact that all other student groups have abandoned belief requirements for officers. Only the Tufts Christian Fellowship is holding out. He told a Boston Globe correspondent that the Christians “need to play by the same rules." In other words, the Christians need to have the same set of beliefs as everyone else (read: no beliefs whatsoever) in order to promote diversity. I think Adam is on the Eve of an intellectual breakdown. If he keeps trying to strong arm the Christians, someone should sue him for Saxual harassment.

It should be noted that Tufts has an all-male a capella group that is not facing the wrath of the university thought police. (See And the reason is simple: the all-male singing group does not believe in anything that offends the tyrants in the student government. And that is the end game. They want everyone to believe in nothing so that nothing distinguishes anyone from anyone else. And it is all done in the name of diversity. If they get much more diverse, they will soon be wearing school uniforms.

At Tufts, there is a choice between respecting religious freedom and de-recognizing it. Tufts chooses to de-recognize it. In other words, they choose to side with the King and not the colony.

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