Religious freedom the target of U.S. court case

By February 16, 2010

USA(MNN) — The United States Supreme Court will hear Christian
Legal Society v. Martinez
April. The case could have big
repercussions on religious freedom and First Amendment rights. At issue are the rights to community, faith
and non-discrimination policies at public universities.  

Their decision will determine whether either campus
Christian organizations or the schools where they operate should determine the
rules for membership and leadership.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship joined their voice to the
chorus of concern in the case. The
premise is familiar territory.    

InterVarsity has been challenged before on its right to
require that the leaders of the campus chapters affirm the basic Christian
doctrines of the Statement of Beliefs.   

In the past, InterVarsity itself has gone to court to
protect their freedom to operate on campus. InterVarsity works closely with CLS
on many law school campuses.

InterVarsity's president, Alec Hill says the ruling in this
case will affect every chapter of CLS, every chapter of
InterVarsity, and every other Christian campus ministry. 17 other organizations and 13 state attorneys
general have urged the justices to make a ruling that protects the rights of
religious groups to set their own membership and leadership requirements.

He says either the ruling will allow these groups to operate
the same as all other campus organizations, or it will allow state colleges and
universities to deny recognition to Christian groups on their campuses.

Hill says should the case go against them, "Basically,
the religious groups would be kicked off campus. It seems to run right in the
face of what America stands for as a marketplace of ideas."

What would happen to their ability to share Christ? "It would make our lives and that of
the students' ministry a lot harder. We wouldn't be able to contact the
freshmen; we wouldn't be able to set up our tables at Freshman

Keep praying. Hill says they are optimistic. "We are very hopeful about the outcome
of this decision. We have every reason to believe that the Supreme Court will
make the right decision, and that actually will then create a bulwark against
the erosion." 

staff, students, alumni and friends are being asked to pray for a decision that
will not restrict their ability to work with students and faculty on campus. More details can be found here.

Leave a Reply