Vanderbilt Forbids “Personal Commitment to Jesus” in Student Group’s Bylaws
by Dave Bohon
Friday, 27 April 2012
A commitment to Christ is apparently out at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University, as the school’s religion police continue to crack down on campus organizations that place a priority on the Christian faith of their members. According to the Christian Post, Vanderbilt’s administration informed the school’s chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS) that it will lose its recognized status on campus if it does not drop a requirement that the group’s leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.”
Last year the CLS was one of four Christian groups on campus targeted by school officials for their distinctly Christian requirements for leaders and members. The other groups were Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Graduate Christian Fellowship, and Beta Upsilon Chi. According to an overview of the case by CLS, Vanderbilt has dropped its long-standing embrace of Christian groups, decreeing that such groups can no longer:
•Require their leaders to agree with the groups’ religious beliefs.
• Require leaders to lead Bible studies, prayer, and worship.
• Force leaders to step down if their religious beliefs change (for example, if a leader became an atheist — which, the school’s administration conceded, has actually happened at the school).
In all, CLS noted, a total of 13 Christian student groups have “have joined together to resist the administration’s demand that religious groups surrender the right to have their leaders agree with their religious beliefs.” In addition to the original four, those groups are: Asian American Christian Fellowship, Vanderbilt Catholic, Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), Medical Christian Fellowship, Navigators, Bridges International, St. Thomas More Society, Lutheran Student Fellowship, and Every Nation Ministries. the rest