California Legislation to Censor Religion @Religious Colleges

I read a few articles today that disturbed me to the core.  But this one bothers me the most: http://now.biola.edu/news/article/2016/jun/08/preserve-faith-based-higher-education/

You might say, “Why does this bother you so much, Ryan?”

In plain language – we are a few steps from Fascism and eventually National Socialism (like Nazi Germany in the 1930s – I explain below under “Libertarianism” vs. “Communitarianism” taken from The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, pp. 718-720).

My concern begins by explaining Separation of Church and State, and how the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise of Religion Clause are being suppressed (read the excerpts from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia):

Thomas Jefferson

Separation of Church and State:

In English, the exact term is an offshoot of the phrase, “wall of separation between church and state”, as written in Thomas Jefferson‘s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”[20]

Jefferson was describing to the Baptists that the United States Bill of Rights prevents the establishment of a national church, and in so doing they did not have to fear government interference in their right to expressions of religious conscience. The Bill of Rights was one of the earliest examples in the world of complete religious freedom (adopted in 1791, only preceded by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789).

 

The Establishment Clause:

The Establishment Clause of the Religion Clause is the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, stating,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

The Establishment Clause was written by Congressman Fisher Ames in 1789, who derived it from discussions in the First Congress of various drafts that would become the amendments comprising the Bill of Rights. The second half of the Establishment Clause includes the Free Exercise Clause, which guarantees freedom from governmental interference in both private and public religious affairs of all kinds.

The Establishment Clause is a limitation placed upon the United States Congress preventing it from passing legislation respecting an establishment of religion. The second half of the Establishment Clause inherently prohibits the government from preferring any one religion over another. While the Establishment Clause does prohibit Congress from preferring or elevating one religion over another, still it does not prohibit the government’s entry into the religious domain to make accommodations for religious observances and practices in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

 

Free Exercise of Religion Clause:

The Free Exercise Clause is the accompanying clause with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause together read:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

In short, when a private College, University, or Religiously Affiliated Educational Institution is prevented from teaching religion, then the State is violating Separation of Church and State, the Establishment Clause, and Free Exercise Clause.  This legislation being proposed in California is a violation of the Bill of Rights and will result in the following for institutions like BIOLA or Master’s College or Azusa Pacific:

  • Faith-based institutions in California would no longer be able to require a profession of faith of their students.
  • These institutions would no longer be able to integrate faith throughout the teaching curriculum.
  • These institutions would no longer be able to require chapel attendance for students, an integral part of the learning experience at faith-based universities.
  • These institutions would no longer be able to require core units of Bible courses, nor offer students spiritual direction or pastoral care.
  • Athletic teams would no longer be able to lead faith-based community service programs.

 

When a student chooses to go to BIOLA, it is his or her choice as an adult to make decisions for him or herself.  If the student does not agree with the schools beliefs or standards, that student can choose not to attend and can choose from a myriad of other private or public colleges or universities that agree with his or her worldview perspective.

Now, why would you say we are dangerously close to Fascism?

Christians and Christian institutions are beginning to be threatened to be stripped of their religious liberty by a Communitarian State that is power-grabbing and which is on the verge of becoming a Fascist and Nationally Socialistic State, potentially to the degree of Nazi Germany (perhaps minus the military emphasis, but definitely in relation to suppressing the voice of a group it deems a threat, Christians). Let me explain…

Libertarianism vs. Communitarianism:

Government or World Organizations are considered “coercive institutions.”  They exist to “…employ force or the threat of force to control the behavior of their members” according The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (p. 718).  Throughout the ages there is a plurality of opinions (Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Green, Hume, Hegel, Marx, Linen, etc.) about how this “coercive threat” from government should be applied.

Anarchists believe coercive institutions should be replaced by social and economic organizations based on voluntary contractual agreement.  According to anarchist philosopher Blanqui, people are encouraged to resort to violence to overthrow the powers that be in order to create a new system.  (But is this not simply replacing a coercive institution with another?)

John Locke

Liberalism tries to justify coercive institutions by promoting liberty (freedom).  For Locke, liberty requires a constitutional monarchy of parliamentary government.  From here, there are two interpretations of application: libertarianism and welfare-liberalism.

Libertarianism teaches there should be laws that constrain people from doing what they otherwise could do.  From this view, only a “night-watchman state” that protects against force, theft, and fraud can be justified.  (This is the ultimate freedom, because you are truly free so long as your freedom doesn’t impinge on anyone else)

Welfare-liberalism, on the other hand, puts constraints on liberty that prevent people from doing what they otherwise could do.  In other words, “failing to help people in need does restrict their liberty.” (p. 719)  Welfare-liberals maintain it is the role of the state to require a “guaranteed social minimum and equal opportunity…” (p. 719)

Both Libertarians and Welfare-liberals are committed to individualism, and believe the role of coercive institutions (such as the State) is to promote those rights.

Communitarianism rejects individualism.  “It maintains that the rights of individuals are not basic and that the collective can have rights that are independent of and even opposed to what liberals claim are rights of individuals.  According to communitarians, individuals are constituted by the institutions and practices of which they are a part, and their rights and obligations derive from those same institutions and practices.” (p. 719)  In plain language, conform to the standard of the coercive institution and then you have freedom within the standards of the coercive institution to express individualism.  (But this is where freedom begins to be lost, because you have to conform to a social norm in your thoughts and deeds)

Fascism takes this to the next level.  Fascists advocate an Authoritarian State with limited rights for individuals.  An example is National Socialism of Nazi Germany, which was anti-Semitic and militarist.

Folks, we are a few steps from the above for lack of a moral people electing moral people into office.  How?

First, this country might not be headed in an anti-Semitic direction, but we are headed in an anti-conservative Christian direction.

Second, the Nanny-State (welfare-liberalism of Obama) is now imposing Communitarian methods to limit your rights by imposing an LGBTQ agenda within the schools specifically through the bathroom and locker-room policies in schools nation-wide.   He has not “forced” each school to adopt his policies, but he is “guiding” schools in what they should do, with the threat of withholding government funding.  The following is the response of Seattle schools: http://engage.fpiw.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=2021.0&dlv_id=7101.

The same can be said for the legislation being proposed in California for Religious Colleges and Universities.  Why would they do this? Why would members of the Coercive Institution of the Government of California try to pass legislation that would force these colleges to derive “their rights and obligations…and practices” from the viewpoint of the government of California?

The more these rights are taken away (and the more we lay down and do nothing), the more Fascist our government becomes and soon you will have limited rights based on the moral and ethical code set by the Coercive State.

People, this is the reason for 1776.

If this legislation passes in California, who’s to say it won’t happen in your State or our entire country? The slippery slide down a slippery slope began in 2012, and things are moving much more quickly than I ever would have imagined.  What can you do to make a difference related to California and this legislation?

HOW YOU CAN HELP STOP IT:

  • Step #1 — Spread the Word.Forward a link to this article to parents, students or alumni of faith-based colleges and universities, churches or others who value religious freedom for faith-based institutions. Anyone who has an affinity for faith-based higher education in California should know about this threatening bill.

  • Step #2 — Contact Your Legislators.

    • Email/phone calls.Send an email or make a phone call to your California Assembly Member this week. Click here to find your Assembly Member and email them using the following format for their address: assemblymember.lastname@assembly.ca.gov (i.e. assemblymember.calderon@assembly.ca.gov). Click here for a sample letter/email.Whether by phone or email, the message is simple: Identify yourself and express that you have strong concerns about SB 1146, offering any reason you choose, or no reason at all. The important thing is to express your concerns about the narrowing of religious freedom this bill would impose on Biola and all of California’s faith-based colleges and universities.
    • Social media.Express your concerns about the bill on social media using hashtag #SB1146.
  • Step #3 — Pray.Pray for this moment in California history when our deeply held beliefs are being challenged. Pray that Biola is able to continue living and educating in ways that are consistent with biblical convictions. Pray that our mission, to prepare our students in mind and character through a biblically grounded education to impact the world for Christ, can remain unchanged.

GODSPEED