+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 3 of 3

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    University Is Accused of Bias Against Christian Schools

    November 20, 2005
    University Is Accused of Bias Against Christian Schools

    Cody Young is an evangelical Christian who attends a religious high school in Southern California. With stellar grades, competitive test scores and an impressive list of extracurricular activities, Mr. Young has mapped a future that includes studying engineering at the University of California and a career in the aerospace industry, his lawyers have said.

    But Mr. Young, his teachers and his family fear his beliefs may hurt his chance to attend the university. They say the public university system, which has 10 campuses, discriminates against students from evangelical Christian schools, especially faith-based ones like Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, where Mr. Young is a senior.

    Mr. Young, five other Calvary students, the school and the Association of Christian Schools International, which represents 4,000 religious schools, sued the University of California in the summer, accusing it of "viewpoint discrimination" and unfair admission standards that violate the free speech and religious rights of evangelical Christians.

    The suit, scheduled for a hearing on Dec. 12 in Federal District Court in Los Angeles, says many of Calvary's best students are at a disadvantage when they apply to the university because admissions officials have refused to certify several of the school's courses on literature, history, social studies and science that use curriculums and textbooks with a Christian viewpoint.

    The lawyer for the school, Robert Tyler, said reviewing and approving the course content was an intrusion into private education that amounted to government censorship. "They are trying to secularize private Christian schools," Mr. Tyler said. "They have taken God out of public schools. Now they want to do it at Christian schools."

    A lawyer for the university, Christopher M. Patti, called the suit baseless. Acknowledging the university does not accept some courses, Mr. Patti said that more than 43 courses were recognized and that university campuses had offered admission to at least 18 Calvary students since 2002. "Calvary students are perfectly free to take whatever courses they like," Mr. Patti said. "All we are saying is that unapproved courses cannot be submitted to satisfy the requirements for entry."

    The suit is being closely watched by free speech advocates, other public universities and Christian education leaders. All see it as a possible harbinger for admissions policies at state universities nationally.

    Charles C. Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center at the Freedom Forum, which studies press and religious freedom, said the university was sending a chilling message to religious schools. "If you have to clean up your religious act to get courses accepted, that's a problem," said Mr. Haynes, who has reviewed the long complaint.

    Discussing the university, he said: "They certainly have a right to say the student needs to take foundational courses. That's fair. But when you get into the business of saying how a particular subject is taught or if it has too much of a religious overlay, then I think you are crossing a line."

    The university maintains that under the state Constitution, the Board of Admissions and Relations With Schools, a faculty committee, has the authority to set academic standards for admissions. Ravi Poorsina, a spokeswoman for the university, said the goal was to ensure that entering students were well-prepared and competitive.

    "This is not a viewpoint issue for us," Ms. Poorsina said. "Teach whatever you want. We don't want to be in the position of dictating what is taught. But we do have a right to set standards for admission, and ours are not unreasonable requirements."

    A lawyer for the Association of Christian Schools International, Wendell Bird, said the Calvary concerns surfaced two years ago when the admissions board scrutinized more closely courses that emphasized Christianity. In the last year, the board has rejected courses like Christianity's Influence in American History, Special Provenance: Christianity and the American Republic, Christianity and Morality in American Literature and a biology course using textbooks from the Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Book, conservative Christian publishers.

    The officials rejected the science courses because the curriculum differed from "empirical historical knowledge generally accepted in the collegiate community," the suit said. Calvary was told to submit a secular curriculum instead. Courses in other subjects were rejected because they were called too narrow or biased.

    "What really lights the fire here," Mr. Tyler said, "is when you look at courses the U.C. has approved from other schools. In the titles alone, you can see the discrimination against us."

    The university has approved courses on Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and gender and counterculture's effects on literature, he noted. Ms. Poorsina said many courses on Christianity had been accepted, as have Bob Jones science books.

    For texts, Ms. Poorsina said, the university wants comprehensive and instructive overviews. A university fact sheet says publishers sometimes acknowledge their books are mainly to teach religion. The sheet has this excerpt from Bob Jones's "Biology for Christian Schools," used in unapproved courses, "The people who have prepared this book have tried consistently to put the Word of God first and science second."


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Re: University Is Accused of Bias Against Christian Schools

    It will be interesting to see how this 'plays out'. If the notation "...competitive test scores ..." refers to his S.A.T. then I don't see how the university can keep him out.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: University Is Accused of Bias Against Christian Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM
    It will be interesting to see how this 'plays out'. If the notation "...competitive test scores ..." refers to his S.A.T. then I don't see how the university can keep him out.


    I think so too. And California is one of the most "liberal" when it comes to being accepted into schools there. At least it was the last time I looked and when I lived there. So, I found this very interesting that this became an issue at all, much less turned into a lawsuit.


    Lady Mod

Similar Threads

  1. Christian Traditions are More Pagan than Christian
    By aegist in forum Religious Scams
    Replies: 148
    Last Post: 11-08-2012, 02:56 AM
  2. Iraq Contractors Accused in Shootings
    By ianmatthews in forum Political Scams
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-14-2012, 12:29 PM
  3. Trumps "University" accused of scamming customers
    By Kermit The Frog in forum MLM Scams
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 05-20-2011, 03:40 PM
  4. Private schools vs Public schools
    By Tulip in forum Political Scams
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 01-14-2010, 08:56 AM
  5. Vistim Becomes Accused.
    By coontie in forum General Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-20-2008, 05:02 PM

Tags for this Thread



Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may edit your posts