A federal appeals court has shot down another attempt by a Christian student group to force a California law school to formally recognize it, despite the group’s refusal to allow gay members.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the University of California Hastings College of the Law could legally deny funding and other benefits to the Christian Legal Society.
The high court ruled that the society’s First Amendment rights were not violated.
The group later raised a more specific claim, arguing that the law school singled it out for discrimination rather than accusing the school of general free speech violations.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out that claim Wednesday, saying the new argument was raised only after the group lost in the Supreme Court.
It is quite sad and telling that these “Christian” groups believe that bigotry is a central tenant to their religious beliefs, and thus do not have to abide by American laws against discrimination. What they essentially want is to live by a different set of laws than the rest of American citizens. They work to carve out a space where they are “separate and superior” to those who do not hold their theological leanings. It reminds me, quite frankly, of what some radical Muslim groups want in terms of Sharia Law.
Our Christian Right and the Muslim fringe have more in common — in terms of extremism and the desire to play by a different set of rules — than they would like to believe. To keep society secular, functioning, and free, we must continue to stand up to religious extremists and not cave into their totalitarian and reactionary demands.