California Bill Could Devastate Religious Colleges


prisonchaplain
 Share

Recommended Posts

A California bill proposes to remove religious universities and colleges from exemptions on complying with bias-laws, unless their sole purpose is to train clergy. Nearly 50 schools would lose their religious exemptions, allowing them to prohibit extramarital sex, define gender based on birth physicality, require chapel attendance, require agreement with statements of faith, etc.  Even more worrisome, what California does now, many states will do in the near future.  The bill has passed the state's senate, and is now in its house.

http://religiondispatches.org/will-sb-1146-end-lgbt-discrimination-in-californias-religious-schools/

There is little question in my mind that if this bill is enacted into law, and passes a court challenge, the BYU system will eventually face the same challenges.  Thoughts?

 

Edited by prisonchaplain
mispell title
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Thoughts?

Well, I've heard this wild theory that in the last days, a massive earthquake would basically sever the state of California from the rest of the country, and it would slide off into the ocean...  Hopefully the good people make it out first. ;)

Slightly more seriously, if I were the owner of said school, and government told me to violate my own religion, I would shut it down cold and walk away.  I guess I'd have to sell off the property, refund tuitions, pay off the staff...  Alternately, I'd make it so that every student was suddenly studying to be a member of the clergy - something which is true if you're a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (regardless of what school you're at).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good news: A Hispanic Leadership group is opposing the bill as bad for religious liberty and bad for their community:  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-hispanic-leaders-oppose-california-bill-sb-1146-300300895.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a set of FAQs about the bill, from Vanguard University (Assemblies of God):  http://www.vanguard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SB-1146-FAQs-1.pdf

The main points are that Vanguard believes all people should be treated well, and with love. However, the bill narrows the scope of religious liberty significantly, denying schools the ability to foster faith communities, through doctrinal requirements, chapel attendance, etc. Many schools do not choose to enact these structures, but why would a state agency deny a religious school from establishing its own faith norms?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Here is a set of FAQs about the bill, from Vanguard University (Assemblies of God):  http://www.vanguard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SB-1146-FAQs-1.pdf

The main points are that Vanguard believes all people should be treated well, and with love. However, the bill narrows the scope of religious liberty significantly, denying schools the ability to foster faith communities, through doctrinal requirements, chapel attendance, etc. Many schools do not choose to enact these structures, but why would a state agency deny a religious school from establishing its own faith norms?

 

There are some that do not believe in separation of church and state - they want to take the churches out of the state but intend to have the state involved in and controlling the church.  Some do not understand that when religious liberty is lost - so is liberty lost.  But you are correct about one thing - if such a thing ever gets passed in California - it will be passed next in Washington.

 

The Traveler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Traveler said:

Some do not understand that when religious liberty is lost - so is liberty lost.

What is true of religious freedom is true of all liberties: if we lose one, we lose them all.

7 hours ago, Traveler said:

if such a thing ever gets passed in California - it will be passed next in Washington.

This is a serious cause for concern: we have become, not the federation of the Constitution, but "one nation" with California, and Wyoming, and Massachusetts and all the rest, from Alaska to Florida, from Hawai`i to Maine as mere provinces.

The Founders were wise. Our masters today are cunning. There is a difference.

Lehi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, zil said:

Alternately, I'd make it so that every student was suddenly studying to be a member of the clergy - something which is true if you're a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (regardless of what school you're at).

This was my immediate thought as well.  But I realized that SCOTUS would not understand our doctrines and philosophies enough to accept it.  Besides, "sole purpose" is a language that will need to be looked at as well.  This would kill BYU exemptions because we have non-members attending.  So, obviously, we're not training them to be clergy in the Church.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

A California bill proposes to remove religious universities and colleges from exemptions on complying with bias-laws, unless their sole purpose is to train clergy. Nearly 50 schools would lose their religious exemptions, allowing them to prohibit extramarital sex, define gender based on birth physicality, require chapel attendance, require agreement with statements of faith, etc. 

But, but, but, religious exemptions were already part of the agreement.  Uh-huh.  Camel's nose in the tent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, zil said:

Are you sure?  Every member a missionary. ;)  If we don't get them in this life, we'll keep trying in the next...  Just cuz they decline to accept the call doesn't mean we're not training them to be clergy. :D

Yeah, and I'm sure that would fly in a secular court of law.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, who cares?  There seems to be no information on what happens if a school keeps doing this anyway.  I mean, I hear everyone opining about discrimination lawsuits and getting worked up about that, but I haven't seen that actually written anywhere in any source document.  Usually, laws are written like this:  "A person/organization who does X, will be guilty of Y, see this other section for what the state does to you if you are convicted of Y."  

The bill doesn't mention any penalty, but the faq does quote California Education Code Sect. 66271.  And that thing says (bolding mine):

 

Quote

66270. No person shall [be discriminated against] in any program or activity conducted by any postsecondary educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance  or enrolls students who receive state student financial aid.

So, am I reading this right?  Da gubment gives yer school money.  If you wanna keep yer gubment money, you gotta allow x, y, and z.  If you don't allow x/y/z, then you could lose your gubment money.

If I'm reading that correctly, I think we mormons are ok, because we saw the dangers of gubment money from the start of the restoration, and our facilities and organizations operate totally free of any gubment money.  

Didn't we?  Don't they?

Edited by NeuroTypical
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:
Quote

66270. No person shall [be discriminated against] in any program or activity conducted by any postsecondary educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance  or enrolls students who receive state student financial aid.

So, am I reading this right?  Da gubment gives yer school money.  If you wanna keep yer gubment money, you gotta allow x, y, and z.  If you don't allow x/y/z, then you could lose your gubment money.

It's not whether the schools themselves receive state aid, but if the school has students who do.

Because there is so too much government money in the first place (making schooling more and more expensive), the vast majority of students imagine they cannot get an "education" without government money, either via loans or grants or whatever.

So, I challenge anyone to name more than a half-dozen schools across this country none of whose students receive any government money. In this case, of course, it's limited to money extorted from Californians, but, as elsewhere noted, it'll soon be in all fifty states.

Lehi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@NeuroTypical The penalty is the withholding of Title IX funding. States distribute these federal funds to the schools. Nearly al schools get the funds, so the sudden loss would devastate most private schools.  Grove City College (PA) has done its best to avoid federal entanglements by setting up an alternative to government-backed student loans. They did so at considerable expense. To now lose Title IX funding sets us back yet again. They get our tax dollars for the Title IX funding, then can deny our schools the funds, because we're hateful bigots. Oh...but don't forget to pay your property taxes, bucko.

I know...I know...vent...vent...love the sinner, hate the sin.  Deep breath.  Deep sigh...vent...repeat frequently...continuously...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

It's not whether the schools themselves receive state aid, but if the school has students who do.

Ah.  So we're hosed too.  Insidious!

https://financialaid.byu.edu/grants-loans-faqs

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Text of the bill is here.

I won't pretend to be happy about the trend generally, but as a Mormon who is primarily concerned about BYU I don't see major ramifications just yet.  From what I have (hastily) gathered the bill applies only to institutions that accept (or whose students accept) state funding.  The fallout from noncompliance would be a) a loss of the funding, and b) being subject to lawsuits by students claiming they were discriminated against.

From a loss-of-funds standpoint:  The article specifically mentions CalGrants; whereas I'm not sure Utah has any analogous program that is used by BYU students.  From a federal standpoint, I do agree that the end game is going to be to try to yank federal funding--Pell Grants, subsidized student loans, etc--from religious universities; but BYU already subsidizes its students' educations so heavily (BYU charges $5.3K per year, other private institutions of similar caliber easily charge $30K+) that--all other things being equal--I think BYU could cope with a loss of federal funding, at least for its undergraduate students.  But, other religious institutions may not be on such secure footing.

From a lawsuit standpoint--that, I think, could get a lot scarier if something like that were implemented at the federal level.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Ah.  So we're hosed too.  Insidious!

https://financialaid.byu.edu/grants-loans-faqs

Indeed. We are hosed, too.

But that's hardly a reason to reject the premise: the state is bent on destroying religious schools by requiring that they deny their doctrines and practices in favor of the fad-of-the-day, here homosexuality. Whatever is in political favor.

And it's a major reason to get government entirely out of the education business, from pre-K through university. Nothing good that might possibly come out of that involvement is worth the interference it by logic, reason, and law must happen when it is involved.

Lehi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

as a Mormon who is primarily concerned about BYU I don't see major ramifications just yet.

But it is almost certain that it will become "federal" law in a few years or a decade. That's just the way Satan works.

19 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

From a lawsuit standpoint--that, I think, could get a lot scarier if something like that were implemented at the federal level.

And it will inevitably end up there. Again, it's what Satan is working for.

Lehi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I think BYU could cope with a loss of federal funding, at least for its undergraduate students.

Who knows but that it is for this reason that we have the Perpetual Education Fund? Yes, third world Saints are benefiting now (but, alas, they are not repaying their loans, the same as the Saints of the bygone age didn't repay theirs), but the same program could work on a much larger scale.

The question is, how will Satan use the government to stop us doing that? Make no mistake, he will try, and, until the Lord returns, he will succeed. Doubtless contributions to the fund will not be tax-deductible, and "income" (or at least imputed interest will be taxable). What else?

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, LeSellers said:

Who knows but that it is for this reason that we have the Perpetual Education Fund is all about? Yes, third world Saints are benefiting now (but, alas, they are not repaying their loans, the same as the Saints of the bygone age didn't repay theirs), but the same program could work on a much larger scale.

The question is, how will Satan use the government to stop us doing that? Make no mistake, he will try, and, until the Lord returns, he will succeed. Doubtless contributions to the fund will not be tax-deductible, and "income" (or at least imputed interest will be taxable). What else?

Lehi

Indeed.  For all the people kvetching about how rich the Church supposedly is--I think the time is rapidly coming where we're going to need all of those carefully-husbanded resources (that is, if we're allowed to keep them . . .) just to keep the Church operating normally.

 

Edited by Just_A_Guy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, LeSellers said:

It's not whether the schools themselves receive state aid, but if the school has students who do.

Because there is so too much government money in the first place (making schooling more and more expensive), the vast majority of students imagine they cannot get an "education" without government money, either via loans or grants or whatever.

So, I challenge anyone to name more than a half-dozen schools across this country none of whose students receive any government money. In this case, of course, it's limited to money extorted from Californians, but, as elsewhere noted, it'll soon be in all fifty states.

Lehi

This is true. I'm looking at BYU as a possibility for my master's degree and I'll probably take out a student loan (though in my case I am guaranteed a lot more money as soon as I get that degree--literally showing the degree to my boss instead of hoping to find someone to hire me so I don't really feel awful about it.)

But many a student does indeed use loans and grants because the cost of higher education is so inflated and wild and taking out more loans and grants just makes things worse.

Imagine how much happier everyone (students and schools) would be if we could all just go straight to the school and strike a cost deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Apparently we have a temporary reprieve from this nasty, anti-religious bill.  The sponsoring senator has dropped the offensive provision!

http://www.christianpost.com/news/california-backs-off-plan-limit-freedom-religious-colleges-sb1146-167802/

I'm sure that we've not seen the last of this kind of vindictive tactic. Nevertheless, today is a day to rejoice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share