Thursday, September 30, 2010

Threats To Christian Conscience

The federal Department of Education is on the verge of taking control of private colleges and universities.  It has informed Congress of it's intention to remove these educational institutions from the authority of independent accrediting agencies and placing them under the authority of state governments.  This would put government bureacrats in a position to determine course content and guidelines for hiring faculty and staff.  This unprecedented power grab is an attempt to enforce liberal orthodoxy in the fields of history, political science, sociology, law, science and religion. If you think I am unwarranted in this assessment, consider this: The Congress is debating an amendment to a House of Representitives bill (HR 5466) mandating that faith based groups that receive federal funds may not take religious criteria into account when hiring workers. This provision is sponsored by the not too soon to be departing Patrick Kennedy.  "The law has long protected the religious freedom of both the people who receive government-funded services, and the groups that provide the services – long before President Obama, and long before President Bush,” said Anthony R. Picarello Jr., general counsel of USCCB, in a statement. “Stripping away the religious hiring rights of religious service providers violates the principle of religious freedom, and represents bad practice in the delivery of social services." (From article linked to above.) One can see a more than a trend.  This is naked attempt to seize control of the thought life and ethical standards of the American public in the wake of a probable public repudiation of increased federal control over our lives which will take place this November. Not only is Christian conscience in the university and the market place under threat from without, but there are threats from within as well.  It is no secret that universities have been engaged in thought control aimed at viewpoints at odds with secular orthodoxies in various academic disciplines.  In the field of counseling, Christian students have been told that if they did not change their beliefs concerning same-sex relationships, they would not graduate. A student at Eastern Michigan University was assigned to counsel a person who was seeking assistance with a same-sex relationship.  The student notified her supervisor who reaasigned the person to a different counselor.  Yet the University informed the student that if she wished to remain in the counseling program, she had to go through a "remediation program" aimed at changing her religious beliefs concerning same-sex relationships. (For background, see here.)  Some colleges don't even wait for a conflict to arise before they attempt to enforce thought control upon Christian students.  At Augusta State University in Georgia, a Christian counseling student's views concerning same-sex relationships became known to her professors.  They told her she must enroll in sensitivity training courses and participate in activities promoting same-sex life styles.  She was told by the University that her beliefs were incompatible with the counseling profession and if she didn't change them, she would not graduate from the counseling program.  Meanwhile, in North Carolina, members of the North Carolina bar are attempting to alter the state code of ethics to prohibit lawyers from taking sexual orientation or "gender identity" (practices such as pedophilia or polygamy) into account when hiring or choosing which clients to represent. (originally seen at Ken Ham's blog.) Christians in the U.S. certainly don't suffer persecution as Chrisitians do overseas.  Yet there is a very real threat to Christian practice in the secular marketplace.  While we must actively oppose these attempts to dictate our beliefs and practices, in the end, the only effective weapon we have is prayer and an effective Chrisitan witness.

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