The Battle at Vanderbilt Goes National

Various colleges and universities have tried for years to hobble or eliminate Christian student groups. Some of these institutions have succeeded in forcing these groups to knuckle under. Other administrations have backed down rather than face lawsuits. The primary tactic has been using anti-discrimination regulations to force these groups to allow non-believers as officers. Evangelical groups, though they believe homosexuality is condemned by the Bible, must allow gay officers. Atheists and anti-Christians must be accepted too. This makes no more sense than forcing science groups to accept flat-earthers and Jewish groups to allow Holocaust-deniers.

Now the battle over religious liberty at Vanderbilt has gone national. A Catholic student group at Vanderbilt refused to comply, and moved off campus in protest. Eleven Protestant groups on campus joined the Catholics in dissent, but not in abandoning the campus. Twenty members of the Tennessee legislature fired a warning shot against Vanderbilt, in effect threatening to cut state funds to the private university.

Check out David French’s superb essay on this page today. He aptly describes the anti-Christian policies of the modern campus as “the tip of the iceberg” in the continuing assault on traditional and religious values.


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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8 thoughts on “The Battle at Vanderbilt Goes National

  1. And to think that I was going to recommend Vanderbilt to my Ivy League-qualified teenaged daughter. Never happen now.

  2. My wife and I are both Vanderbilt alumni and have been following this story closely from several states away. I informed the Vanderbilt alumni office that I would not be contributing any money until they reaffirmed their commitment to religious liberty on campus. I also cannot recommend to my children or any bright students from my area that they study there.
    Unfortunately the politically correct assistant vice dean for campus diversity or whatever blowhard made this decision will be immune to the ridiculous nature of the policy they have made.

  3. I suggest a free expression rampage. Religious flash mobbing toned in a way to have the desired impact on the target audience. The students will figure it out.

  4. Precisely so, gentlemen. And I would note that these tactics only are used against Christian groups – never against Muslim groups. After sober observation, I would opine that the intolerant administrators and oh-so-progressive types leading these campaigns are as cowardly as they are anti-Christian. As the estimable Glenn Reynolds likes to say: Tar. Feathers.

  5. The state should mandate political and religious diversity at Vanderbilt and impose state diversity monitors (at Vanderbilt’s expense) to monitor compliance. Let them have a taste of their own medicine.

  6. Call me cynical, but I’d bet that if a pork-eating, tank-top-wearing woman tried to run for President of the Muslim Students Association, universities might have a different response. But maybe I’m wrong. Does anyone know if any such cases have come up involving other faiths besides Christianity?

  7. The Tennessee legislature should revoke Vandy’s property tax exemption. That would get their attention.

  8. It was because of bigotry like this that I wrote Bias Incident: The World’s Most Politically Incorrect Novel.
    The anti-religious nonsense that happens on our campuses was absolutely ripe for vicious satire.

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