This may seem silly, but there are Christian groups in colleges and universities all over the nation fighting this battle. This time it is Tufts University. At the end of October, the student-led judiciary voted to revoke official recognition for Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF) because they violated the school’s nondiscrimination policy.
It seems that a group called Tufts Coalition Against Religious Exclusion (TCARE) made a complaint to the judiciary accusing TCF of hate speech because of its beliefs about homosexuality. The call was made for the school to stop funding the group with student activity fees. Of course, there are many other groups on campus which discriminate for one reason or another such as sports teams, fraternities and sororities and other cultural and religious groups. At this point only TCF has been targeted.
As Christians, we have every right to be offended at the unwarranted attacks on our brothers and sisters. But there is a principle related to this incident that is essential for us to grasp. Too often, we, and others in the culture, accept the basic premise of the attackers – that Christians discriminate and other people don’t. This is simply not true. EVERY group discriminates somehow based on their beliefs – including TCARE itself.
TCARE also has a set of faith principles that they go by. Their beliefs assert that any group which doesn’t follow their moral beliefs should be excluded. So, here they are saying no one should be excluded by any group, yet agitating for the exclusion of a group that doesn’t agree with them.
As Christians, we definitely need to handle these situations with grace. At the same time, that does not mean rolling over and allowing ourselves to be pushed out of the public square. Our presence in the public square is not only an American right, but is an essential part of our ability to live our lives as faithful Christians. God has called us to go into all the world and penetrate it with the message of light and life. This is impossible if we allow ourselves to be confined to private homes and worship centers.
Most people, including Christians, don’t realize that the arguments groups like TCARE are using are actually faith arguments. If we intend to make an impact on our world as we move into the future, it is essential that we get up to speed on how to fight this kind of battle.
We live in a new day. Christians in America didn’t used to have to operate in this arena. Now we do. And it is an understanding of the topic of worldview that gives us the tools to do it. If we don’t stand up and take the challenge, it will not be long before we find ourselves completely pushed out of the public square which will then be dominated by those who hold other faiths.