Cody Young is an evangelical Christian who attends a religious high school in Southern California. With stellar grades, competitive test scores and an impressive list of extracurricular activities, Mr. Young has mapped a future that includes studying engineering at the University of California and a career in the aerospace industry, his lawyers have said.Where to begin?
But Mr. Young, his teachers and his family fear his beliefs may hurt his chance to attend the university. They say the public university system, which has 10 campuses, discriminates against students from evangelical Christian schools, especially faith-based ones like Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, where Mr. Young is a senior.
Mr. Young, five other Calvary students, the school and the Association of Christian Schools International, which represents 4,000 religious schools, sued the University of California in the summer, accusing it of "viewpoint discrimination" and unfair admission standards that violate the free speech and religious rights of evangelical Christians. ...
The lawyer for the school, Robert Tyler, said reviewing and approving the course content was an intrusion into private education that amounted to government censorship. "They are trying to secularize private Christian schools," Mr. Tyler said. "They have taken God out of public schools. Now they want to do it at Christian schools." ...
A lawyer for the Association of Christian Schools International, Wendell Bird, said the Calvary concerns surfaced two years ago when the admissions board scrutinized more closely courses that emphasized Christianity. In the last year, the board has rejected courses like Christianity's Influence in American History, Special Provenance: Christianity and the American Republic, Christianity and Morality in American Literature and a biology course using textbooks from the Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Book, conservative Christian publishers. ....
A university fact sheet says publishers sometimes acknowledge their books are mainly to teach religion. The sheet has this excerpt from Bob Jones's "Biology for Christian Schools," used in unapproved courses, "The people who have prepared this book have tried consistently to put the Word of God first and science second."
Well, first of all, let's start with the student in question. Cody Young wants to become an engineer, but thinks a science curriculum based on the descriptions of Noah's arkbuilding will get him there. He wants to forge a career in the aerospace industry, presumably so he can fly the first manned space flight to Jesus. You know, I remember college science courses with nicknames like Physics for Poets, but I don't remember Physics for Pharisees. Sorry, Hezekiah. No dice.
Second, I am truly moved by the sincere cries of victimization from these poor, persecuted Christians. It must be so hard living in a country that's only about ninety percent Christian! Case in point: The public schools refused to let them force all students to accept their religious views, and therefore they had no choice but to flee. And now that they've built up their own little fiefdoms -- and I use that term literally, given the 13th century view of the world being taught in these places -- they're finding that the "accredited" universities are demanding "facts" and "evidence" be used in their stupid secular science classes. What nerve!
Seriously, "viewpoint discrimination"? Isn't this just like the charge that conservatives love to make about liberals, that we're all hedonistic jerks so paralyzed by our moral relativism that we can't distinguish between right and wrong? Well, there's right and wrong in science and math and history and literature, too, and it's a lot easier for us to fact check your answers on those subjects than it is for you to crosscheck our moral claims against the true feelings of the Almighty. You know why? We have an answer key in the back of our book.
Somewhere, God is trying to tell these people: "You know, I gave you a brain. For the love of Me, use it!"