Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Intolerance of “Tolerance”

Vanderbilt University was founded by Methodists in the 1870s. However, things have changed. According to AlbertMohler,

  • In more recent months, Vanderbilt’s administration decided to push secularism to the extreme — launching a virtual vendetta against religious organizations on campus. Officials of the university informed religious groups that had been recognized student organizations that they would have to comply with an absolute non-discrimination policy. This means that religious organizations (primarily Christian) must now allow any Vanderbilt student to be a candidate for a leadership office, regardless of religious beliefs or sexual orientation. In other words, a Christian student group would be forced to allow the candidacy of an atheist. A group of Christians who believe in the Bible’s standard of sexual morality would be required to allow the candidacy of a homosexual member. There can be absolutely no discrimination, the university insists, even if that means that Christian organizations are no longer actually Christian.
Vanderbilt’s position represents the intolerance that secretly piggy-backs on “tolerance.” In their “tolerance,” they are intolerant of Christian groups. It also reflects a hypocritical double-standard – a policy that is not enforced across the board, as David French of The National Review has observed:

  • The reality, of course, is that Vanderbilt is trying to force the orthodox Christian viewpoint off campus. The ‘nondiscrimination’ rhetoric is mere subterfuge. How can we know this? Because even as it works mightily to make sure that atheists can run Christian organizations, it is working just as mightily to protect the place and prerogatives of Vanderbilt’s powerful fraternities and sororities — organizations that explicitly discriminate, have never been open to ‘all comers,’ and cause more real heartache each semester for rejected students than any religious organization has ever inflicted in its entire history on campus. Vanderbilt’s embattled religious organizations welcome all students with open arms; Vanderbilt’s fraternities and sororities routinely reject their fellow students based on little more than appearance, family heritage, or personality quirks.
If French is right, Vanderbilt is a case study in intolerance – a growing trend within secular society – not tolerance. If the fraternities are allowed to discriminate according to their petty criteria, why is Vanderbilt intolerant of Christian criteria – the very standards that built almost all of our Ivy League schools?

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