Intervarsity Christian Fellowship has been “de-recognized” on all 23 of California State Universities’ campuses.
Why is this group no longer recognized?
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship is no longer being recognized at Cal State because it requires its leaders to have Christian beliefs.
What does being “de-recognized” mean?
Greg Jao, who is National Field Director & Campus Access Coordinator, described the process- “Loss of recognition means we lose 3 things: free access to rooms (this will cost our chapters $13k-30k/year to reserve room). We also lose access to student activities programs, including the new student fairs where we meet most students. We also lose standing when we engage faculty, students and administrators.”
He did say, however, that even in light of this impediment, the group will continue ministering to students on campus.
Religious freedom is not only being limited in state schools.
The Intervarsity Christian Fellowship group has experienced difficulties at Vanderbilt was well, which is a private university.
The new policy, which supposedly was in put in place in an attempt to establish a system of equality, actually ends up setting up a discriminating stratification of ideas.
Tish Warren, an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship leader describes it this way: “What began as a concern about sexuality and pluralism quickly became a conversation about whether robustly religious communities would be allowed on campus. In effect, the new policy privileged certain belief groups and forbade all others. Religious organizations were welcome as long as they were malleable: as long as their leaders didn’t need to profess anything in particular; as long as they could be governed by sheer democracy and adjust to popular mores or trends; as long as they didn’t prioritize theological stability.”
What does this mean? Ed Stetzer, from Christianity Today thinks that there is “very indication is that this will continue.” But how does he think Christians should react? “I hope they won’t call themselves persecuted, since that lessens the persecution in, for example, Iran. However, I also hope they will speak up graciously. And, that even people who are not religious will see the danger of stripping faith from the organized conversation at the university.
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