Harvard Attacks Christian Group for Acting Like Christians

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/02/26/harvard-attacks-christian-group-for-acting-like-christians/

Freedom House puts out an index rating countries as free or partly free or not free based on whether their citizens have certain rights most Americans consider fundamental.

If Freedom House expanded the list to colleges, where would Harvard rank?

Surely not “free.”

Freedom of association is gone. Harvard College now has a policy in place to start punishing students who want to be members of a single-sex organization – even if the organization isn’t affiliated with the college.

Now freedom of religion is on the chopping block.

A Christian fellowship was put on probation last week for forcing a junior who served as an assistant Bible course officer to resign because she embraced homosexuality, according to The Harvard Crimson.

The student leaders of the group, Harvard College Faith and Action, say they asked her to step down because of a “theological disagreement.” But college officials say the group violated the college’s student handbook, which says student organizations can’t “discriminate on the basis of … sexual orientation.”

The Christian fellowship didn’t do that. Nor is it a disputed fact, as the Crimson story makes clear:

“The woman, as well as four other members of HCFA, said they believe she was not asked to step down from her position because she is bisexual. Instead, HCFA leadership pressured her to resign because she chose to actively pursue a same-sex relationship, according to the woman and the four other individuals.”

In other words, Christians who belong to a Christian group told someone no longer living in a Christian way she could no longer have a leadership role in their group.

And for that, the group got suspended.

The technical term for what the Christian group did is Christianity.

The technical term for what the college did is persecution.

Oh, there’s a little more to the story. But not much. The college officials also cited the student group’s ties to Christian Union, a national evangelical Protestant organization that provides money and support staff for student groups at Harvard and elsewhere.

A Christian Union staff member got involved in trying to resolve the bisexual student’s association with the student group, according to the Crimson story, which apparently troubles college officials.

Presumably we can expect an audit of the financial and administrative ties between left-wing groups on campus and national organizations?

Or would it be better to just let left-wing groups and right-wing groups and no-wing groups figure out their own structure and whom they associate with and how?

Not cited in the college’s suspension, but surely the proximate cause of it, is Harvard Christian Faith and Action’s hosting last week of a Christian speaker who describes herself as an ex-lesbian and advocates that people who feel same-sex attraction not act on it out of love for God.

In other words:  She made a pitch for Christian sexual morality. Five days later, the group that sponsored her got put on probation.

So much for freedom of speech.

Now Harvard, as a private institution, has a right to be as restrictive as any other private organization about who gets its rights and privileges. But what is all this business in the student handbook about “free expression,” “free inquiry,” “intellectual honesty”? How about the part that says “Any form of discrimination based on … religion … is contrary to the principles and policies of Harvard University”?

Freedom of religion is not the freedom to believe anything you want. No one can regulate what someone believes. It’s the right to practice a religion. That’s what the leaders of Harvard Christian Faith and Action are doing. By insisting the group’s representatives try to live by Christian morals, Harvard Christian Faith and Action leaders are living their faith. To punish them is to discriminate against them – and all the group’s members – based on their religion.

It’s one thing to reject Christianity, as many students and the vast majority of faculty members and administrators do these days. That’s their right.

It’s another thing to reject Christians.

Or can’t college officials tell the difference?

At Harvard, if Christianity is a sin, college officials are acting as though they hate both the sin and the sinner.

They don’t appear to think much of freedom, either.