University of Iowa Oppresses Christian Student Group


Prof. William Wagner

WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU

Business Leaders in Christ is a student organization at the University of Iowa. This group of Christian students meets regularly to study the Bible and participate in service projects. When the University put politically-correct social engineering before constitutionally protected liberty, the group sued. The law suit charges that the government university violated the First Amendment.

A Statement of Faith

Business Leaders for Christ opens its membership to anyone. So what led to the controversy?

To serve in the leadership of the organization, a leader must affirm the organization’s  statement of faith. This pledge provides that leaders “should conduct their careers without the greed, racism, sexual immorality, and selfishness….” It further provides that marriage is between a man and a woman. Leaders must “embrace, not reject, their God-given sex.” Finally, the statement provides that “[e]very other sexual relationship beyond this is outside of God’s design and is not in keeping with God’s original plan for humanity.”

This statement of faith caused the University to revoke the organization’s registration. Why? Because it precluded a student, openly engaging in homosexual conduct, from serving as a leader of the organization. According to the law suit, the student “expressly stated that he rejected [the Christian organization’s] religious beliefs and would not follow them.”

This person refused to follow the organization’s statement of faith. The organization, therefore, declined to let him lead the group. If you want to lead an organization it make sense that you affirm, and not despise its mission.

The Cost of Standing for Christ at the University

The University’s punitive action prevents the Christian organization from:

  • recruiting new members at campus recruitment events,
  • using campus facilities for meetings,
  • utilizing university communication services, and
  • receiving their fair portion of organizational funds from student activity fees.

Shining Light on the False Narrative

The false “anti-discrimination” narrative here is that the Christian group denied the leadership to  a person because he was “gay,” This conveniently, and intentionally, creates a narrative where Christians are seen as attacking a person because of who they are. Here the Christian group only acted to preserve sincere religious conscience. Conscience that defines, in ancient sacred tenets, certain unhealthy and immoral conduct as wrong.

Love and Truth Win

Christians love everyone because of who they are. Why? Because we all have inherent dignity. God created each of us in His image. We should not be forced to accept though, all conduct and behavior as acceptable. This is constitutionally so when the choice not to accept is grounded in one’s sincerely held religious conscience.

About the Author

Prof. William Wagner
WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU
Professor Wagner holds the WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at Spring Arbor University. He has a special interest in building and preserving environments where Christians may share the Good News of Jesus, free from persecution and oppression.

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