College and University campuses

Enabling Religious Students to Meet on College and University Campuses

For 40 years, the Center has worked to help religious student groups meet on college and university campuses despite great resistance from some college and university administrators. Often these religious groups are the only contact that hundreds of thousands of college students will have with Christianity during their time in college. It is a mission field that is ripe for the harvest, but keeping it open for the Gospel is an ongoing challenge.

Testimony on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ Report Attacking Religious Freedom: On February 16, 2017, Center Director Kim Colby testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice of the House Judiciary Committee at its hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in America,” laying out the deeply troubling flaws of the USCCR’s September 2016 Report that treated religious freedom as an afterthought rather than an inalienable human right. Read the Center’s testimony and watch the hearing.

Written Statement on Campus Free Speech Issues: On April 4, 2017, the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing on “First Amendment Protections on Public College and University Campuses.” The Center submitted a written statement for the hearing record that focused on numerous examples of colleges threatening religious student groups with exclusion from campus simply because they require their leaders to be religious.

Written Statement on Campus Free Speech Issues: On March 2, 2016, the Subcommittee on Oversight of the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on “Protecting the Free Exchange of Ideas on College Campuses.” The Center submitted a written statement for the hearing record that focused on numerous examples of colleges threatening religious student groups with exclusion from campus simply because they require their leaders to be religious.

Testimony on Religious Groups’ Exclusion from College Campuses: On June 2, 2015, Center Director Kim Colby testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice of the House Judiciary Committee at its hearing on “First Amendment Protections on Public College and University Campuses.” On too many college campuses, religious student groups are being excluded because they require that their leaders agree with the groups’ religious beliefs, message, and standards of conduct. The Center’s testimony highlighted several campuses where this problem has occurred and the importance of protecting religious students’ on campuses nationwide. Read the Center’s testimony and letters from the students themselves telling their stories. Watch the hearing or peruse the Committee’s hearing report.

Testimony before the United States Commission on Civil Rights regarding Religious Freedom: On March 22, 2013, Center Director Kim Colby testified on behalf of robust religious freedom before the United States Commission on Civil Rights at a briefing entitled “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.” The Commission released its briefing report in September 2016 in which a majority of the commissioners expressed opinions that, in the view of many, exhibited intolerance for religious dissenters. Two commissioners defended a robust vision of religious freedom.

Diverse faith groups protested the report’s intolerance in a letter to President Obama, Speaker Ryan, and President Pro Tem of the Senate Hatch. Read the Center’s testimony, oral statement, the Commission’s briefing report, or a short summary of the Commission’s findings and recommendations, including one commissioner’s statement. Read Center Director Kim Colby’s congressional testimony, which outlines basic flaws with the Commission’s findings and recommendations.

CLS Letter supporting SF 2344 States Overview

CLS Letter supporting SF 2344

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