Clashes between Christian clubs and college campuses have been heating up across the country, with numerous schools telling evangelical groups that they cannot require their members and leaders be believers. The latest debate is erupting at the University of Michigan, where the college is being accused of booting an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter off campus for requiring its leaders to be Christians.
According to Greg Jao, InterVarsity’s field director, the university gave the Asian chapter of the group two options — either reverse its constitution to be in compliance or leave campus. The problem apparently began last December when group members were brought before officials to discuss a problematic part of the Asian InterVarsity group’s constitution. The document required club leaders to sign a statement affirming their Christian faith — something the university said was a violation of its non-discrimination policy.
While students were given an option to submit a new constitution that complied with these rules, they decided to refrain from doing so and to stick with their values. From a practical standpoint, it is understandable why a faith-based club would want its leaders to share theological values, something that a statement of faith would ensure.
“The university is sending the message that religious voices are suspect and should be marginalized,” Jao told Fox News’ Todd Starnes. “I think it sends the message that the university does not understand the nature of religious beliefs and the convictions of religious students.”
This is yet another example of a club embroiled in a battle with a prominent university over a non-discrimination policy. Vanderbilt University, Yale and Tufts, among others, have had similar faith-based wars over the same subject.