Magi Mike's Blog

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Christian Lawyer: US Supreme Court Discriminated Against Christians

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An appeal from two Colorado Christian high schools that wanted the University of California (UC) to grant them credit for religious courses, has been rejected by the US Supreme Court for using textbooks, UC says, that replace science with the Bible.

UC requires certain high school courses for admission and it reviews their content to make sure they cover subjects that incoming students need. University officials said some of the Christian schools’ classes in biology, history, English and religion didn’t pass the test—a conclusion that the schools blamed on religious discrimination. The Association of Christian Schools International and co-plaintiff Calvary Chapel Christian School accused the university of violating freedom of speech and religion for refusing to honor the courses applicants take in high school when considering admissions eligibility. The justices, however, denied them a hearing without comment.

The association’s 800 high schools in California teach “standard course content” and “add a religious viewpoint in each subject… as an integral part of their reason for existence”, the group’s lawyers said in their Supreme Court appeal, but a federal judge said experts testifying for the university refuted those claims in reviewing their textbooks. They did not meet academic standards.

Biology texts teach students to reject any scientific evidence that contradicted the Bible. A history text declared the Bible to be the “unerring source for analysis” of past events, and gave short shrift to women, non-Christians and some ethnic groups. An English literature course did not require students to read novels or plays, but instead presented an anthology, Classics for Christians, that “insists on specific interpretations” of excerpted works.

The assessments showed that the university had rational grounds for denying college preparatory credit for the courses, US District Judge James Otero said in a 2008 ruling. Judge Ortero said the schools had failed to prove religious intolerance. The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld his decision in January. A three judge panel said the evidence showed that UC has approved other high school courses with “religious content and viewpoints”, and classes that used religious textbooks, as long as they met academic standards.

Lawyers for the Christian schools denounced the ruling:

In the Ninth Circuit, religious speech in religious schools is less protected than commercial speech, flag burning and pornography.

While Calvary’s attorney, Robert H Tyler of the Murrieta firm Advocates for Faith and Freedom, said the ruling was a “green light to discriminate against Christian viewpoints”.

UC officials praised the court decisions and said the university has similar rates of approval for courses in religious and secular schools.

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Written by mikemagee

15 October, 2010 at 7:04 pm

One Response

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  1. While we are in the area of Christian Lawyer: US Supreme Court Discriminated Against Christians | Magi Mike’s Blog, The famous scenario offered for this point is a sign in a local park stating ‘no vehicles allowed’. This is by no means a fixed and definitive statement of the law, because ‘vehicles’ can be taken to mean a broad range of things. For the most part it will be fairly obvious what falls within the scope – no cars, vans, trucks or trains would be permitted. But what about skateboards? Bicycles? Are these covered within the definition of vehicles? There is no way of knowing from the text exactly what is intended by the law, so to positivism in this strict sense is flawed. Rather, a more sophisticated approach is required, which allows the law to be read in the light of pragmatic and policy considerations. This makes positivism more palatable as a concept, and strengthens its validity at the heart of legal philosophy.

    Dallas Criminal Lawyer

    5 December, 2010 at 7:15 am


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