Apparently that high wall of separation between church and state should only work one way. Should the religious attempt practice freely in public, that wall must be high and impregnable. If the irreligious decide the religious need to practice a little less in their own spaces, though? Then, what wall?
California is to vote on a bill on Tuesday that will encroach on California’s religious institutions, specifically those that teach religion to students.
SB 1146 is what Gregory Baylor, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, says is a “solution in search of a problem.” What it does, in its current form, is restrict the activities of liberal arts schools in practicing faith based, or faith centered curriculums and activities, with the exception of a few things.
“In essence, it restricts freedom of Christ-centered institutions of higher education in California that participate in the state tuition assistance program known as Cal Grants,” says Baylor.
“This threatens religious institutions ability to require that students attend daily or weekly chapel services, keep bathrooms and dormitories distinct according to sex, require students to complete theology classes, teach religious ideas in regular coursework, hold corporate prayer at events such as graduation, and so on,” writes Holly Scheer at the Federalist. “In other words, it threatens every practice that makes religious institutions distinct from secular institutions.”
But why spring this on California? Because the politicians claim that these faith based schools teach students to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and transgender students.
This means that a school that is based around faith must not practice its faith based curriculum, but instead, tear down the very basis of it charter to make sure the feelings of less than 4% of the population doesn’t feel discriminated against.
Many people choose faith based colleges for the very reason that they adhere to a certain code of conduct based on the faith they prescribe to. What California seems to be saying here is that there is no faith beyond that of the state religion. It is essentially removing the choice of going to a school by making all schools the same in terms of beliefs.
Furthermore, the bill seems to breach constitutional law by restricting freedom to practice your religion. It’s a sentiment Baylor seems to share.
“I do think the bill violates constitutional protections of religious freedom, of freedom of association, equal protection of the laws,” said Baylor. “It would be very unsurprising to me if some of these schools and the students who would be harmed would commence litigation if this bill becomes law.”
It is likely that this bill will become law as California is bluer than Tobias Funke, and the backward nature of California’s politics has never made too much room for people’s freedom.
Thou shalt have no gods before California lawmakers.