Is 'Christian college' an oxymoron?

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Supreme Court's dreadful Hobby Lobby decision is yet another example of how religious "freedom" is increasingly being defined as the "freedom" to impose one's own beliefs on others. Over the past several years, the five-member majority, all conservative Catholics, have issued several rulings that erode our right of many to be free from religion, in the name of allowing a few to define their freedom of religion.

In fact, religious institutions receive tremendous public subsidies in all sorts of ways, starting with the tax-exempt status of religious property. But I suspect many are not aware that we subsidize religion through our system of federal support for higher education. And the mechanism that makes that possible is the way accreditation work for colleges and universities.

I live about 20 miles from Bryan College in Dayton, Ohio, but I confess that I had never heard of the place until it turned up on the front page of the New York Times (May 21, 2014). The controversy that brought the college to national attention involves changes in what amounts to the loyalty oath it makes all faculty sign as a condition of their employment.

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