Wednesday, April 26, 2006

University Campuses: The Focus of the Gay Rights Battle

Here's another development that shows that religious colleges and universities are the current focal point for advocates of so-called "gay rights." The AP reports that a gay-rights group is suing the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Governor Ernie Fletcher over the legislature's appropriation of $11 million to the University of the Cumberlands, a Baptist institution that recently expelled a student who posted details of his homosexual dating activity on his MySpace site.

The grounds of the suit are that the Kentucky constitution forbids state money going to sponsor religious activity. Fletcher's response is that the money comes not from general revenues but from payments made by coal companies.

Both arguments, in our unschooled but seldom-wrong legal opinion, are weak. Against Fletcher is the fungibility of all state revenues. Against the plaintiffs is the well-established and widely affirmed-as-constitutional-by-the-courts practice of funding specific programming at religious institutions of higher education. The obvious fact that Kentucky could use more pharmacists in its mountainous east and this university is situated there is reason enough to go forward with the program, based on precedents.

Of course, the disingenuousness of the plaintiffs is demonstrated by their specific targeting of not just a religious institution, but one that has taken a stand on homosexuality by expelling a student.

But the power of the plaintiffs' actions comes not from their moral consistency or the legal merits of their case. It comes from the expectation that sooner or later, officials will get tired of fighting lawsuits like this and will conform to the expectations of the gay rights lobby.

SWNID isn't among the chicken-littles of Christian higher education who says that the day that the government tries to shut us down is just around the corner. We count ourselves among those who believe that the struggle is constant, but he who endures to the end will be saved.

But we urge gentle readers for whom issues like this may arise in conversation to remind their conversation partners that (a) the government has been giving loads of dough to religious colleges ever since the government started giving dough to colleges; (b) the folks who bring these suits have to press them disingenuously on grounds other than their actual complaint.

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