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Choosing Between Your Faith and Your Education

Posted in Religious Liberty on: March 17th, 2011
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“Choose between your faith and your education.”

That’s what some public universities have been telling their students. Seventy-one percent of public university professors surveyed in 2007 said this country would be better off if Evangelical Christians kept their opinions out of the public square. Over half (53%) of those same professors stated that they feel unfavorable toward Evangelical Christians, in contrast to 73% with favorable feelings towards Jews and 68% with favorable feelings toward Buddhists.

It’s not surprising then, that attacks on religious liberty are particularly common on public university campuses. Some professors and university leaders tout intellectual diversity, while ideas are stifled because they are unpopular or not “politically correct.”

These incidents are occurring across the country, including right here in Arizona. That’s why CAP is supporting HB 2565, which ensures that universities and community colleges do not infringe on the rights of students to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs.

In a Senate Education Committee hearing on Tuesday, ASU graduate Bethany Miller testified about her personal experience of religious discrimination. Here’s what Bethany had to say:

Other examples abound – like when a student at Los Angeles Community College delivered a speech in a public speaking class for an open-ended assignment about his faith and read the dictionary definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. His professor called the student a name, refused to grade his paper, and told the student to “ask God” for his grade.

In 2006, a student enrolled in a program at Eastern Michigan University that would allow her to serve her community as a high school counselor. In spite of earning straight A’s in her curriculum, the student was expelled for refusing to counsel a client about goals that violated her religious beliefs, even though she consulted with her professor and referred the client to another counselor.

We are pleased that Arizona’s three public universities have agreed to HB 2565 and that ASU President Michael Crowe has recently lauded the importance of religious student groups on campus.

University students should not be forced to make the choice between getting an education and following their religious beliefs, and HB 2565 ensures that for Arizona students.

Continue reading Choosing Between Your Faith and Your Education

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Brewer Sued For Declaring “Arizona Day of Prayer”

Posted in Religious Liberty on: March 16th, 2011
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The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday against Governor Jan Brewer for declaring on May 6, 2010, the “Arizona Day of Prayer.” Governor Brewer issued the declaration in conjunction with President Barack Obama and elected leaders across the country respecting the National Day of Prayer.

Millions of Americans and thousands of local leaders have traditionally prayed for the nation and its leaders during the annual event, which was codified by Congress in 1952.

“The First Amendment and the Arizona Constitution allow public officials to acknowledge our nation’s religious heritage,” said Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy (CAP). “The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s claims that Gov. Brewer’s actions are suddenly unconstitutional are a radical misinterpretation of the First Amendment.”

CAP has been actively involved in defending the National Day of Prayer. In June, they joined family policy councils across the country in filing a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the National Day of Prayer in the Freedom From Religion Foundation v Obama district court case.

“At a time of economic crisis and a historic budgetary shortfall, it is absolutely appropriate and prudent for our elected officials to call for prayer,” said Herrod.

Congress and President Harry Truman instituted the National Day of Prayer in 1952 in a joint resolution. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed an amendment specifying that the annual event would be observed on “the first Thursday in May each year.”

 

Continue reading BREAKING NEWS: Governor Brewer Sued For Declaring “Arizona Day of Prayer”