The ominously named “Blueprint for Positive Change 2020,” written by the Human Rights Campaign, calls for the U.S. Dept. of Education to deny accreditation to faith-based colleges and universities if they “discriminate or do not meet science-based curricula standards.”
Such legal-sounding language is eyebrow-raising for many Christian conservatives who have witnessed homosexual activists win numerous legal battles over what “discrimination” means in a courtroom. To date, numerous Christian business owners have been on the losing end of that legal and moral fight, and the HRC document suggests Christian schools are next.
HRC: Stop respecting ‘stated mission’
HRC, with its staff of attorneys, apparently sees a legal opportunity to use the 1960s-era Higher Education Opportunity Act to punish Christian schools that have not embraced homosexual rights on their campuses. The federal law currently includes a provision to “respect the stated mission” of religious schools but that allowance, which dates back to the Lyndon Johnson administration, is now conflicting with LGBT groups that are attacking orthodox beliefs about human sexuality and marriage in the name of twenty-first century progress.
The HRC document got noticed in mid-November by Dr. Al Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In a siren-blaring Nov. 18 commentary, the longtime theological warns that the “Blueprint” asks the federal government to clarify that the “stated mission” provision, which was written to protect Christian schools, “does not require the accreditation of religious institutions that do not meet neutral accreditation standards including nondiscrimination policies and scientific curriculum requirements.”
“In terms of accreditation,” Mohler writes, “that is an atomic bomb.”
Mohler also noticed the far-left push over science-based standards, which seems out of place for HRC’s stated mission. He writes:
The Human Rights Campaign is not known for any particular agenda on the creation-evolution front, nor is the group preoccupied with particle physics. The Human Rights Campaign is targeting issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, cloaking them in the language of “science.” This is an undisguised effort to require Christian schools and colleges to abandon biblical authority or lose accreditation.
“Once you set up a religious institution, you have a right to teach whatever you want to,” says attorney John Whitehead, who heads the civil liberties law firm The Rutherford Institute. “If you disagree with certain scientific principles, a religious school has a right to disagree and that doesn’t mean they will be nonaccredited. No, they shouldn’t be.”
According to American Conservative editor Rod Dreher, however, faith-based schools would indeed be in legal trouble if the Biden administration agrees to pursue them through accreditation.
“If a college or school lost its accreditation, it would have to close. Simple as that, “Dreher warns in his own November commentary. “This is the point. The HRC believes that if you do not accept its vision of sexuality, then you should have no place in public life.:
The future looks bleak for faith-based schools if a future Biden administration takes action, Dreher further warns, but he predicts a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court could write a landmark decision that defends the First Amendment if a lawsuit ever reaches the high court.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian or a Jew or whatever,” Whitehead tells One News Now. “If you establish a religious institution, you’re protected by the First Amendment, and I think this would be a good First Amendment issue.”