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Freedom preserved at University of North Carolina... for now

By Scott Tibbs, October 24, 2011

It is good news that the University of North Carolina declined to punish the Psalm 100 singing group for submitting to Scripture and removing a homosexual member of the group. But there are dark clouds on the horizon for freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The North Carolina state legislature should carefully monitor this controversy as it progresses and stand up for liberty.

The university had "investigated" Psalm 100 before deciding that the group was allowed to remove members who do not agree with their beliefs. In this case, this belief is submission to Scripture's very clear teaching about the sinfulness of homosexuality. But it is not over because there are already calls for the university to amend its nondiscrimination policy to more strictly ban "discrimination" by student groups. (See this letter to the editor as well as editorials by the Daily Tar Heel and the Durham Herald-Sun.)

There is a wrinkle in this story, because Psalm 100 got $152.20 from student fees. Homosexual students and those who support homosexuals should not have to subsidize a student group that holds views in opposition to their own. The same principle should apply to Christians who do not want to pay for things like the Miss Gay IU event every year. This is why universities should not give any funds to any student groups. Let them raise their own money.

Clearly, student groups should have the right to remove members for serious violations of the group's beliefs. Freedom of association necessarily includes the freedom to not associate. Should the UNC Young Democrats be forced to keep a member who donates to and campaigns for Herman Cain or Rick Santorum? Should a campus abortion rights group be banned from removing a member who regularly pickets the nearest abortion clinic?

Since UNC is a public university, they cannot legally force a Christian student group to accept members who are in rebellion against Christian doctrine as established by Scripture. If UNC caves to pressure from militant homosexuals and makes the "nondiscrimination" policy more onerous, the North Carolina state legislature should use the power of the purse strings to "persuade" UNC to follow the Constitution.