Judge Rightly Strikes Down Narrow-Minded Christian Lawsuit

    Last week, a federal judge downed one lawsuit against the
    University California, but there’s a long line behind. After rejecting a charge
    by private Christian high schools that the university was infringing on their
    religious rights, the judge will be fielding even more cases related to
    specific courses, ranging from English to religion. The judge’s approval gives
    a nod to UC “a-g” requirements, one of the most stringent admissions policies
    in the nation. Its strictness, however, was wrongly construed as an overbearing
    tool of persecution that excluded the schools’ religious courses from
    accreditation at UC colleges. To the contrary, the toughness of the
    requirements preserves the high quality of a UC education.

    The latest decision brings a partial close to a two-year
    saga. The Association of Christian Schools International first filed its
    lawsuit in 2005, setting off a flurry of protest and controversy: Religious
    parties cried foul on what they perceived to be barefaced discrimination, while
    academics griped that the lawsuit dangerously scaled back the importance of
    basic science knowledge for incoming students. The high school’s emphasis on
    religious sciences while pushing college admission of their students is
    irresponsible in two ways: Not only does it stoke academic conflict between
    high school and college instruction, but also endangers the new student with an
    uneasy transition into higher education. The shift between two drastically
    different worlds of knowledge will be nothing less than jarring.

    And perhaps the Christian schools’ most off-target
    accusation is that the university had institutionalized its maltreatment of
    Christian courses. The university’s evaluation of whether classes meet “a-g”
    requirements and its course approval process does not impose any systematic
    slant on Christians. Intelligent design and creation science has not yet
    achieved enough public merit to make its exclusion from public education a
    restriction of religion.

    In fact, the plaintiffs’ own textbooks serve against them,
    espousing limiting views of their own:

    From a college-prep course book published by Bob Jones
    University Press: “The people who have prepared this book have tried
    consistently to put the Word of God first and science second. To the best of
    the author’s knowledge, the conclusions drawn from observable facts that are
    presented in this book agree with the Scriptures. If a mistake has been made
    (which is probable since this book was prepared by humans) and at any point
    God’s Word is not put first, the author apologizes.”

    And from “Biology for Christian Schools,” another book used
    by the plaintiffs: “If [scientific]
    conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong, no matter
    how many scientific facts may appear to back them,” and “Christians must
    disregard [scientific hypotheses or theories] that contradict the Bible.”

    It is disingenuous for the schools to brand university
    education as wildly biased when their own instruction is skewed. Education of high schoolers on subjects that
    are not yet fully accepted in academia, then shuffling them into an environment
    that is based on the academic world would strain the already volatile
    transition into the realm of higher education.

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