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.