‘Discrimination’ is a necessary part of any faith-based group

Tufts University has de-funded and de-recognised the Tufts Christian Fellowship TCF requires leaders, but not members, of the group to adhere to its Basis of Faith, reading as follows:

“The Tufts Christian Fellowship is dedicated to understanding and celebrating the basic Biblical truths of Christianity. We believe in the only true God, the almighty Creator of all things, existing eternally in three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit — full of love and glory. We believe in the unique divine inspiration, entire trustworthiness and authority of the Bible. We believe in the value and dignity of all people: created in God’s image to live in love and holiness, but alienated from God and each other because of our sin and guilt, and justly subject to God’s wrath. We believe in Jesus Christ, fully human and fully divine, who lived as a perfect example. We believe in justification by God’s grace, to all who repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. We believe in the indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all believers a new life and a new calling to obedient service. We believe in the unity of all believers in Jesus Christ. We believe in the victorious reign and future personal return of Jesus Christ giving over the unrepentant to eternal condemnation but receiving the redeemed into eternal life.”

In short, to be in a leadership role of the Tufts Christian Fellowship, you have to be a Christian.  Allegedly, this violates a non-discrimination policy.

To which I must say: why on earth are you applying a non-discrimination policy to the leadership a religious group?  Would you require that Hillel accept a devout Muslim as its president?  That the Tufts Democrats accept a tea-partying conservative in its leadership?  Society of Women Engineers, a man as president? Must the Tufts Latinos accept a non-Hispanic leader? It makes perfect sense to not permit the Tufts Daily to discriminate on the basis of religion when making decisions about its editors, but the same cannot be said of groups whose raison d’etre is to create a community of religious (or women, or ethnic groups).

Moreover, the Basis of Faith does not discriminate against any group aside from non-Christians: it does not take some prelapsarian view that women cannot be leaders and must ‘submit’ to male authority, nor does it deny gays or lesbians the chance to lead.  In fact, belief in the “value and dignity of all people” is about as inclusive as you can get.

So, this Jumbo must ask: Tufts, are you really going to be this discriminatory in your de-funding of TCF?

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