The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Association of Christian Schools International (800+ religious schools in California) and the Calvary Chapel Christian School (Murrieta, California) filed a civil rights lawsuit this past Thursday against the University of California, claiming religious discrimination. I believe the suit specifically alleges that UC discriminates against students who are taught creationism. According to the LA Times, UC won’t recognize high school science courses using textbooks based on creationism, or that challenge Darwinistic theories.
Aparrently, UC believes it is impossible to teach real science when matters of faith are at stake. Has anyone in the admissions office there looked up the definition of “theory” lately? Among the high school courses rejected by UC are:
- Christianity’s Influence in American History
- Christianity and Morality in American Literature
- Special Providence: American Government
Those sound like reasonable course titles, to me.
I found this especially compelling in light of some of the stuff found in the UC catalog of course offerings under the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Studies course offerings:
- Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture
- Sexuality, Culture and Colonialism
- Interpreting the Queer Past: Methods and Problems in the History of Sexuality
While some of Calvary Chapel’s classes were “too narrow to be acceptable,” I wonder how many straight, abstemious, Christians would pass any of the courses I just named? (Of course, how many would take them?) On the other hand, UC apparently has a gripe against schools that use books published by Bob Jones University Press (books like these, I suppose) and A Beka Books (they probably have a beef with the guy who wrote “God made the elephant“).
Having seen the selection of books under discussion, I’m not sure I blame UC for claiming that the students force-fed the anemic diet of BJU Press books need to make sure they’ve covered the basics by taking remedial classes. And I’m don’t have a problem with a university setting high entrance requirements. But the problem here is that UC is a state-sponsored school, isn’t it? If UC is accepting federal and state money to fulfil its charter, then when Ravi Poorsina (UC spokeswoman) says:
“These requirements were established after careful study by faculty and staff to ensure that students who come here are fully prepared with broad knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed.”
Then I suggest they throw away the high school transcripts, stop moaning about the school they went to, or what books they read, and administer a blind test to all incoming students. Wait, don’t students already take a state admissions test? UC already admits that students can request admission on the basis of SAT scores alone, so why not require this of everyone?
Because the sordid truth is, college admissions offices aren’t really looking to admit academically qualified students. They’re looking for students that will confirm and conform to the school’s image of itself–and its politically correct demographic quotas. I doubt there is, anywhere, a truly unbiased admissions office evaluating students only on their merit. But that’s another blog post.
According to the LA Times, “The suit also accuses the university system of employing a double standard by routinely approving courses that teach the viewpoints of other religions, such as Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.” A quick browsing of the academic directory:
But so what? We already know UC is going to be teaching alternate faiths and practices. Nobody could possibly enter any state college and not recognize that — even if you don’t consider “secularism” a faith.
I’m not entirely sure where I stand on this. On one hand, I support the right of an educational institution to decide its own academic qualifications. However, it ought to be the same for everybody, and blind to matters of ethnicity, culture, creed, or gender. And, based on what I saw at the BJU Press and Abeca Books sites, I’d agree that the incoming students from those schools may be suffering from a lack of objective teaching. (See TQA’s post for an informative look into one of the BJU books.)
My wife and I don’t plan to send our children to christian schools. For our part, we’ve heard too many stories about the lower quality of education among too many of these schools. We’d rather our kids get the standard teaching, and if any of it disagrees with our faith viewpoint, we’ll help out children understand why we believe what we do.
Brainwashing gets us nowhere. And that goes for the kids in the gender studies classes at UC, too.
[tags]abeca-books, acts, association-of-christian-schools, bju-press, BlogRodent, discrimination, faith, prejudice, religion, university-of-california[/tags]