I Prayed have prayed
Lord, we pray for freedom and true peace to prevail in this case and on the campus of Yeshiva University.

Analysis. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court left a Jewish university in limbo about its First Amendment freedoms. But a powerful dissent led by Justice Samuel Alito criticizes the court for ignoring a “shocking development” in the school’s battle with an LGBT activist group, so the case may be far from over.

Have you taken your place on the wall?

 

This debate appears to pivot on whether or not Yeshiva University, in New York City, is in fact a religious institution. Even beyond the school’s name, its clearly observable traits and values would seem to make that an easy determination. Founded in 1886, it is the nation’s oldest Jewish institution of higher education — one that was established to support the study of the Torah and other important texts of Judaism. Moreover, according to the school’s advocates at Becket Law (formerly the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty), adherence to Jewish tenets of faith remains a key part of its day-to-day identity. For example, the school honors the Sabbath and observes kosher dietary restrictions. In addition, its students spend hours each day in scriptural studies.

“The Torah guides everything that we do at Yeshiva — from how we educate students to how we run our dining halls to how we organize our campus,”  said Yeshiva President Ari Berman in a Becket release.

The school’s religious character thus seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the answer is no, at least for New York authorities. Several months ago, a state court dismissed the primacy of the school’s religious mission and demanded full and immediate obedience to a local sexual-orientation and gender-identity law.

The YU Pride Alliance had forced Yeshiva into court after the school rejected its petition to be recognized as an official student club. While Yeshiva does not shy away from dialogue with its students in the LGBT community, school officials felt that they could not honor the Torah while formally approving such a group.

But a New York judge said they were wrong. Judge Lynne Kotler essentially rejected evidence that Yeshiva is at its core a religious organization. She suggested that the school’s governing documents “do not expressly indicate the Yeshiva has a religious purpose.” Also, because the school is licensed to award “secular” degrees, and students go to Yeshiva to obtain such education, Kotler determined that the school must be primarily an educational institution. Thus, she insisted, Yeshiva has no recourse to a religious exemption under New York City’s SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) mandates.

“Religion is necessarily secondary to education at Yeshiva,” she said before throwing out the school’s appeal to First Amendment protections and demanding immediate recognition of the LGBT group.

When appeals courts in New York refused to provide Yeshiva any relief, Becket sent a petition to the highest court in the land. Other groups weighed in on behalf of the Jewish school. Among them was the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, which represents about 140 Christian institutions and has good reason for its own “enormous concern and interest” about the direction of this case. The CCCU warned in its court brief that New York’s ruling “would compromise and even destroy some of the substantial benefits that religious colleges and universities bring to their communities and students.”

Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court is so far disinclined to provide any help. Five of the justices turned down Yeshiva’s appeal because they believe the school still has avenues it can pursue in New York. Significantly, though, this line of reasoning puzzled the other four justices.

“The First Amendment guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion, and if that provision means anything, it prohibits a State from enforcing its own preferred interpretation of Holy Scripture,” wrote Justice Alito in a dissent joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. “Yet that is exactly what New York has done in this case, and it is disappointing that a majority of this Court refuses to provide relief.”

According to Alito, Yeshiva should certainly be granted a stay halting New York’s brazen demand for immediate obedience to its SOGI rules. “The loss of First Amendment rights for even a short period constitutes irreparable harm,” Alito said. He also suggested that with three other justices already aligned with him, Yeshiva would likely win its case if it was actually granted a hearing before the Supreme Court. In fact, he seems to want to stand up for the First Amendment in the face of New York’s “shocking” actions.

“A State’s imposition of its own mandatory interpretation of scripture is a shocking development that calls out for review,” he declared.

For now, though, Yeshiva is subject to New York’s court order. Displaying the earnestness of its religious belief, the university responded by shutting down all student clubs until it can sort out its legal options. The YU Pride Alliance activists apparently viewed Yeshiva’s move as a way to stir resentment against them on campus, so they offered to hold back their demands for formal recognition while court proceedings continued.

This important case appears to be far from over. Will you pray for constitutional liberty to prevail?

Aaron Mercer is an IFA contributing writer with two decades of experience in the Washington, D.C., public-policy arena. Photo Credit: Adam Szuscik on Unsplash.

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Pam
October 28, 2022

Don’t Christian schools offer secular degrees??

Kathy Emahiser
October 2, 2022

Father, we come to you with thanksgiving and praise. According to Romans 4:17…”I made you a father of many nations” in the presence of Him whom he believed – God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Father, by faith we call victory to the cause of Yeschiva. Father, we give this battle to you, calling things that be not in this situation as if it has already been done in your favor/Yeschva. Please move on the hearts of the court justices and let them see truth and rule accordingly. We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

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Randy
September 26, 2022

“ The YU Pride Alliance activists apparently viewed Yeshiva’s move as a way to stir resentment against them”

Of course they would,, as any good victim (or oppressed) would think.

They couldn’t imagine that THE LAW requires if they have clubs, to open them indiscriminately, thus the REQUIREMENT to shut them down during review if the current court decision doesn’t provide at least temporary relief.

Pray not only for Yeshiva, but for these misguided youth, who may also be activist trolls.

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AmericanPatriot
September 26, 2022

NY and its love for perversion is dead wrong. May God silence the servants of Satan and change the mind of the high court.

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Jan
September 25, 2022

Ament to Jacqueline J Manchester’s comment/prayer.

Jacqueline J Manchester
September 24, 2022

” She suggested that the school’s governing documents “do not expressly indicate the Yeshiva has a religious purpose.” Also, because the school is licensed to award “secular” degrees, and students go to Yeshiva to obtain such education, Kotler determined that the school must be primarily an educational institution. Thus, she insisted, Yeshiva has no recourse to a religious exemption under New York City’s SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) mandates.” This does not say, LAW, it is therefore a regulation by an authority, but no a law, and there for it cannot be enforced. We are already regulated to death, but need to understand the difference between law and regulations. The 1st amendment is LAW., mandates are not law. If I am wrong, someone correct me about this. Because the Yeshiva school has a focus on teaching the ‘Torah and other Jewish Scriptures, it is a religious entity. Just because it also grants secular degrees does not negate the religious purpose.

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Elme
September 24, 2022

I would remind the Courts, Venence is mine sayth the LORD
Look at history , What has happened to all counters that have persecuted the Jews. Thay did not fair so well.
I will Pray

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Sharon williams
September 24, 2022

Outrageous! What a threat to the Constitution! Christians and Jews unite to demand religious freedom be honored!

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Victoria Z
September 24, 2022

Father we ask and trust you to help us effectually intercede for Yeshiva University, in New York City, to be free to decide which clubs they feel are appropriate for their university campus which was founded and has existed for years as a “religious” Jewish Torah honoring, Torah teaching university. Father where will tge LEFT draw the line? Goday LGBT…what then if they win if a modern day Baal worshipping group wants to attend Iniversity there and start a club in honor of Baal, will they be forced to honor that? Father there needs to be certain established undeniable religious protection for religious schools to be free to decide against state mandated curriculm or clubs or behavior which they find offensive to their scriptures. Just because LGBT is legal and gays may be granted entrance, doesnt mean the school agrees scriptually to this lifestyle or has to agree to allow clubs promoting this lifestyle on their campus. ( And a side item here, not in the article, with substances such as marijuana and alcohol being legal, doesnt mean religious universities want those substances used on campus either, and they should have the right to forbid them and issue consequences if they are found on campus. ) Father the religious parents of our day want a safe education environment for their children from K-college and graduate school and pay large sums to attend thete for that very reason, those schools must to be able to maintain the freedom of religion constitutional rights they have always enjoyed, to establish their religious guidelines on what they will and will not accept or teach on campus. If college age students want to attend a university with a gay club they should attend a secular university that has one.
Father we take encouragement from your scriptures on Kings such as Cyrus who was not a Jew but respected the Jews and allowed them to freely practice their religion, and even when Daniel and his friends were taken captive and selected to be part of King Nebuchafnezzar’s group of students to be taught the language of the Chaldeens, you gave them favor when they requested a vegetarian diet instead of the kings rich food. Father your hand of protection and favor was on your people in these cases because you saw their heart to honor YOU, and you worked it out so that the leadership over them agreed. Father grant this amazing legal favor to Yeshiva University, (and all religious schools) and Father i would be bold to ask even more than that: Father raise up a holy spirit led Jewish revival at Yeshiva where students would be taken into great spiritual awe of you during their Torah studies such that they recommit their lives and hearts to you in spirit and truth with even greater zeal, even like the ancient Hebrew revivals mentioned in your word, such that the Holy Spirit with them would bring great fear and conviction to their enemies, the rebellious, unreligious, heathen, spiritually dry, and gays on campus who may attend or work there. Let the presence of your Holy Spirit be so strong there that it can be felt as soon as you enter the campus, as surely as temperature can be felt let yourself be felt there and may your presence drive away those who oppose it or strive against it to corrupt it, even as tge psalmist prayed, we pray:

Psalm 68
King James Version
68 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah, and rejoice before him.

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Dorothy Glover
September 24, 2022

Father God! Hear our cry. America was founded on freedoms that are now being challenged and even removed from our laws. We cannot publicly express our opinions without being “cancelled” by the leftist factions. Hear us, O Lord! Defend us from the evil ones. Your word to Ezekiel is a warning to those evil leaders of America – both secular and religious. Those who oppose You face complete destruction. You will destroy them for YOU alone are GOD. Have mercy, Lord. Cause them to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Save America. We were the lighthouse shining forth the Gospel. Now we are becoming the laughingstock of the world. Hear us, O Lord!

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Dorothy
September 24, 2022

Father God! Hear our cry. America was founded on freedoms that are now being challenged and even removed from our laws. We cannot publicly express our opinions without being “cancelled” by the leftist factions. Hear us, O Lord! Defend us from the evil ones. Your word to Ezekiel is a warning to those evil leaders of America – both secular and religious. Those who oppose You face complete destruction. You will destroy them for YOU alone are GOD. Have mercy, Lord. Cause them to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Save America. We were the lighthouse shining forth the Gospel. Now we are becoming the laughingstock of the world. Hear us, O Lord!

3
Dorothy
September 24, 2022

Father God! Hear our cry. America was founded on freedoms that are now being challenged and even removed from our laws. We cannot publicly express our opinions without being “cancelled” by the leftist factions. Hear us, O Lord! Defend us from the evil ones. Your word to Ezekiel is a warning to those evil leaders of America – both secular and religious. Those who oppose You face complete destruction. You will destroy them for YOU alone are GOD. Have mercy, Lord. Cause them to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Save America. We were the lighthouse shining forth the Gospel. Now we are becoming the laughingstock of the world. Hear us, O Lord!

1
Blanca
September 24, 2022

Praying to the highest court: to Abba in HIS Son Jesus name: that these brethren keepers of the Torah in their school: will be given the victory: for pride comes before the fall: ( these seeds of pervertion will be like grass here today and gone tomorrow) by God’s nostrils blowing they will be destroyed: may yeshiva keep the faith:

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Becky
September 24, 2022

Glory Lord, to Your Most High Holy Glorious, GOOD name!
Forgive these lawyers and court in New York, they really are clueless, to say that religion is secondary to education?
They obviously don’t know much history of many of our educational institutions!
This RN is not being critical or cruel but speaking plain truth with bold love.
Thank you Jesus for the lawyers who are defending this religious school of higher learning! Pour on them and the school leaders Your Holy Spirit, to guide, comfort, console- sadly I was so not surprised this deeply dishonoring to godly, righteousness occurred in New York.
Abba, please help them all listen to Your Word and strategy in this fight and trust You are fighting spiritually and legally and even give them favor socially and in media Lord.
I ask for a new fear of You, Lord, Your Magesty, Your Royal Highness Holiness GOD ALMighty, to sweep our country like a massive hurricane of Holiness, Goodness, Authority and best for last AND forever, CHESED, Tenderlovingkindness…..the kind that makes humans in Your image, that makes us with the ability to choose freely, even when HE knows just how badly we will choose sometimes and how horrific the costly maybe, for ourselves, others and even HIM -the cross….that warns us to stay away from choices that lead to death and choose life instead.

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Linda Oliver
September 24, 2022

1All rise! For God now comes to judge
as he convenes heaven’s courtroom.
He judges every judge and rules in the midst of the gods, saying,
2“How long will you judges refuse to listen
to the voice of true justice and continue to corrupt what is right
by judging in favor of the wrong?” Psalm 82 in the last days of 5782. Lord save this school for you and your purposes in Yeshua’s name Amen and Amen

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Gail Segars Rainey
September 24, 2022

My comment is that this is yet another despicable act of big government completely ignoring the Constitution! My prayer is that Jesus turns the hearts of those on the Supreme Court who are anti-God, and if they do not repent, then Jehovah Jesus, the Judge Who is returning soon, will remove those judges. I trust in Thee, Lord Jesus and I love You!!!!! shalom, shalom!

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Helen
September 24, 2022

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I ask that you protect this university from losing their religious organization status. Guard the students, staff and their families both on and off campus from any attack by the liberal’s “woke” agenda. Show the enemies of Yeshiva University that God Almighty is on YU’s side and He is able and willing to help them.

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Maria Fillyaw
September 24, 2022

Dear God we pray in the name of Jesus for constitutional Liberty to prevail. Bless and guide and protect our Court in Jesus name

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Sanders
September 24, 2022

I stand against this atrocity in the name of Jesus. Perversity will not win I decree it in the name of Jesus. I pray that The Lord will make a way for Yeshiva to win this battle. These people are in the minority but our government in democratic cities and in Washington are making minority rule over majority rule. We are being ruled by unfair practices that subjugate the majority to the whims of the minority. Sexual orientation should not be forced on a religious school when it is against the schools beliefs and values. Go to another school. Do not try to have your way at an institution that you know stands for Torah and what God says. It is bullying, intimidation because New York is Liberal and they have the bully pulpit. Also anti semitism could be at play. Should be more comments on this because this is a religious institution could be us next. Pray and vote dems out. We need to stop the bleeding in this country. Christian’s and Jews in New York need to pray and stand against what is happening in their city.

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