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Father, protect the religious freedoms we experience in our nation. Do not let us take them for granted. Thank You for this court's ruling.

A federal court just ruled against Wayne State University, finding that it discriminated against InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a religious student club, when it kicked the group off campus for requiring its leaders to be Christians.

As the court stated, at Wayne State, “[s]tudent groups were permitted to restrict leadership based on sex, gender identity, political partisanship, ideology, creed, ethnicity, and even GPA and physical attractiveness.” However, religious groups were not allowed to require that leaders share any of a group’s religious beliefs and at Wayne State, it was a “small group of Christians, who were denied [student organization] benefits because they require their Christian leaders to be . . . Christian.”

The court concluded that Wayne State’s actions to force religious groups to accept leaders “who may be hostile to [their] religious tenets” were obviously wrong and “strike at the heart” of the First Amendment: “No religious group can constitutionally be made an outsider, excluded from equal access to public or university life, simply because it insists on religious leaders who believe in its cause.” Because Wayne State’s actions were “obviously odious to the Constitution,” the court held Wayne State officials personally liable for violating the rights of Wayne State’s religious students.

“The law is crystal clear: universities can’t kick religious student groups off campus just because they choose leaders who share their faith,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket. “The court’s common-sense ruling today means that InterVarsity must be treated fairly, just as it had been for 75 years at Wayne State, and now can continue its good work serving a diverse campus community.”

InterVarsity’s student group had been a part of Wayne State for three-quarters of a century, holding Bible studies and providing a place for community discussion. InterVarsity is open to all students, but, like many other student groups, it requires its student leaders to adhere to its mission and purpose. The university never had a problem with their policy until 2017 when, during a routine club membership reapplication process, Wayne State told InterVarsity that asking its leaders to share its faith was “discriminatory” and deregistered the group.

But the court said Wayne State had things backward—it was the school that had discriminated against the small student group: “Disparate and discriminatory treatment of religious groups due to their religious character violates the Free Exercise Clause.” In fact, Wayne State’s attempt to control a religious group’s leadership selection was “categorically barred by the Constitution.” And the law on this point was so clear that the court held that Wayne State officials are personally liable for their actions.

In 2018, Becket sued Wayne State on InterVarsity’s behalf, since the group had been excluded. Wayne State relented and let InterVarsity back onto its campus but argued that it still had the right to remove the group later. Today’s ruling safeguards InterVarsity and sends a clear message that accommodation, not discrimination, is the best policy.

Pray for more courageous Christians to fight unconstitutional actions in court! Were you encouraged by this article? Let us know in the comments below!

(Used with permission from Beckett Religious Liberty for All. Photo Credit: Unsplash.)

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  1. Lord, Thank You for the victory of Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship at Wayne University. Thank You, Lord,
    through leadership righteous judges are on the bench in many places. Continue to bless our courts with judges and justices who uphold the Constitution, and righteous and fair judgements.

    Strengthen Christian young people on campuses across our nation. Embolden them to witness wholeheartedly
    to the Gospel message causing many to come to know Jesus as their Savior. Stop the persecution of Christians around the world, Lord. Bring the persecutors to their knees in repentance, for You desire all be saved.

    Thousand thanks, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

    Amen! 2
  2. A very encouraging article. 🙂 Father, I pray that more courageous Christians will fight unconstitutional actions in court. Thank Your for this courts ruling and help us to not take for granted our religious freedoms we experience in our nation. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    Amen! 6
  3. Stand up in the authority of Jesus for constitutional rights. Study the Bible/ constitutional law to be in the KNOW! PRAISE for campus ministries who believe Jesus is the way/truth/life.

    Amen! 8
  4. And yet the corrupt Biden illegitimate administration is beginning the process to expand the Supreme Court, specifically because the Dems feel there are too many conservatives appointed by the Trump admin. Everything that ’45’ warned about has and is happening: We are overwhelmed with illegal aliens on the southern border, who are being bussed far & wide across America… many who have tested positive for COVID-19!; by Executive Order he has destroyed many hundreds of thousands of jobs in our energy sector [Keystone XL Pipeline- New Mexico energy exploration- shut down ANWR in Alaska- fracking, etc.]; re-signing the Climate Accord will cost America TRILLIONS of dollars with NO benefit AT ALL, since clearly science shows that at most our human ‘influence’ on the world’s climate is no more that 2% of any effect! Also science has proven that CO2 is what ‘greens’ our planet, it is NOT detrimental, but rather enhances our biosphere environment. And as President Trump often said, ‘America now has the cleanest air & water of ANY nation in the world.’

    We now have destabilized relations with China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, & Syria! Afghanistan was on the verge of a bona fide settlement, but now there is a troop buildup instead of bringing our sons & daughters home. Also note that Big Pharma in collusion with the Gates Foundation shut down the viable pandemic remedies of Hydroxychloroquine & Ivermectin which are over-the-counter very low cost prophylactics that have proven remarkably effective in PREVENTING the onset of the China virus & any other SARS virus for that matter. The collusion allowed novel vaccines that have no history of long term effects… and yet the drug companies are immune from lawsuits!

    Can anyone in their right minds not recognize that the regressive Leftist plan is to weaken America to the point of capitulating to the New World Order Globalist agenda? America is the ONLY obstacles to the ‘Global Reset’ that will put full control of the nations under the hands of a small number of Luciferian ‘communists’. Go to the website ‘World Economic Forum’ and spend a lot of time reviewing the MASSIVE encyclopedic information re. ‘their’ plan… all sugar-coated in mesmerizing double-speak. America IS the ONLY nation that can resist, expose, and bring down this satanic plot, and ONLY when Donald Trump is reinstated in the Oval Office, BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN CHOSEN BY OUR LORD TO DO EXACTLY THAT!

    Our prayers MUST be targeted… Fasting with fervent intercession is critical since the LORD Jesus Christ IS our ONLY Hope! AND:

    Amen! 8
    1. Minor correction: HCQ & Ivermectin are over-the-counter drugs in MANY nations worldwide. In America they are by prescription only, and due to the pressure of Big Pharma+ …the FDA has taken the uncommon action of restricting our nation’s doctors from prescribing these for COVID-19.

      Amen! 4
  5. Thank God Almighty! It is so refreshing to know that there are people in our justice system with some integrity. How badly we need examples like this. I guarantee that you won’t hear about this in the mainstream media. Lord Jesus, please place a hedge of protection around these justices and their families. Keep them bold and strong in their faith and convictions, and please, give them vision for Your will in their lives. In Jesus’ name.

    Amen! 11
      1. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. We need to keep vigilant in our praying for our state and local justices to do the right thing and not bend to the socialist regime in the White House!

        Amen! 1
  6. Hallelujah ‼️ Praise You Lord God Almighty✝️
    Thank You for justice being seen again in our land. May this continue and grow to restore our religious liberties in the mighty and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

    Amen! 11
  7. This is great news to me because it will be an example all over th United States on how to fight back. It seems the”woke” culture is making Us see how valuable are rights are and that we need to take a stand against this evil woke culture by standing our ground and praying. Amen. Thank u Lord for this hardship we are experiencing but we are children and u GOD have awaken us to see all the good things we have and now we are not able to take them for granted but must stand firm. Thank you Lord Jesus😇

    Amen! 34

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