Christian Legal Society Loses in 9th Circuit

Unless they win on appeal, this ruling could bode ill for free association on college campuses.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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  1. Is this a case of being a non-recognised society, or does being non-recognised amount to proscription?

    Our campus Roman Catholic society was subjected to a “hostile takeover” which it was powerless to stop because of its open membership policy. The genuine members had to leave and re-form as a new group. The Christian Union on campus is not affiliated with the Students’ Union, for much the same reason. Non-affiliation is a small pain for them, but they are not banned from existing, and operate independently of the SU with regard to booking rooms, organising events and so on. On the other hand, if the only societies allowed on campus are those which are formally recognised (in whatever manner), then surely that must constitute an immediate breach of freedom of assembly.

  2. Well, it wouldn’t be that big a loss. Christian Legal Society–should there even be such a thing? Pure kingdom confusion if you ask me.

  3. Steve, there are two simple reasons why this is a Bad Thing.

    1. Christians can meet together to discuss issues they face as Christians in their professional environment and support one another. We live in both kingdoms, and our citizenship in heaven has an influence on how we engage in our citizenship on earth.

    2. First, they came for the lawyers…

  4. Regardless of whether or not this is not good for Christians in the religious arena, the ruling just plain doesn’t make sense.

    The article referenced makes a good point. The Vegetarian Club can require its members and officials to not eat meat. But the Jewish club can’t require its member not to eat pork because it would be for religious reasons? It just doesn’t make sense and is a basic violation of the Constitution.

    I would defend the right of a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Mormon, etc., to have a school sponsored club that stipulated a LCD that its members should agree to. Regardless of one’s perspective on the two kingdoms, this decision violates the intent of the Constitution and violate freedom of speech and religion IMHO.

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