Censorship and Religious Discrimination

According to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.

The First Amendment has been under attack for years, and there has been public debate about what the Constitution really protects. It seems that many who are opposed to religion call for a separation of church and state (which is not in the Constitution), but what they really mean is that they want any expression of religion to be prohibited. Here’s a recent example:

Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, speaks publicly all over the world, and he was recently invited by the University of Central Oklahoma Student Association (UCOSA) to speak on campus at the University of Central Oklahoma (a public university) on March 5 in Constitution Hall (of all places). But one of the professors, who also sponsors the campus LGBT club, pressured and bullied UCOSA until they withdrew the invite, reneging on a signed contract.

One of the many problems is that UCO claims to be ‘discrimination free’ and is committed to ‘fostering a learning environment where free inquiry and expression are encouraged’. The university also claims to be ‘committed to an inclusive educational’ environment and is a ‘diverse community based on free exchanged of ideas’. But apparently none of this is true if the speaker doesn’t conform to certain cultural norms and whose beliefs are contrary to a progressive, secular ideology.

Ken Ham said,

“religious liberty in America is under increasing attack by some very intolerant people. In this case of discrimination, I find it highly ironic that after being scheduled to speak in the school’s Constitution Hall, our constitutional right to free speech and the free exercise of religion, guaranteed under the First Amendment, have been denied with the school’s cancellation.”

Ironically, the university is funding a Drag Queen Show, which is using the UCO logo, and the professor who raised all the fuss has organized a vulgar Safe Sex Carnival in a clear effort to shape student’s minds and normalize sexual immorality- based on their promotional photos.

So how is it that a public university can freely and openly support speech that is vulgar, but opposes religious speech, which is protected by the Constitution, and wholesome?

Thankfully, this story made national news, and public outrage persuaded University President Don Betz to re-invite Ken Ham to give his speech on campus.

Ken Ham said,

“I’m thankful for the many Oklahomans who stood up for our Constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion.”

I’m thrilled at the outcome and hope many more people will hear Ken Ham speak than had there been no opposition. I’m hoping Ham’s lecture on “Genesis and the State of the Culture” is a rousing success, but I expect there to be protesters, and the opposition to be fierce as they try to bring it to a halt. It’s just a shame that we find so much intolerance on college campuses- especially from professors who actively try to ban certain kinds of speech based on their own personal beliefs.

Examples of religious and political speech being banned grows each and every day, and it takes hard work to expose these practices and right the wrongs.

One school employee was told not to tell co-workers that she’d pray for them during private conversations. Nativity scenes have been banned in public places. Religious remarks and prayer by students has been banned during graduation speeches. Churches have been banned from distributing flyers with religious references in schools, while allowing other organizations to freely distribute flyers. Courts have ordered crosses commemorating troopers killed in the line of duty to be removed. Schools have been forced to remove musical Bible quotes. A high school football coach was placed on leave because he prayed with players on the field after games. Students at Texas Tech University were being denied recommendation to medical schools if they didn’t believe in Darwinian evolution.

The First Amendment was created to protect our religious freedoms and the right to free speech, but there are some who don’t respect those rights due to their own personal beliefs. Thus, we have an ongoing battle to protect those freedoms.

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