The Point

The Point: Duke Dunks Young Life


John Stonestreet

The student government at Duke University has denied Young Life recognition as a campus group. You might guess why: Young Life does not allow those who engage in “sexual misconduct or practice a homosexual lifestyle” to serve as volunteers or ministry leaders.

In other words, to be a leader in Young Life, you have to adhere to Christianity.

This is the latest incident of universities discriminating against Christian groups in the name of non-discrimination. But Eric Baxter of the Becket Fund told Religion News Service, that most universities will back down when challenged for violating “students’ First Amendment rights.”

That may or may not apply to Duke which, as a private institution, doesn’t “have the same obligations under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause that a government entity does.”

On the other hand, Duke still receives a lot of government money. Almost a quarter of their revenues come from government grants and contracts, according to Duke Today. Maybe the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights should take a look.


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