California’s War on My Religious College and Others

source: http://dailysignal.com/2016/07/25/californias-war-on-my-religious-college-and-others/

Katrina Trinko /  /

I had a very weird college experience.

My memories aren’t of frat parties, of slugging down drinks in games of quarters or beer pong, of losing my voice cheering at big football games, and of hearing how evil Western civilization is in the classroom.

Instead, when I think of my four years at Thomas Aquinas College, I think of drawing Euclidean propositions on a chalkboard, of lively debates about Aristotle’s claims about ethics, of earnest discussions about things as obscure as the nature of being.

I remember how my heels clacked against the marble floor of the campus church, and seeing the California hills rising above the small campus. I recall nights in the women’s dorm when we’d pray the line from the Psalms that “peace be within thy walls” and weekends where, clinking beers in those hills ringing campus, we’d talk about everything from the campus gossip to philosophy.

My liberal arts college, as you might have guessed by now, was certainly religious. Thomas Aquinas College, located about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles in Santa Paula, California, is a Catholic institution and as “out” as you can get about its faith affiliation. There are crucifixes everywhere, a huge church that dominates the small campus, prayers that begin every class.

And now my college, along with other religious colleges, is under attack from California state legislators.

“It’s a direct assault on our First Amendment rights of our free exercise of religion,” says John Quincy Masteller, general counsel for Thomas Aquinas College, of the California legislation known as SB 1146.

What SB 1146 Would Do

The California state Senate already has passed SB 1146, and the state Assembly, which will return from recess Aug. 1, is likely to vote on it in the not-distant future.

The current version of the bill, if passed and signed into law by Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown, could significantly affect religious colleges’ financial status if they refused to change their current practices on issues such as marriage and gender identity. As many as 42 higher education institutions in the Golden State could be affected, according to Biola University.

“It’s about making the statement that schools that adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage and sexuality are wrong, are behaving immorally, and need to be punished,” said Greg Baylor, a senior counsel with the religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom, speaking at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation last week. “The state can’t be tainted by an association with these schools.”


read more at: http://dailysignal.com/2016/07/25/californias-war-on-my-religious-college-and-others/