Implementing Religious Freedom on Campus: The Case for Colored Stars

The recent attempts to pass religious freedom laws in a few states has me wondering how we might be able to implement such laws in a college setting if they ever pass.  Maybe if we could pass such laws at the federal level that would be helpful in giving all public colleges and universities the ability to defend religious freedom for students and employees.

Basically, these laws allow people to refuse service or assistance to anyone who violates their religious tenets.  Though they mostly target the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community, there is no reason that the laws cannot be more expansive.  I can see how these laws can be very helpful to society and I think colleges and universities need to be out front thinking about how they would implement the laws if they ever pass at a state or federal level.

First, let’s be honest.  These laws are about White Godly Christians (WGC) being able to defend themselves from those we consider impure.  In a college setting, why should a WGC faculty member have to teach all students?  If the students in the class do not all come from the same background or have the same understanding of the world, that creases confusion and makes it difficult for the faculty member to teach.  Faculty need to know that their students have similar background experiences and perceive the world in a similar fashion.  Anything else is chaos and could lead to WGC faculty and students being led astray. Faculty need to have the right to remove from their classroom anyone who does not conform to their faith.

As administrators, why should we have to work through the conflicts that result from a diverse student body?  Once again, we see that having students from a similar background can make the college experience deeper and more impactful for students.  A WGC administrator should not have to interact with an LGBT student or even an LGBT employee.  Since this group of people have decided to reject God, they do not need to receive the same services as WGC students.  It would probably be best if we only admitted WGCs into our colleges.

From my perspective, these laws do not only protect employees but also protect students.  Students no longer need to interact with faculty or staff who are not the same.  Why should a student be forced to interact with a gay administrator or be taught by a Jewish teacher.  They could constitute a threat to the WGC student so they can just refuse to take classes taught by those instructors or meet with those administrators.  They can probably demand to be taught only by faculty of the same faith because nothing can interfere with their religious beliefs.  From where I sit, students can also refuse to take certain classes if those classes provide a perspective different from a student’s currently held beliefs.  After all, never interacting with a person or thought different from you is the definition of education.  If education does not reinforce what you already believe, what is it doing?

Now there is a problem I see with the implementation of these laws.  Some people might pass as a WGC and trick the good people into working with them.  Not all LGBT people are obvious and some even appear normal.  Most people of color are obvious but some multi-racial people appear more white than their heritage would indicate.  We need to develop a way to mark people who are different from WGCs so we know who to avoid.

My original thought was that our driver’s licenses can hold all of our social identities including race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, and any other characteristic we want. The problem is that we do not often see a person’s driver’s license.  We need a quick way to determine within a higher education setting whether we can interact with a person or not.  No reason for conversation or learning about someone who is different from us.  We need an early warning system.  We can even give it a name like the Freedom of Religion System.

I think the most elegant solution is to have people where different colored stars.  We can have a pink star for gay men.  Maybe a yellow star for Jews.  Different ethnicities each have their own color.  I am sure we can find a color for every group.  I am thinking WGCs do not need a star since they are normal.  Anyone not wearing a star can be assumed to be worthy of conversation and interaction.  I really like stars, instead of say triangles, because stars make you seem special.  They imply that you stand out and isn’t that what we want.  We want people who are different from WGCs to stand out.

Now that I am really thinking about this idea, I realize it is not enough.  I think we could do more especially at the federal level.  I suggest that two additional laws be passed at the federal level.

First, we need to allow all public colleges and universities to have guns on campus.  We know that people who are different from us tend to be less moral, more criminally-minded, and dangerous. A law allowing WGCs to carry guns on campus gives them the protection they need to feel secure in their learning environment in case they encounter one of these dangerous types.  Nothing says safety like the ability to shoot another person on campus.

The next federal law goes along with the guns on campus law.  We need a federal stand your ground law.  It is absolutely essential that people on campus be allowed to use deadly force if they feel threatened on campus.  For example, let’s say a WGC student is walking from one building to another and he (most likely a he because women shouldn’t have to hurt their brains with education) sees a black man walking toward him.  Now we know that black men really do not belong on a college campus so he must either have just committed a crime or plans on committing one.  Why should the WGC student have to take a long way to his next class just to avoid interacting with this black man.  The long way may make him late because of this thug.  Instead, with a federal stand your ground law, the student can say he felt threatened, shoot the black man, and get to class on time without any sense of remorse or being hassled by law enforcement. A definite plus for education.

Yes, let’s implement federal versions of religious freedom, guns on campus, and stand your ground laws.  All three of these laws can help us redefine freedom as the act of never having to interact with people who are different, and if we do encounter someone different, we have the right to kill them because they are just a little too icky and dangerous.  Isn’t that what freedom and education are all about?

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