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« on: August 13, 2004, 09:58:12 AM »

Univ. of No. Carolina Resurrects Discriminatory Attitude Toward Christian Group

by Jim Brown
August 12, 2004

(AgapePress) - A conservative columnist says "a crisis of religious persecution" is brewing at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where once again, the university is being accused of discriminating against a Christian student group.

UNC recently de-recognized and froze funding to the Alpha Iota Omega Christian fraternity over its refusal to sign a diversity clause, which would require the Christian group to toss out its orthodox beliefs. Believing they were being treated in a way that was unconstitutional, immoral, and illegal, Alpha Iota confronted the university. UNC balked, and even refused to provide documentation for its actions. The school has also ignored a plea from the Foundation for Individual Rights to reverse its stance.

Dr. Mike Adams, a UNC-Wilmington professor and columnist for Townhall.com, says UNC is waging a "covert religious war" against Christian students.

"[T]heir First Amendment rights are not only being violated, but in addition ... their due process rights are being violated in a way that shows that the administration of UNC-Chapel Hill knows that it is acting illegally -- and continues to do so all in the name of tolerance and diversity," Adams says.

According to the criminal justice professor, even though UNC-Chapel Hill understands the First Amendment trumps the diversity clause it had asked Alpha Iota to sign, the school is continuing to act unconstitutionally. That, he says, elevates the school to a special status.

"It is very safe to say that UNC-Chapel Hill has now distinguished itself, and has now moved ahead of the rest of the pack as being the most bigoted university [in the U.S.] ... in terms of anti-Christian bigotry and bigotry against orthodox religious groups in the entire nation," he says. "It's no exaggeration to say that."

In December 2002, UNC threatened to de-recognize InterVarsity Christian Fellowship unless it signed a diversity statement that allowed non-Christians to assume positions of leadership with the group. That situation was brought to light when the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened. Adams believes UNC-Chapel Hill again will have to be forced to follow the law, most likely through litigation.

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