Monday, June 29, 2009

Truth loses; Kent wins

Another day, another educational--in both senses--opinion from the Supreme Court. This time, students who had sued Kentridge High School to allow a Bible club were turned down.
The court refused to hear an appeal from the high school students who wanted to form the Truth Bible Club at Kentridge High School in Washington state in 2001.

The school refused to let the group be chartered as a school club. They cited the group's name, the fact that students would have to pledge to Jesus Christ to vote in the club and that allowing the club in would bring religion into the school. The club's would-be founders then sued the Kent School District, claiming discrimination.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the district did not violate the students' First Amendment rights by requiring them to allow all students full membership in their club.
I don't see anything unconstitutional about allowing a Bible club on campus--but the club's requirement that members pledge loyalty to Jesus seems out of place in a school environment. School clubs should be open to all students, period. If students want to exclude others, they're free to form their own clubs on their own time--and own dime.

2 comments:

Stephen Simmonds said...

The notion of separation of church and state has been through a long debate through history. This is where we have arrived.

I imagine your houses of congress have some specifically christian pledge in them, which is rather arrogant to the country's non-christians - especially the original inhabitants.

I guess you can can lay claim to a biblical truth, but others will equally lay claim to truth in their own religion. Do you want to war over it? If you lay claim to some sort of ethical framework, you _must_ allow others their own.

Jim Anderson said...

I suspect some confusion over the title of the blog post. "Truth" is the name of the Bible club, not a reference to my own beliefs--the wordplay was perhaps too clever by half.