Sunday, October 6, 2013

Public Colleges with Religious Dorms Are Not a Threat or Violation of Separation of Church and State

A Reasonable Accommodation Is What They Are

One would be hard pressed to find a stronger advocate of keeping religion out of government than this Forum.  It is clear that most fervent religious leaders actively seek to get government to sponsor religion, their particular religion.  But this trend as reported in the New York Times is not a problem.

Citing reports from students who say they are hungry for more faith-based options on campus and national surveys that show a strong interest in spirituality among college freshman, officials at Troy, Alabama’s third-largest public university, this semester opened the Newman Center residence hall, a roomy 376-bed dormitory that caters to students who want a residential experience infused with religion.
Kosher dorms, Christian fraternity houses and specialized housing based on values have become part of modern college life. But the dorm on this campus of 7,000 students is among a new wave of religious-themed housing that constitutional scholars and others say is pushing the boundaries of how much a public university can back religion.

It is the job of government to accommodate religion if it can do so without violating the rights of those who do not adhere to that particular faith.  And allowing dorms that house individuals who share a religion and religious beliefs is an acceptable accommodation.  Such a practice does not endorse the religion, it simply recognizes it.

As for those who are opposed to this practice the message here is that you have a lot bigger issues to face in the battle against  those who say they love the Constitution and want to uphold it by violating it and the battle against religions that are so weak and ineffective that they must use government coercion to force their views on an unwilling populace.

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