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Want to talk about Jesus? You'll need a permit for that at NC State

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  • Want to talk about Jesus? You'll need a permit for that at NC State

    A permit is required before students can talk about Jesus at North Carolina State University, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

    Grace Christian Life, a registered student group at NC State, filed suit over a policy requiring a permit for any kind of student speech or communication anywhere on campus – including religious speech.

    In September 2015, the student group was told that without a permit, they must stop approaching other students inside the student union to engage in religious discussions or invite them to attend group events.

    “It’s an amazingly broad speech restriction, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Tyson Langhofer told me. “Public universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not places where students need a permit just to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”

    Alliance Defending Freedom is a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases. They allege the Christian group has been singled out by the university.

    “The University has not restricted the ability of other students and student groups to engage in expressive activity,” the lawsuit states. “Grace has witnessed other students, student groups and off-campus groups handing out literature either without a permit or outside of the area reserved by their table permit.”

    A university spokesperson did not return my calls seeking comment.

    NC State’s rules were so draconian that the Christians were not even allowed to step from behind their table in the student union.

    “Colleges are supposed to be places where ideas are freely shared – not gagged,” Grace Christian Life President Hannalee Alrutz told me. “The only permit a student needs to speak on campus is the First Amendment.”

    It’s true that the university does regulate student speech – written, oral or graphic.

    ADF points to Regulation 07.25.12 that “requires a permit for any form of commercial or non-commercial speech, which the policy broadly defines as ‘any distribution of leaflets, brochures, or other written material, or oral speech to a passersby (sic)…’”

    “The policy specifics that any person ‘wishing to conduct any form of solicitation on University premises must have the written permission of the Student Involvement (Office) in advance,” ADF noted.

    According to the lawsuit, a university official sent an email to another official concerned about the Christian club.

    “There is an individual named Tommy who works for Grace who is essentially soliciting throughout the building,” the email reads. “He walks up to a single person or duo of persons, starts with a hello and then starts the conversation into religion, ending with giving them a card.”

    The email goes on to explain how they’ve stopped other groups from engaging in similar behavior in order to “create that inclusive, welcoming environment.”

    In other words, the only way to be truly inclusive and welcoming is to shut down the Christians and shove them into a closet.

    Want to talk about Jesus? You'll need a permit for that at NC State | Fox News

    Clyde Herrin's Blog

  • #2
    Wow, talk about taking away freedom of speech. This is pathetic, but it's just another liberal agenda to persecute Christians and rid the world of a religious belief that is just so evil to them. I'd love to know what "other groups" they've supposedly told have to have a permit for free speech as well. If you did this to a black or gay group on campus, it would be considered a HATE CRIME! I think the school should be sued, because they are infringing on the right to free speech.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Finding-Faith View Post
      Wow, talk about taking away freedom of speech. This is pathetic, but it's just another liberal agenda to persecute Christians and rid the world of a religious belief that is just so evil to them. I'd love to know what "other groups" they've supposedly told have to have a permit for free speech as well. If you did this to a black or gay group on campus, it would be considered a HATE CRIME! I think the school should be sued, because they are infringing on the right to free speech.
      I whole heartily agree with you Finding-Faith.

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      • #4
        That's totally unconstitutional, and immature. I don't think that is going to hold up in court unless the judge is in the business of legislating from the bench and cares nothing for the constitution. Christian groups unfortunately get targeted all the time, usually by a very small group of people though. We need to be educated about our rights and how to respectfully defend them.
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        • #5
          When I was in school, I remember our World Geography teacher telling us that religion is respected in America (she was referring to the Bible) and even there are protestants in the US, Christian denominations have harmony. That's my perception. But now that I am reading the current events, I am disheartened because it seems that freedom of religion is going out of bounds. Like the prayer in school being banned because it is unfair to Muslim children. I cannot understand that. If we are in a Muslim country, I don't think they would remove the mention of Islam because it would be unfair to other religion. I believe that US is a Christian nation so why is that happening? For equality in religion, it seems that Christianity is getting its unfair share.

          That policy says that Jesus is not allowed as a topic in that particular university. Now, is mention of Mohammed or Allah also not allowed? What about the Dalai Lama, is it also banned?
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          • #6
            Isn't it a basic right to be able to talk about things without having a metaphorical big brother bringing down the hammer on people? It's a basic right, as well as having a religion, so why is it suddenly a taboo in this part of the world? It's really insane the lengths people do to cover up the spread of faith that they themselves do not believe in. I'm sure the students would find a way, as many other people in the past who have been stopped by authority did it too. It's a real shame too, that this is even a topic to discuss here. Surely even common sense would tell you this new ruling is wrong on every level.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by OursIsTheFury View Post
              Isn't it a basic right to be able to talk about things without having a metaphorical big brother bringing down the hammer on people? It's a basic right, as well as having a religion, so why is it suddenly a taboo in this part of the world? It's really insane the lengths people do to cover up the spread of faith that they themselves do not believe in. I'm sure the students would find a way, as many other people in the past who have been stopped by authority did it too. It's a real shame too, that this is even a topic to discuss here. Surely even common sense would tell you this new ruling is wrong on every level.
              I agree with you. The problem is common sense is no longer the rule but the exception. Very often it appears to me to be blind hatred of Christianity and everything about it.

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              • #8
                This is the first time I've actually heard anything like this, and I wasn't even aware that a law like that could be passed in the first place.

                As you say, common sense isn't that common these days unfortunately, but restrictions placed on what people are allowed to talk about when it comes to religion is pathetic, and probably even unenforceable anyway.
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