Tell the Biden Administration to Protect Religious Groups on Campus
Students across the country rely on faith-based organizations for community, faith, and assistance. However, their right to freely operate and be recognized are in jeopardy right now.
The Biden Administration issued in February a “proposed rule and request for information” on existing Education Department policies that afford protections for all religious student organizations on college campuses.
Essentially, Biden’s Education Department is proposing to revoke key regulations that leveled the playing field for religious organizations. These regulations, for instance, allow religious organizations to have certain requirements on their group’s leadership or membership. For example, a Christian group at a university might have a statement of faith that its leaders are required to sign. That helps ensure that those in leadership are committed to advancing the Christian goals of the group – just like any secular group might want its own leaders to align with its goals. Under current protections, the Christian group could set their requirement without fear of retribution from their university. But now, the Biden Administration wants to revoke those protections.
The Education Department wants you to believe that the Trump Administration’s work in 2020 to protect religious organizations was confusing for institutions of higher education or “not necessary to protect the First Amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion.” They are conveniently billing this as a way to protect religious liberty.
We disagree and campus organizations who have been kicked off campuses in the past also disagree.
From promoting mental health to stable friendships that help build faith, these student organizations provide many services to our country’s young adults. And, we know that these organizations likely mean a lot to you personally, so I hope you take a moment to share those personal stories with the Education Department as they finalize the rule they have just proposed.
The Education Department is accepting your comments on this rule until Midnight E.T. on March 24th, so FPA has prepared a letter to help get you started. Below is an excerpt from that letter:
“[The 2020 rule] provided great support and reassurance to religious organizations on campuses across the country who are at risk of being punished by their schools for their faith-based nature. The Education Department serves as an important arbitrator in ensuring that Institutions of Higher Education do not trample on the rights of students to freely express their beliefs and to freely assemble. We are also concerned that all faith organizations, including minority faiths, are in jeopardy of having their right to operate their organization according to the core tenants of their belief taken away.”
Here are two steps you can take TODAY!
1. Head to our Action Center and tell the Administration today that they should cancel this rule and protect the First Amendment of religious students across the country! Please consider adding your own comments on how religious organizations have supported you in your time on campus.
2. Share this commenting opportunity with other friends and family who have also been impacted by religious organizations on campus.
I hope you will take a moment to share your concerns with the Biden Administration before it is too late!