Ratio Christi is a group for college students interested in Christian apologetics and defending the faith on campus.
Naturally, they want their club leadership to be strong Christians who believe in that mission.
But Colorado University decided that was too “intolerant,” and gave them two options: accept a non-Christian leader, or be shut down…
Ratio Christi, which means the “reason/rationality of Christ,” was founded under this name because “Christianity is supported by probability calculations and other considerations drawn from human history (such as arguments for Jesus’ resurrection) and natural history (such as scientific arguments for God).”
Christianity is reasonable. Yet we know from Scripture that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
It would seem inarguable to state that a group leader should agree with the purpose of their group. In fact, it would seem completely illogical to find a vegan group operated by a hardcore meat-eater.
But Colorado University of Colorado Springs didn’t think so.
Last November, they even began to force the local Ratio Christi group to allow “atheists or other non-Christians to lead [Ratio Christi] Bible studies!”
The University claimed that requiring the leaders of a Christian organization actually be Christians violated the official club handbook.
That was until Travis Barham of Alliance Defending Freedom got involved and defended Ratio Christi.
And it didn’t take long for the University to back off after ADF’s lawyers got involved.
“Thankfully, the university quickly fixed its policy by adding provisions that respect students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”
According to Christian Headlines: “The university agreed to pay the plaintiff’s representing Ratio Christi some $20,574 in damages and will also reinstate the group as an official student club.”
In addition to the payment, the university will be changing its handbook to make it “clear that clubs are at liberty to only appoint leaders who share the fundamental beliefs of their group.”
Just in case that wasn’t an obvious determination.
When the first lawsuit was brought forth, Ratio Christi stated that the discrimination was not a matter of tolerance. They pointed out that this decision proves that CU “prefer[s] some viewpoints and denigrate others.” Specifically, their goal in creating a legal case was to not be forced in taking on leadership that was directly opposed to their values.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has been on the side of Ratio Christi since the beginning.
They saw the absolute reason of this group and their intentions, as well as the misconduct of the other side.
Senior Counselman Tyler Langhofer stated: “Like any other student group at a public university, religious student organizations should be free to choose their leaders without the government meddling.
“Today’s university students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, university presidents, and voters, and we’re grateful the University of Colorado, has chosen to correct course, encourage diversity of thought, and protect students’ constitutional freedoms.”
He is absolutely right.
Universities need to encourage people to think independently. Critical thinking can only be taught correctly when all sides to a matter are honestly understood.
Without both protecting rights and encouraging opportunities for diversity, the young people on campuses will only perpetuate true intolerance and confusion.
Thank God for allowing this case to be made public, as it serves as an example to other academic establishments.
It also serves as a reminder to us. We need to remember what tolerance is, and what it certainly is not. We need to live in a way that encourages conversation between people of differing opinions. If we can hear others in their ideas, they may be willing to hear us as well. This mutual trust creates the best position from which to share the gospel of Jesus.