IVCF Leadership Policy at UNC

Bibliography of Source:

Plowman, Edward E. (2003, January 18). “Brought to ‘heel.” WORLD Magazine. (Online). Available http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/01-18-03/opening_3.asp, January 30, 2003.

Article Summary:

Many post-secondary educational institutions across the nation have policies in place that require student organizations to allow participation from all students, regardless of the student’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and so forth. Often, these requirements not only dictate who may join the school’s clubs, but they are often extended to the leadership positions of each organization. For example, the Student Government organization could not tell someone they could not hold the office of President due to the fact that they’re Muslim. One belief, freedom, right on which the United States was founded was the fact that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Thus, such a ruling would seem appropriate. But, what happens when you have a religious organization, such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF)? Christianity is a very exclusive religion – only those who believe on Christ as the Savior for their sins – their wrongdoings – can get into Heaven. As a result, it would be contradictory for a Muslim, Buddhist, anyone but a Christian to hold a position of leadership in a Christian organization. Recently, the IVCF organization at University of North Carolina was told to modify their charter to allow anyone in a position of leadership, under the assumption that if they did not change their charter, they would no longer be an “official” organization at the school – they wouldn’t receive the funds that other student-run school organizations receive. Because of their inability to compromise their strong moral beliefs, UNC’s IVCF organization refused to change the charter. After pressure and the threat of a lawsuit from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), UNC changed their decision regarding the issue. IVCF’s charter and their status as an “official” student organization at UNC remain unchanged. Other schools across the nation have dealt with and are dealing with similar issues.

Central question(s) of the course dealt with by article:

  • What are the rights of individuals in a democratic republic?

What is your response to the central question of the course that the article deals with? Do your beliefs but you to the right or left of the spectrum on this issue? Explain.

I would have to side with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship organization and their refusal to allow students of other religions to lead their organization. Allowing all students to come to events sponsored by the organization is one thing. One job of Christians is to share the account of Jesus with others – what better way to do that than to allow people of other faiths attend Christian events and expose non-Christians to God’s Word? On the other hand, placing a non-Christian in leadership over a Christian organization just doesn’t fit. The non-Christian will want to take the organization in a direction it shouldn’t go; he will lead the organization away from the focus on Christ and refocus the organization on man and the false “natural innate ability and desire to do that which is good” in which many people of society today incorrectly believe.

I think my beliefs put my on the right of the spectrum on this issue. Most Liberals don’t believe in absolute truth or absolute morals. As a result, to them, one religion is just as good as any other. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if a non-Christian is leading a Christian organization. They fail to recognize what it means to be a Christian – to follow Christ, to do what HE wants. They follow their own ego. On the other hand, Conservatives generally found more of their beliefs on morals, on absolutes. They recognize that the beliefs of different religions often conflict and, as a result, it is insane to allow, for example, a Muslim to lead a Christian organization.

Write a resolution for class debate relating to the issue you examined in the assignment:

Be it enacted a FEDERAL law to allow all religious clubs and organizations in the nation’s public schools to restrict leadership based on religious beliefs consistent with the club or organization.