August 18, 2004

FIRE vs UNC-CH Update

Well this is interesting. Chapel Hill has decided to defend its position against the Christian fraternity by using the Fourteenth Amendment, so now we've got a rock-paper-scissors thing going with the Constitution: does the First Amendment trump the Fourteenth?

My other question is why did it take Chapel Hill (which has a law school) two years to come up with this defense? A couple of years ago when they tried to de-fund a Christian group and FIRE called them on it they backed down. This year they're all Fighty Mc Fighty-pants. Sounds to me like they used the hiatus to flip through some stuff in the law library. Unfortunately, it looks like they forgot to read their own policy. Bummer.

And the local politicos are getting involved as well. This could turn into a most embarrassing situation for Chapel Hill, not that I am in any way hoping that will happen...

Erin O'Connor is also following the story.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at August 18, 2004 08:49 AM

Gee, sounds like it's time to do some networking among the Christian and/or actual free-speech supporting Carolina alums....

I'll go draft a cranky letter now.

Posted by: Naomi at August 18, 2004 01:05 PM

I don't know. Whatever. But it's worth pointing out that there is a real difference between Christianity as a status and "hav[ing] an
interest in the subject matter of the organization and to support[ing] its work." FIRE's response to Moeser says "AIO is not interested in the religion of its members insofar as Christianity is a “status” (like being “Asian” or “male”)." So drop the requirement, problem solved. If it's not that simple, then aren't AIO and FIRE fighting for a group's right to discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation?

Posted by: Lance McCord at August 18, 2004 07:44 PM


Um, no.

Posted by: Winston Smith at August 18, 2004 09:34 PM