By Staff, World News Magazine
Four years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a California university could force Christian groups to accept non-Christian leaders, all of the state’s public universities have adopted the policy, pushing one of the nation’s largest Christian groups off 19 campuses.
Leaders with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship announced this month that all 23 of its affiliated chapters in the California State University System would move off-campus this fall, operating as unofficial student groups.
California’s challenge to Christian student groups started with the Christian Legal Society (CLS) at the University of California’s Hastings Law School.
Administrators at Hastings instituted an “all-comers” policy that required all groups to be open to all students, regardless of beliefs. CLS and other Christian groups, including InterVarsity, ask student leaders to affirm a statement of faith that defines their shared Christian belief.
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the policy in a narrow ruling that pertained only to Hastings. Although the California university system has rolled out the policy at all its campuses, conservative legal experts say they’re taking the interpretation too far.
At Hastings, the high court ruled a true all-comers policy did not violate students’ Constitutional rights because it was universally applied. But on other campuses, administrators have provided exceptions for gender-based groups like fraternities and sororities, raising questions about whether the policy is as neutral as it claims to be.
“Our position will cost us,” Greg Jao, InterVarsity’s national field director said. “But I think the campus-access challenge gives students an opportunity to say, some might be afraid to pay the price, but not this generation of world changers. … Throughout the country, we’ve found that our staff and student leaders respond to derecognition with greater creativity, boldness, and risk-taking. And, perhaps more importantly, they’ve deepened their convictions as disciples, evangelists, and leaders.”
Single Americans Are Rapidly Multiplying
Singles now make up the majority of the adult U.S. population, according to research reported by Bloomberg.
Roughly 125 million Americans, or 50.2 percent ages 16 years or older, are single, up from 37.4 percent in 1976, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Bloomberg credited Edward Yardeni, a Wall Street economist and market strategist, with identifying the shift by using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ August job-market data.
In a private report to his clients, entitled “Selfies,” Yardeni said the “remarkable” trend has “implications for our economy, society, and politics.”
For example, Yardeni noted that singles are more likely to rent than buy.
Less marriage also means fewer children, which shifts spending habits. He also said more single-person households exaggerate income inequality.
“While they have less household earnings than married people, they also have fewer expenses, especially if there are no children in their households,” Yardeni wrote.
Although the number of divorced, separated, or widowed singles has increased since the 1970s, the larger increase, from 22.1 percent to more than 30 percent, came from a growing number of singles who never marry, Yardeni found.
Some argue this increase is the result of more couples deciding to cohabitate instead of marry.
A growing number of singles also means people are leaving the suburbs in favor of cities. “Singles make up more than half of the population in more than 46 of the 51 largest U.S. metros,” Richard Florida wrote in an article for The Atlantic’s CityLab.
“If families prefer the suburbs for schools and safety, singles prefer denser urban neighborhoods with more to do and greater opportunities to meet and connect with singles,” Florida wrote.
Air Force Won’t Let Atheist Airman Skip God in Enlistment Oath
The Air Force has given an atheist airman until November to take his enlistment oath, which includes the phrase “so help me God.” If he refuses, he will not be allowed to rejoin his unit.
Atheist groups have taken up the unnamed airman’s cause, but he may find himself caught in a battle over the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) has written to inspectors general for the Air Force and Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, arguing the airman’s constitutional rights have been violated.
The airman’s terms of service expire in November, and AHA claims his commanding officers rejected his written re-enlistment oath on Aug. 25 because he crossed out the words “so help me God.”
Man Challenges Belgium’s Euthanasia Law After Mom’s Death
Tom Mortier is taking Belgium to Europe’s highest court for allowing doctors to euthanize his depressed mother and waiting to notify him until the next day.
Euthanasia killings in Belgium and the Netherlands have spiked in recent years, especially for people with mental illness or depression, and the elderly who don’t want to go to nursing homes.
Godelieva De Troyer died April 19, 2012, at the hands of an oncologist – not her psychiatrist of 20 years, who refused to say her depression was untreatable.