Carson-Newman University, a private Southern Baptist college in Tennessee, just won the right to ban any students it considers to not adhere to its Christian “values”—in other words, it can now ban LGBT students, women who have had an abortion, who are unwed mothers, and who are pregnant.
The university’s president, Dr. Randall O’Brien, claims that all this discrimination is simply “who we are as a Christian university. These are our religious principles. And in a changing world, we would like to reaffirm that this is who we are and who we intend to be.”
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in any federally funded education program. This is what Carson-Newman filed a waiver for, and was granted.
In an interview with WVLT, O’Brien was asked why he chose to file the waiver, to which he did not have a coherent answer: “…Our legal counsel said that this would further establish our identity as a religious school, a Christian school.”
His interviewer noted that the waiver’s intent is to discriminate, which O’Brien said the school did not plan to do. Then why did he file it?
“That’s a good question. I believe [our lawyer] felt that it might strengthen our position in relation to First Amendment rights. I don’t really know why something would be necessary beyond that.”
Over 30 schools have been granted exemptions to Title IX in the past, but most likely none with such unintelligible logic before.
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