If you visit the website of North Carolina State University, click on About, it reads:
“At NC State, ideas become solutions. We unite bold thought with purposeful action and use the results to overcome society’s grand challenges.”
If you then click on Mission and look down to NC State Values, it reads:
“Consonant with our history, mission, and vision, North Carolina State University affirms these core values:
Integrity—in the pursuit, creation, application, and dissemination of knowledge
Freedom—of thought and expression
Respect—for cultural and intellectual diversity”
Evidently, it’s been a long time since they have read their mission statement because they sure aren’t living up to it.
If you’re a Christian and member of university Christian group, you are no longer allowed to talk to other students about your Christian faith or even invite others to attend your meetings and events without first obtaining a very restrictive permit from the university. That’s what the organization called Grace Christian Life found out last September.
Supposedly, a school policy requires a person, persons or group to obtain a permit to conduct any kind of speech or communication anywhere on campus. The problem is that it seems no one else has been shut down for not having a permit like what happened to Grace Christian Life.
Alliance for Defending Freedom has file a lawsuit against the university on behalf of the registered student group. ADF attorney Tyson Langhofer told OneNewsNow:
“It’s an amazingly broad speech restriction. Public universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not places where students need a permit just to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”
Isn’t that what those three items listed under NC State’s mission say? What about the integrity of the dissemination of knowledge, freedom of expression and respect for cultural diversity?
However, that’s not what’s happening on the campus as part of the lawsuit filed against the university states:
“The University has not restricted the ability of other students and student groups to engage in expressive activity. Grace has witnessed other students, student groups and off-campus groups handing out literature either without a permit or outside of the area reserved by their table permit.”
David Hacker, Senior Counsel for ADF commented about the Speech Permit Policy, saying:
“The courts have well established that a public university can’t require permits in this manner for this kind of speech – and certainly can’t enforce such rules selectively. Unconstitutional censorship is bad enough, but giving university officials complete discretion to decide when and where to engage in silence students makes the violation even worse.”
The discrimination against Grace Christian Life isn’t the only example of the university’s anti-Christian actions. The Christian group was part of Chaplain’s Cooperative Ministry, an interfaith organization that helps support campus ministries. Last year, NC State met with CCM to discuss the Speech Permit Policy. A month later, NC State severed all ties with the interfaith group, stating the reason as:
“The current environment of diversity and faith traditions within the university is not shown or mirrored well within CCM as it currently exists.”
In other words, North Carolina University has NO integrity when it comes to the dissemination of knowledge, NO freedom of expression and NO respect for diversity if it isn’t to their liking.
Miss Alrutz, a member of Grace Christian Life, commented about the speech policy, saying:
“I think this is an attack on my liberty as a citizen of the United States. If they could do it to us – they could do it to anybody,”
I recall speaking to a couple who lived in Germany during the days of Nazi Germany. The husband told me that they were free to say and do anything they want as long as it met Gestapo guidelines. If anyone dared say or did anything that went against the Gestapo guidelines, they were either very publicly arrested or disappeared at night.
Reading what’s going on at North Carolina State reminded me of what that German couple told me. Students are free to express themselves and share their faith as long as it doesn’t differ than the party, or should I say, university Gestapo, policies.
I hope and pray that the courts force the university to live up to their own mission statement and the First Amendment which guarantees our freedom of speech.