The Department of Education, under the leadership of Barack Obama, whose pro-homosexual agenda has been unparalleled, has launched a website critics say is dedicated to the “shaming” of Christian colleges that follow biblical principles rather than a leftist social agenda.
“It looks like the Department of Education got a new boss: the Human Rights Campaign,” wrote Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a Washington Update commentary this week.
Perkins, referring to the leading “gay”-rights group, was spotlighting what he called a “shame list” posted online by the Department of Education of colleges that have sought exemptions to Title IX requirements that provide special treatment to transgenders.
Perkins points out that Congress approved an exemption to certain requirements for faith-based educational institutions well before Obama “started strong-arming the education system to adopt his radical views of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity.'”
In short, Obama tried to force schools to embrace “gender-free bathrooms and sports teams,” the commentary explains.
Using Title IX as their premise, DOE officials are insisting that “no person … shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
There was a surge in requests for exemptions from colleges when Obama “decided to interpret” the law to require special accommodations for “transgenders,” he wrote.
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“Although it’s none of the HRC’s business, the organization has made a point of sticking its nose in the First Amendment debate blazing through college campuses,” Perkins said. “Like most pockets of society, the clash between religious freedom and sexuality has landed on the doorstep of higher education, which is especially problematic for schools with a conservative worldview.”
He continued, “Late last week, the groups coaxed the Department of Education to expose the hundreds of universities with a ‘Shame List’ of anyone who asked to be excused from an ideology that the American College of Pediatricians calls ‘child abuse.'”
It was HRC President Chad Griffin who praised the DOE for responding to his group’s demands for “greater transparency.”
The “shame list” already has generated negative responses to the schools defending their First Amendment rights.
In Denver, KDVR television reported Chris Scott, “who was born a woman but now identifies as a man,” launched a diatribe against a Christian school.
“It is just religious bullies,” Scott told the station. “That’s not the Christian way because God said you should love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
Perkins’ commentary noted it’s not the only way HRC is trying to undermine those who follow biblical principles.
“Hoping to heap pressure on the schools, HRC tried to lean on the NCAA to do its bidding. If the sports association would ‘divest from all religious-based campuses’ like the groups wanted, then more colleges might reconsider. Sound familiar? It should. These are the very same tactics the LGBT lobby is using in places like North Carolina and Mississippi to demand special privileges (which also happen to be wildly unpopular and unsafe).”
Perkins wrote: “The bottom line is this: No one should have to get a waiver to exercise their First Amendment rights! The fact that the government is even using these intimidation tactics is cause for congressional action.”
He noted Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., called out the “bullying” by the Obama administration on the Senate floor.
“The Department of Education has been bullying schools to comply with policies that simply do not have the force of law,” Lankford said. “If the president won’t rein in his education officials, then Congress must.”
The government’s website posts publicly all of the correspondence with the colleges regarding the issue.
And it prominently posts a link on how to file a complaint.
The authors of the website also try to cast the schools in a negative light. For example, the DOE authors said an exemption is appropriate if students and faculty are required to espouse “the religion of the organization by which it claims to be controlled.”
At a website published by the American Family Association, the HRC efforts to have the DOE “out” the colleges were outlined.
“The group argued that students have a right to know which schools have been ‘granted the legal right to discriminate against them,'” it said.
The report included a comment from John Jackson of William Jessup University in Rocklin, California, one of the institutions targeted by the DOE.
“We’re committed to biblical authority and we’re committed to teaching in a God-honoring environment,” he said. “At the federal level, the Department of Education has become increasingly aggressive in some areas of human sexuality – and then also the sanctity of life.”
At the Red Alert Politics blog, Rebecca Downs noted more than 200 schools have been granted exemptions, with more applications pending.
Those schools now are being targeted by groups like Campus Pride, the blog noted.
“Religion-based bigotry is careless and life-threatening,” contended Campus Pride in a website statement.
The DOE admitted that it gave in to “public demand” to create its “shame list.”
It said in a statement: “We at the Department of Education vigorously enforce Title IX’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity, in every applicable school. We are committed to protecting every student Congress gave us jurisdiction to protect, to the fullest extent of the law. However, Congress did exempt from Title IX’s protection institutions that are controlled by religious organizations, to the extent that Title IX conflicts with their religious tenets. Due to exceptional public demand for more information on this topic, we are posting documents related to this on our website to provide transparency around this issue.”