Christian Colleges & Gender Identity

The Next Assault on Religious Freedom?

According to some, including a few folks in government, religious liberty is code for religious bigotry.

Listen Now | Download

John Stonestreet

You’ve probably heard of Title IX, the federal law signed by President Nixon in 1972 “that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.” Title IX is probably best known for its effect on women’s athletics by mandating equitable treatment with men’s teams.

Of course, discrimination against women and girls on the basis of their sex is a bad thing, and so Title IX—though not a perfect piece of legislation—has done a lot of good. But the federal government has a habit of extending legislation beyond its intended reach, and that’s what is happening right now with Title IX.

The Department of Education, under pressure from LGBT groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and some legislators, has agreed to create a public, searchable database of Christian colleges and universities that obtained Title IX waivers based on claims of religious freedom.

These exemptions—which, for example, allow religious schools to provide male-only or female-only dorms—have been granted routinely since the law’s passage, but all that may be beginning to change. According to a report in WORLD magazine, the HRC has “accused Christian institutions of ‘hidden discrimination’ for obtaining Title IX waivers.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Ron Wyden and several other Democratic senators have asked the department to increase transparency around the waivers because, they charge, the waivers “allow for discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.”

To what are these senators referring and why is the nation’s largest LGBT group getting involved? Well back in 2014, the Department of Education quietly expanded its interpretation of the word “sex” to include “gender identity.” So, absent a religious exemption, schools that want to honor Christ in their teaching and lifestyle standards could be vulnerable to charges of Title IX discrimination if, for example, they tried to deny a male who “identifies as a female” from living in a women’s dorm, or participating on a female sports team, or using a woman’s public restroom.

Now perhaps I’m being suspicious, but it seems that a public, searchable database like this really has no real purpose other than to “out” those institutions that wish to stand for biblical values. The database would allow people who disagree with their Christian mission to target these colleges for harassment and possible legal challenge. With WORLD, I wonder whether this database is basically just “a hit list of Christian colleges.”

Efforts like this undermine our First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, association, and speech—much like we’ve seen in the ongoing efforts to punish and shut down Christian business owners who refuse to participate in so-called “same-sex” marriages. We’ve also seen this Administration attempt to force religious institutions, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor and Wheaton College, to provide health insurance in ways that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and others, are speaking out. “Institutions that have received an exemption are simply following the law,” the CCCU told WORLD. “What is unfortunate in this recent development is not that the list of schools that received an exemption is being made public, rather that the exemptions are being portrayed as something nefarious.”

What’s really nefarious in my book is the attempt to intimidate religious schools for doing nothing other than living up to their own beliefs. As one critic has said, it’s shameful.

There is no question that our liberties are under intentional, systematic assault. The question is how the Church and those who value our freedoms will respond: will we defend them? And will we model Christ as we do?

Further Reading and Information
Christian Colleges & Gender Identity: The Next Assault on Religious Freedom?

For more information on TItle IX and the religious exemption many colleges are requesting, click on the links listed below.


A hit list of Christian colleges?
J.C. Derrick | Worldmag.com | January 25, 2016

LGBT Activists Target Christian Colleges over Title IX Exemptions
Samantha Gobba | christianheadlines.com | January 19, 2016

Title IX exemption fair, leaders say
Diana Chandler | bpnews.net | December 8, 2015

Overview of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
U.S. Department of Justice, Statutes and Regulations

Title X Info


This situation brings up a compelling argument for continued restriction and limitation on LGBTs. This segment of the population, regardless of how one views the morality of their chosen lifestyles, clearly feels no compunction to follow numerous societal morays, taboos, and moral values. Like President Clinton's nefarious sex liaisons, this makes a person's overall moral character suspect. A person who lives in disdain of traditional values is ostensibly more likely to flout other traditional values with no qualms of conscience. I find it ironic that a critic finds these political tactics "shameful" while the entire membership of this cadre lives by values that most of the rest of society already deems shameful! As Jesus observed, a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, any more than a good tree can bear evil fruit. By their fruits you shall know them. This is never taken into account when LGBTs are allowed to be teachers, coaches, or scoutmasters. How can we be expected to feel safe about entrusting our children to such persons when they already publicly make it a normal part of their daily lives to flout moral values in one or more areas? Is it not entirely reasonable to be seriously concerned about their fitness to be in charge of underage children? If an alcoholic or drug addict would be unfit for such a position, how can we assume that an LGBT person is an appropriate candidate for the same position?
Fighting for religious liberty
We need to fight, while we still can. The leftists in the government, and the media see us as political enemies and want to shut us up. They also want to replace Christianity as the primary religion of the US with a kind of "Emperor Worship" aka "trust in the government". This is why Karl Marx said in his book that people who are in government should be atheists. This is also why Muslim nations classify Christians as second class citizens. Until the prophesy spoken of in Revelations 20:4 "And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand" comes to pass, we need to speak out. It seems either way, whether the US government relents in its bigotry or it doesn't we still need to testify to the truth until we cannot.