Oklahoma: Where the Win Comes Sweeping down the Plain…
To most people, a chapel would be more controversial without a cross than with one! But at Oklahoma East Central University, officials decided that the traditional symbol was out of place at its usual home. The move was prompted by a letter fired off by the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, who threatened the campus with legal action if it didn’t take the religious items away from one place where we should all agree they belong — the church.
“We have received a complaint that East Central University’s Kathryn P. Boswell Memorial Chapel has permanent religious iconography on display,” the atheist activists wrote. “These displays include Latin crosses on the top of and inside the building, Bibles, and a Christian altar. While it is legal for a public university to have a space that can be used by students for religious worship so long as that space is not dedicated solely to that purpose, it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to display religious iconography on government property.”
President Katricia Pierson, like many in her shoes, acted without thinking. She ordered the Bibles and crosses removed — but it didn’t take long for students and alums to point out what a mistake that was. As Fox News’s Todd Starnes reports, Pierson reinstated the items this month, admitting that she “moved too quickly.” In her desire to “show support for all cultures and religious beliefs,” she says she didn’t take the time to “thoughtfully consider the request and the results of our actions on all of the students, faculty, and community members who we serve.”
In the meantime, she plans to study the issue with the help of a committee. “ECU is committed to diversity and welcomes different perspectives,” she went on. “This is an opportunity to have a thoughtful dialogue.” As Todd warns, “whenever a university mentions the word diversity — it does not include Christians – or conservatives.” Let’s hope the East Central University is the exception. In the meantime, we applaud Pierson for taking the common sense approach of restoring the Bibles and crosses to their rightful place.
For a daily fix of stories like this one, don’t miss Todd Starnes’s new Fox radio show – launched today from noon to 3 p.m. (ET). Details here!
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