Higher Education: Drama students prohibited from performing because of offensive Christian message

first amendment
Campus Reform: Drama students were prohibited from performing a play after the club’s faculty advisor said its religious message would violate the First Amendment.
In September, Justin Graves, a student at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, N.C., presented an idea for a production to the school’s drama club which included allusions to Christian themes. According to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), while the students in the drama club unanimously voted in favor of the play’s production, the faculty advisor, Jack Landry, said no.

The advisor claimed that the production would violate the First Amendment if it included the religious themes, and he advised [the student] to ‘dumb down’ the religious content until it was not ‘obvious’ to avoid any potential lawsuits or ‘offending’ anyone,” ADF said in a press release. “Ironically, the advisor allowed the drama club to sponsor other productions that could potentially cause offense, including ones that included rape and incest themes.”

ADF, a Christian legal organization that advocates for religious liberties, has sent Landry a letter on behalf of Graves. In the letter, ADF says Landry has “violated [Graves’] right to free speech by engaging in viewpoint discrimination.”
“University officials, including drama instructors, should know by now that the First Amendment does not allow them to pick through student productions and purge the religious content,” Travis Barham, a lawyer at ADF, told Campus Reform in an interview.
We’ve run into many, many university officials who seem to misunderstand the First Amendment, seem to view it as a command to purge the campus of all things religious even though the Supreme Court has said over and over again that’s not what the First Amendment requires,” Barham said. “Universities still seem to fall for this misunderstanding.”
Landry has until Oct., 10 to respond to ADF’s letter on whether or not he will decide to allow for the production of the play. If he does not respond to the letter or does not allow for the production of the student’s play, ADF said they will then “reassess” their options and do “whatever we can to make sure we protect Justin’s freedoms just like we would do for any other student in this situation.”
What the First Amendment requires is the accommodation of religion,” Barham said. “That means they must give religious speech and secular speech the same treatment. They can’t seek out the religious stuff and try to push it off campus or silence it or somehow strip it of its religious content. Their effort to do that is actually a violation of the First Amendment.”
Mike Adams, a professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington said CFCC has “wildly misrepresented the scope and nature of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
“If they actually believe the things they told Justin Graves, they are not mentally qualified to work in higher education,” Adams told Campus Reform. “If they did not actually believe the things they told him—in an effort to restrict his free speech rights—then they are not morally qualified to work in higher education.”
Graves, who is enrolled at CFCC as a dual enrollment student, isn’t required to produce a play for class.
A CFCC official confirmed to Campus Reform that the school has received ADF’s letter and “is currently looking into the matter.” The college declined to provide additional comment in time for publication. Landry did not respond to requests for comment from Campus Reform.
DCG

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0 responses to “Higher Education: Drama students prohibited from performing because of offensive Christian message

  1. Higher education huh? Our colleges and universities are nothing more than brainwashing centers pumping out communists and atheists by the drove.

     
  2. They’ve “raised” the bar of higher education to where it’ll take a back hoe to reach it. I’d like Mr. Landry to show me,in the Constitution,where and how this violates ANYONE’S rights. Also,these flakes NEVER consider,when talking about “offending a small percentage of the public,how much restricting the rights of those involved to do the play “offends” the rest of America.

     
    • That’s because U.S. Christians, unlike Muslims, seldom make a stink about anything. Rabbi Daniel Lapin has an interesting “theory”: he thinks liberals cower before Muslims because the former, being thoroughly neutered by feminism, find the radical Muslims who threaten and undertake violence to be enthrallingly “manly.”

       
  3. DCG, thank you for bringing this situation to our attention. I am glad that the ADF has weighed in on this matter. I would be interested to know what the resolution ends up being. How true, this faculty adviser needs to be sent down the road. It is a perversion that some take the Constitution and twist and turn it to mean whatever they want it to mean. What wickedness on their part.

     
  4. I’d be gearing up to sue.
    That is the only thing liberals understand.
    -Dave

     
  5. If that isn’t a solid indication of “school’s” anti-christian stance, I don’t know what else is. Cape fear indeed, fear of Christ in this case it would seem.

     
  6. We as a Nation are doomed. If we can’t figure out what the simple meaning of the first amendment pertaining to religion is then we’re screwed. The problem is it’s not just this liberal nutjob with his agenda. The rest of the country is baffled. Seems simple to me.
    .The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion,abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
    Establishment Clause
    “The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/establishment_clause
    Folks, all it says is the Gov can not say You must be Of this Religion
    Blank, blank, blank. or any other religion they may choose..
    Also says You can have no religion if you want. It’s up to you.
    It does not say you have a right to not be offended if your neighbor is a Jew, Christian or whatever. Further more tough nuggies if this student Justin Graves wants to produce a play and say Jesus Christ 787 times that’s OK. It is not against the first amendment.
    What is against the first amendment is trying to stop him from his first amendment right of freedom of speech.
    Argggggggggggggggggggggg

     
    • I don’t think the problem is interpreting the Amendments in this case. In this case, I think it’s just plain bigotry (actually in text books it’s called reverse discrimination). I think they shut the kids down because they don’t want to hear a christian message, and so abuse their own authority to “prove” the message will not be heard.
      I just hope a good lawyer reads about this, and offers to take the case and slam dunks the school.

       
  7. GREAT post! Thanks so much to Steve especially for your enlightening comment. I love it when you folks add links so we can further pursue the truth. God bless all of our FOTM family!

     
  8. Whether it’s “Political Correctness” or just plain discrimination that prompted the school officials to close this production, it’s wrong. What all these “don’t say a word of religion” people don’t seem to understand, is that society NEEDS religion in order to stabilize it, and help it grow as a healthy unit. Those people that think “there is no need for religion” are just plain ignorant of the facts of social psychology. There has NEVER been a society that has been successful without religion. And because of the nature of human beings, I can pretty safely say, there isn’t likely to ever be one. And you will notice, the more we push religion out of our society, the sicker our society becomes.

     

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