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

Rate this post

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Leave a Reply

avatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
EdK
Member
EdK

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

 
truckjunkie
Guest
truckjunkie

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.

 
Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

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.

 
Dave
Editor
Dave

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

 
Seumas
Guest
Seumas

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.

 
Steve
Member

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… Read more »

pnordman
Guest

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!

 
david4455
Guest

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… Read more »

mike cdiamond
Guest

WHAT A SHAME!