By: John Van Der Brink
This led to a huge reaction in many school communities which threatened the funding and even the existence of several Christian schools, also of our own NRCEA school there. Providentially, the Christian schools escaped the pressure and effect of this law by a change in government following an election. But the line of thinking that produced the original legislation is still alive and well, and only awaiting another opportunity to resurface.
Unfortunately, but very predictably, that line of thinking did not stay north of the American/Canadian border. This year, Yeshiva University in New York City was also targeted for the same thing. Yeshiva is a Jewish University founded in 1886 as an all-boys school designed to provide vigorous instruction in the study of the Old Testament Torah or what we would call the first five books of the Bible. Yeshiva has since expanded into a modern research facility, but it still is the leading institution of modern Jewish orthodoxy. However, a state judge ruled in June that there was nothing in the identity of Yeshiva University that would exempt them from human rights laws that govern public educational institutions. Yeshiva appealed this ruling and asked for a stay on this order, and the case went to the Supreme Court. The request for a stay was denied by the Supreme Court, which means that until Yeshiva exhausts their case through the appeal process, they must allow LGBTQ clubs to form in their school.
The ruling at both the lower and the higher court is dangerous and precedent setting. It basically says that unless a religious school clearly shows, in its religious traditions and documentation, that LGBTQ ideology is a violation of the Scriptural standards to which it adheres, and from which it daily teaches, they may be forced to allow an unbiblical practice to flourish on their school grounds. It will be important to watch what is the final outcome of this case.
It is alarming also to see the inroads being made by the LGBTQ community in American educational institutions. First, it was the public schools that, under the guise of forbidding discrimination, were required to allow and even promote LGBTQ activity. Today every public school is a breeding ground to help normalize this lifestyle. But what is happening at Yeshiva is proof that religious schools also are not exempt. If a school is not religious enough, it is subject to the same regulations.
Currently, in America, religious schools are allowed to teach their understanding of the Bible and what it says about how we should live. Freedom of religion still guarantees that right. But the challenge to that right seems to be standing at our very door. We wonder how long this freedom will stand when we are accused of discriminating against those who disagree with our teaching. May the Lord remember our nation and our schools in mercy and raise up leaders who desire to maintain a society base on the morals and principals of God’s Word. The future of our children and grandchildren are at stake.
This is a developing story and one which bears watching by all those who are concerned about the future of religious liberty in America. The latest step is that Yeshiva University has decided to discontinue ALL clubs until these matters can be settled in the courts. Clearly, they see their religious rights as being violated and are willing to go to great sacrifices to try to regain them.
John Van Der Brink is director of the Netherlands Reformed Christian School in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, and a member of the Board of Directors of Christian Council International (CCI)