A group of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders have released a statement in defense of the religious freedom of private colleges and universities in California.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has linked arms with Muslim and Jewish leaders to call for the California State Assembly to block a proposed legislation that they say “disadvantages low-income minority students who want an education at private religious colleges.”
Among the signatories of the statement which calls for Senate Bill 1146 to be abandoned includes Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, who is the Director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University, and Ethics and Public Policy Center Fellow Yuval Levin.
“Though it purports to eliminate discrimination, Senate Bill 1146 results in its own form of discrimination by stigmatizing and coercively punishing religious beliefs that disagree on contested matters related to human sexuality,” the statement reads. “If SB 1146 were to pass, it would deny students’ ability to participate in state grants programs — programs that exist to help low-income students, and which are overwhelmingly used by racial minorities — at schools that are found in violation of the bill.”
The statement goes on to say that although some of the people who signed the document disagree with the sexual ethic of orthodox Jews, Christians and Muslims, the government should not be given the free reign to set up “its own system of orthodoxy.”
“While we do not all agree on religious matters, we all agree that the government has no place in discriminating against poor religious minorities or in pitting a religious education institution’s faith-based identity against its American identity,” the statement continued.