A fishy story

After being told that they, along with other students living in a dormitory at Moorhead State University (Minn.), could paint anything representative of themselves on the walls outside of their rooms, two students were asked to obliterate a painted scene they had created.

On hearing this story, if you assume the students were asked to remove an objectionable painting because it was obscene or because it contained insulting language, you are completely mistaken. According to university officials, the painting was offensive because of its Christian message.

In an effort to convey a sense of their Christianity, Tricia Hale and Kristin Berberich painted a scene depicting the Christian fish symbol swimming in one direction and a school of tropical fish swimming in the other direction, with the words “Go Against the Flow” written across the top. This was apparently too much for the residence hall director who immediately asked the students to paint over the scene.

The director of housing and security at Moorhead is quoted as saying “We don’t know exactly who we have living in the residence halls, but we assume that we have non-Christians of other faiths and non-believers as well. We’re not sure what might offend someone, and we would prefer not to have our residents offended.”

Jay Alan Sekulow, Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, has called this type of censorship “nothing short of anti-Christian bigotry.” As Mr. Sekulow points out, the Supreme Court has recognized that the First Amendment protections of freedom of speech apply on college campuses. It is, therefore, hard to understand how universities can attempt to justify their heavy handed treatment of Christian students.

Most people are aware that the cost of a university education has escalated rapidly in recent years, but asking or expecting students to abandon their beliefs in order to conform to the politically correct atmosphere that pervades many college campuses would be too high a price to pay.

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