Sometimes it can be tough to differentiate qualification from discrimination.
As reported by Cardinal Points staff writer Jessica Miles in this week’s publication, 23 California state schools have derecognized their chapters of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which also has a chapter at Plattsburgh State. The California schools believed the organization’s policy that its leaders must be Christian was discriminatory in nature.
We at Cardinal Points believe the organization has every right to mandate that the ones who lead its organization be experienced in what it teaches.
Greg Jao, the National Field Director and Spokesperson for the Northeast cluster of InterVarsity, gave the example that people would expect that a hockey player be the one teaching someone how to shoot a puck.
Isn’t that how it should be?
Regarding academics, it would seem logical that a professor be well-versed in the subject they teach. People want knowledgeable, qualified people in leadership positions. Would you really want an English professor teaching your Advanced Calculus course?
Perhaps the more perplexing aspect is the directed outrage at this organization’s requirements for being in a leadership role. If you look at our federal political structure, it has qualifications that are similarly discriminatory.
Ignoring any age requirements, people running for Congress must be United States citizens for an extended period of time — seven years for the House, nine for the Senate — and, at the time of election, those individuals must reside in the district or state they are representing. To run for president, it’s not good enough to be a citizen in this country — you have to be born here.
We here at Cardinal Points don’t find a problem with any of these requirements to run for office, but isn’t that the same type of discrimination?
The reason these requirements are in place is to ensure our leaders are qualified to lead, to ensure they are knowledgeable in their respective fields. Strong leaders need to care about what they do, and it’s no different when it comes to religious groups like InterVarsity.
Cardinal Points applauds the Student Association and PSUC for continuing to allow InterVarsity and other religious clubs the freedom to practice their faiths and build relationships with other members of the campus community. These clubs enhance and promote diversity, and Cardinal Points encourages the continued acceptance and support of diversity at PSUC.