Did you know that it's your right to be free from other people's intolerance? That sounds great for us Christians who are feeling attacked by other people's intolerance of our views towards abortion and gay marriage. But that's probably not what the University of California Board of Regents is intending with a new policy they're considering that would make the university system "free from acts and expressions of intolerance."
According to The Washington Post, the UC board is working on the policy that states, in part, that its students should be free from:
"...acts of violence or intimidation, threats, harassment, hate speech, derogatory language reflecting stereotypes or prejudice, or inflammatory or derogatory use of culturally recognized symbols of hate, prejudice, or discrimination."
But it does have this caveat:
"This statement of principles applies to attacks on individuals or groups and does not apply to the free exchange of ideas in keeping with the principles of academic freedom and free speech."
How will the university system protect students from "acts and expressions of intolerance" while also not, supposedly, prohibiting the free expression of them? It sounds great that the board wants to eliminate violence, threat, and harassment, but how will they define "hate speech"?
The policy clearly states that:
"Intolerance has no place at the University of California. We define intolerance as unwelcome conduct motivated by discrimination against, or hatred toward, other individuals or groups."
For instance, on the list of prohibited behaviors is:
"Questioning a student’s fitness for a leadership role or whether the student should be a member of the campus community on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, sex, or sexual orientation."
The Washington Post opinion writer Eugene Volokh pointed out that, under this policy, it would be deemed intolerant to question whether an illegal immigrant "ought not be appointed to be, say, the student member of the Board of Regents."
And if you're a student who shows "intolerance"?
The board states:
"The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of intolerant behavior and treat them as opportunities to reinforce the University’s Principles Against Intolerance."
Do you think this is just another way for a university to suppress Christian, pro-life, anti-illegal immigration, and anti-gay-marriage opinions?