Attack on California Religious Colleges: SB 1146

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UPDATE: With the passage of SB 1146 last month by the California State Senate, it is imperative we accelerate our opposition efforts:

Thank you for fighting on behalf of religious liberty in our state!


Additional Resources

Due to its extreme danger to Religious Liberty, SB 1146 is now receiving significant national media attention. Here are just a few notable examples:

Original post from May 13, 2016: 

We want to tell you about a critically important (and completely awful) bill that is slithering its way through the state capitol in Sacramento: SB 1146.  This bill is intended to force religious colleges and universities into a dreadful choice: either give up all state funding and state financial assistance for their students, or give up any ability to maintain the school’s religious convictions and institutional identity.  

The chief mechanism of this law is to restrict the non-discrimination exemptions that religious colleges and universities possess for student admissions, student life, and conduct codes for students or faculty/staff.  Secular colleges are not allowed to discriminate against students on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, religion, and a variety of other categories.  In this way, they follow similar standards applied to businesses in the Civil Rights Act and other nondiscrimination laws.

Religious colleges, however, are exempt from these nondiscrimination requirements.  Why?  Because these schools need to be able to integrate their faith into every aspect of their curriculum, student life, and educational requirements.  Requiring students to take courses in Christian theology, beginning classes or convocations with prayer, offering credit for missionary activities, or maintaining Biblically-based student conduct codes would be deemed religious “discrimination” in a secular school, but is simply the norm within a Christian school.  

SB 1146 would change all of this.  If a religious college or university receives any form of state assistance (as almost all do), the school will no longer be able to discriminate in this way, except in specifically theological faculties.  “State assistance” includes any participation in the Cal Grants or Pell Grants programs, which provide critical financial assistance to lower-income students. 

The intent of this bill is transparent: to target Christian schools that maintain Biblical beliefs on marriage and sexuality, and to use the threat of losing government funds to force them to change those beliefs.  It puts schools into a terrible predicament.  If they maintain their beliefs, their prospective students will not be eligible for Cal Grants, and the schools will suffer significant financial loss.  If they give in to this requirement, they compromise their core principles.

This bill will have a profoundly negative impact upon students, particularly low-income students.  Because a large number of religious schools in California will opt out of state funding, thousands of students will shift into the already-overcrowded CSU and UC systems.  

California Family Council is committed to keeping you informed about these issues, and fighting for religious liberty.  Please continue to pray for our state.

(36) Comments

    • This bill declares the end of state-funded religious schools. No longer can these schools have their cake and eat it too–they must now “all stand together or hang separately.”

      • Hang? Interesting terminology. If we suffer, we will do so for the joy that is before us. A joy that is for everyone, but few will receive. Christ suffered, and so shall his children, for his sake and for yours. The line that was drawn since the fall, is now becoming very visible. Some choose to do as they will. We choose our Heavenly Father’s will. Some choose the curse, we the blessing. Wide is the path that leads to destruction. Narrow the path to life and righteousness in Christ Jesus. The world wants it all their own individual way. While the truth is, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God, but through him. You don’t battle against us, and nor us you. God is not willing that any should suffer, but that all would come to repentance. And there it is, that word. That word that makes many cringe in hatred laced laughter. REPENT!
        To who and for what? Oh sinner, he who is weary, come home. For all have sinned and come short of God’s Glory. Sin=Death and separates us from God. Jesus who was and is without sin, died, rose three days later and now sits at the right hand of our Father in heaven, and bridges the gap that sin made and makes. He us the only way back to God. God judges, and though we should not, some do. That, God will also take care of. Your main question should be, “Where do I stand in all of this”?. Narrow path or wide path. Path of Light and Truth, or path of darkness and agreeing with enemy that you can do as you want without consequences. Even in this life, we have those. How much more at the end of the age? You are loved, you matter. God is mindful of you. The creator of all good things knows your name.

        • Either you’ve misinterpreted the post or I wasn’t clear enough. The quote was taken from our Founders who united against the State of Great Britain–we must unite together against the secular state or have nothing separately. One way to remain independent of the state in not to accept funds.

          And I must say that was one long-wind response of yours.

          • The phrase “stand together or hang separately” comes from Ben Franklin after the vote for independence.

          • I believe the correct quote is: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

      • What? What’s happening is religious bigotry. Our first educational institutions were all religious based; Yale, Harvard, etc… these Federal grants are provided to students as “loan” where the schools help administer regardless whether they are public or not. What’s happening is that there are those who are not satisfied until religious institutions; church’s or religious schools to be specific are relegated to oblivion publicly and become nothing but a historical side note or “play along” and convert to their anti religious bigotry.

        • I know most of our top colleges were religious based institutions. So were most of our hospitals and public schools. But they’re not anymore and, more often than not, accepting federal “loans” is just the state’s way of slipping a noose over the heads of religious institutions. No religious organization can accept federal funds as though taking a loan from a friend. Considering the secular climate of today, accepting federal loans is simply dealing with the devil.

          • Students can apply Cal grants to their school of choice – and they should be able to. It is not “government” money – it’s tax payer money. My taxes help pay for secular public universities and many things I personally oppose, In a strong arm attempt to force faith-based schools to affirm values and policies contrary to their religious tenets, this will primarily harm low income students who reply on state and federal tuition assistance. It’s an assault on religious freedom. There are plenty of schools to choose from and many who choose faith based schools do so because other options would compromise their faith.

  1. It would seem to me that if Latino residents of California rose up in mass, this could be defeated since it is a direct threat to the typical Catholic population. The state assembly members could be threatened to be ousted at the ballot box. If more California Hispanics let their voice be heard this problem can be solved.

  2. I strongly oppose to this bill. It affects thousands or millions of honest and religious people in this country.

  3. We strongly oppose this bill as well & will be writing our State Senators and Assemblymen. What happened to separation of Church and State? This should be approached like the Governor of Texas: “fine, we don’t need your funding” Let us take care of our schools, under one God and not the politicians who have an agenda.

    • We can take care of our education, but we need abolish Department of Education, federal and state. It has nothing to do with education but bureaucratic trying to control people’s worldview.
      There should be no more federal or state funding and budget for education. It should all be done locally. All the revenue saved can be used on tax credit.

  4. Does the church depend on the state or on God’s providence? This is a good test about which one. Religious schools cannot have their manna and eat it, too.

    • Well, then the students attending religious schools should get a refund from the federal and state educational funds. You can collect the manna but redistribute it.

        • I agree, it is not right to collect taxes and deny the service to students. Unfortunately, we lost this battle a long time ago when we allowed the discrimination against private schools and homeschools to not be allowed the same fair funding as public schools. Imagine what they could have done with their share. What the legislation has done and is doing and will continue to do is the actual damaging discrimination against Christian taxpayers. If anyone says the word discrimination, the connotation is bigotry on the order of hating a person based on their God-given skin color or gender or ethnicity or disability, rather than a wise discernment of evaluating choices of characteristics, such as that of a car or a college or a spouse. Many in this country don’t get it that Christians have any right to have values based on Biblical teaching and have opinions on what is considered sinful behavior, which has been translated in the public schools and the media as teaching “hate”, which inadvertently accuses Christians of hate crimes, which in this case would be disallowing a sexually perverse person to not only enroll in a Christian college, and be employed by a Christian college, but also have the ability to sue individuals and the institution if he/she felt anything other than complete acceptance. Been there and seen that with Boy Scouts of America. Been there and seen that with public schools. This is a spiritual battle that we will be best served to pray against and ask the Lord what part he would have for us in the legislative battle we can see with our eyes.

        • This bill includes federal loans large and small, which would have affected most of the people I went to college with at my private Christian university, including myself — even though some of my higher educational funding was from private donors directly to me or to my university, or through the work-study program. Nevertheless, my dad still refers to the 30+ year-old photo of my graduation as the $40,000 handshake. One could safely say that today, it’s A LOT of money, or even perhaps a mind-boggling amount. If merely the federal student loans alone were removed, which this bill encompasses (not just grants), I’d imagine that about as many students whose parents would have put them in Christian K-12 schools if they had had the money, rather than public school, would now also be financially barred from attending private Christian colleges as well. How’s that for numbers? If you are talking about also including grants–public moneys spent and never reimbursed on colleges and universities, just go to any state school financial aide website to see the nearly incomprehensible amount of public money spent on state colleges in our country.

  5. You know full well the government doesn’t view our taxes in that same light and I don’t argue the issue. I donate to the Catholic schools and colleges of my choice with personal checks–then there can be no chance that my “tax dollars” are diverted from the direction to which I send them.

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  8. Maybe.

    Morally sound schools (Christian, BIBLE affirming schools), will just have to stand their ground ON their grounds against the fanatics of LGBT and atheist Groups allied together to seek to poison the minds of young people. Let them in and demonstrate how horrid their world-view and ideologies actually are. If “Contending for the Faith” cannot be done ON Christian campuses, then, why have any “outreach” programs? Of course we all know this is an LGBT attack on Christians. SB 1146 is more accurately titled Christian Persecution Bill SB 1146. Senator Ricardo Lara and Mark Leno are anti-Christian activists using their intense power as legislators to bully and victimize Christians in Christian Colleges. Everyone knows that. Well anyone that still has a sense of morality in their consciences.

    If the forces of darkness win, and the LGBT/Atheist forces (which are Legion) represented by Lara and Leno . . ., set up encampments in Christian Colleges, then Alumni and parents of Christian students should shine a spotlight on LGBT and Atheists that seek to prey on good young people. and expose them as Jude did in his letter to similar Christian enclaves poisoned by these age-old miscreants.

  9. The unfortunate reality is that neither LGBTQXYcetera forces nor atheist forces on Christian campuses are the most dangerous foes to contend with. No, leave that notoriety to heterosexual adulterers (“God hates divorce”). At least as a starting point.

  10. Shouldn’t the first thing on our list of “to do’s” is pray for the leadership and for the politicians to have a come to Jesus moment (with Jesus) then begin the battle?

  11. As a Christian this bill does not bother me. We should not be looking to the state for any type of aide. How would we function then? By not making the education so dang expensive, drop the accreditation (which is a blackmail joke anyway), and sell off all of the fancy buildings and technology and go back to basic theological teaching. I’ve gone to Cristian University that was accredited and had all of the fancy stuff and paid 20k a year. The education I’m getting at my current undergrad seminary that isn’t accredited and has none of the fancy stuff will cost 10k for the whole 4 year degree. If all schools followed this second model what could the state tell us? Nothing. Who cares about SB 1146? And before you talk to me about “liberties” a constitution changes. That piece of paper written 250 years ago means nothing today. Even Jefferson, the writer of it, didn’t follow it’s rules.

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