The Herald-Leader’s recent editorial, “Public school no place for religious war,” asks, “At a time when political and religious divisions are unusually inflamed, why make battlegrounds of schools?”
The law in question, Senate Bill 17 — which protects free speech, religious freedom and freedom of association in schools — was recently passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor.
When the writer researching the editorial asked us the same question, we asked whether she had ever posed it to the ACLU, one of whose chief purposes is to make battlegrounds of schools. We never got a straight answer.
It’s only when people try to defend themselves against the school battles started by the ACLU that newspaper editorialists, apparently jealous of what they consider their exclusive right to promote such battles when it suits their purposes, call such things into question.
The editorial builds from hypocrisy to logical incoherence. It is concerned that the bill will allow on-campus student groups to determine their own membership, so it asks, “And who wants to be the principal who must defend the Campus Crusade for White Supremacy’s membership policy?”
Seriously? When everyone else is concerned about the existence of white supremacist groups, the Herald-Leader is concerned that everyone might not be able to join? We support the bill and we could think of better reasons against it than that.
Of course in Kentucky, unless a university has an all-comers policy, student groups can already determine their membership — a fact that the editorial subtly tries to skirt.
The Herald-Leader does not seem capable of distinguishing between a Supreme Court decision that permits schools to adopt an all-comers policy that actually happened in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez and a Supreme Court decision that requires schools to adopt an all-comers policy.
And to argue, as the editorial does, that a law might be stricken down by courts is laughable. Any law can be stricken down by a court. If that’s a problem with SB 17, then it’s a problem with every other law on the books. But this is how the world is distorted when you can’t distinguish between how things really are and how you would like them to be in your politically correct utopia.
We also think it is ironic that when this bill was being considered by the General Assembly, its opponents argued that it was unnecessary because it didn’t actually change the law. Now they are arguing that it is dangerous because it did change the law. If the bill did change the law, why didn’t they argue that then?
Maybe there are some good things about the Herald-Leader’s Brave New Politically Correct World, but logical coherence isn’t one of them.
Martin Cothran is the senior policy analyst of the Family Foundation.