The right to preach on a college campus
It is essential to understand how the right to preach on a college campus came about and why it was created in the first place. The first known record of the free speech right comes from an article written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802. In this article, Jefferson wrote that “the liberty of conscience, speech, and writing” should be protected by law because they are essential for preserving our form of government. It means that at some point during his presidency, he realized that if people had no freedom to speak out against things they disagree with or even have differing viewpoints from others, there would be no democracy left in America. After this declaration from Jefferson, it became clear that everyone deserves this right unless they do something wrong, like inciting violence against another person or their property. It has been argued that Christianity should be allowed on college campuses because it is a freedom of speech issue, but many others argue that Christianity is not a religion and should, therefore, not be allowed on university property. On-campus preaching has been debated since the nation’s birth, and it remains an important one today.
The right to preach on a college campus is a fundamental freedom of speech. The constitution guarantees the right to free speech, and the nation’s founders in the USA stated First Amendment act is an essential cornerstone of democracy (Roth 826). The act states that parliament shall not constitute any act or law respecting any religion or prohibiting free worship. Additionally, the law prohibits parliament from abridging the freedom of speech, the press, or the right of citizens to peacefully assemble and petition any government agency for a remedy of grievances. On the matter of free speech, the top court has made a clear ruling that the right extends to all public spaces, including schools.
Similarly, the court has also ruled that the public forum doctrine applies to educational institutions and that this doctrine protects students’ rights. In cases involving public forums, courts have looked at whether a particular location was generally accessible to public members at large or was only available for particular groups (Roth 826). The court also considered whether there are any restrictions on speech that state or local governments might impose on public forums. Henceforth the biggest issue with keeping out preachers is that a public university cannot restrict the open areas of the campus from on the above laws and rulings.
The campus preaching debate has become more prevalent recently as Christians have begun to stand up for their beliefs more openly. Several Christian colleges have made headlines with their decision to ban non-Christians from speaking on their campuses, while other colleges have banned all religious speech altogether (Roussos et al. 1). College students are adults, and they go to school to gather knowledge which the main attribute that matters. It is essential for everyone involved in the school preaching debate to remember why students are in college. Students should be able to listen to all types of religious leaders, and it is only natural for them to hear about other religions as well (Roussos et al. 1). Students want their education to provide them with knowledge so that they can make informed decisions about their lives after graduation. Also, students want to become better people who can contribute positively to society. Hearing from different kinds of preachers is crucial as they may have different views, but at least they will provide you with new perspectives on life. Lastly, Arguments in favor of permitting students to preach on college campuses include that it would help the students develop their faith and teach them how to interact with people outside of their religious group.
On the other hand, the antagonists of campus preaching argue that Preachers threaten colleges as they discriminate against other religions and life choices like LGBTQ, among others. The right not to preach on a college campus is one of the several ways that colleges have tried to address this problem (. 826). Students are encouraged to be different and told that their opinions, circumstances, and upbringing shape the community. However, in many cases, this can backfire. For instance, when students tell their own stories about religion or spirituality, which may contradict the teachings of their religious or spiritual leaders, they are often chastised for not being Christian enough or for not being spiritual enough. In other cases, students who do not follow what is considered the norm may be punished by religious staff who believe that students should not question religion too much. In these instances where students are punished for thinking outside of tradition or questioning religious laws, it becomes religious discrimination. Finally, these punishments go far beyond just safeguarding religious freedom; they also serve to control how people think about themselves and their place in society.
In conclusion, a college campus should have a right to preach. The right to free speech is an integral part of our democratic society, and the nation’s growth has been greatly influenced by the ability to . Freedom allows people to speak their minds and share ideas with others, which helps keep everyone informed about world events. It also gives people access to different perspectives on issues and allows them to make informed decisions about what they want their lives to look like. Although some disadvantages may be associated with this freedom, such as offensive or hurtful rhetoric, the benefits outweigh these disadvantages. Because we have such a diverse population of individuals in the country, everyone, including college students, needs to have access to someone who can provide valuable insight into issues facing society today so that we can all learn from each other’s ideas instead of just relying on one person’s or one religion opinion alone.
Cram, Ian, and Helen Fenwick. “Protecting free speech and academic freedom in universities.” (2018): 825-873. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12366
Roussos, Gina, and John F. Dovidio. “Hate speech is in the eye of the beholder: The influence of racial attitudes and freedom of speech beliefs on perceptions of racially motivated threats of violence.” Social psychological and personality science 9.2 (2018): 176-185. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617748728
Roth, Michael S. Safe enough spaces: A pragmatist’s approach to inclusion, free speech, and political correctness on college campuses. , 2019.
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