The Alliance Defense Fund is winning cases nationwide against colleges and universities that have abused the constitutionally-protected rights of Christian students, staff, and faculty. So … what’s the best way to get the word out?
The stories keep coming – from public university campuses all over America.
The young man who mentions his faith in a speech class, and gets a note from his professor: “Ask God what your grade is.” … the instructor who, asked by a student about scientific evidence for a “homosexual gene,” references research in the class textbook that shows there is no such evidence – and suddenly finds herself unemployed …
… the Christian club whose members are told they have to admit non-Christians, and allow them to serve as club officers … the graduate student who is kicked out of a counseling program for referring a potential client, seeking counsel for a same-sex relationship, to another counselor (exactly the action suggested by the faculty who expelled her) …
… the student who is threatened with expulsion for wanting to distribute pro-life literature and told that pro-life speech could violate a school program called “Stop the Hate” … the teacher who explains Catholic Church doctrine regarding homosexual behavior in an elective class on Catholicism – and is fired when a student, not even in the class, complains.
"When a series like this catches the attention of enough viewers, it can become an overnight sensation."
These cases and dozens like them are the impetus for the Alliance Defense Fund University Project, created to defend the constitutionally protected rights of Christian students, staff, and faculty who are undergoing assault from an increasingly hostile campus culture at public universities.
Hundreds of tax-funded colleges and universities throughout the nation have enacted and are enforcing stringent speech codes that effectively silence Christians and can discourage young people from standing for biblical truth in their classrooms, dorm rooms, and meeting halls. On campus after campus, Christian students are facing increasing restrictions. They are being told they can only meet at certain times or in remote locations. They learn that their meetings and events are subject to closer scrutiny and arbitrary administrative interference. And they find that their words, their ideas, and their activities as Christians are strictly limited – when not banned altogether.
Throughout the U.S., college and university students are submitting to these restrictions and bowing to these pressures, when both their constitutional freedom as citizens of this nation and their calling as Christians to give faithful witness should be compelling them to speak up, speak out, and speak freely.
The challenge: How to reach college students directly with information about what’s happening on campus and what ADF can do to help?
The answer: webisodes.
For students, webisodes represent one of the most popular communication forms of the Information Age: short, entertaining videos (broadcast on youtube.com and other video sharing websites) that tell a story with continuing characters. In other words, a mini-series for the electronic generation.
When a series like this catches the attention of enough viewers, it can become an overnight sensation, passed along via e-mail links from student to student across the country and around the world … almost like a virus. In computer-speak, this is known as “going viral.”
In September, ADF launched a series of webisodes following the adventures of Hanna, a freshman at the imaginary Pacific Coast State University (PC State), who runs afoul of the current campus culture and hostile administrators when she tries to launch a pro-life club at her school. You can follow her entertaining “blog” at www.speakupmovement.org/university.
“The goal of this series is to capture the imagination of Christian university students across the country,” says David French, ADF Senior Counsel, “and challenge them to take an active stance against the illegal policies on their campus that discriminate against Christians. We know there are those out there who have the courage and strength to do so. We just need to meet them and let them know we’re here to help. We’re trusting this series will help us accomplish that.”