The desire to honor God and live out their faith isn't just a nice idea at Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU)—it’s a genuine way of life.
The University has built its reputation upon four key pillars: the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom. Their motto, "Impacting culture with the Lordship of Jesus Christ," reflects the true spirit of the university.
"We stand for what we say we stand for," said Julia Crouch, executive director of operational innovation at OKWU. "Our mission intertwines with everything we do and it’s part of who we are as individuals that make up Oklahoma Wesleyan University."
And this isn't a new development. OKWU has a history of standing up against injustice and for those who so desperately need to see the love of Christ in action.
The founder of OKWU, Orange Scott, was steadfast in speaking out against slavery in the U.S. His example inspired the university's current “Orange Movement” to actively oppose and raise awareness of human trafficking, an epidemic that affects 8.4 million children globally. Over the past year, OKWU has adopted "Rahab House" in Southeast Asia, a safe house for 38 young girls who were victims of human trafficking.
This commitment to affecting culture and actively standing up for what they believe has put the university at odds with the Obama Administration's abortion-pill mandate. The mandate forces OKWU to provide access to abortion-inducing drugs through its health insurance plan.
“Under the guise of Obamacare, the Obama administration claims it has the right to require Oklahoma Wesleyan to include the provision of abortifacient drugs in its employee health insurance package," explains OKWU President Dr. Everett Piper. "This is a requirement that we view as immoral and untenable. It is a compromise of our First Amendment rights that we are not willing to accept.”
OKWU joins four other Christian universities represented by Alliance Defending Freedom in two separate lawsuits against the mandate, which will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 23. If the Court were to rule against the colleges, OKWU would face more than $4 million a year in fines for not complying with the mandate—an amount that would quickly force them to close their doors.
"It’s this freedom to share where we stand, what we believe, [and] to hear from others—to have that dialog—that's the beauty of our civilization," said Crouch. "And when the government or others try to tell us that we can’t stand for what we believe in, it seems to contradict who we are as the United States of America."
All Americans should be free to live out their faith, but forcing a Christian college to violate the tenets of their faith takes government overreach to another level. And for Oklahoma Wesleyan University, the call to honor God is much louder than any of the Obama Administration's threats.
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