Anti-Christian bigotry has skyrocketed in America! Here’s yet another example of the ridiculous effort to silence one school donor:
If you have ever participated in a pickup game of football (or any sport involving a ball for that matter), you are probably familiar with the phrase “take one’s ball and go home.” It refers to a situation where one of the players gets angry—usually because the player is losing or does not want to abide by the rules—and decides to leave the game. The disgruntled player is not content with merely leaving the game, but, out of spite, wants to prevent the other players from being able to continue the game by taking the ball.
The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) “took the ball and went home” when it removed all of the personalized nameplates from its new football locker room rather than simply allow a former football player to include a Bible reference on his nameplate. The school’s ban on the reference was baseless, so its decision to rip out all of the plaques was the opposite of an act of constitutional courage—it was an act of cowardice and religious hostility.
Michael Lucas is an alumnus and former defensive nose tackle for CSM. Last year, he agreed to participate in its fundraising program for the new Clear Creek Athletics Complex. The school offered “naming opportunities” to the public whereby it would place a personalized nameplate on lockers in the new football locker room for each donor. Nameplates could include up to three lines of a personalized message or a quote of the donor’s choice without any stated restrictions.
After making a $2,500 donation, Michael requested “Colossians 3:23 and Micah 5:9” as his personalized message. CSM officials rejected the inscription because they said, after the fact, that nameplate quotes could not include the words “Lord,” “God,” or “Jesus” or make reference to Bible verses that contain those words. CSM had approved inscriptions that included quotes such as “Give ‘Em Hell,” “OK Gentlemen, it’s time to gird your loins,” and “Take your whiskey clear.”
Unwilling to change their minds after hearing Michael’s concerns about this, school officials left him with little option but to sue them for ignoring his First Amendment freedoms—specifically by rejecting his religious message (a mere Scripture reference with no wording from the verse itself) while allowing others to include their non-religious messages.
The law couldn’t be more clear in this case. Once the government opens an opportunity for private speech on government property (as CSM did with the locker nameplates), it cannot censor that private speech because of its viewpoint.