Administrators at an Oklahoma university are in full damage-control mode after caving to pressure from a D.C.-based, anti-religion group. East Central University officials have received massive backlash for their decision to remove various Christian symbols and icons from the campus chapel last month following legal threats from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In a statement posted on East Central’s website, President Katricia Pierson noted that the university is “immediately withdrawing” all efforts to remove religious items, such as Latin crosses and Bibles, from the chapel.
“We moved too quickly,” Pierson admitted. “We regret not taking time to pause and thoughtfully consider the request and the results of our actions on all of the students, faculty and community members who we serve.”
The statement notes that the chapel is used for various religions, clubs, and non-religious student events. Pierson claimed the initial decision to remove Christian items from the chapel was intended to “show support for all cultures and religious beliefs” and honor “different perspectives.”
Apparently they didn’t think Christians and other members of the ECU community would be offended. They were.
After various members of the ECU community caught wind of the chapel overhaul, many complained, condemning administrators for kowtowing to biased, secular bullies. Evidently, these individuals did not appreciate ECU’s efforts to promote “diversity” by ostracizing an entire religious group.
In the wake of the recent flop, the university has assembled a “committee of students, faculty, and community members who represent a diversity of viewpoints to study the issue.” The school promised that it would “not take further action until the committee has had ample time to discuss and establish policies or guidelines” for religious expression of “art, history, architecture, study, and areas of worship on campus.”
This recent incident wasn’t the first time ECU has faced external pressure from an anti-religion group. The College Fix reported that the Freedom from Religion Foundation demanded the university scrap its “sacred music” program, which includes “in-depth study of the history and philosophy of sacred music, hymnology and liturgy, guitar and contemporary worship, sacred music composition, sacred music practicum, and an internship.” The foundation claims that training choir leaders and musicians “to promote a sectarian religious message” is unconstitutional.
(H/T: The College Fix)