January 10, 2012

California University of Pennsylvania Discriminates Against Atheists

California University of PennsylvaniaI have never heard of California University of Pennsylvania, one of the universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. But they are making news after deciding to offer fans with church affiliation a discount on university basketball games. Even more problematic, this public university offered the discount during a "Faith and Family Night."

How did the discount work? It sounds like anyone showing up to buy a ticket just needed to claim church affiliation. University officials said that any "faith-based organization" would qualify. They also claimed that the discount would be granted to other groups (e.g., first responders, veterans, etc.), and this appears to be the core of their argument that it was okay for a public university to give the religiously affiliated a discount.

The Pennsylvania ACLU didn't buy this claim.
"They can't say that people of faith are going to get a discount, just as they can't say white people are going to get a discount," said Witold Walczak, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.
Walczak also called the school out for discriminating against atheists. I think he was right to do so.

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