LAWnThe Grove CitynHorror Shownby Edward D. Snow Jr.nCivil rights activists called Rev. JerrynFalwell “hysterical” for claiming that thenrecently passed Civil Rights RestorationnAct could require churches to hire an”practicing, active homosexual drug addictnwith AIDS to be a teacher or youthnpastor.” His claim was dismissed as anploy by a televangelist to squeeze morenmoney out of a frightened flock. ButnFalwell’s scenario is more easily realizednthan you might think.nPromoters of the Civil Rights RestorationnAct have promised churches andnchurch-owned schools religious exemption,nand they may be tempted to takensolace in that. But given some recentnlegislation and court decisions, theynshould be prepared for federal discriminationnlawsuits filed by a civil rightsnestablishment which increasingly viewsntheir beliefs as archaic superstitions —nones which prevent millions of Americansnfrom being brought into the “enlightened”nworld of the popular secularnmorality embodied in the “new civilnrights.”nThe vehicle for these lawsuits willnagain be the federal money which permeatesnevery segment of American society.nUntil 1984, private schools had toncomply with the major civil rights legislationnonly if they accepted direct federalnmoney in the form of grants andncontracts. Schools like Hillsdale Collegenand Grove City College were exemptnbecause they took no direct aid from thengovernment.nThat all changed when the SupremenCourt ruled (in Grove City College v.nBell) that indirect federal money, innthe form of federally guaranteed studentnloans and PELL grants, broughtnGrove City’s student finance departmentnunder the federal civil rights laws.nVITAL SIGNSnNot content with that new interpretationnof federal support, civil rightsnactivists introduced the Civil RightsnRestoration Act. The act prohibits discriminationnthroughout an entire institution,neven if only one departmentnreceives federal aid.nBetween 1984 and 1988, conservativesnsought to stall the Restoration Actnor, failing that, to narrowly define thenterm “federal money.” They did notnsucceed. With the addition of annabortion-neutral amendment and reassurancesnthat church-owned schoolsnwere exempt from the legislation. Congressnpassed the act over Reagan’s veto.nThe act’s supporters have repeatedlynmade assurances that indirect federalnmonies such as food stamps, farmnsubsidies, and sewer grants would notnforce mom-and-pop grocery stores,nfamily farmers, or municipalities toncomply with federal civil rights lawsnand regulations. Utah’s senator OrrinnHatch disagrees. According to him, thenlegislation would “establish a flypapernbureaucracy, because virtually everynindividual or business or unit of governmentnthat comes into contact withnthis federal dollar — no matter hownremotely or indirectly — will ben’caught’ and subject to these requirements.”nSenator Kennedy of Massachusettsnhas maintained that churches will notnbe affected and that the legislativencomments accompanying the actnwould guide the federal courts in makingntheir rulings. Remember HubertnHumphrey’s promise on the floor ofnthe Senate in 1964 that if the civilnrights bill resulted in affirmative actionnhe would “physically eat” the verynpaper upon which it was written? Sonmuch for legislative language. So muchnfor “hysteria.”n1994: Orwell Plus TennIt is 1994. President Michael Dukakis’snfive appointees on the US SupremenCourt make it the most activist, liberalnnnCourt in history. The US Congress,nwith 2-1 Democratic majorities in bothnHouses, has just passed gay civil rightsnlegislation, prohibiting discriminationnbased on “sexual preference.” PresidentnDukakis praises the legislation,ncalling it “another great victory for civilnrights and another step toward the daynwhen all Americans will be equal.”nWithin days of passage of the gaynrights legislation. Mormon-ownednBrigham Young University, the largestnchurch-owned school in the nation,nfires a professor for homosexual conduct.nThe fired professor files suit innfederal court, arguing that BYU students’nannual receipt of $40 million innfederally guaranteed student loans andnPELL grants brings the university undernthe umbrella of the civil rightsnlegislation. BYU claims its actions arenprotected by the First Amendment.nThe case makes its way to the USnSupreme Court. In a stunning andnacrimonious 5-4 decision, the Courtnrules that the civil rights laws are superiornto BYU’s claim of First Amendmentnfreedoms. The Supreme Courtnuses as precedent the 1982 Bob JonesnUniversity case in which the Courtnignored Bob Jones’s claims of religiousnfreedoms and struck down thenuniversity’s IRS tax-exempt status becausenit prohibited student interracialndating.nAssociate Justice Barbara Jordannwrites for the Supreme Court’s majority:n”The notion that Brigham YoungnUniversity’s so-called religious beliefsnare sufficient to override the protectionsnof gays, lesbians and other minoritiesnis as illegitimate and abhorrent asnthe biblical justification of slavery madenby Southerners in 19th-century America.”nBuoyed by the Court’s willingnessnto brush aside claims of First Amendmentnprotections, homosexual job applicantsnpreviously rejected by BYUnenlist the help of the ACLU and thenGay and Lesbian Legal Defense Fundnto file a massive federal civil rights classnNOVEMBER 19881 51n