Keeping Out the Riff-Raff

     I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.
     Groucho Marx
     
     Sometimes it’s hard to understand why people go to court. Actually, most of the time it’s hard to understand, but some disputes are more mind-bending than others.
     Check out a ruling last week from the U. S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals called Alpha Delta v. Reed. The dispute was over whether a group that wanted to freely recruit new members had a right to reject new members.
     New members that would never have wanted to be members in the first place.
     Yes, this is religious dispute.
     Religions, as you know, hate being discriminated against but love discriminating. That’s what religion is about.
     In case you missed it, a Christian sorority and a Christian fraternity sued officials at a couple of state colleges for refusing to recognize them as official student organizations. The recognition would allow them to, among other things, set up tables in the student union to recruit.
     Without recognition, they could still recruit in open areas and pay for meeting rooms – just not get them for free.
     So why didn’t the plaintiffs get recognized as official student groups?
     Because they discriminated on the basis of religion.
     It seems the Christian groups required that its members be Christian.
     Let’s make this perfectly clear: the Christian sorority and the Christian fraternity just spent years in court and, undoubtedly, a good bit of money battling for their right to reject people as members who wouldn’t want to be members in the first place.
     They really hate it when their houses fill up with Jews and Muslims.
     I could be wrong here but this sounds like a setback for the missionary effort.
     According to the ruling, the plaintiffs argued that accepting non-Christians would “significantly impair the message (Plaintiffs) joined together to promote.”
     I don’t usually advise religious groups – I have a very full schedule advising lawyers – but I can’t help offering a tip to these plaintiffs: the concept of promotion works best when you apply it to people who haven’t been sold on your product.
     Unless, of course, you only want to recruit people who are just like you.
     Hmm. Now that I think about it, that sounds like a fraternity or sorority. Maybe this isn’t as silly as it sounds….
     
     UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE WEEK. If you think your job is tough, check out a ruling from the Oregon Court of Appeals called Krahn v. Employment Department.
     A special ed teacher got assigned by a school district to teach a class at a juvenile offender treatment facility. What they didn’t tell her was that the class was twice as large as they claimed and that she’d be alone with a bunch of sex offenders who had threatened the teacher she was replacing.
     When she figured this out and mentioned it to the human resources director who had failed to tell her all this before, the director’s response was “this job isn’t for everyone.”
     Apparently there was no disagreement about that.
     
     THE SOLUTION. I will now solve all our political problems.
     We must downsize government – by eliminating 535 jobs.
     Imagine how much more work would get done and how much more pleasant our lives would be without Congress.
     Just hold annual elections to keep the president honest and let her or him actually accomplish things.
     Write your legislators and ask them to quit.

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