On Tuesday, March 21st, America First Legal (which includes former Trump advisor, Stephen Miller) sued New Jersey’s County College of Morris (CCM) and its Dean of Students, Janique Caffie, for suspending and threatening a Christian student for preaching from the Bible and speaking out against homosexuality.
Christian student Kombe Sefelino is described as someone who frequently speaks about the Bible and his Christian faith. In doing so, he speaks to classmates about the Bible’s teachings and urges them to repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus. Sefelino talks about the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality, which he said warns practicing homosexuals (and other sinners) that they will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they repent.
While on campus, Sefelino had quoted Bible passages declaring that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God,” and “neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor. 6:9-10 (ESV).
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After the college administration received a complaint about him, the college issued a written warning declaring his statements as being “hate speech” that “demonstrated a bias against the LGBQT+ community” and in violation of New Jersey law.
Not surprisingly, the statement from the college didn’t say anything about the First Amendment in the Constitution that allows Sefeliono to say what he wants wherever he wants – in addition to having the right to practice his religion.
Sefelino did not self-censor himself after the threats were made by the college and continued to talk about the Bible on campus which led to him being suspended for eleven days. The school also threatened to expel him if he didn’t stop preaching against homosexuality.
CCM is a public taxpayer-funded institution but apparently they don’t understand that they’re bound by the Constitution’s free speech and religious freedom guarantees.
America First Legal said in their press release, “Without evincing any sense of irony, the college’s letter states: ‘We accept everyone here. There is no place for bias at CCM. You should think hard about whether this is the best environment for you.’”
Gene Hamilton, America First Legal VP and General Counsel said about the lawsuit, “For generations, colleges and universities were centers for free speech and the open exchange of ideas. American students were taught to disagree with each other respectfully. This is no longer true, and many colleges and universities have become centers of censorship. Woke bureaucrats in colleges across the United States are more than happy to silence speech with which they disagree. We will not let this go on our watch.”
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