Published August 13, 2008
A federal judge has ruled the University of California can deny course credit to Christian high school graduates who have been taught with textbooks that reject evolution and declare the Bible infallible, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
U.S. District Judge James Otero of Los Angeles ruled Friday that the school's review committees did not discriminate against Christians because of religious viewpoints when it denied credit to those taught with certain religious textbooks, but instead made a legitimate claim that the texts failed to teach critical thinking and omitted important science and history topics.
Charles Robinson, the university's vice president for legal affairs, told the Chronicle that the ruling "confirms that UC may apply the same admissions standards to all students and to all high schools without regard to their religious affiliations."
But a lawyer for the Association of Christian Schools International, two Southern California high schools and several students who brought about the initial lawsuit in 2005 told the Chronicle that the ruling would be appealed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
"It appears the UC is attempting to secularize private religious schools," attorney Jennifer Monk told the Chronicle.
The paper said rejected texts include a book for the course Christianity's Influence on America, published by Bob Jones University, which "instructs the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events" and "Biology for Christian Schools," whose first page says "if [scientific] conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong," Otero wrote in his ruling.