BYX v. University of Florida

[I posted an update about this case on January 31st, 2009.]

While at Texas A&M, I had the privilege of joining Beta Upsilon Chi, also known as Brothers Under Christ. (The Greek initials are BYX, prounounced “Bucs.”) BYX now has 23 chapters in 11 states.

Those guys – well, specifically the brothers in the University of Florida chapter – are in a pretty big legal battle to become a recognized student group. As a Christian fraternity that focuses on small groups (the core of BYX is “cell group” accountability and discipleship for every member), they restrict membership to Christians. However, this apparently runs afoul of the University of Florida‘s religious discrimination rules.

In July, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary injunction against the U of F, allowing BYX to operate on campus this semester. But tomorrow, the case will actually be argued at the 11th Circuit Court at 9am.

Whatever your stance on the merits, this is an important case for college ministry, since it can be a precedent for future trials. Even though most of our college ministries are “open” ministries (allowing non-Christians to participate at some level), there will still be a lot to watch regarding the decision – including its wording and the “whys” involved in the decision.

BYX is represented by the Center for Law & Religious Freedom and the Alliance Defense Fund.

For more on the news, see the summary and links at the Christian Legal Society or more links from BYX here (including some FoxNews stuff, articles from the University newspaper, etc.).

To send a note of support: admin -at- betaupsilonchi.org.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested, here are things they suggested people could pray for!

  • Tim Tracey of the Christian Legal Society, as he argues the case for Beta Upsilon Chi
  • the judges who are hearing the case
  • the chapter members at Florida, who have been enduring this for 18 months
  • safe travel for the members from other chapters and national staff who are traveling to the hearing
  • that this might be the end of the case, if that’s what the Lord wants
  • most importantly, that Jesus would be glorified in our words and actions.

[I posted an update about this case on January 31st, 2009.]

2 Comments

  1. Jeff

    If we would balk at an attempt by the university to exclude our campus ministries from access to venues, facilities, amenities, privileges, promotional opportunities, advisory boards, club status, outreach events and any one of the 9000 other things we are allowed to do on campus based solely on the fact that we are Christian, then we’d better think twice before we get behind a lawsuit like this one. The non-exclusion clause not only prevents BUC from excluding but it keeps BUC and all the rest of us from being excluded.
    Benson, you’re right that its an important case, but I think its an unfortunate case and will likely burn rather than build bridges with university administration regardless of the outcome…
    Thanks for your blog and for taking the time to visit with me at ASU.
    Blessings

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