In its Blueprint for Positive Change 2020, the Human Rights Campaign proposes that the U.S. Department of Education in the next presidential administration adopt new regulations to “Ensure Nondiscrimination Policies and Science Based Curricula Are Not Undermined by Religious Exemptions to Accreditation Standards.” The document explains:
“Language regarding accreditation of religious institutions of higher education in the Higher Education Opportunity Act could be interpreted to require accrediting bodies to accredit religious institutions that discriminate or that do not meet science based curricula standards. The Department of Education should issue a regulation clarifying that this provision, which requires accreditation agencies to “respect the stated mission” of religious institutions, does not require the accreditation of religious institutions that do not meet neutral accreditation standards including nondiscrimination policies and scientific curriculum requirements. (emphasis added)”
If enacted, this proposal would open Pandora’s Box for new restrictions on free speech and academic freedom in the area of science. Many scientific claims have worldview implications, including scientific claims arising in the fields of cosmology, origin of life research, evolution, sexuality, medicine, human cloning, and neuroscience. As a result, science research can give rise to a host of disputed questions. Some of these questions are ethical—for example, is it moral to use fetal tissue from aborted human babies should in medical research? Other questions are factual: How much change can unguided natural selection actually produce? Are proposed materialistic explanations for the origin of the first life scientifically realistic?John West, “New Proposal Could Deny Accreditation to Religious Colleges Based on “Science”” at Evolution News and Science Today
They may or may not be able to get away with it. But I don’t think we should delude ourselves that it has anything to do with science.
Fundamentally, religious colleges pose the same problem as charter schools: They often do a better job for less money than the bureaucracy-laden public systems. Inevitably, there is political pressure to get rid of them, especially as public systems are likely to become ever more loaded down with bureaucratic initiatives – for example, the war on math, which mainly benefits people with teaching certificates who cannot teach.
See also: Harvard Astronomer: Aliens visited in 2017! Now a book! Okay, Oumuamua is unusual. But here’s what seems even more unusual. That a Harvard astronomer would be retailing stories that, sixty years ago, were the domain of tabloid magazines. And people are listening seriously.