Stifling religious expression has sunk to a new low at California's Sonoma State University. According to the Liberty Institute, a Texas-based legal advocacy group, on two separate occasions a university official told Audrey Jarvis, a 19-year-old student working at the school's freshman orientation, that she must remove or hide a cross necklace, explaining that the religious symbol might offend another student.
Jarvis, a liberal arts major, was working for the university’s Associated Students Production (ASP) organization, manning a student orientation fair, when the supervisor told her that the university system's chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items, and said the cross necklace “might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome, or it might cause incoming students to feel that ASP was not an organization they should join,” recounted Liberty Institute.
But it didn't just happen once. The supervisor approached Jarvis a second time, asking her to put the cross under her clothing or remove it — a suggestion that so angered the student that she left her job early.
Jarvis told Fox News, “My initial reaction was one of complete shock. I was thrown for a loop.” She added, “I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else. I was very hurt and felt as if the university’s mission statement — which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all — was violated.”
Hiram Sasser, a Liberty Institute attorney who is working with Jarvis to resolve the issue, told Fox: “It’s amazing in this day of diversity and tolerance on university campuses that a university official would engage in this type of obvious religious discrimination.”
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