Colorado Christian University President Weighs in on Growing Threat to Religious Liberty
- Donald Sweeting is the President
of Colorado Christian University
and he joins us now for more.
Dr. Sweeting, thanksso much for being here.
- Great to be with you.
- This issue of suppressionof speech on college campuses,
how much of an issue is that?
- Well, I think it's huge.
It's coupled with a lot of other things.
The atmosphere on universitycampuses is changing radically
as we dis-invite speakers,
as we have saved spaces,
as we really shut down debate.
And that's the one placewhere you should be able to
debate and discuss ideas.
So, I tell people, thisis the best time to be
the President of a Christian University.
This is a crazy time to be thePresident of the University
in the United Statesbecause there's so much
insanity that we're seeingin the university world.
- Certainly a lot of insanity.
Now, you're in Colorado which just elected
its first openly gay Governor.
Christians, of course, can be tolerant,
but are others, is culturetolerant of Christians?
- Well, this is whereauthors write about the new
intolerance of tolerance wherethe illiberal liberalism,
where liberalism is becoming,is shutting speech down
and it's being what itwas not created to be.
That's why we're havingthis discussion about what's
happening on university campuses, right?
- On the topic of religious freedom,
Colorado Christian has beenoutspoken and supported
Jack Phillips, the man whorefused to make a wedding cake
for a gay couple.
Talk about the school'sinvolvement in that case.
- Yeah, Jack's a friend ofours and he's in the same
town we're in, so this hasbeen very close to home.
He's a believer.
Jack serves anybody who walks in his shop.
That's what most people don't understand.
He'll bake a cake for anybody.
But what they asked him todo was to message the cake
according to things thathe doesn't believe in.
So, he said, "I don'tmake Halloween cakes.
"I don't make cakes that celebrate divorce
"or talk about violence against people,
"and because I'm a committed Christian,
"I believe in marriage as God designed it.
"I don't make cakes thatcelebrate homosexual marriage."
- On another topic, recreationalmarijuana is now legal
Colorado Christian did a study recently
that found that for about every dollar
gained in tax revenue,Coloradans spent more than
four dollars to mitigatesome of the adverse effects.
Do you think Colorado is on somewhat
of a downward moral spiral?
- Well, I lived in Colorado.
Then I moved to Florida for six years
and I just came back two years ago
and I was so saddened'cause I love our state,
but it seemed like thedowntown was like Amsterdam
where ya know, burned outwith a lot of people just
looking lost, so we havecelebrated something
and promoted somethingthat's making a lot of money,
positive side for some, butthe science and the studies
are going in the oppositedirection saying this is bad.
It's bad for the state.
It's bad for the students ofColorado, the kids of Colorado.
It's bad for safe driving.
It's bad in so many ways, but this clash,
the science going thisway, money going this way.
Right now, money's winning.
- Real quick question.
We're short on time butreally feel it's important
that we ask.
What can individualChristians do to take a stand
for religious freedom in their own cities
and their own communities?
- That's a great questionand you've gotta realize that
this is a issue that'scoming to your state.
It's not just California,it's not just Colorado,
but it's coming to you.
So, please be informedabout religious liberty.
Persuade young people.
Teach them about the constitution,
why we have a constitution, what it means.
Teach them virtue.
Encourage your pastors to wake up on this.
They can not be passiveon religious liberty.
This is a Pauline moment.
By that, I mean where Paul said,
"I appeal to Caesar."
We have to do that.
We can't be passive and so many pastors,
I know that they don't wantpolitics to be our first issue,
but they have pulled out,gone to the other extreme
of silence and that can't happen.
Then, I guess, finallyI'd say when schools like
our school is in the news because of this,
support those who take a stand
and pray for a great awakening because
that's what Christians, Ithink, can, that's our hope.
We know in the past, the HolySpirit has been poured out
on people and in eras likethe first Great Awakening,
the second, and it's been a game changer
and quite frankly, we need a game changer.
- That's right.
Dr. Sweeting, thank youso much for your time.
- Thank you.