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The Department of Education is gearing up for another round of rule-making, and the possible rolling back of religious freedoms is catching the eyes of many.
As reported by Inside Higher Ed, there are eight topics being brought to the table for potential changes.
The topic that has drawn the greatest number of reservations from Christian educators and officials is Accreditation and Related Issues.
Former senior counselor to the secretary of education and current president of the Defense of Freedom Institute Bob Eitel is calling out the potential ramifications these changes may have on religious institutions.
Namely, the 2020 rule implemented by the Trump administration that brought protection to religious institutions from various accrediting agencies that would see them forced to implement curricula that go against their religious beliefs.
"That the Biden Education Department would take it upon themselves to undo that consensus doesn't make any sense," Eitel said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. "[And] given some of the anti-faith postures taken by the department in the Biden administration on issues of religion and faith and culture, anybody who attends a faith-based institution should be very concerned about what the department might do."
These protections currently prevent the government from requiring religious institutions from being forced to teach ideologies that are on the current administration's agenda.
Eitel believes that is why the topics are being revisited "because these issues bleed into their priorities regarding gender identity and the rights of transgender students and individuals."
Should these protections be removed, Title IV funding could be stripped from religious colleges and universities on the grounds that they are not conforming to the government's rules and lose accreditation.
"The issue here historically has been that accreditation agencies—whether they are agencies that accredit institutions or whether they're agencies that accredit certain programs—often will require faith-based schools to adhere to accreditation requirements that are based in diversity, equity and inclusion or affirmative action, or directly implicate issues of LGBTQ rights in a way that contradicts the faith or the teachings of that faith-based institution," Eitel said.
The Biden administration has been notably hostile toward Christianity and its beliefs. Attempting to force vaccine mandates, transgender ideology and the requirement to perform abortions, the current administration would be in step with its current hostility toward conservative ideology by removing religious protections from colleges and universities.
Remember, it was Joe Biden who said "Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage." And yet he is the sitting president who signed a bill completely redefining marriage. So, is it fair to ask why any Christian would take him at his word?
If the federal government were to remove the protections of religious institutions and force them to choose between their faith or disqualification from Title IV, the results would be catastrophic.
"The current rule reads that a creditor must respect the institutional religious mission of a faith-based institution," Eitel said. "My concern is that the Biden Education Department will work to undo that protection for schools controlled by religious organizations."
But there is hope, and everything plays out according to God's timing. Eitel believes that it would be very difficult to get this sort of agenda passed and made rule before the 2024 election cycle. By his estimates, it may be 2025 when a new ruling would take place, giving Christians plenty of time to vote in a godly president who holds biblical morals.
"I don't look for any of these higher ed rules that they just announced in this recent publication of the regulatory agenda to be effective before July 1, 2025," he said. "It is an ambitious agenda, and I have questions whether they'll be able to do [it] at all."
Yet if Joe Biden were to remain president, or a replacement from the Democratic Party, these potential repercussions of turning America away from God and His principles may very well come to pass.
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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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