A prospective student says the Community College of Baltimore County rejected his application because he’s a Christian. The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) recently filed suit on Brandon Jenkins’s behalf. The ACLJ is a non-profit run by Christians Jay and Jordan Sekulow, and protects religious and and constitutional freedoms.
Jenkins applied to the school’s radiation therapy program. During the application process, school officials asked him what was important to him. He said, “My God.”
After his rejection, Jenkins contacted the school for an explanation. Program director Adrienne Dougherty responded: “I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters…We have many patients who come to us for treatment from many different religions and some who believe in nothing at all. If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.”
If this response strikes you as inappropriate, you’re correct. Jenkins was asked a direct question. Was he supposed to lie about what was important to him? A person’s faith is part of who he is, and Jenkins’s faith doesn’t disqualify him from working with patients. At any rate, the school deducted points from Jenkins’s application based on his religious beliefs. That officials at a government-supported school apparently don’t understand they can’t deny admission or employment on the basis of religion is odd.
Jenkins seeks acceptance to the program and damages.
Photo credit: Seth Oliver Photographic Art (Creative Commons)