A former college football player is suing his alma mater for its Bible verse ban.
Michael Lucas donated $2,500 to the Colorado School of Mines for a new athletic facility. In exchange for the donation, the school allows donors to have whatever they like inscribed on a nameplate that will go in the football locker room.
Everything from “Give ‘Em Hell” to “OK Gentlemen, it’s time to gird your loins” has been approved by the university, which receives public funding. But when Lucas submitted two Bible verses for his nameplate, he says the school refused, saying the words “Lord,” “God,” or “Jesus” cannot be on the nameplates. On top of that, he said Bible verses that include those words are also banned.
Lucas wanted Colossians 3:23 and Micah 5:9 on his donor plate, just the verse citations, not the actual text of the verse.
Colossians 3:23 reads “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Micah 5:9 reads “Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed.”
That use of the word “Lord” in one verse was too much for the school, so now Lucas has teamed up with the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom to file a federal lawsuit.
“Public colleges and universities should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas, especially in a forum like this,” ADF Legal Counsel Natalie Decker said in a statement. “The school initially imposed no restrictions – or even guidelines – on the type of message a donor could include, and contrary to what the school is arguing, the First Amendment protects – not restricts – a simple reference to a Bible verse. It’s patently ridiculous to argue that a Bible reference that doesn’t include the text of the verse is somehow inappropriate simply because someone might look it up and see that ‘Lord’ is mentioned there.”