Banned Bible Study, Stifled Santa

November 7, 2005

A resident assistant in a dormitory at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire has been told that he cannot hold informal Bible study sessions in the dorm because it would amount to an illegal endorsement of religion by a state employee, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Lance Steiger held the weekly sessions with a small group of friends for much of last year, but over the summer he was told to stop.

Deborah Newman, associate director of housing and residence life, told Steiger: “As a state employee, you and I have a responsibility to make sure we are providing an environment that does not put undue pressure on any member of our halls in terms of religion, political parties, etc.”

Steiger insists that the ban is an infringement on his First Amendment rights.

“I work for the school,” he says. “It’s my job, but I do have personal time. I should be able to talk about whatever I want to talk about in my own room. It’s my home. It’s where I live.”

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Schools: University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Cases: University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire: Ban on RAs’ Leading Bible Studies