We have all heard of “white privilege” and “gender privilege,” but the University of Houston is now preaching “spiritual privilege.”

According to University of Houston training materials that YAF uncovered through its Censorship Exposed! project, people of faith, particularly Christians who live out their faith, are responsible for the elevated rate of suicide and attempted suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, and higher rates of alcohol abuse specific to LGBTQ+ persons.

The university’s training titled, “Ending Religious Trauma,” asserts that Christians manipulate and exploit LGBTQ+ persons by the misuse of “spiritual privilege and power.” The university calls this phenomena “religious trauma” and equivocates it to PTSD.

The training spews intolerance for religious text and the sincerity of doctrine. If a church in anyway limits church membership, or activities such as baptism, based on the church’s teaching, then that is “religious trauma” because it excludes. Or if a Christian student preaches the need for repentance, and in doing so labels sexual behavior that violates biblical teaching as sin, then that too is “religious trauma” because it is “condemnation” or “shaming.”

The training goes as far as to state that “defining traditional family and relationship values in a way that excludes the dynamic of the LGBTQ+ person’s family and relationship” is a cause for “religious trauma.” Apparently when students speak about what is “traditional,” thousands of years of recorded history must succumb to the left’s censorship.

And what is worse, the university appears to be advocating for the censorship of Christian students by listing several phrases that should be censored –

  • “The Bible clearly says”
  • “Love the sinner, hate the sin”
  • “Jesus can change you”

Christian students at the University of Houston who strive to live their faith, who evangelize, and who refuse to censor their beliefs by bowing to the alter of political correctness should be cognizant of the university’s efforts to stifle their religious freedom on campus. Students, faculty, and administrators at this publicly funded institution are being being taught that certain sincerely-held religious beliefs are not worth First Amendment protection.

If all of this sounds outlandish, look no further than the title of one of the articles that this training cites to as authority – “Organized Religion to Blame for Rise in Mental Health Problems: ‘Religious Trauma Syndrome.”

The city of Houston is no stranger to controversy involving First Amendment abuses. In 2014, former Houston Mayor, Annise Parker, issued subpoenas to five local pastors, seeking their sermons and other communications because they opposed a transgender bathroom ordinance. It wasn’t until after considerable public outcry that the mayor decided to withdraw these subpoenas. Now, the University of Houston is offering its own brand of religious intolerance.


This story is part of Young America’s Foundation’s ‘Censorship Exposed’ project to shed light on First Amendment abuses in America’s schools. Learn more at YAF.org/CensorshipExposed.

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