Archive for July 29th, 2010

A Georgia graduate student in school counseling has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Augusta State University of violating her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion by demanding that she work to change her religious beliefs opposing homosexuality.

“Miss Keeton will not be able to successfully complete the remediation plan and thus complete the counseling program unless she commits to affirming the propriety of gay and lesbian relationships …”—Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, Augusta State University official

Jennifer Keeton alleges that faculty members and administrators at the university have violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion by threatening to expel her from the College of Education’s counselor-education program if she does not fulfill the requirements of a remediation plan designed to get her mind right regarding deviant sexual practices.

The plan requires that Keeton attend workshops on serving diverse populations, read articles on counseling homosexuals, bisexuals, and transvestites, and submit reports to an overseer summarizing what she has learned. The plan also requires that Keeton interact with practicing homosexuals and attend the local homosexual pride parade. Keeton has refused to comply.

“A public-university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform.”—David French, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund

Keeton’s Christian convictions regarding human sexuality and gender identity differs with the university’s doctrine of political correctness. Keeton’s belief that homosexual behavior is immoral and that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle conflicts with psychiatry’s views on sexual deviancy accepted as the norm by those who provide counseling for women and men engaged in homosexuality.

For more on the Keeton story, see Augusta State U. Is Accused of Requiring a Counseling Student to Accept Homosexuality by Peter Schmidt and ‘Lose Christianity or face expulsion’ by Bob Unruh.

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A professor hired to teach Catholicism courses was fired for engaging in hate speech; he agreed with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

“All I ask as your teacher is that you approach these questions as a thinking adult. That implies questioning what you have heard around you. Unless you have done extensive research into homosexuality and are cognizant of the history of moral thought, you are not ready to make judgments about moral truth in this matter. All I encourage is to make informed decisions.”—Ken Howell, in an e-mail to students

The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor Ken Howell for engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church’s teaching that homosexual sex is immoral. Howell, who taught Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, was fired for explaining some Catholic beliefs to his students preparing for an exam in an e-mail.

“Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to reality. In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same.”—Ken Howell, in an e-mail to students

Howell, a Catholic who believes in the church’s teachings about homosexuality, was conveying to his students the Catholic understanding of natural moral law..

“My responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches. I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never required to believe what I’m teaching and they’ll never be judged on that.”—Ken Howell, adjunct professor

Ann Mester, an associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, called Howell’s firing, justified.

“The e-mails sent by Dr. Howell violate university standards of inclusivity, which would then entitle us to have him discontinue his teaching arrangement with us.”—Ann Mester, associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

In 2008 and 2009, the university’s religion department recognized Howell for being rated an excellent teacher by students.

And the band played on.

I.M. Kane

For more on the story, see University of Illinois Instructor Fired Over Catholic Beliefs from the Associated Press and Instructor of Catholicism at UI claims loss of job violates academic freedom by Jodi Heckel and Lynda Zimmer.

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A reader of The Millstone Diaries has graciously sent me a copy of a well-written, concise letter canceling membership in the NRA. I removed the author’s name and address information because it’s a personal letter to the organization.

In cutting a deal with Chuck U. Schumer for exemption from the burdensome requirements of the DISCLOSE Act and in promoting Senate Majority Harry Reid as a champion of gun rights, the NRA has clearly sold out its members.

If NRA members love the First Amendment as much as they do the Second, they will cancel their NRA memberships so the leaders of the organization will realize their myopic view of the First Amendment protections afforded by the Constitution is intolerable.

A copy of the letter is posted at The Millstone Diaries for NRA members to use as an example or a template to cancel their memberships.

I.M. Kane




TO:                  National Rifle Association of America

                        11250 Waples Mill Road

                        Fairfax, VA  22030

FROM:            Name (ID#)

                        Street Address

                        City, State, Zip

                        e-mail address

                        phone (Home); phone (Mobile)

I request that you cancel my membership to the National Rifle Association (NRA) of America. 

While I have been a proud member of this organization for roughly ten years, I think that the time has come for us to part company because the NRA is now making decisions that support the unequal treatment of American citizens by the Federal Government, in addition to supporting leaders who are moving forward an agenda that will destroy the liberty still enjoyed by Americans, which will ultimately include the freedom protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The NRA’s recent actions are extremely short-sighted and unsettling.  

Two specific actions on the part of the NRA have influenced my decision to cancel my membership in the organization:

  1. The NRA’s decision to withdraw opposition to the Disclose Act only after Democrats added an exemption that applied to the NRA.
  2. Wayne LaPierre’s recent support of Senator Harry Reid in his upcoming reelection battle – and the organizations flirtation with endorsing him in November. 

Enclosed you will find two articles that have supported my thinking on these matters.  The first is a commentary by Jerry Kane of the Millstone Diaries titled, It’s Time to Teach the NRA a Lesson < https://imkane.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/the-nra-has-hell-to-pay/>.  The second article is by Anthony Martin of the Conservative Examiner titled, NRA Controversy Flares Up Again Over Harry Reid <http://www.examiner.com/x-37620-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m7d3-NRA-controversy-flares-up-again-over-Harry-Reid>.

My hope is that the NRA leaders will undertake a thorough reexamination of their recent actions, do whatever they can to reverse them, and will decide to once again champion causes in support of liberty and justice for all – instead of for the viability of the organization only. 



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