Should we discriminate on the basis of religious orientation? 1


By Tom Quiner

The answer is yes if you’re the University of Illinois.

They fired Kenneth Howell who teaches Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought.  His sin?  He expressed Catholic thought on the subject of homosexuality.  Here is his fire-able quote:

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.

A student labeled the professor’s response as “hate speech” and the professor was, of course, fired.  Here is what the offended student said:

Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing.  That homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one’s worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.

It appears, though, that the student is perfectly fine with ostracizing someone of a different religious orientation.

It appears that it is fine to discourage independent thought if it is Catholic thought.

It appears that firing a Catholic professor for expressing his views contributes to the public discourse.

This is an example of political correctness run amuck.

Professor Howell evidently never brow-beat students to believe his way:

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.

Imagine for a moment that the unemployed professor had instead said that he believed the Catholic Church’s position is wrong.  Had he only done that, he would:

• Be revered by academia.

• Be employed.

In the gay marriage debate that rages, supporters ask how can anyone be hurt if people who love each other are allowed to marry, even if they are the same gender?  After all, it’s a simple matter of equal rights. Right?

A few quick reactions:

• There never was any discrimination in our marriage laws.  After all, the laws were consistent regardless of one’s sexual orientation.  Someone with same-sex orientation was free to marry someone of the opposite gender, just as someone with opposite-sex orientation was prevented from marrying someone of the same gender.  Marriage was simply a matter of definition, a definition molded over several millennia based on a premise of protecting children and mothers.  Gay marriage advocates want to base marriage on the “relationship” instead of the children.

• There are going to be thousands and thousand of victims in the battle to normalize gay unions.  Professor Howell is an obvious example.  Interestingly, the mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News and the Huffington Post, have been conspicuously uninterested in this story of anti-Catholic bigotry.  But it won’t be the last example of people losing their jobs at the altar of political correctness.  Imagine Christian school teachers in states where gay marriage is the law of the land, who dare to state to students that in their eyes, marriage is only between a man and a woman.  Their state says otherwise.  Marriage is in the eyes of the state.  Your job may depend on publicly denying your Christian faith that states marriage is between a man and a woman.

Those who lose their job as a result of the redefinition of marriage certainly won’t feel that there are no victims to this act of social re-engineering.

Even gay icon, Elton John, doesn’t feel there’s a need for gay marriage:

Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.  I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.

I am no different than you.  I know people I very much care about who have same-sex leanings.  Some of them agree with Elton John that gay marriage isn’t needed, and some very much do believe in gay marriage.

If you disagree on gay marriage, that certainly doesn’t make you a homophobe.

Nonetheless, be aware that you may be putting your job in jeopardy.

***

The YouTube video above is an interesting discussion on the subject of gay marriage between Larry King, Dennis Prager, and Perez Hilton.

Liberal judges limit conservative “diversity” Reply


By Tom Quiner

Conservative "diversity" doesn't count

Conservative "diversity" doesn't count

How often have you heard liberals invoke the word “diversity?”

In the context of liberal-speak, diversity is automatically considered to be good.  The University of Oregon says it this way:

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.  It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.  It is understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

I mention “diversity” in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez, which I wrote about on June 29th  (A Triumph for Political Correctness).

Professor John Inazu

Professor John Inazu

Duke law professor, John Inazu, had an interesting take on the Court’s decision. Although he agreed with me that it was the wrong decision, he disagreed as to why.  He said the court should have supported the Christian Legal Society (CLS) in the name of diversity.

That’s exactly what an appellate court did 36 years ago in a similar case.  It weighed whether a student group “so far beyond the pale of the wider community’s values” that “university facilities [should] not be used by the group to flaunt its credo.”

In the name of diversity, the court back then ruled that Gay Students Organization of the University of New Hampshire should enjoy the right of free association.

In the recent Supreme Court decision, a similar standard applied.  The CLS embraced a philosophy far beyond the pale of the wider communities’ values, namely that sexual relations should be confined to a man and a woman within the confines of marriage.  Such a radical notion!

Alas, diversity is only applicable if it applies to liberal groups.

Professor Inazu wisely opined:

Christian student groups ought to be able to exclude non-Christians. Groups that object to homosexual conduct ought to be able to exclude those who disagree. Groups of Democrats ought to be able to exclude Republicans. Groups of environmentalists ought to be able to exclude people who don’t care about the environment. That leaves us with diversity.

Over at Yale Law School, professor Stephen Carter put it this way:

Professor Stephen Carter

Professor Stephen Carter

Democracy needs diversity because democracy advances through dissent, difference and dialogue.

Professor Inazu leaves us with a dire warning:

Expression presupposes existence. And the court’s decision doesn’t silence CLS – it destroys it.

A triumph for political correctness 4


By Tom Quiner

The Supreme Court has decided:  Christian college students who wish to form a group sanctioned by Universities are not allowed to require that their members be Christian.  Even more, Christian groups may not require that their members abide by Christian principles.

All of this came about because of the court’s decision in the case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.  Read the background on the case on my earlier post titled “Political correctness vs. common sense” (https://quinersdiner.com/2010/04/).

The liberal block of the court was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy.  They determined that a Christian group acted inappropriately in demanding that their members refrain from sexual activity outside of marriage, and that sexual relations be confined to only heterosexual married couples.  Specifically, the court said that the Christian Legal Society overtly discriminated against prospective members on the basis of religion and sexual orientation.

College students have been denied the right of freedom of association, a ringing triumph for political correctness over common sense.  Here is what Justice Alito, joined by Justices Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas, wrote in dissent:

Justice Alito's dissent

“The proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’ United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U. S. 644, 654–655 (1929) (Holmes, J., dissenting). Today’s decision rests on a very different principle: no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.

“The Hastings College of the Law, a state institution, permits student organizations to register with the law school and severely burdens speech by unregistered groups. Hastings currently has more than 60 registered groups and, in all its history, has denied registration to exactly one: the Christian Legal Society (CLS).  CLS claims that Hastings refused to register the group because the law school administration disapproves of the group’s viewpoint and thus violated the group’s free speech rights.

“I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today’s decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country. Our First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 270 (1964). Even if the United States is the only Nation that shares this commitment to the same extent, I would not change our law to conform to the international norm. I fear that the Court’s decision marks a turn in that direction. Even those who find CLS’s views objectionable should be concerned about the way the group has been treated—by Hastings, the Court of Appeals, and now this Court. I can only hope that this decision will turn out to be an aberration.”

I discussed the issue with a law student enrolled at Duke University.  I told him that my concern was that individuals unfriendly to Christian groups would be emboldened to join those groups just to agitate and disrupt the group’s Christian mission.  He countered that no one would want to subject themselves to such an effort, that no one would want to associate with people with whom they had such profound disagreements.

What do you think?

Are there enough evangelical atheists on college campuses, for example, who would band together to try to hijack a Christian group on a college campus?

Am I being too sensitive?  Or are the forces of political correctness that motivated to disrupt Christian and other conservative groups?