2010 August 19 Thursday
Christian Must Accept Homosexuality Or Get Kicked Out
Is this multi-cultural intolerance?
An Augusta State University counseling student has filed a lawsuit against her school claiming it violated her First Amendment rights when it told her to change her traditionalist Christian views on homosexuality or get out.
The Alliance Defense Fund filed suit Wednesday on behalf of Jennifer Keeton, 24, seeking to stop the school from expelling her from her master’s degree program.
She sees homosexuality as morally wrong. The academics at Augusta State are morally certain that she's morally wrong. So these employees of the state of Georgia are trying to deny her an education in her chosen field due to her professed beliefs. Why don't they celebrate her diversity? It is a pluralistic multi-cultural society. Christians who see homosexuality as evil are just part of the vast pageantry of life. I find this curious, though not entirely unexpected. Academics are so unlike the average American that they seek to make us more like them and if they can't they cast us out. Their multi-culturalist ideology is just a pose.
Princeton U Anscombe Society (broadly I think women who want to keep their virginity for marriage among other things) member Marlow Gazzoli argues it is not a counselor's job to support whatever decisions a person wants to make about their life.
It seems to me that the faculty have a totally distorted view of what a counselor is. A counselor should not merely confirm his patient's choices and lifestyle out of some misguided respect for diversity. Rather, he is supposed to better the life of his patient, not just encourage him to do whatever he wants.
Well first off, if schools stopped training counselors and all jobs of counselors were defunded the commonwealth would be enhanced. But shouldn't it be up to the organizations that hire counselors to decide if a given counselor will deliver the sorts of messages they want delivered?
Update: I am troubled by the report above because I see it fitting into a larger pattern where universities enforce moral and ideological beliefs. Consider how doctrinally correct you have to be to get a masters degree in education or run the risk of getting tossed out of a graduate level program in education. Education departments embrace the Blank Slate view of human nature and enforce it as doctrine. They are not alone among academic departments in their embrace of this faith. Do we really want faith-based academic departments deciding who gets a degree based on whether they embrace a competing religion? Note that these education believers have powerful faith in their beliefs that is embraced by the political mainstream. We need protections against such faith.
The Alliance Defense Fund has brought suit against public universities in Michigan and Missouri that have infringed on the rights of Christian students.
This is from the Augusta State University faculty handbook:
While faculty members are ultimately answerable to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, they are also empowered by and responsible to the basic principles of their profession. Academic freedom is one such basic principle. The AAUP’s 1970 Interpretive Comments on Academic Freedom and Tenure put the point forcefully. Quoting a United States Supreme Court ruling (Keyisham v. Board of Regents), they state:
“our nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom which is of transcendent value to all of us, and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom.”
Academic freedom, then, serves on the one hand to help safeguard the survival of the values specified in the First Amendment, and is in its turn protected by the First Amendment. The 1970 Interpretive Comments go on to assert that “professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free enquiry and to promote public understanding of academic freedom.”
This freedom embraces teachers’ rights to pursue and publish the results of their research, even when the results are controversial. Equally, it includes teachers’ rights to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, even when controversial matters are involved. The 1970 AAUP Interpretive Comments assert that, “controversy is at the heart of the free academic enquiry which the entire  Statement is designed to promote”; though the Comments caution teachers “to avoid persistently intruding material which has no relationship to their subject.”
Augusta State University Faculty Manual - updated through 06_22_2010 38
These freedoms are protected by the institution in which the faculty member operates, which maintains a strictly neutral stance towards the legitimate professional activities of its faculty. The University here serves a function essentially different from secondary education, with its students acknowledged to be adults, and with university or university administrations recognizing that part of the institution’s mission is to prepare students for ideas, not protect them from ideas.
Above all, the institution will avoid discriminating against faculty members’ careers on the basis of their having exercised their rights of academic free expression.
The college or university will exercise some caution even in proscribing abhorrent views, such as racism or sexism. While such views lie, as stated in the AAUP’s 1991 Preliminary Report on Freedom of Expression and Campus Harassment Codes, “beyond the bounds of academic freedom,” since they infringe on the rights of others, the same Report stresses that “broad prohibitions pose a significant threat to the free expression of ideas.” Under no circumstances however, would the practice of racism or sexism be protected by the concept of academic freedom.
The last paragraph is especially interesting. There seems to be a lot of waffling about "racism and sexism."
The AAUP, which likes to think of itself as a strong defender of academic freedom and free expression on campus, certainly doesn't regard these topics as worthy of much protection, since they "infringe on the rights of others." This, of course, is hogwash - there is no way that merely holding or expressing a belief can infringe on anyone's rights. One has a right to believe whatever one chooses and to peacefully express one's views, as long as there is no incitement to violence or lawbreaking. And who gets to decide what constitutes "racism and sexism?" Does an honest discussion of HBD constitute racism? Does an open discussion of the roles of women in society and the advantages and disadvantages of the feminist viewpoint constitute sexism? Who gets to decide - the leftist faculty and their thought police?
Georgia once practiced rigid racial segregation in its public education system. Such a practice was perfectly lawful at the time. Then the laws changed, and the practice stopped. But it would not be illegal to advocate the restoration of racial segregation or to openly speak in favor of it, even though such a practice, if reimplemented, would seriously damage the educational experience of black Americans.
Augusta State University seems to want to have it both ways here - endorse free speech and freedom of conscience but proscribe racism and sexism. Well, insofar as racial and sexual discrimination are prohibited by law, fine. But I am not aware of any Georgia law that protects homosexuals against discrimination. And even if there were such laws (as there in some parts of the country), one's right to speak for or against them is protected, as is one's belief on the subject.
Randall, you are correct about the disconnect between the ultra-pc quasi-marxist faculty and the ordinary citizens who are paying their salaries. I think Augusta State University is going to get a refresher course in the First Amendment.
Well, no christian should be forced to accept homosexuality, just as no homosexual should accept christianity if they don't want. As long of course, as those two tastes are kept into the private or personal.
By the way, I understand why the word "homosexual" is not capitalized, but I continue to wonder why the word "christian" is...
Heck! not even the word "god" should be capitalized. Since there seems to be so many, how can the word be a proper noun?
Yaweh, Allah, Shiva, Vishnu, would be ok to capitalize; I mean, they are proper nouns, just like Sheldon, Mike, Pete, Dick and Bubba.
No I Don't said:"No christian should be forced to accept homosexuality"
Isn't that like saying "no Christian should be forced to accept gravity"?
The scientific position is that a portion of individuals being homosexual is of course natural and unavoidable, being a normal biological occurrence throughout the animal kingdom, including in humans.
"The Alliance Defense Fund has brought suit against public universities in Michigan and Missouri that have infringed on the rights of Christian students."
There are no "rights of christian students", just as there are no rights of homosexual students or rights of women or rights of indians. There is no such a thing.
In a country the rights are for the people, for the citizens; and in the world, for the humans.
Perhaps what is meant, is "equal rights for everybody" (whatever flavor they like)
Otherwise it would be really frightening if there were "homosexual rights" or "christian rights"
"The scientific position is that a portion of individuals being homosexual is of course natural and unavoidable, being a normal biological occurrence throughout the animal kingdom, including in humans."
Agree absolutely. I just wanted to make a point, perhaps too obvious to even type.
Sorry, my plattitude.
no i don't,
The names of organizations and religions get capitalized in English. Islam, Muslim, Christian, Christianity. It makes sense for Christian to be capitalized for another reason: It is based on Christ which is used as Jesus's last name. We capitalize names.
Yes, I agree that homosexuality (especially male homosexuality) has a biological cause. But what's the moral significance of this? Certainly many religious people who condemn homosexuals do so with the assumption that it is a chosen orientation. But if they are wrong does that make their moral condemnation of Christianity wrong?
Consider two points: Christians also believe we are tempted to sin. If some people feel more temptation are they any less responsible to resist temptation? Many Christians would say no.
I think people who want to commit murder have a responsibility to resist the urge. Of course, you could argue that homosexual behavior is different from murder in that it does not violate the rights of others. But the rights-based view is not the only possible foundation for a moral code. Christians think God told them what is right and wrong and that they've got to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong regardless of any theory of rights.
I don't know; I'm not sure this is so wrong. The end result of a counseling degree is to be a counselor. If the state makes the reasonable demand that a state-educated counselor should be accepting of everyone, then I don't see the problem.
No I Don't,
-Good. I understand.
-I think you make many good points, but isn't it good for both us and society to resist that kind of reality-denial by religionists? It's no longer diversity of opinion to be respected when it's beyond debate that they're scientifically wrong. Anything else would diminish the intelligence of society.
"It's no longer diversity of opinion to be respected when it's beyond debate that they're scientifically wrong."
Most people would say that about pretty much everything Randall posts on this site. And you seem to miss his point that even if homosexuality has a biological cause, it is still a choice to engage in homosexual acts.
Allow me to clarify the Christian position on homosexuality since I think a lot of people make wrong assumptions.
In Christianity (I'm speaking of the general orthodox position that the majority of Christians would agree with), it is only actions/behaviors that are sins. Having homosexual feelings is not in itself a sin. Homosexual activity is what is condemned. As far as the moral significance of it goes, I know in the RCC that the degree of culpability depends to some extent on the strength of temptation as well as the maturity of the agent.
A lot of things are technically choices, like the decision to not bleach one's skin or to not get epicanthal fold surgery. If someone has a book they like that says it's immoral to "choose" to have dark skin or epicanthal folds, it seems like a stretch to say universities should allow themselves to be associated with such condemnations.
In order to maintain a prosocial and intelligent society, these are the kinds of lines that we try not to cross.
That being said, I'm sure a lot of this case depends on the details.
Shouldn't the State be accepting of everyone?
Denying someone of a livelihood seems like not accepting someone.
Reality denial comes in many forms, some fairly innocuous, others quite pernicious. It is not all worth the effort to attack it.
Scientific: Well, the Left denies many basic truths about human nature. Look at the treatment of James Watson. Then they use the state to enforce their faux scientific viewpoint. Do you really want to live in a society governed by those beliefs that the State decides are proven by science? Think about that.
"A lot of things are technically choices, like the decision to not bleach one's skin or to not get epicanthal fold surgery"
I don't see how those are "technically" choices. I can see how a sophist might say that breathing is "technically" a choice, but cosmetic surgery? It sounds like you're describing a hypothetical "White Man Trapped In An Asian Man's Body" scenario, which I would classify as a mental illness.
>>there is no way that merely holding or expressing a belief can infringe on anyone's rights.
That's simply not true. You're giving too much credit to people. Bad ideas are extremely dangerous, and humans are notoriously weak to them. I'm not familiar with your views, but you sound fairly right-wing, or at least libertarian. Right wingers usually benefit when people get worked into an idealistic fervor. But can you imagine what would happen to you if the liberals in your community found out you believed in HBD? They would shun you. They would tell your family that they you were a racist. They would destroy your career, maybe cause you to lose friends. Maybe even get police to stop you unfairly. And they would do so malevolently, intentionally. "How DARE you!?" All for their (failing) belief in universal equallism.
Now, imagine if anti-homosexuality sentiment got wide-spread in a community where gays previously felt OK to be in the open. You can bet you'd see some lynchings. Especially when you consider the kind of people who would fall for an anti-gay sentiment.
I don't necessarily agree with what they did. If you expect to defeat all the bad -isms (racism, sexism, probably some -ism for anti-gay) out there, you have to drag them out into the open, and let them burn in the light of day. Don't bury them and refuse to think about them. You can't let the assholes have a foothold to come back, saying they were unfairly suppressed. If you manipulate life from the shadows, you make people more amenable to manipulation in the future.
Being forced to undergo minor cosmetic surgery would be a more preferable choice to most people than being forced to live their entire lives without having sex, or to only be allowed to have sex with a gender to which they're not attracted.
Shouldn't the State be accepting of everyone?
Denying someone of a livelihood seems like not accepting someone.
Here's the scenario I'm envisioning: A gay person walks into this counselor's office and instead of discussing his problems, this woman basically says (in so many words): "Listen fag, I'm sickened by you and your deviancy."
The State can reasonably demand that if they train a counselor, they want the counselor to counsel everyone and avoid such appraisals of the person's moral worth. I'm not sure this woman could be disinterested while counseling a gay person. And there are lots of gay people who want counseling.
"It makes sense for Christian to be capitalized for another reason: It is based on Christ which is used as Jesus's last name. We capitalize names."
Hmmm... No Randall, I don't think so. If it makes sense to capitalize christian in English is not because the word "Christ" is "used as Jesus's last name.", because it's not.
"Christ" is neither a name nor a last name. Christ only means "messiah" and messiah only means "annointed". Every king of Israel had to be annointed by the high priest in approval, before becoming king. So David and Solomon were also "messiahs" or "annointed ones" by the priests.
People in those days generally knew that the throne of Israel corresponded by legitimate right to Jesus, as he was a direct descendant of King David, unlike the puppet king Herod who wasn't even a Jew and was usurping the throne by the "ok" of the Romans.
Even though I'm not a native speaker nor a linguist, I do know that capitalizing "christian" in English has very little to do with religion and more to do with linguistics, as it is also the tendency to capitalize nationalities, months of the year, days of the week, etc, none of which are capitalized in Spanish.
Of course I dare not consider one language to be better than the other in that regard. I was just trying to convey a very personal and subjective feeling. But Christ is not Jesus's last name nor is it considered to be so by any half-decent minister or priest. (If there were such a thing as a "decent" minister or priest)
By the way Randall, we also capitalize names in Spanish, so -sarcasms aside- you know I was talking about the word "christian" meaning the religious affiliation, not the name "Christian" as in Christian Dior.
I also consider a matter of course that "Christian", the name, is derived from "christian", the religious affiliation. But one thing is different from the other as "Christian" might not be a "christian"
But enough already, this section is already getting boring and outdated, so I'll just wait for your next post.
The state trains the counselor and therefore should be able to control the kinds of advice the counselor will deliver? Are you really sure you want to go there?
Again, shouldn't it be up to the hiring organization to filter for counselors who will deliver their party line? That allows for a larger variety of values and conflicting views. Why shouldn't very different organizations deliver very different forms of counseling more in line with the kinds of people who they service?
If the counselor is not working for the State then I do not see how it should be the State's business deciding what views the counselor should present. I think the State is too powerful already.
You position illustrates the problem with the Proposition Nation. We end up needing to all embrace a very extensive list common shared beliefs and value.
Here's the main issue:
If the State trains someone, can they demand that this person, as a counselor, avoids making moral judgments of her patients? The issue is extremely complex because of two issues: it's a moral judgment in a field based on subjective opinion and she's State-trained.
I don't think the State is being entirely unreasonable (though my perspective is unbiased, while the State is merely trying to inculcate liberal attitudes), but I see your point about State power.
The State forces us to pony up money to support state universities. Then it uses that money to enforce teaching of doctrine. Then it forces those who want state certification in various occupations to embrace State doctrine. I might as well be taxed by the local church. The local church is less invasive in its effects because it does not control a gateway to job occupations.
Whether I agree or disagree on each point of State doctrine is really besides the point. I think homosexuality in males is the result of developmental events in the brain in the womb or in very early childhood. But so what. The State does not even accept the biological view on homosexuality.
I do not trust the State. I do not want to give it power when it is not necessary. There's no substantial harm from having Jennifer Keeton getting state certification as a counselor. There is substantial harm from what the State certifies as teachers due to doctrines taught.
OneSTDV: If the State trains someone, can they demand that this person, as a counselor, avoids making moral judgments of her patients?
Putting aside the question of whether it is really possible to "counsel" anyone about his life without making moral judgments about his behavior, do you really think the State, any state, isn't going to insist on certain "moral judgments" about all sorts of things, not all of which fall into the realm of "scientifically proven" (an iffy contention in itself)? Very funny! "You must never spank your children." "Your belief in the inequality of races/the sexes is wrong, science has proved that race and gender roles are social constructs", ha ha ha, so a counselor must sign on to changing these obviously false and pernicious views, etc., etc., etc.
How anyone hanging out in the HBD-sphere can't see these eventualities in all their glaring glory, I do not know.
And is anyone forcing a homosexual to contract the services of a particular counselor in private practice? If I were seeking counseling services I wouldn't just pick someone with "certified counselor" by their name out of the phone book.
And btw, we all know perfectly well that no Muslim, for example, is likely going to be denied a counseling degree because of their views about homosexuality, or anything else.
While I am impressed by your nuanced thinking and insights on many topics I think you are still making a fundamental mistake when you say this (emphasis mine):
though my perspective is unbiased, while the State is merely trying to inculcate liberal attitudes
Merely? Modern liberalism has become a secular religion that is a cancer eating at the foundations of our society.
You need to separate out liberalism from a free society. They are not the same thing. They aren't even compatible.
We can not fix our society without a widespread acceptance that rights are only possible when the vast bulk of the population support rights for others, do not want to live off of others, and do not hold to a religion that is incompatible with rights. The fundamental problem for maintaining a rights-based society is how to maintain a population that has the needed attributes that make a rights-based society possible. Liberalism opposes the measures needed to make a rights-based society possible. Therefore liberalism is, in the long run, an enemy to a rights-based society.
"I do not trust the State. I do not want to give it power when it is not necessary. There's no substantial harm from having Jennifer Keeton getting state certification as a counselor. There is substantial harm from what the State certifies as teachers due to doctrines taught"
This is so true and even though is put in plain language, it has deep implications.
These are some of the best words I have read in this blog so far, because they objectively portray one sentiment peoples all over the world share about their own governments and states
This leads me to think that the real enemy might not be gays, mexicans, blacks, iranians or hookers, but P O L I T I C I A N S everywhere, because it is them who are power thirsty. Politicians, corporate powers and perhaps religious ministers, don't give a fuck about you or me at all.
A sincere aknowledgement to Randall.
Randall Parker: The liberalism you describe is one co-opted by power hungry radicals. Nothing is more dangerous than bad ideas.