Catholic professor Howell allegedly reinstated at University of Illinois. Now, why not fire the guys that fired him?

A Thursday letter from the University of Illinois Office of University Counsel told Howell’s lawyers at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) that “The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics will be contacting Dr. Howell to offer him the opportunity to teach Religion 127, Introduction to Catholicism, on a visiting instructional appointment at the University of Illinois, for the fall 2010 semester. Dr. Howell will be appointed and paid by the University for this adjunct teaching assignment.”

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Alliance Defense Fund files suit against Augusta State University anti-Christian “thought police”.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against Augusta State University Wednesday on behalf of a counseling student told that her Christian beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the prevailing views of the counseling profession. The student, Jennifer Keeton, has been told to stop sharing her beliefs with others and that she must change her beliefs in order to graduate from the counseling program.

Augusta State ordered Keeton to undergo a re-education plan, in which she must attend “diversity sensitivity training,” complete additional remedial reading, and write papers to describe their impact on her beliefs. If she does not change her beliefs or agree to the plan, the university says it will expel her from the Counselor Education Program.

“A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “Abandoning one’s own religious beliefs should not be a precondition at a public university for obtaining a degree. This type of leftist zero-tolerance policy is in place at far too many universities, and it must stop. Jennifer’s only crime was to have the beliefs that she does.”

Keeton, 24, is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling at Augusta State. After her professors learned of her biblical beliefs, specifically her views on homosexual conduct, from both classroom discussions and private conversations with other students, the school imposed the re-education plan. Keeton never denigrated anyone in communicating her beliefs but merely stated factually what they were in appropriate contexts.

The plan assails Keeton’s beliefs as inconsistent with the counseling profession and expresses suspicion over “Jen’s ability to be a multiculturally competent counselor, particularly with regard to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (GLBTQ) populations.” The plan requires her to take steps to change her beliefs through additional assignments and additional “diversity sensitivity training.” It also orders her to “work to increase exposure and interactions with gay populations. One such activity could be attending the Gay Pride Parade in Augusta.”

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Legal fund calls on University of Illinois to reinstate Catholic professor

Champaign, Ill., Jul 12, 2010 / 06:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a letter sent Monday to the University of Illinois, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) called for the immediate reinstatement of Dr. Kenneth Howell, a professor who was fired for explaining in a class on Catholicism that the Church teaches homosexual behavior violates natural law. If the university does not reply to the letter by July 16, the legal fund said it will advise the professor to file a lawsuit.

In his Introduction to Catholicism class this past spring, a class that he had taught regularly at the university, Dr. Howell covered the topic of homosexuality, teaching the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex attractions and behavior. As part of this discussion, Dr. Howell sent an e-mail to his class contrasting how utilitarianism and natural law theory would each determine the morality of homosexual conduct.

A student complained that Dr. Howell’s words were “hate speech” in an e-mail to the head of the department, Dr. Robert McKim. Howell was called into McKim’s office at the end of the semester and told that he would no longer be allowed to teach for the University because his e-mail had “violate[d] university standards of inclusivity.”

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Read the text of ADF’s letter to UIC

Federal court says church bells ARE constitutional

by Eleanor Goldberg
Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal court on Monday (April 19) ruled an ordinance in Phoenix, Ariz., trying to limit the sound of church bells is an unconstitutional impingement on religious expression.

In 2007, one day after Christ the King Cathedral moved two miles from its former location to a space near a fire station, neighbors complained the church’s electronic bells — rung every hour, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — violated the city’s noise ordinance.

The ordinance, which prohibits “any unusual or disturbing” sound, also allows ice cream trucks to ring at 70 decibels. The church’s bells rang at 67 decibels.

“This is almost unheard of in American law,” said Gary McCaleb, an attorney with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund legal firm, who worked on the case.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department agreed that the complaint was fairly “unusual,” but said the hourly ringing of the bells made Christ the King perhaps a bit different from other churches.

“We value the First Amendment,” Thompson said Wednesday. “But then we have the city ordinance. We were stuck in the middle.”

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Nurse forced to participate in abortion sues hospital

“Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told LifeNews.com.

“Requiring a devout, Catholic nurse to participate in a late-term abortion in order to remain employed is illegal, unethical, and violates her rights of conscience,” he added.

According to the lawsuit, the abortion was not classified as an emergency. Cases requiring immediate attention are classified as emergencies. However, in this abortion case the surgery did not need to take place for six hours, according to the ADF. The organization claims the hospital had plenty of time to find another nurse.

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