Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a disturbing trend on college campuses:
This has been a busy summer for academics seeking to silence dissent on campus. Ken Howell, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, was accused of “hate speech” for teaching what the Catholic Church believes about homosexuality; he was not invited back this fall. Julea Ward, a Christian student at Eastern Michigan University, was told that she could only continue graduate studies in school counseling if she changed her beliefs on homosexuality and agreed to attend “diversity sensitivity training.” Jen Keeton, a Christian student, was told by officials at Augusta State University that she could continue her graduate work in student counseling only if she changed her thoughts on homosexuality and agreed to enroll in a “sensitivity” program.
The case of Howell is complicated because his salary is paid for by the Diocese of Peoria, but the fact is that it was his teachings on homosexuality that triggered a review of this long-standing arrangement. The case of Ward is complicated by her refusal to counsel homosexuals, but the fact is that had she agreed to counsel gays in a manner consistent with her beliefs, she would have been victimized for doing so anyway. The case of Keeton isn’t complicated by anything—she is simply being victimized for her thoughts.
Bad as these attempts to censor religious freedom are, even worse are the proposed remedies. “Diversity sensitivity” and “remediation programs” smack of thought control. Totalitarian in nature, they have no legitimate role to play in American society, much less on college campuses.
Keeton was told that as a part of her “remediation,” she should go to a “gay pride parade.” Well, I’ve seen them: unlike the Irish, Italian, German, Puerto Rican, Polish, West Indian, Black and Jewish parades, the gays have a hard time keeping their pants on. Indeed, the pictures I have (they would violate federal law if sent by mail) show how utterly obscene gay pride parades can be. Kudos to the Alliance Defense Fund for accepting these three cases.
Jeff Field is the Director of Communications for the Catholic League on whose web site this article originally appeared today.