Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tolerance Claims Another Victim

This one’s fighting back, though.

An Eastern Michigan University student was expelled from the graduate counseling program because she would not accommodate her Christian beliefs about homosexuality to university dogma. This from the Alliance Defense Fund:

E. Mich. Univ. ousts student for not affirming
homosexual behavior

ADF attorneys file suit on behalf of student expelled from graduate counseling programFriday, April 03, 2009, 9:09 AM (MST)
ADF Media Relations 480-444-0020

DETROIT — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University Thursday after school officials dismissed a student from the school’s counseling program for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable.
The school dismissed Julea Ward from the program because she would not agree prior to a counseling session to affirm a client’s homosexual behavior and would not retract her stance in subsequent disciplinary proceedings."

Christian students shouldn’t be penalized for holding to their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel David French. "When a public university has a prerequisite of affirming homosexual behavior as morally good in order to obtain a degree, the school is stepping over the legal line. Julea did the responsible thing and followed her supervising professor’s advice to have the client referred to a counselor who did not have a conscience issue with the very matter to be discussed in counseling. She would have gladly counseled the client if the subject had been nearly any other matter."

EMU requires students in its program to affirm or validate homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship and prohibits students from advising clients that they can change their homosexual behavior. Ward has never addressed homosexual behavior in any form during counseling sessions with clients.

EMU initiated its disciplinary process against Ward and informed her that the only way she could stay in the graduate school counseling program would be if she agreed to undergo a "remediation" program. Its purpose would be to help Ward "see the error of her ways" and change her "belief system" as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships, conforming her beliefs to be consistent with the university’s views. When Ward did not agree with the conditions, she was given the options of either voluntarily leaving the program or asking for a formal review hearing.

Ward chose the hearing, during which EMU faculty denigrated her Christian views and asked several inappropriate and intrusive questions about her religious beliefs. The hearing committee dismissed her from the counseling program on March 12. Ward appealed the decision to the dean of the College of Education, who upheld the dismissal on March 26."

ulea has a constitutional right not to be compelled to speak a message she disagrees with. She acted as a professional counselor should--with great concern both for her beliefs and the client," ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco explained. "The two are not incompatible, but EMU’s policies are incompatible with the Constitution."


I encourage everyone to go to the link for the complaint and read the attached transcript of the formal review hearing (starts at page 59). It’s evident there that Ms. Ward never did what she was accused of doing (imposing her religious beliefs on the homosexual client), and in fact followed the department policy of referring a client when a clash of values may occur. What she was really guilty of, as the transcript and complaint makes clear, was holding a strict religious view that her professors couldn’t tolerate.

It’s also obvious from the nature of the “theological bout” that this gaggle of social workers subjected Ms. Ward to that these people haven’t the slightest reluctance imposing their own views on others.

The formal infraction for which Ms. Ward was expelled was “failure to tolerate other points of view.”


Anonymous said...

The secularists/liberals/progressives accuse Christians of being intolerant of other views and narrow in thought. This case highlights how, in reality, the Christian view is extremely tolerant and understanding of those who don't believe the same.

She is not forcing anyone to accept her views. She is not suing the Univ. for failing to accommodate her views. She wanted to work within the system. But, they would not let her. Why?

They are convinced they are right. They are so convinced that their beliefs are right that they feel compelled to force them on others. They choose dogma over freedom.

John H. said...

And the amazing thing is, these people at EMU are completely immune to the irony of their actions...

Anonymous said...

"Coming soon, to a church near you"