I’ve written previously about the conflict that is growing over the liberty to publicly maintain the view that homosexuality is not an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Christians who hold to Biblical teaching on homosexuality are going to be increasingly under fire. Two cases in point are in the news right now, and both deal with college education.
Julea Ward was a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University. I emphasize was because she was expelled from the university’s graduate program in school counseling because she believes that homosexuality is a sin.
After the expulsion, she took the university to court, relying on the First Amendment’s right to the free exercise of one’s religious beliefs. On Monday, U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh dismissed her lawsuit, thereby upholding the university’s action in expelling her.
Of course, the university did hold out hope for her to return to her graduate studies, but the ground rules were as follows: she would only be allowed to remain in the program if she went through a “remediation” program so that she could “see the error of her ways” and change her belief system about homosexuality.
The Alliance Defense Fund, which brought her lawsuit, responded,
Christian students shouldn’t be expelled for holding to and abiding by their beliefs. To reach its decision, the court had to do something that’s never been done in federal court: uphold an extremely broad and vague university speech code.
On the heels of that ruling is another case, also brought by the Alliance Defense Fund, on behalf of Jennifer Keeton, another graduate student in counseling, this time at Augusta State University in Georgia. The issue is nearly identical to that of Julea Ward’s. Keeton is a graduate student in a counseling program. Her Christian beliefs declare homosexuality to be sinful behavior. That is not allowed in the program.
College officials told her that her beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the consensus within the counseling field. Faculty in the program told her she had to change her beliefs if she wished to graduate. Their demands didn’t stop there, however.
Additionally, the faculty ordered Jennifer to complete a remediation plan that includes “diversity sensitivity training,” remedial reading and writing projects, and suggested attendance at a “Gay Pride Parade.” The purpose of the remediation plan was to change her beliefs, and if the plan is not completed to the school’s satisfaction, she could be expelled.
One Alliance Defense Fund spokesman said that these cases should be a warning to Christians who are enrolled in public colleges and universities.
Public universities are imposing the ideological stances of private groups on their students. If you don’t comply, you will be kicked out. It’s scary stuff and it’s not a difficult thing to see what’s coming down the pike.
From the perspective of liberal secularism/progressivism, all beliefs should be allowed except one—the Biblically based Christian view. Tolerance is the watchword, unless you happen to be someone who believes in absolutes based on Christian doctrine. That view, they say, should not be tolerated.
The prophet Isaiah clearly warned,
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. [Is. 5:20]