Sunday, July 11, 2010

Professor Fired For Expressing Catholic Views

Excellent timing given our recent posting of Leo XIII's discussion of liberty.

Per FoxNews:

The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism after a student accused the instructor of engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.

The professor, Ken Howell of Champaign, said his firing violates his academic freedom. He also lost his job at an on-campus Catholic center.

Howell, who taught Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, says he was fired at the end of the spring semester after sending an e-mail explaining some Catholic beliefs to his students preparing for an exam.

"Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY," he wrote in the e-mail. "In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same."

An unidentified student sent an e-mail to religion department head Robert McKim on May 13, calling Howell's e-mail "hate speech." The student claimed to be a friend of the offended student. The writer said in the e-mail that his friend wanted to remain anonymous.

So a guy teaching a course about Catholicism can't teach what Catholicism believes on a certain subject? That makes all sorts of sense.

And hate speech? All he did was reproduce the Church's view on homosexuality. We now seem to have entered the realm where Catholicism is its own genre of hate speech. Who would have ever thought that could happen?

Out of curiosity, when was the last time someone blasting the Church was chastised for their promotion of hate speech?

Just to turn this on its head for a bit, I wonder what would have happened if a Catholic school had fired a professor for attacking Catholicism. I imagine that the outrage would be flung across every news outlet on the planet, with global calls for the destruction of the oppressive, freedom-hating Catholic Church. Considering that it happened every day at ND during my own time there, I'm betting nobody there really cares, but there are probably some Catholic schools left that would.

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