Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Secular Left Loses One

Approximately a month ago, I posted on the case of Prof. Kenneth Howell. He was terminated by the Univ. of Illinois for opining that homosexuality was a violation of natural law. Prof. Howell made the statement explaining the Catholic Church's position as part of an introductory course on Catholocism. He was terminated when a student complained and the school took the position that Howell had violated the university's policy on inclusion. This was nothing more than left wing pushing its secular values to punish Christianity. It was also a blatant violation of Howell's right under the Civil Rights Act to be free from discrimination on the basis of his religion.

The university has now relented in part. This from the Catholic News Agency:

The Diocese of Peoria praised the University of Illinois' decision to reinstate Dr. Kenneth Howell, who had been told at the end of last semester that he would no longer be allowed to teach because he had stated in a class on Catholicism that the Church believes homosexual behavior violates natural law.

Despite high approval ratings on student evaluations, Dr. Howell's position at the university was terminated this past spring after an anonymous student complaint that his words in a class on Catholicism amounted to “hate speech.” The complaint referenced an e-mail to his students in which Howell contrasted the ways utilitarianism and natural law theory would determine the morality of homosexual acts.

On Thursday, the school's Office of University Counsel told Dr. Howell’s lawyers 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."

This should have been a much bigger case than the Shirley Sherrod affair, yet it has not made a single major newscast of which I am aware. Regardless, this offer from the Univ. of Illinois is nowhere near sufficient. I sincerely hope that Howell's attorneys push this much further to extract at least a tenure track position for Howell, an apology from the people who decided to fire Howell, and a written change to the University's policies to protect Christians in the profession of their beliefs.

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