Damn, I’m agreeing with the ADF

So here’s something interesting, a religion can preach hate, but if you dare try and teach anyone in a class on that religion exactly what that religion preaches, guess what? You’ll get fired for “hate speech”. Confused? Yeah, me too.

Now granted, I don’t like what he’s teaching, but I didn’t like learning about my country’s stance on Indians, blacks or women for most of its history, either. I also didn’t care much for hearing what Hitler had to say, but all of that was part of the subject matter for the courses I took, so I can’t fathom how a teacher can’t teach you the Catholic stance on homosexuality in a class on Catholicism.

Howell said he taught the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality. He summed it up by saying, “A homosexual orientation is not morally wrong just as no moral guilt can be assigned to any inclination that a person has. However, based on natural moral law, the Church believes that homosexual acts are contrary to human nature and therefore morally wrong.”

He went on to say, “[m]y responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches.” I would think so, regardless of how abominable it is. Should we censor the Catholic bible as well? How about the writings of popes, like Ratty’s declaration that homosexuality is an inherent moral evil? Furthermore, if all of this is hate speech, then isn’t the Catholic Church a hate organization? When is hate ok, and when is it not? I’m confused. is this like how if you string lights on a creche or include Rudolph, it’s no longer religious? Does adding a god make hate speech no longer hate speech?

According to this case, where a HP employee was fired for hanging anti-gay scriptures on the wall in his office, the god element isn’t enough, although the scriptures were declared “demeaning and degrading” in the ruling. No, you can’t just be a follower of a religion to be immune from repeating the hate speech of that religion, you have to be a leader of that religion for the immunity to kick in. Got that? A religious book with hateful content is ok, reading that content aloud or publicly displaying that content isn’t, but if you’re a religious leader it’s ok, although repeating what that leader said isn’t. Whew! It’s all thoroughly ridiculous, and to add to it all, I, an outspoken atheist and defender of the separation of church and state, find myself on the same damn side as the Alliance Defense Fund:

David French, senior counsel for the ADF said in a written statement, “A university cannot censor professors’ speech – including classroom speech related to the topic of the class – merely because some students find that speech ‘offensive.’

It turns my stomach to be on the same side as those loons, but I don’t see how anyone couldn’t be in this situation. I’d really like to hear more of a response from the university, because things aren’t adding up. If this report is true, then all I can think is there was a lazy, knee-jerk reaction because it was merely an adjunct and not a full-time faculty member. What I find suspicious is Howell’s admission of telling his class he’s a Catholic. I don’t see why that’s necessary, and I can see that while in Catholic mode, he could very well of been dropping “the Catholic Church believes” prefaces to those anti-gay beliefs. Be that as it may, I still don’t see this as grounds for termination in a class covering Catholicism. Calculus? Ok, but not Catholicism class. Jesus Christ!

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11 Responses to “Damn, I’m agreeing with the ADF”

  1. All that hate stuff is not for public consumption; it's only for the faithful. Anything tending to show that a specific cult is not a religion of love is dangerous to the authorities. Hence, Howell's dismissal for pointing out that the Pope had no clothes.

    Most religious leaders refuse to censure, or even criticize, the hateful parts of their traditions. Instead, they try to keep that shit a secret. Howell was the theocratic equivalent of a "whistle-blower." Naturally, he had to go.

  2. Pope Ratz doesn't hide that stuff, but apparently if you say in class, "the Pope said homosexuality is an inherent evil" then you're practicing hate speech. Hey, maybe that's the key, practicing, as in amateur status. Hating is legally just for the pros.

  3. The Bible, Torah, and the Koran were written in the hot desert well before the invention and common implementation of bathing, lube, condoms, birth control, internet porn, and dating sites. Furthermore, those books were written as a way of explaining what they found to be problematic in their own society. For instance, gays probably pink socked each other without using enough lube, that is a very rough lifestyle like in prison and probably was so in the desert back then as well. Gays were probably viewed as wandering rapists and masochists.

    Lesbians, on the other hand, were probably considered hot but they probably were very diseased (cunnilingus) without the sanitation of bathing. Perhaps that's where the idea that lesbians are manhating witches who cast spells on people came from.

  4. Ergo, the ancient Jews, Muslims, and Christians who lived in the desert most their lives probably hated gays and thereby fashioned their god in that image.

  5. Or they were tired of always looking shabby compared to the clean and well groomed gays, or they would look at how much grief they had to take from their wives and were jealous of how happy the gays seemed, or they all were really gay themselves but wanted that thrill of the forbidden. You could speculate all day.

    Btw, I think everybody was pretty disease ridden back then, regardless of what your pink socket of choice was. Quite ironic that they were eating unleavened bread when there was so much yeast around. ;)

  6. This story touches on a couple of your pet peeves, Philly.

    1. Political correctness run amok: the politically correct view of religion is that it's a good thing – warm, fuzzy, comforting, loving of all humankind…. The politically correct view of religion is that all the bad, hateful stuff was in the past – religions don't do hate anymore. Clearly, this prof had to either get with the program or go.

    2. The "right" not to be offended. Some of the students were offended by what the prof said. Well, DUH! They're attending a major research university populated by tens of thousands of students and faculty – at least some of the ideas and activities going on will offend just about everyone. Students need to grow the hell up and get over themselves.

    WRT the adjunct vs. full-time faculty, I don't know how much that played into it, except to say that a tenured faculty member would have been nearly untouchable. The only way a tenured prof gets canned is if he/she does something really egregiously unprofessional (plagiarism or fudging research) or immoral (sleeping with undergrads and the like). As far as I've seen, nothing in this case rises to that kind of standard.

    Of course, it's easier for the university to minimize its risk of future similar complaints by cutting an adjunct instructor loose and finding someone else to teach the course. Or, they can cut the course, which leads to, "so sorry, sir, we no longer require your services."

    Also, adjuncts are usually on term contracts, so it's easy to just not renew a contract without citing any particular reason.

  7. Adjuncts are expendable. That's the sense I get.

  8. [...] Damn, I’m agreeing with the ADF [...]

  9. Alright you ignorant atheists… if there is no god, then HOW DOES THE SUN KEEP ORBITING THE EARTH? BAM!

    Of course atheism is a religion, because it requires just as much FAITH to BELIEVE in it! They are FUNDAMENTALISTS!

    If we came from Monkeys, then why are there still monkeys? My grandpa doesn't look like a monkey!

    Evolution isn't a fact, it's only a theory! Why should I believe that theory instead of the one I was taught at church?!

    And on that note…

    Dunt dun duuh DAAAAHHHH!

    !!!!!!!!!MY ATHEIST STORE!!!!!!!!!

    <a href="http://www.zazzle.com/briman232*">Aristotle's Muse

    This is my store. If you're as irritated by this kind of mindless banter as I am, speak your mind. Maybe wearing an atheist T-shirt won't change the world, but enough of them just might help.

  10. Add and advertise of the features and all motives of the individuals are rendered and estimated. It is for the fantastic and endocrinology of the skills; it is performed and provoked. The assessment and quality of the add is significant and wonderful.

  11. And I'm agreeing with you!

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