Christians Discriminated Against at Augusta State University?

Hot Air brings word of this:

CNN has an interesting roundtable on the case of Jennifer Keeton, who has sued Augusta State University to keep from getting expelled for not repudiating her statements about homosexuality. Keeton expressed her biblical perspective on the subject in and out of class while working toward a degree in counseling, and the school mandated a “remediation plan” that appears to have required her to renounce her Christian doctrine in order to gain a diploma from the school.  The school has responded that a bias against homosexuality would disqualify Keeton from certification, a position that would put most Christians in Keeton’s position.

For those of us who agree with Jennifer Keeton, which polling suggests is a slim majority in Georgia, we should be more than a bit troubled by Augusta State’s position.

I hope our state legislators are paying attention. Augusta State’s position seems to be that a bias against Christians is preferable to Christians holding on to orthodox teachings of their faith.

You can call President Bloodworth over at August State at 706-737-1440 and let him know what you think.

61 comments

  1. galiberal says:

    The issue isn’t her religious beliefs, it is her forcing her religious beliefs onto others. She can believe all she wants, but if she wants to be a public school counselor, she cannot push her values onto the children in her office.

    Teachers are also not allowed to share their faith in their classroom. I do not really see what the controversy is.

    • dvs5249 says:

      The issue is that everybody has the right, in our country, to express what they believe to be correct. If we didn’t then my gay friends couldn’t express their opinion in public either. I believe that she has the right to express her thoughts and what she believes is true. If that does not agree with the opinion of those who are hiring then she wouldn’t be hired. I believe that she should be able to get certified as a Counselor and that if we did a study that those who are truly Christian in their beliefs would be found to be the best counselors.

      • TeflonMaster says:

        That isn’t the issue at all. She can believe whatever she wants to, but if she wants to become a certified school counselor from an accredited institution she has to abide by the ethical guidelines they set forth. She has made it clear that she rejects it. She knew this full well and if she didn’t than it is her own fault.

        Too bad.

        • Jeff says:

          eh, the education establishment has a major problem with any they deem to be “independent thinkers”.

          Which is weird, considering that one of the purported goals of education in general is to enable people to think for themselves.

          • benevolus says:

            Being Christian is “independent thinking”? I would submit that it is pretty much the opposite, willfully and essentially so.

            • Jeff says:

              I was talking about independent thinking in general, but there are groupthinkers of ALL political/religious persuasions.

              Unfortunately, independent thinking is relatively rare.

      • Rick Day says:

        Take a police recruit. He has been taught that bad people are bad and should be killed, because for generations, his family has lived the Blue Code. He states on his application he wants to be a cop so he can kill people. It’s an honest belief, and one filled with all the good intentions in the world.

        Should he get his badge?

        For those of you defending her: you don’t EVEN KNOW what her ‘belief’ is. Maybe she things all gays should be sent directly to Hell, dispatched with a single to the head. Maybe she believes they smell funny.

        BY DEFINITION, YOU CAN’T DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THE MAJORITY.

  2. TeflonMaster says:

    She knew full well when she signed up voluntarily what the standards were for the American School Counselor Association and I cry no pity tears if she gets kicked out. If she didn’t know it is her fault, not the school’s and it definitely isn’t any kind of “discrimination” that she didn’t know what the guidelines were.

    Watch the door behind you hunny 🙂

  3. Romegaguy says:

    Is Augusta State’s mascot the Christians and someone is trying to remove it as their mascot?

      • Lady Thinker says:

        It is rather like one has a First Amendment right to speak their minds unless a group takes offense, then the individual First Amendment right goes out the window in order to be politically correct. I am not condoning her prejudice but prejudice is an attitude or a belief, what needs to be controlled is whether her prejudice becomes discrimination.

        One cannot always change the minds of people who choose to think the way they do, if that were true, Oxendine and McBerry would have gotten zero votes instead of what they received.

  4. John Konop says:

    Nothing Christian about hating gay people, also gay people pay taxes and they should same access to public services as anyone else. If she wants to have her hateful views about gay people in a private school it is her right.

  5. Harry says:

    “THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

  6. Doug Grammer says:

    Bravo Erick. A thought provoking thread which didn’t slam on a candidate. Seriously, you should get back to this.

  7. Progressive Dem says:

    “Keeton expressed her biblical perspective on the subject in and out of class” There is no mention of what those beiefs are, but apparently they are so strong as to interfere with her ability to counsel some people. Couselors should be able to provide assistance without imposing their personal values. This is not a bias against Christians, it is bias against people who can’t function well as counselors.

    “For those of us who agree with Jennifer Keeton, which polling suggests is a slim majority in Georgia, we should be more than a bit troubled by Augusta State’s position.” Who the hell knows what Ms. Keeton believes? How does anybody know if they agree with her? And if polling supports a bias against gays, should we change the rules to permit bias and prejudice? The Civil Rights Bill would never have polled well in the south.

  8. Jawgadude says:

    Point to ponder: Gays say it’s not a choice because if it were then they could be pressured to change. So that means homosexuality must be a birth defect. This is a job for March of Dimes 🙂

    • ACCmoderate says:

      Why would anyone choose to be part of such a reviled and openly hated group?

      Why would someone choose to not have the same rights as their fellow Americans?

      Did heterosexuals choose to be attracted to women?

  9. Buzzfan says:

    Coincidentally, a Federal judge has ruled in a somewhat-similar case at Eastern Michigan.

    I say somewhat-similar, as the student in this story has stated a refusal to counsel gay students. I haven’t seen anything along those lines in the Augusta case.

    • dvs5249 says:

      How fast the discussion degenerates. The issue is if the woman wants to get a degree in whatever she should be able to get it. When did the university get the right to tell this person or that person that they could or could not get a degree because of their opinions. They apply, get accepted, go to school, get good grades, pass all of the requirements and they get a degree. Period. Her opinions and beliefs are not for the university to sort out or even consider.

      • Baker says:

        Except that her opinions on this matter will apparently have an effect on the method or type of counsel she gives. Her opinions end up intertwined with her education.

  10. nast says:

    Up to 82% of Georgians identify themselves as “Christian” of one denomination or another. 82%! That means that Christians hold the majority of positions in the government, the administration, and the student body. To frame this as a persecution of Christians makes any type of reasonable discussion on this matter practically impossible, as there are Christians on both sides of the fence here.

    Right now, the only side of this story that has been circulated has been the student through her attorney. Perhaps we should wait until further information is made available before flooding the University President’s voicemail box with self-righteous indignation.

  11. John Konop says:

    Please tell me why anyone should be a counselor in a public school and be against the below standards?

    …..• Each person has the right to be respected, be treated with dignity and have access to a comprehensive school counseling program that advocates for and affirms all students from diverse populations regardless of ethnic/racial status, age, economic status, special needs, English as a second language or other language group, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, family type, religious/spiritual identity and appearance……..

    …..a. Has a primary obligation to the student, who is to be treated with respect as a unique individual……

    Ethical Standards for School Counselors

    http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=173

  12. ACCmoderate says:

    If she had stated she believed that being black was a choice, there wouldn’t be the same kind of hubub over Augusta State’s decision.

    • bowersville says:

      My point exactly. What would the school do if she had been Islamic?

      Throw her out? No!

      Since when did the Islamic faith condone homosexual beliefs? When Rick?

      • bowersville says:

        Would the school require somone of the Islamic faith to attend gay pride days or attend a homosexual sensitivety class Rick?

        No, only the Christians.

  13. dvs5249 says:

    Has anybody heard of management? That is what schools and businesses do to control the outcome of their organizations. If an organization doesn’t like the color of the eyes of a person they have ther right to let them go in Georgia. It is a right to work state. The person can also leave for any reason what so ever. It goes both ways.
    The lady wants to get an education and she should be encouraged to do so. What she does with it after she graduates is up to the “management” to control. Freedom to pursue our goals is one of the many characteristics that makes the US different from other countries.

  14. WCHeadhunter says:

    If no one else in her class was required to take a sensitivity class toward homosexuals or attend gay pride parades why should she have to do so?

  15. griftdrift says:

    Where did you get that? But who cares? If that is a requirement of the class, that’s a requirement of the class. If you don’t like it, don’t attend the university, don’t take a class that requires meeting certain license standards that disagree with your personal beliefs. Go off and be a counselor at “whatever saving the gays university” will accept you.

    Poor, poor persecuted Christians. Give me an effing break.

    • WCHeadhunter says:

      I didn’t mention anything about Christians.

      My point is that the ACA could deny her a certification but a state run, taxpayer funded school should not be able to deny her a degree in the field if she met all the same educational requirements as any other student.

      • Buzzfan says:

        They might have to to retain accreditation. From just page 5 of the 2009 Standards of The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational
        Programs (CACREP)
        …..

        I. The Academic Unit
        P. The program faculty conducts a systematic developmental assessment of each student’s progress throughout the program, including consideration of the student’s academic performance, professional development, and personal development. Consistent with established institutional due process policy and the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) code of ethics and other relevant codes of ethics and standards of practice, if evaluations indicate that a student is not appropriate for the program, faculty members help facilitate the student’s transition out of the program and, if possible, into a more appropriate area of study.

  16. ACCmoderate says:

    First they came for the Christians… and I whined because Erick told me to.

    Then they came for the white people… and I whined because Erick told me to.

    Then I saw some people with darker skin than mine… and I told them to get out of my country.

  17. Buzzfan says:

    I also wonder if these actions by the respsective universities might be in deference to the guidelines they must meet to keep the accreditation by the entities mentioned.

  18. GeorgiaLawyer says:

    It’s not “discrimination against Christians”. There are plenty of Christians who are fine with homosexuality… so that’s a false statement. She is perfectly entitled to her opinions. In social situations outside the university classroom there is no problem with her ranting about how she hates “teh gheys”. I’m sure she also believes the world is only 4,000 years old and dinosaurs were made up by evil atheist scientists. Just a guess, though.

    If she is enrolled in a publicly-funded school then she has to accept the acceptable behavior policy enacted by the board of regents and the school. The state legislature has backed them up on this. Hate speech is hate speech. If it is my firm religious belief that women are inferior and I rant about it in class, I would be punished accordingly. If it is my religious belief that some racial group is inferior then I would also be punished accordingly. Hiding behind the Great Wall of Religion is NOT an acceptable defense in this arena.

    Would the people on this forum stick up for members of the FLDS ranting in class about how it is their religious belief that 12 year old girls should be forced to marry their cousins and that it isn’t rape because they insist God wanted it? I doubt it.

    I suspect that many people here defending this hate monger are strongly against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Well… if it is fine for one government group to insist you keep your “views and lifestyle” to yourself otherwise face punishment how is this different? It’s not. Hypocrisy.

    I agree with the comments about the role of counselors and the ethical standards they must meet. This kid has no role in any counseling environment. Ever. Go Augusta State.

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