I guess I have to write the same story twice today!
Another counseling student is challenging a university’s graduate counseling program, suggesting that her personal beliefs against homosexuality should be exempted despite contradicting the teachings of the program.
This time, it’s Jennifer Keeton at Augusta State University, and AFA and the ADF are not pleased!
“It’s in essence [telling her] ‘you do not have the correct beliefs, we are going to re-educate you into the correct beliefs,'” explains David French, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. “And unless she completes this — quote — ‘remediation plan’ to their satisfaction, then she can be thrown out of [the school’s counseling program].”
That’s exactly right.
This is religious privilege in its purest form, folks. The university teaches one idea. Keeton holds another. The two are in conflict. If Keeton wants the university degree, she has to learn why the university’s is right and hers is wrong. It just so happens that hers is religious, so suddenly she gets a free ride? No.
This OneNewsNow story is rife with spin. The program wanted Keeton to go to a pride parade and then reflect on what she saw. That’s a perfectly valid exercise, one—I might add—I did in my own counseling class! In order to be good practitioners, we folks in the social sciences have to reflect on our own perspectives in order to better appreciate and nurture the folks we work with. THAT’S HOW IT WORKS.
“Jennifer is not interested in being indoctrinated, she wants to be educated,” states the attorney. “She wants to learn about the counseling profession, she wants to be a good counselor — but being a good counselor does not require that one surrender their most fundamental religious beliefs.”
Well, let’s see… if she did not abandon her beliefs, she’d be a bad counselor. So, yeah, actually, it does.
She’s already been indoctrinated. Now she needs to be educated. There’s something seriously wrong with people who want to be taken seriously in the academy but don’t want to be exposed to new knowledge.
Given the precedent set by Julea Ward’s suit in Michigan, I doubt Keeton will get very far. Still, I’m sure the religious right will hem and haw about what a big deal this is, because they don’t care about the integrity of knowledge, intellect, or the academy.
One of these days, university folks are going to realize the importance of being proactive instead of just playing defense to all this stupid religious nonsense.
Oh, and by the way, if you want to “take action,” the AFA suggests you pray for Jennifer and the ADF staff, give a donation for her legal efforts, and email President Willian Bloodworth and the Georgia Board of Regents. I suggest you email the President yourself and encourage him not to submit to the foolishness of religious privilege.