Today’s post about Kingdom PERSECUTION is somewhat ironic.
Because on Monday, I wrote about a medical school graduate whose boldness for Christ did not hinder her acceptance into a Residency program. http://championsofdestiny.com/diagnosis-blessed/
Today’s blog profiles a graduate counseling student who was ousted from her program because of her Christian beliefs.
Enter Jennifer Keeton. She was pursuing her Master’s-level counseling education Augusta State University. She didn’t hide who she was (or her biblical beliefs) while in class or in private conversations with other students. Including her views on homosexual conduct.
School officials stepped in. The University told her to stop sharing her beliefs with others… later going so far as to say if she didn’t change her beliefs, she wouldn’t graduate from the counseling program. https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/case-details/keeton-v.-anderson-wiley
Jennifer was ordered to undergo “re-education” — i.e., attend diversity and sensitivity training, do additional remedial reading and write additional papers describing the impact of the assignments on her thinking. This required re-education plan also ordered her to “work to increase exposure and interactions with gay populations… [e.g., by] attending the Gay Pride Parade in Augusta.” https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/case-details/keeton-v.-anderson-wiley
Jennifer was placed on remediation due to faculty concerns that she might not be able to separate her “personal, religious-based views” on sexual morality from her counseling duties, in violation of the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Code of Ethics. Failure to complete this remediation program would result in expulsion by year’s end. https://www.acluga.org/en/cases/keeton-v-anderson-wiley-et-al
“Multicultural competency” was at the heart of the matter. ACA’s ethical provision states: “Whereas multicultural… competency is required across all counseling specialties, counselors gain knowledge, personal awareness, sensitivity, dispositions, and skills pertinent to being a culturally-competent counselor in working with a diverse client population.” https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/ethics/2014-code-of-ethics.pdf?sfvrsn=2d58522c_4
The University expressed suspicion over “Jen’s ability to be a multurally-competent counselor, particularly with regard to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questions populations” because of her Christian beliefs. https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/case-details/keeton-v.-anderson-wiley
Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit to protect Jennifer’s free speech, religious freedom, and rights of conscience. Legal opposition argued this case was about compliance with professional, ethical standards for counselors… not free speech or religious freedom. The case went all the way up to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Jennifer lost her legal battle. https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca11/10-13925/201013925-2011-12-16.html
And then, because she was unwilling to undergo re-education, Jennifer was expelled from the program.
I see a deeper trend at work here, one that has occurred over decades. A progression — I would assert, a regression — of core beliefs that has resulted in revolutionary change.
Understand (try to make sense of) life by God’s Truth/Standards. Redefine God’s Truth/Standards by human wisdom. Marginalize God’s Truth/Standards (and God-followers) in the culture. Impose human truth/standards on God-followers. Require compliance with human truth/standards. Punish noncompliance with fines, expulsion from education and employment, etc.
What do you think about what happened to Jennifer?
Do you agree or disagree with the progression I see? How so?
What does Jesus say to us about all this?
Please post your comments below.
Diana Furr, a.k.a. Abba’s Girl
This blog may have raised questions for you. If you’d like to connect, engage, or get further help from me, you can… EMAIL me at firstname.lastname@example.org; CALL me at 863-446-1660; or request a complimentary initial CONSULT with me at http://tinyurl.com/DianaFurr.