This week I read a story about a woman who was expelled from a graduate program in counseling because of her Christian beliefs. Sound unlikely? Read that article at this link, because not only is it true, but a federal judge upheld the expulsion after a lawsuit was filed. To summarize the situation, the student had previously stated that homosexuality was a lifestyle choice, and not something innate. She also stated that she felt that according to her Christian beliefs that homosexuality was immoral. According to the university officials and the judge, the expulsion was a rational decision.
“Furthermore, the university had a rational basis for requiring students to counsel clients without imposing their personal values,” he wrote in a portion of his ruling posted by The Detroit News. “In the case of Ms. Ward, the university determined that she would never change her behavior and would consistently refuse to counsel clients on matters with which she was personally opposed due to her religious beliefs – including homosexual relationships.”
Apparently her opposition to homosexuals violated the American Counseling Association's code of ethics, even though there is never any mention that she specifically acted against homosexuals or condemned them. Merely that her beliefs found this lifestyle objectionable. Then, she was apparently told that she could stay in the program if she changed her beliefs.
Ward’s attorneys claim the university told her she would only be allowed to remain in the program if she went through a “remediation” program so that she could “see the error of her ways” and change her belief system about homosexuality.
I find this whole story very disturbing. Here we have a woman who is trying to pursue a career that will let her help people in difficult situations. Because she happened to have a belief system that was opposed to a particular behavior, officials and a judge have acted against her. All of this merely because she held to her Christian beliefs. And unfortunately, this sort of thing is becoming more common. It seems that we in modern society are expected to accept all ways of life except Christianity. Muslim sharia law is being adopted in many non-Muslim countries because we're supposed to accept Islamic beliefs; some Muslims are trying to do this in the US. Homosexuality is now merely another lifestyle, and one as acceptable as heterosexuality. Promiscuity and premarital sex are a routine and accepted part of daily life. Adultery is used as a common device in many TV shows and few consequences come of it. All of these activities and beliefs are "normal" for society. Criticizing these sorts of things is becoming less and less acceptable. In fact, if you talk against homosexuality, Islam, or other things, you are labeled as insensitive and a bigot.
Yet Christianity is fair game for criticism. If we are supposed to accept "alternate" beliefs and lifestyles, why can't they accept ours? If everyone's beliefs are supposed to be treated equally and respectfully, why can't anyone respect Biblical beliefs? Supposedly "open minded" and liberal people are only accepting of teachings and beliefs that agree with theirs. Start paying attention to when they talk. They speak a lot of "acceptance", "equality", and "tolerance". Yet the minute you disagree with them their tolerance suddenly goes away.
If we're not careful, Christian beliefs will continue to erode. We have to make a stand and not back down from our beliefs. Yet we also have to understand that what is happening was already spoken of in the Bible. Jesus warned us that we would be persecuted like He was. But if we are firm in our beliefs and don't compromise, we can delay the complete degradation of our society.
Ms. Julea Ward, my prayers are with you.