Secularists and the ACLU Strip First Amendment of Meaning
By Robert Knight
Christians, Orthodox Jews or anyone with traditional views of sex and marriage should be barred from state university counseling programs unless they agree to violate their beliefs. That’s the gist of the amicus brief the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed Feb. 11 in a case in which a Christian student is challenging her dismissal from a graduate counseling program at Eastern Michigan University in 2009.
Julea Ward had asked that another student take the case of a homosexual suffering from depression because, being a Christian, she could not affirm the person’s sexual relationships. Miss Ward was dismissed and filed a lawsuit charging unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination, religious discrimination and compelled speech. On July 26, 2010, a U.S. district court denied her claim, and she appealed to the 6th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ACLU’s brief to the appeals court contends that compelling someone to act against her beliefs does not violate her freedoms of religion or speech. The ACLU quotes the university’s response to Miss Ward saying she had a “conflict between your values that motivate your behavior and those behaviors expected of your profession.” In other words, you’re a conscientious Christian, so get lost.