Friday, May 15, 2009

Swine flu forgotten, but not gone; free speech dead for Christians

A Houston elementary school shut down today until May 26 over a cluster of 12 confirmed swine flu cases. However, 400 out of 712 students total were home from school today. Earlier in the week, 76 were out; one day later the total jumped to 242 and then to today's 400. It's not known how many students are home sick and how many are home trying to avoid becoming sick.

Two things about this catch my attention:

  1. It's pretty late in the year for a flu outbreak. Temperatures in Houston this week have been in the 90s. These are really not ideal conditions for transmission of the flu virus.
  2. The growth rate in cases from day to day was rather prodigious.

And our second news item:

A graduate student at a Michigan public university was kicked out of her program for refusing to be "re-educated" about her evangelical Christian views of homosexuality:

Ms. Ward was enrolled in a graduate program at the school and as part of her education was required to enroll in a counseling practicum. In that practicum, she was assigned a case involving a homosexual who needed help. Ms. Ward did not feel that she could affirm the student's homosexual lifestyle because of her Christian beliefs, so she asked her supervisor what she should do. His advice was to refer the student to a counselor who had no qualms with affirming homosexual behavior. That is what she did, and it was all done before she saw the student. There was no counseling that took place between the two, there was no confrontation between the two, and there was no condemnation of homosexuality -- just an honest confession of her deeply held religious belief. But the story doesn't end there.

Julea was summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing and told that if she wanted to continue on with her graduate program, she would have to submit to a "remediation" program so that she could see "the error of her ways." She refused to be forced into a re-education program designed to convert her from biblical faith, and as a result, she was kicked out of school. There's your tolerance.

I sincerely hope she files a lawsuit for discrimination and violation of her First Amendment rights -- and wins. What the hell happened to the establishment clause? Someone seriously needs to woodshed most of the academics in this country.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-gay. In fact, I've been vehemently pro-gay most of my life even though I live in a state that is very socially conservative. (Gays just don't thrive in Texas (except Austin and one part of Houston). Why, I couldn't say...) Recently I've become more lukewarm on the matter as I've watched the gay community launch the most vitriolic, disrespectful attacks on Christians over Proposition 8 in California and the Carrie Prejean controversy. I think I'm done sticking my neck out for them, since they definitely don't seem inclined to grant me the same measure of respect that I've extended to them over the years.

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