Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Anti-Gay Christian Denied Counseling Degree?

Is everyone qualified for every job no matter what? For example, should you hire a white woman to play Othello, or an overweight man to model women's clothes, or a Catholic to lead a Muslim temple?

Of course not. Our courts have ruled time after time that it's OK to bar someone from a job based on race, gender, or physical disability ... if the race, gender or religion are a genuine job requirement.

Now Jennifer Keaton, an openly anti-gay counseling student, is suing Augusta State University to throw this sensible rule out and make an exception for herself. What's her justification? Christians don't have to follow the rules. According to her lawyer Christians are allowed to discriminate against gays and are allowed to become licensed counselors even though they don't meet the American Counseling Associations code of ethics.

I say too bad for Jennifer Keaton. She has every right to be a hateful bigot (even though Jesus preached tolerance and love). But she needs to find a different job. She's not qualified to play Othello, and she's not qualified to counsel people. She's a Christian who openly discriminates, and she needs to find a job where her bigotry isn't relevant.

The hubris of Jennifer Keaton and her ilk is disgusting. Their interpretation of the scriptures is hypocritical – they take the parts of the Bible that they like, but ignore the rest.

Let's put Ms. Keaton to a Biblical test (from What the Bible Says, and Doesn't Say, About Homosexuality):
  • DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
    If a married person has sex with someone else's husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
  • MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
  • LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman's period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.
  • MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
  • DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy's genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.
So, does Ms. Keaton propose to never counsel a woman who has had premarital sex? To shun divorcees? To ask a woman if she's ever had sex during her period?

Hypocrisy is disgusting in any form, but it's especially disgusting when it tries to masquerade as a loving religion.


  1. If Keaton has completed her academic requirements to be awarded the Master Degree, then that is all that matters. That ASU follows the ACA Code of Ethics is irrelevant in the awarding of the Degree.

    However, if Keaton is not prepared to follow the ACA Code of Ethics then the ACA has every right to deny her Membership or Registration in the ACA, and any benefits that result from Membership and Registration.

    If Keaton has violated Rules or Laws of the University that have as a consequence disqualification from Graduation, that is another matter. And that would be fine. But it is not clear from the report if adhering to the ACA Code of Ethics is a requirement of the Degree under the Rules or Laws of the University.

  2. Stephen - Now that you mention it, these are good points. The news articles were vague on these points. Based on the fact that the university disqualified her, I can only guess that passing the ethics/sensitivity course is an actual requirement for graduation. Apparently she took all the normal courses and did so badly that she was required to take remedial classes. Those remedial classes are the core of the fight.

  3. It's such a shame that a, seemingly, well-educated and intelligent man posts such biblical quotes without delving into any theological dialogue or looking at the larger context of the quote - not only in the book that it may come from in the bible, but the larger context of the old and new testaments, as well as the bible and Christianity as a whole. It’s clearly evident that such points of views that are expressed on this website promulgate a blind and narrow view of what Christianity is, and even worse, what it is not. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, if one is TRULY seeking truth, it takes a leveling of one’s pride and ego, and potentially, years of intellectual exercise (research, reading, listening, dialogue, etc.) and they will come to the conclusion that Jesus was not just a bright spiritual teacher, but truly the Saviour for us all. This is not just pie in sky, wishful thinking. The greatest minds in history, past and present, have come to this conclusion based on rational, linear thinking – if one lets go and opens themselves up. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Anon – I know more about Christianity than most Christians. The part that I don't "know" is the part where you shut off reason and let faith be your guide, even when it conflicts with reason.

    You are making one of the most egregious mistakes of Christianity, which is Christian arrogance. You assume that you're right, and that anyone who doesn't agree with you isn't "TRULY seeking truth." Because, after all, since you're right, anyone else who reaches a different conclusion must not be seeking truth and must have a "narrow view of what Christianity is," and so forth. That is anti-intellectualism at its best. If that's your Christianity, you can have it.

    The simple fact is that there are many, many people who understand Christianity who reject it. Read Dan Barker's book "Godless" for an excellent example. Or any of Bart Ehrman's books. These are well educated men who know Christianity inside and out ... and all you can say is they weren't "TRULY seeking truth"?

    And if you think the "greatest minds in history, past and present" are Christians, you are simply mistaken. 95% of the members of the Academy of Science today are atheists, as are the vast majority of scientists worldwide. Einstein, Sagan, Russell ... the list of great atheist scientists, mathematicians and philosophers is very long indeed.

    As to Jesus, it's hard to know what or who he was. The Bible is so full of contradictions you can say pretty much anything you like, and there's a Bible quote somewhere to back you up.


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