Read here about the spectacular victory of Dr. Ken Howell, the persecuted Catholic teacher at the University of Illinois about whom I have written on four different occasions in the past.
This is great news, as it clearly shows that the University of Illinois didn’t feel it could risk a legal confrontation on this. Whilst the internal investigation of Dr. Howell’s position is still ongoing and his reinstatement (formally at least) only temporary, the object of the investigation (“whether Howell’s immediate removal violated his academic freedom or right to due process”) speaks volumes about the direction the events have now taken.
It is very easy to suppose that the attention will now be diverted on the one who should lose his job: Robert McKim.
Mr. McKim is (as I have written here) not only the head of the University’s “Department of Religion”, but a sponsor of the “queer studies” in the same university. He is the main man behind the decision. He is the one who has decided that his own prejudices and the prejudices of one biased and sexually deviant student should come before freedom of expression and academic freedom. He is the one who should be asked to go.
All those who have signed the petition in support of Dr. Howell, joined his facebook support group or otherwise supported him can now pat themselves on the back. This episode goes beyond the individual destiny of Dr. Howell and could now become a turning point in the fight against the growing radicalisation and militant ideological stance of certain parts of liberal academia in the US. The absurdity of the charges moved against Dr. Howell have exposed all the ideological blindness of those whose job should be to fight against it.
I know it may sound rhetorical, but this is a great victory for all those who love freedom.
You can find here the content of an E-mail complaint sent to the University of Illinois concerning the teaching activity of Dr. Howell. This is apparently not from the anonymous student who gave origin to the contention, but it would appear that the two have the same forma mentis and are perhaps friends; the attached E-mail (not showed) might well be *the* one.
Let us examine the highlights of this E-mail, because it gives numerous clues about the way these people (don’t) think. I will not make the joke that they can’t think straight.
1) The author of the E-mail never assisted to Dr. Howell’s lessons. He refers what he has heard. This is the worst possible start for a complaint. The author is blissfully unaware of that.
2) The core of the complaint is that Dr. Howell would say “things that were inflammatory and downright insensitive to those who were not of the Catholic faith”. The expectation that a system of belief should be taught in a way that is “sensitive” to people of a different faith is downright absurd. If Islam says that I have to be converted or pay extra taxes or die I can be angry at Islam, not at the fact that I am informed of this. Most people have problems with other faiths. This is why they don’t belong to them.
3) The author goes on saying “I am in no way a gay rights activist, but allowing this hate speech at a public university is entirely unacceptable”. Well no he is – a gay activist, I mean; I have my doubts about his sexual orientation, too – and in pure activist style he introduces the term “hate speech” without giving one example, one phrase, one word to support his assertion. “My friend says the chap is inflammatory” is the only support. This is an opinion out of hearsay, not an argument. Again, the boy is blissfully unaware of this.
4) “It sickens me to know that hard-working Illinoisans are funding the salary of a man who does nothing but try to indoctrinate students and perpetuate stereotypes”. Here the mask falls off entirely. The problem is not how Dr. Howell teaches Catholicism, but that Catholicism is taught. How one can teach Catholicism without people learning it or its values being perpetuated is a mystery to me. But perhaps the author knows better.
5) “Once again, this is a public university and should thus have no religious affiliation”. It gets worse. Catholicism being taught is confused with the University “having a religious affiliation”. It gets more and more obvious that the problem of whining homosexuals is that there are Catholicism lessons.
6) “Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing. Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another”. This is again very confused and shows that the boy needs a course of introduction to Catholicism. That homosexual acts violate the natural laws of men is – beside being evident to every right-thinking man free from sexual perversions – part and parcel of Catholic teaching. Always was. Always will be. The objection is therefore a contradictio in adjecto.
7) “I can only imagine how ashamed and uncomfortable a gay student would feel if he/she were to take this course”. Here we are again. I might feel uncomfortable at a course about, say, Hindu or Buddhist spirituality. But this would be entirely my problem. I don’t have any right to feel comfortable. These people are pampered boys refusing to accept that they’ll meet people whose opinions they don’t like. Besides, following this line of thought one shouldn’t teach that it is a sin to rape children, because “I can only imagine how ashamed and uncomfortable a student convicted for child rape would feel if he/she were to take this course”.
8 ) “I am a heterosexual male”. Not very credible, old boy. Heterosexual males aren’t homo activists and homo activists aren’t heterosexual males. Whatever they may think about it.
9) “My friend also told me that the teacher allowed little room for any opposition to Catholic dogma”. It gets more and more absurd. A dogma is, by definition, something which does not allow any room for opposition. You accept the dogma (then you’re Catholic) or you don’t (then you aren’t). Again, the man needs an introduction to Catholicism himself, sharpish.
10) the “founder of the queer studies major” has been copied. The author is acquainted with him. This is the man saying he is not a homo activist. Go figure.
We are still waiting for the decision of the University of Illinois about what to do. Dr. Howell’s lawyers have given today as the deadline to reintegrate him or face litigation.
Still, I thought I would give you my thoughts about this to illustrate the confusion reigning in these people’s minds and their absurd demands that nothing be taught which offends their sensitivity. How very intolerant, how very absurd and, well, how very effeminate.
The “inclusiveness” saga of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and its persecution of Dr. Ken Howell continues to make headlines. I have reported, inter alia, here the facts at the origin of this seemingly unreal controversy.
LifeSiteNews.com now reports that UIUC has issued a barely believable statement maintaining that as Dr. Howell is still a member of the faculty, he has not been fired and there is therefore no ground for litigation.
The speciousness of this claim is obvious, but the attorneys of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) who have undertaken Dr. Howell’s defence have readily debunked the claim pointing out to the utter uselessness of being a member of the faculty when one is not allowed to teach.
Perhaps the University of Illinois is trying to keep the fire escape open, hinting at a possible reintegration of Dr. Howell that would be presented as “business as usual”. With the words of the University’s President Michael Hogan:
“No decision has been made regarding the appointment of an instructor for the course Prof. Howell previously taught in the Fall semester; and no decision will be made until the review is complete.”
Or perhaps the “inclusive” chaps at UIUC are just trying to block Dr. Howell’s legal action. We’ll soon find out.
It is anyway evident from UIUC’s sources that they believe that Dr. Howell’s emails
“violate university standards of inclusiveness, which would then entitle us to have him discontinue his teaching arrangement with us.”
This last statement leaves one breathless. If the criterium of “inclusiveness” is allowed to override academic freedom, the obvious result of this is that nothing else can be taught, than what is considered inclusive. This excludes the almost totality of world religions and every non-religious expression going in any way, shape or form against the wishes of the PC-obsessed and the sexually deviant (more often than not the same people btw). The real issue at stake is very obvious here: whatever goes against the grain of the “inclusive troops” has no place in the university. A priceless pearl of stupidity and intolerance and a clear enunciation of “inclusiveness” as the new Führerprinzip.
UIUC is probably running out of ammunitions. ADF attorneys have given UIUC time until the 27th to fully reintegrate Dr. Howell or face the continuation of the suit. Stay tuned.
An online petition in support of Dr. Howell is available here
Facebook’s Dr. Ken fan page is here
Michael Hogan’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ken Howell’s adversities (I should say: religious persecution) have now made it to the national press. The Washington Times dedicates to the matter a rather perceptive article pointing out not only to the absurdity of being fired for teaching what one is supposed to teach, but on the larger problem of the fact that institutions of superior education like the University of Illinois have come to the point that they utterly fail the very academic freedom that should be at the core of their entire existence.
Interestingly, the author of the article (Patrick Gillen) puts a name at the centre of the controversy: Robert McKim. Mr. McKim is not only the head of the University’s “Department of Religion”, but a sponsor of the “queer studies” in the same university. The intellectual integrity of Mr. McKim is openly put into question and in the next weeks he might feel all the heat of the summer.
With a bit of luck, this story will end with Dr. Howell not being the only person losing his job.
P.s. Those of you who love novels based on the issue of “political correctness gone mad” so spread in the academic world would probably enjoy two interesting books: Tom Wolfe’s “I am Charlotte Simmons” and Philip Roth’s “The Human Stain”.
I have reported some time ago about Dr. Ken Howell. Dr.Howell’s Catholic courses at the University of Illinois were terminated after the complaint of a student and the “concerns” of the – unbelievably, truly existing – “Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered concerns” about, well, what Catholicism teaches.
Fortunately, the reaction of many Catholics (a facebook support group with 1600 members, the University obviously bombarded with protest emails) are producing some effects. The American Papist blog reports that the University of Illinois now at least pretends to be interested in protecting Catholic freedom of expression from the fanaticism of deviant groups.
In another positive turn, we are informed that the relevant Diocese of Peoria has taken action with the University, though this had not been made immediately public and had therefore given cause to concern and criticism.
I will continue to follow this unbelievable story, which seems taken directly out of Philip Roth’s The Human Stain. This is certainly not going to be the end of the politically correct madness and of the thought control aspirations of a bunch of perverts but there is some hope that, at least in this matter, reason will in the end prevail.
Read on American Papist the incredible story of Ken Howell, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois. Mr Howell has been told that he will not be able to teach about Catholicism because his course “Introduction to Catholicism” mentions that Catholicism condemns homosexual acts; also that he has been so cheeky as to follow up with emails on the subject, after one student’s strong opposition to this Catholic teaching.
The episode is disconcerting for several reasons:
1) The course is about Catholicism. You can’t ask Catholicism to be what it is not. You either “introduce people to Catholicism” or you don’t.
2) The University in question has – as it appears from Mr Howell’s letter – an “Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered concerns”. I kid you not. No trace whatsoever of an “Office of Catholic concerns”. The world has probably gone mad. Some universities certainly have.
3) The idea that people against a certain religion may find any “concern” about what that religion teaches is preposterous. Pure thought control. Not even I would have dreamt of saying that I have “concerns” with Hindus believing in reincarnation or Buddhists subscribing to metempsychosis.
4) Mr. Powell’s reaction is also entirely disconcerting. He presented the argument that if Catholic teaching about homosexuality is offensive, than he should be advised not to touch the matter in his course! This is an astonishingly weak reaction and one which defeats itself from the beginning. If you accept the idea that Catholicism may be censored, you can’t complain when it is. The idea of an “Introduction to Catholicism”excluding the controversial bits is as ridiculous as saying that there should be no “Introduction to Catholicism” if one is so bad as to……talk about Catholicism.
As always, the United States leads the way in political correctness gone mad. The case is now under judicial review and I do hope that the stance will be on the harsh side of “we are ready not to talk of anything which is of concern to lesbians, homosexuals, and other deviants”.
Kudos to the “American Papist” for having the guts to relate such extraordinary events instead of hiding behind the “we don’t discuss controversial topics” stance of so many Catholics, who are interested only in a quiet life and “going along to get along” with everyone.