University of Illinois to review case of fired Catholic professor

posted at 3:35 pm on July 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Not a moment too soon, either.  Professor Kenneth Howell taught religion at the University of Illinois for several years, specifically Catholicism, and well enough to earn plaudits from his students for excellence in 2008 and 2009.  When a student asked Howell in class whether he believed the Catholic teaching that homosexual sex was immoral, Howell said he did.  The university then fired him for engaging in “hate speech,” but an outcry over the case has them reconsidering in terms of Howell’ academic freedom:

A faculty group at the University of Illinois‘ flagship campus will review the decision to fire an adjunct religion professor for saying he agreed with Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.

UrbanaChampaign campus Chancellor Robert Easter said Monday he hopes to have a decision on the firing of Kenneth Howell from the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure by the time fall classes start. The review is to determine whether Howell’s academic freedom was violated.

“We want to be able to reassure ourselves there was no infringement on academic freedom here,” new university President Michael Hogan told members of the Faculty Senate on Monday. “This is a very, very important, not to mention a touchy and sensitive, issue. Did this cross the line somehow?”

Only if one believes in academic freedom, free speech, and freedom of religion.  Otherwise, what’s the big deal, right?  The AP reported the details of the case over the weekend:

Howell, who taught Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, says he was fired at the end of the spring semester after sending an e-mail explaining some Catholic beliefs to his students preparing for an exam.

“Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY,” he wrote in the e-mail. “In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same.”

An unidentified student sent an e-mail to religion department head Robert McKim on May 13, calling Howell’s e-mail “hate speech.” The student claimed to be a friend of the offended student. The writer said in the e-mail that his friend wanted to remain anonymous.

“Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing,” the student wrote. “Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another.”

Howell said he was teaching his students about the Catholic understanding of natural moral law.

“My responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches,” Howell said in an interview with The News-Gazette in Champaign. “I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never required to believe what I’m teaching and they’ll never be judged on that.”

Maybe Illinois ought to investigate the quality of its education when we hear this kind of stupidity from its students.  The tenets of Catholicism and mainstream Christianity are precisely that homosexual acts violate the natural law and order created by God, which is why they’re prohibited in doctrine.  It’s akin to saying that it’s one thing to teach math, but multiplication crosses the line.  Apparently, this student doesn’t pay much attention in class.

If the university has classes on religion — as most do — then they can’t possibly base a termination on an explanation of the tenets of the religion in question.  It’s absurd on its face, even apart from the implications on speech and academic freedom.  The explanation by Howell covers the argument from the Catholic perspective, which is what Howell is supposed to be teaching, as well as most mainline Christian denominations.

The issue of academic freedom is obvious, but perhaps less so is the damage to free speech and religious observance this case creates.  So-called “hate speech” laws can easily be bent to the purpose of silencing religious expression and other speech not in favor by the administration of a university.  In this case, the state-run school has no business silencing Howell’s expression of religious belief (which hardly amounted to “hate speech” anyway).  It also implicates government in an effort to coerce silence from dissenters on a widely-debated point of public policy.  Both violate the letter and spirit of the First Amendment.

The University of Illinois faculty deliberating on this issue had better consider exactly how this will impact them when popular opinion trumps their own academic freedom and right to speech when they dissent from the popular view on campus.  In fact, that’s exactly why academic freedom has been a cherished concept in American universities and colleges, and exactly why speech codes are anathema to real learning and discourse.


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For Allahpundit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP2afcZjUhs&feature=player_embedded

kerrhome on July 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

A faculty group at the University of Illinois‘ flagship campus will review the decision

…….

Good luck with that.

artist on July 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Doesn’t Ayers work in the same Univ too ?

macncheez on July 14, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Who fired him in the first place?

faraway on July 14, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Think this University would have had the stones to fire an Islamic studies professor who would have said much the same thing….?

JohnTant on July 14, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Some dude named Joe Stalin signed the pink slip.

viking01 on July 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Bill Ayers UI-Chicago

Domestic terrorists – good
Catholic teachers – not so much

faraway on July 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM

This was a set up from the start. The student knew what he/she was initiating, knew what Howell’s response would be, and knew exactly who to send the email to when the time came.

Liberals are gutless.

AubieJon on July 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM

When a student asked Howell in class whether he believed the Catholic teaching that homosexual sex was immoral, Howell said he did.

He engaged in hate speech because he answered a question honestly. How dare he.

Daggett on July 14, 2010 at 3:44 PM

A faculty group at the University of Illinois‘ flagship campus will review the decision

Is this the same setup like the East Anglia globull warming scientist being “reviewed” by their peers – and then found not guilty?

honsy on July 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Doesn’t Ayers work in the same Univ too ?

macncheez on July 14, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Same University, different campus. Ayers is at the Chicago Campus, this is the main campus…Urbana-Champaign. My Alma Mater unfortunately.

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

macncheez on July 14, 2010 at 3:40 PM

He works at UIC, this concerns UIUC. They are in the same university system, but for all intents and purposes, they are separate universities.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Heh. So true.

Howell should be proud of his firing. If the University seeks to teach Catholic doctrine then it’s silly to expect that doctrine won’t, you know, be taught.

MTF on July 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Hail to the orange…..nevermind.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

JohnTant on July 14, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Or any real “hate speech” they care to make. ALL would be protected under the First Amendment….when it is convenient to do so.

clnurnberg on July 14, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Hail to the orange…..nevermind.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Exactly….without the Chief…it is just not the same!

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM

So-called “hate speech” laws can easily be bent to the purpose of silencing religious expression and other speech not in favor by the administration of a university.

What about the koran’s preachings on gays ? Or the right way to hit women ? Or how to correctly behead kafirs ?
Firable offences ??

macncheez on July 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM

I’m a graduate of UIUC undergrad.. Accy ’04 and am currently back there for grad school (which what is a nice place when your 18 doesn’t work so well when your 28 — also the MBA program there is in much suckage..but off topic).

Here’s a bit of flavor for everyone.

1. I stayed at the Newman Hall my sophmore year. Nice dorms close to class, but the Newman Center itself subscribes to a very orthodox view of Catholicism. Think Opus Dei. I didn’t go to Church often, because I was very uncomfortable with the atmosphere. One sweet, devout girl I knew spent most of her time freaking out about going to Hell. The school was well aware of what they were getting when they asked Dr. Howell to teach as everyone on campus knew the center’s reputation.

2. Any class taught by Dr. Howell and taken through the center could only count as an elective. It wasn’t required for any major (religious studies/ philosophy/ etc.) and didn’t count to fulfilling major requirements. So no one was being forced to sit through anything they disagreed with.

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 3:48 PM

At universities where conservative students are expected to listen to all sorts of political nonsense unrelated to the subjects they are studying, expecting a student to hear an answer related to the subject is grounds for firing. Let’s hope when we see economic collapse the majority of universities are among the first things to go–and I say that as someone who will lose my job in that case.

DrMagnolias on July 14, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Urbana. That explains it. Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

viking01 on July 14, 2010 at 3:49 PM

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM

LOL. I remember hearing about that a few years back. Their alumni donations must be drying right…..about….now.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 3:49 PM

macncheez on July 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM

If you hate the correct people, anything goes. Or if you threaten to behead them or something

clnurnberg on July 14, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Religious belief = hate speech?

Only if it’s Christian.

Rod on July 14, 2010 at 3:50 PM

It’s OK to teach about certain religious views– it’s just not OK to actually hold those views, or, if one does hold those views, one certainly can’t be permitted to express them! Honestly, people in this country behave like “free speech” or “freedom of religion” were fundamental liberties enshrined in the Constitution or something. How wack is that?

morganfrost on July 14, 2010 at 3:51 PM

So-called “hate speech” laws can easily be bent to the purpose of silencing religious expression and other speech not in favor by the administration of a university.

Or of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Reich. That’s the plan.

Tav on July 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 3:48 PM

I’ve heard many stories from friends about a certain “Murphy’s Pub” and “Fire Haus”. LOL. I agree. Such an environment is best suited for youngsters.

From my experience, you are absolutely correct. Classes like ROTC, religious, and the like are always counted as electives and get very minimal credit hours. Anybody who was in that class signed up for it knowing that it was about Catholicism.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

LOL. I remember hearing about that a few years back. Their alumni donations must be drying right…..about….now.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 3:49 PM

My donations stopped a few years ago. I used to give to the School of Architecture directly. No more. The final straw was firing the editor of the Daily Illini for publishing the Danish cartoons. The loss of Chief Illiniwek was truly sad.

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Just like here in Israel!

Shy Guy on July 14, 2010 at 3:53 PM

The school is intolerant and bigoted. There is no room for open minds to opposing viewpoints.

All people with different views should be quickly fired till tolerance takes over.

seven on July 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Religious belief = hate speech?

Only if it’s Christian.

Rod on July 14, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Blacks can not be racist and Muslims can not engage in hate speech.

Tav on July 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

I would support firing this teacher 110% if his personal belief contributed to violating the rights of someone else through the way he conducted himself in his taxpayer-subsidized teaching, for instance if he had refused to let gay students take his class.

Nothing of this sort is alleged. He was fired not for violating his legal requirements due to his personal beliefs, but for having a particular personal belief. This is precisely the wrong way to go.

raybury on July 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

In fact, that’s exactly why academic freedom has been a cherished concept in American universities and colleges…

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!111eleventy111. Stop, Ed, you’re killing me.

You probably didn’t hear about it, but when the board got together in secret to kill Chief Illinwick, a student pointed out that the effort was led by a woman of Sioux decent. He also pointed out that the Sioux committed mass genocide against the Illini.

He got kicked out of school for pointing out facts. The University of Illinois is a reactionary, left-wing hotbed for politically correct fascism.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

“Howell covers the argument from the Catholic perspective, which is what Howell is supposed to be teaching, as well as most mainline Christian denominations,” as well as lots of other folks such as this atheist.

burt on July 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

We’re getting very close to the Bible as hate speech. Thanks democrats.

Mojave Mark on July 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Amazing – simply answering a question honestly and objectively now constitutes “hate speech”. I don’t know, maybe we should thank the Left for watering down these terms to the point that the terms become meaningless.

Maybe the “offended” student should provide evidence that homosexual acts do not violate Natural Law, but then I guess the pursuit of such intellectual endeavors is too much to ask of a Big 10/11/12 (what are they now?!?!) university…

Neo-con Artist on July 14, 2010 at 3:57 PM

In fact, that’s exactly why academic freedom has been a cherished concept in American universities and colleges…

Ed, I think you are having flashbacks to a previous life.

Tav on July 14, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I’ve heard many stories from friends about a certain “Murphy’s Pub” and “Fire Haus”. LOL. I agree. Such an environment is best suited for youngsters.

From my experience, you are absolutely correct. Classes like ROTC, religious, and the like are always counted as electives and get very minimal credit hours. Anybody who was in that class signed up for it knowing that it was about Catholicism.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

And ironically Firehaus and Murphy’s are the “grown-up” bars. All the drunk underaged kids hang out at Kams.

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM

In fact, that’s exactly why academic freedom has been use to be a cherished concept in American universities and colleges…

If that were true, then FIRE would be out of business.

Rod on July 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM

And ironically Firehaus and Murphy’s are the “grown-up” bars. All the drunk underaged kids hang out at Kams.

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM

KAMS is still there????? Practically lived at Murphy’s during Grad School.

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 4:01 PM

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 4:01 PM


Apparently.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 4:03 PM

KAMS is still there????? Practically lived at Murphy’s during Grad School.

oceansidecon on July 14, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Yes. It still is. As is Murphy’s. Firehaus is the “new bar.” And there apparently are now two huge bar crawls a year because the school is cracking down on unofficial.

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I’m a graduate of UIUC undergrad.. Accy ‘04 and am currently back there for grad school (which what is a nice place when your 18 doesn’t work so well when your 28 — also the MBA program there is in much suckage..but off topic).

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Positive proof that thousands of dollars spent on a college education is a waste of money.

It’s also an indictment of whatever high school you went to that you managed to graduate without knowing basic spelling and grammar.

It’s “you’re”. Sheesh.

Jaynie59 on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

The pervert that is the safe schools czar should protect free speech.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 24, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – He is known to the United States as the “Safe Schools Czar:” a special advisor in the White House responsible for helping formulate policies designed to keep US public schools “safe and drug free.” But US pro-family leaders know Kevin Jennings as something more: a highly influential homosexual activist, who admitted in a book on his childhood that a deep-seated hatred of God and religious believers began when he fully embraced a homosexual lifestyle and bid God farewell with the words, “Screw you, buddy.”

Jennings practicies paraphilia.

seven on July 14, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

From what my friends have told me, they’ve been “cracking down” on it for the past 12 years. Bag and sobriety checks, no water bottles in classes, expelled if you come to class drunk, the whole nine yards. Yet it’s still there.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Jaynie59 on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

“Suckage” isn’t a word, btw. I thought someone of your mental caliber would catch something like that. *Sheesh*

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Positive proof that thousands of dollars spent on a college education is a waste of money.

It’s also an indictment of whatever high school you went to that you managed to graduate without knowing basic spelling and grammar.

It’s “you’re”. Sheesh.

Jaynie59 on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Umm… Yes, because I spell check my random anonymous online posts with the same thoroughness that I check school papers and work emails/ projects. One thing that annoys me more than anything is the online grammar police. If you don’t have anything to say about the topic, please refrain from posting your personal attacks.

(P.S. generally a MBA is required to do anything but grunt work in the business world).

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:10 PM

From what my friends have told me, they’ve been “cracking down” on it for the past 12 years. Bag and sobriety checks, no water bottles in classes, expelled if you come to class drunk, the whole nine yards. Yet it’s still there.

Rightwingguy on July 14, 2010 at 4:06 PM

It still is there, but is “Disney-fied” and overrun by kids from Chicago. Also, because the bars are cracking down, most of the partying has moved to private apartments (–annoying due to the noise levels). Part of the fun was people coming to class wasted. :)

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Anyone else see the irony that a Chancellor named Easter is overseeing Howell’s political correctness crucifixion.

viking01 on July 14, 2010 at 4:13 PM

I think all Middle Eastern Studies and Islam studies professors need to be asked the same question about their religion and homosexuality and see if they are fired.

ramrants on July 14, 2010 at 4:14 PM

You probably didn’t hear about it, but when the board got together in secret to kill Chief Illinwick, a student pointed out that the effort was led by a woman of Sioux decent. He also pointed out that the Sioux committed mass genocide against the Illini.

He got kicked out of school for pointing out facts. The University of Illinois is a reactionary, left-wing hotbed for politically correct fascism.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Got any references for this, Blarg? You’re right that I’ve never heard anything about this….

djm1992 on July 14, 2010 at 4:16 PM

They need to fire all of those involved with the firing.

GardenGnome on July 14, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Got any references for this, Blarg? You’re right that I’ve never heard anything about this….

djm1992 on July 14, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Because it probably is an urban legend. I’d suspect that if true, FIRE would be all over it.

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:24 PM

So, instead of my U of I “Save the Chief” shirt…I will now wear a U of I “Save the Teach” shirt! :)

atlgal on July 14, 2010 at 4:31 PM

At least he didn’t get a lifetime gag order from a Canadian “Human Rights” starchamber like Rev. Boisson.

Laura in Maryland on July 14, 2010 at 4:38 PM

They need to fire all of those involved with the firing.

GardenGnome on July 14, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Sack the sackers? When does it end?

Inanemergencydial on July 14, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Got any references for this, Blarg? You’re right that I’ve never heard anything about this….

djm1992 on July 14, 2010 at 4:16 PM
Because it probably is an urban legend. I’d suspect that if true, FIRE would be all over it.

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:24 PM

You are most likely correct. The only student at any “secret meeting” of the trustees would be the student trustee, and as far as I can remember they all have been anti-Chief, I believe.

It’s sad, but knowing the way lefties are, and knowing some of Blago’s appointments, you could almost believe that this is something that could have happend…

djm1992 on July 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Jaynie59 on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

No, that’s just proof that Illindiva needs to get a cup of coffee, and you need to get a life.

Laura in Maryland on July 14, 2010 at 4:41 PM

“apparently the leader of this (anti-Chief) movement is of Sioux descent. Which means what, you ask? the Sioux indians are the ones that killed off the Illini indians, so she’s just trying to finish what her ancestors started. I say we throw a tomohawk into her face,” according to copies of the postings obtained by The News-Gazette.

djm, this happened a few years ago so good information is hard to find (uiuc + student + suspended brings up mostly the DI editor that got fired for printing a Danish cartoon of Muhommed). The article meanders and really doesn’t make sense. I do remember the kid getting suspended for “hate speech”, though the article makes no reference to the suspension.

Here is the link.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/university-illinois/2007-01-28/heated-chief-debate-typifies-discord-ui-working-solutions.html

Blarg the Destroyer on July 14, 2010 at 4:56 PM

djm1992 on July 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM

For clarification, the student wasn’t at a secret meeting. The secret meeting was to kill the Chief. He later posted on facebook that the head of the kill the Chief movement was a Sioux, etc.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 14, 2010 at 4:58 PM

“No Papists need apply.”

This was a direct and informative answer to a question, stating the position of the Catholic church – the subject of the course.

AKA, a setup to get rid of him. Pathetic behavior the the part of the Monoversity. Anyone have a collection of statements from more radical Humanities professors about religious people so we can see if they’ve engaged in “hate speech?”

Come on, if you’re going to have a purge, let’s make it general.

Merovign on July 14, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Has Prof. Howell lawyered-up yet? The situation looks like a clear case of violation / suspension of Howell’s First Amendment rights. There might be a state due-process violation or several.
.
At a minimum, serving UI some papers, demanding the identity of the student who accused him, all faculty members involved in deciding to fire him, and the original complaint, all letters, e-mails, meeting notes, etc., related to Howell’s firing, should get some real fast cooperation from UI.
.
All of these items should be made public. Nationally public. This sort and scale of public exposure will end this sort of thing real fast and permanently.
.
.
Let’s face facts:

This was a set up from the start. The student knew what he/she was initiating, knew what Howell’s response would be, and knew exactly who to send the email to when the time came.

AubieJon on July 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM

.
Clearly true.
.
As several others have said (in one form or another), no one was forced to enroll in Howell’s class, and no one was unaware of the topic of the class.
.
I wonder what the student’s background is. I’m guessing “radical activist” of some flavor.
.
GardenGnome should be shown to be correct:

They need to fire all of those involved with the firing.

GardenGnome on July 14, 2010 at 4:19 PM

.
… and expel the student who filed the original complaint.

Arbalest on July 14, 2010 at 5:01 PM

I think all Middle Eastern Studies and Islam studies professors need to be asked the same question about their religion and homosexuality and see if they are fired.

ramrants on July 14, 2010 at 4:14 PM

This was my first thought. F***in’ Illini. I graduated from its law school too many years ago. I haven’t given them any money for years. In fall 2008, I swore they’d never see a dime from me after their chancellor made it difficult to access records in the UICC campus library relating to Obama’s only executive experience as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (he and Ayers blew $160 million on nonsense, community-activity programs that did nothing to improve Chicago public schools, but that’s a story for another day).

I now double down on my resolve to hate my alma mater.

BuckeyeSam on July 14, 2010 at 5:01 PM

The media and academia, the meida and academia….any similarities?

d1carter on July 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM

“This is a very, very important, not to mention a touchy and sensitive, issue. Did this cross the line somehow?”

Yeah, ya freaking idiot. You ‘crossed the line’, along with the ‘offended student’ and their ‘anonymous’ friend.

Those who kicked the professor out should be FIRED and the two students EXPELLED, after it’s explained to them that there is NO Constitutional right NOT TO BE OFFENDED by someone else’s beliefs.

GarandFan on July 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Why do liberals hate the Bill of Rights?

jukin on July 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM

I am typing this while wearing one of my SIX articles of Chief Illiniwek clothing (5 tees, one sweatshirt)….But, I digress:

Isn’t it interesting that in a free society, an anonymous student can get a teacher fired, and that in a supposed second-hand fashion? What happened to being able to face your accusers?

I guess its OK though. We all know if a teacher at the school had said something derogatory about Jesus Christ, the administration would surely leap into action to avenge offended Christians……right?

tgharris on July 14, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Unless a Catholic backhands you in the face with a thick Bible, what on earth can they do that’s offensive unless your Demonic? Why are so many afraid of Christianity?

johnnyU on July 14, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Vee vill not tolerate intolerance.

seven on July 14, 2010 at 5:17 PM

When are we going to get an organization of business that will not hire anyone from such anti-God propaganda mills. Perhaps the businesses need to start their own education units? The4 alternative stinks!

Don L on July 14, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Yeah, ya freaking idiot. You ‘crossed the line’, along with the ‘offended student’ and their ‘anonymous’ friend.

Those who kicked the professor out should be FIRED and the two students EXPELLED, after it’s explained to them that there is NO Constitutional right NOT TO BE OFFENDED by someone else’s beliefs.

GarandFan on July 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM

If you are going to argue for free speech, the students have as much right to whine about the professor and demand his resignation as the professor has to point out the tenets of Catholic teachings on sexuality to his class. They could go to the school Gay/ Lesbian/ Bi office and whine about the email, and gay groups can even protest at Newman Center and demand Dr. Howell’s resignation. However, it’s up to the adults to not give into the kids’ demands and point out that free speech goes both ways.

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Why do liberals hate the Bill of Rights?

jukin on July 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM

They don’t, as long as they are the ones enjoying its freedoms.

tgharris on July 14, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Think this University would have had the stones to fire an Islamic studies professor who would have said much the same thing….?

JohnTant on July 14, 2010 at 3:41 PM

If they had the, umm, stones beforehand, they might not afterward.
Bloody scimitar. The religion of pieces.

itsnotaboutme on July 14, 2010 at 5:40 PM

University of Illinois Lucifer to review case of fired Catholic professor

Corrected

madmonkphotog on July 14, 2010 at 5:48 PM

“Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another.”

Oy. Relativism Rules!

KS Rex on July 14, 2010 at 6:20 PM

All of these items should be made public. Nationally public. This sort and scale of public exposure will end this sort of thing real fast and permanently.

This part will never happen. The Lame Stream/State-Run Media will never cover something like this unless it was happening to a humanities professor that said something bad about Chrisitianity and was fired for it . . . It would only “go national” on places like Drudge, which the American Idol Sheeple don’t read.

PastorJon on July 14, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Illinidiva on July 14, 2010 at 4:24 PM

I’m a proud graduate of Illinois State. I wouldn’t step a foot into Urbana, what a he|| hole.

jbh45 on July 14, 2010 at 8:11 PM

When a student asked Howell in class whether he believed the Catholic teaching that homosexual sex was immoral, Howell said he did. The university then fired him for engaging in “hate speech,”

Perez Hilton is taking an Intro to Catholocism class?

malclave on July 14, 2010 at 8:36 PM

“apparently the leader of this (anti-Chief) movement is of Sioux descent. Which means what, you ask? the Sioux indians are the ones that killed off the Illini indians, so she’s just trying to finish what her ancestors started. I say we throw a tomohawk into her face,” according to copies of the postings obtained by The News-Gazette.
djm, this happened a few years ago so good information is hard to find (uiuc + student + suspended brings up mostly the DI editor that got fired for printing a Danish cartoon of Muhommed). The article meanders and really doesn’t make sense. I do remember the kid getting suspended for “hate speech”, though the article makes no reference to the suspension.

Here is the link.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/university-illinois/2007-01-28/heated-chief-debate-typifies-discord-ui-working-solutions.html

Blarg the Destroyer on July 14, 2010 at 4:56 P

For clarification, the student wasn’t at a secret meeting. The secret meeting was to kill the Chief. He later posted on facebook that the head of the kill the Chief movement was a Sioux, etc.

Blarg the Destroyer on July 14, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Ok, now I get it. Actually, I remember reading that article. Your lack of clarity plus my overactive immaginaition had me envisioning the University banishing some kid to Siberia for embarrasing the board of trustees.

Next time be more careful!!!

I hate siding with the Diversity Uber Alles/Hypersensitivity crowd, but in all honesty, what probably got this kid in trouble was the tomahawk to the face part. Not a good thing to essentially advocate taking an axe to someone’s face….

djm1992 on July 14, 2010 at 8:37 PM

My daughter just left Urbana in May with her Masters (Bronze Tablet, y’all). But she wasn’t involved in Newman at all; our friend was deeply involved and knows Professor Howell quite well.

Needless to say, the story is just as advertised. The class was Catholic Theology; the issue is homosexuality and the student is gay and apparently likes to seek out new ways to be offended about it. The gay members of my family who were raised in the Catholic Church may be disappointed-to-bitter about the Church’s position, but they aren’t suing anyone and it isn’t real difficult to figure out why the Church sticks to this position.

But the University is a viper’s den of political correctness, dominated by illiberal liberals and their communist speech codes. If they disagree with your position, your position is hate speech. It’s Orwellian, and this firing is a quantum leap from the usual classroom domination by gutless leftist professors to this amazing new standard requiring that professors edit their subject matter to toe the line on left-wing speech codes.

It is an abomination.

Jaibones on July 14, 2010 at 10:24 PM

To the left anything that is not lefty, is hate speech.

Slowburn on July 15, 2010 at 1:39 AM

University of Illinois to review case of fired Catholic professor

The basis for Professor Howell’s termination appears to be he violated University standards by expressing his personal opinion, on subject matter directly within his area of expertise, to a student. The University should be able to point to the specific policy that strictly prohibits professors from expressing their personal opinions, on subject matter within their expertise, to their students.

It is doubtful such a policy exists.

The University is making a specious argument that all professors should find objectionable.

It is a shame it has taken this long for Professor Howell to plead his case.

rukiddingme on July 15, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Jaibones on July 14, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Same here… 2004 Bronze Tablet. Which major?

Illinidiva on July 15, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Positive proof that thousands of dollars spent on a college education is a waste of money.

A spelling mistake is proof a college education is a waste of money?

It’s also an indictment of whatever high school you went to that you managed to graduate without knowing basic spelling and grammar.

It’s the fault of the school someone makes a mistake spelling a word or constructing a sentence?

It’s “you’re”. Sheesh.
Jaynie59 on July 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Spelling and grammar mistakes occur. Being human, everyone that comments is capable of making these errors.

If you are going to play the perfection card, you should have some credibility when doing so.

A ten second search of your posts reveals a word you have misspelled here twice. The word is spelled deductible. Sheesh.

There are more mistakes of yours, but that is not the point. The point is the ideas a person is attempting to communicate are what is important. We are not here earning grades for spelling and grammar.

Get over the petty issue you have with spelling and grammar mistakes, lest you are capable of never making said mistakes again.

You have earned a good solid B+.

rukiddingme on July 15, 2010 at 10:27 AM