Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shrinking Religious Freedoms

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R71 UPDATE: We have only a couple more days in which to gather in all the remaining R-71 petition signatures and get them in for counting and delivery to the state. We need them by Thursday.

Please make every effort to get them in the mail or if it is a large amount, email us and we will have some one meet you for pick up.

Shrinking Religious Freedoms

They are calling it the "kissing protest". I call it yet another intrusion into the freedoms of property ownership and freedom of religious belief and expression. It is also trespassing.

It continued Sunday on Mormon owned property in Salt Lake City. I have linked the story.
Julea Ward, a high school teacher, was within four requirements of completing her masters degree when she was dismissed from the program at a state university.

Why? Because she acted on her religious beliefs.

A supervising professor actually set her up, then initiated proceedings against her. They offered remedial help to assist her in changing her belief, when she refused, they dismissed her.

Here's how it happened.

The case began developing about 6 months ago. I have linked a story from the Ann Arbor news from April because it gives a good background on the story.

Ward's dismissal from the program at Easter Michigan State University, just prior to her graduation, stemmed from an incident in a practicum course in which students were under supervision by EMU faculty members.

Julea Ward was faced with counseling a client involved in a homosexual relationship.

Ward did as she had been instructed to do. EMU's handbook for students in the counseling program sets out that they adhere to American Counseling Association standards, which require counselors to not engage in discrimination based on, among other things, sexual orientation.

Counseling students are instructed to refer clients when faced with an ethical dilemma. Prior to the meeting, Ward went to her supervisor, Yvonne Callaway, and told her there was an ethical conflict. Callaway advised Ward to refer the client to another counselor, which Ward did.

Callaway then initiated disciplinary proceedings against Ward, saying Ward's referral was a violation of ethical codes.

Ward has said she is a Christian who derives her beliefs from the Bible and that she believes that homosexual behavior is immoral sexual conduct and she cannot affirm or validate that behavior or otherwise use her counseling skills to facilitate that behavior.

She was then asked in an informal review to undergo a remediation program to change her beliefs relating to counseling homosexuals.

She said she couldn't change those beliefs.

On March 12 of this year she received a letter from the University informing her of her dismissal from the program.

The letter said in part, "Additionally, by your own testimony, you declared that you are unwilling to change this behavior."

If you are unwilling to forsake your beliefs and change your behavior a government-funded school will not allow you access to an education.

She has since filed a lawsuit. Her lawyer says, "In essence, what the University wants to do is affirm homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship in order to get a degree there. That is something she is unwilling to do."

At the time of her dismissal she had four remaining requirements and was maintaining a 3.91 GPA.

You tell me. Is this a modern day fiery furnace?

Now Michigan State Representative Tom McMillin, has introduced a resolution urging Eastern Michigan University to respect the religious rights of its students and staff and halt all discriminatory practices.

He has also asked the State Attorney General to look into the matter.

McMillin said, "Someone should not be withheld from a public university because of their beliefs."

If you don't sell abortion pills in your own pharmacy because of your religious beliefs, they will try to put you out of business or bankrupt you while defending your rights to your religious beliefs. The Stormans in Olympia have been going through this over the past nearly two years.

If you affirm marriage as between one man and one woman and act to protect natural marriage, they will demonstrate against you---even on your own private property. As the case with the Mormon Church and other churches.

If you are a contestant in a Miss USA contest and likely the winner, but do not affirm homosexual "marriage" but respectfully say, when asked, you believe marriage is between a man and a women, you are publicly trashed, called a b---h and generally destroyed.

If you are the Governor of Alaska and hold conservative, biblical values---and express them publicly and find significant public acceptance, the far left secularists exploit your family, relentlessly seek to destroy your career with frivolous law suits and charges, then when you resign as Governor, they declare your political career over, but continue without pause, the most violent, malicious attacks anyone can remember in recent political history.

California is still experiencing retribution from gay activists as a result of Proposition 8.

People gathering signatures for R-71 have experienced aggressive public opposition from those advocating for homosexual "marriage".

Yet there are those who continue to assure the people that the continual expansion of so-called "hate-crimes" legislation and homosexual rights will have no effect on churches, religious organizations, the freedom of speech of preachers and Bible teachers and individual expressions of religious beliefs.

Some of those same people will tell you that you should not be concerned about SB 5688 and should not support R-71 to overturn it, because it will have no effect on marriage.

And if you support anything that impairs the rush to re-engineer society, re-define the family, deconstruct marriage or as President Obama says, "remake America," or advocate the advancement of Judeo-Christian values in our culture, you are tagged as hateful, discriminatory, intolerant and a bigot. And a right wing extremist.

The cultural foundations of this country are crumbling before our eyes, yet there are those who are content to stand and watch as they shield themselves from the heat of the consuming fire with, "I don't think Christians should be involved in those kinds of controversial issues," or, "Whatever will be will be, what can I do about it?" or, "The church should not be involved in the political process." Or worse--this is not the right time.

I can tell you, our Founding Fathers did not agree with that and neither should you.
May God help us in our time of need.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

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