Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Teaching Sexual Ethics Can Get You Fired

July 12th, 2010, Promulgated by Nerina

Given Ben’s recent posts on Sr. Schoelles’ “Sexual Ethics” presentation at a recent “Theology on Tap,”  I found the following situation concerning.  It appears that a professor was fired, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, for teaching the position of the Roman Catholic Church regarding sexual behavior to students in an “Introduction to Catholicism” class.  You read that right.

The ADF states:

Dr. Kenneth Howell, who had been teaching at the university since 2001, was relieved of his duties based in part on an anonymous complaint sent via e-mail to university officials. The e-mail was sent by the friend of an anonymous student who claimed to be “offended” by a May 4 email Howell sent to students elaborating on a class discussion on Catholic beliefs about sexual behavior. The May 4 e-mail from Howell addressed a May 3 lecture in which he explained how the Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual conduct. He properly stated the church’s teaching that homosexual conduct is morally wrong, framing the issue in the context of natural moral law.

The name Kenneth Howell rang a bell, so I Googled him.  He is a convert to Catholicism and a former Presbyterian minister.  He is also the author of numerous books about the Catholic faith.  One of the “hits” from my Google search lead me here (warning: I believe this paper is oriented to the homosexual lifestyle), which presents a more complete picture of the situation.  While this article deserves a fisking all its own, it was interesting to note that the e-mail that prompted Mr. Howell’s firing was from a person who was not even in the class.  This person’s complaint said, “The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one’s worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.”  In other words, don’t say anything against gay people or as Catholic blog writer Mark Shea is fond of saying regarding the homosexual agenda, “tolerance is not enough, YOU MUST ACCEPT!”

This type of complaint is common place now and tiresome.  Dr. Howell presented Church teaching which apparently offended some sensitive person and now he is accused of “ostracizing people of  a certain sexual orientation.”  And that is the rub for so many people.  It appears that Dr. Howell went to great pains to say that the orientation, in an of itself, is not sinful, but, according to Natural Law,  the ACTS associated with a gay orientation ARE.

The attitude toward this professor and what he said is deeply ingrained in our own diocese (see Ben’s previous posts).  When a professor who is teaching an introductory course to Catholicism can’t articulate authentic Catholic teaching without being accused of “ostracizing” or discouraging “public discourse,” we are in serious trouble.

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4 Responses to “Teaching Sexual Ethics Can Get You Fired”

  1. Persis says:

    Thanks for sharing this!
    Unbelievable!!! 🙁
    We are in bigger trouble than I thought!
    Let us all pray for an end to this kind of insanity!!!

  2. Nerina says:

    Persis – I agree that it is unbelievable. It’s like I’m living in an alternate universe sometimes. But then I listen to what was said at the recent “Theology on Tap” session and I realize I *am* living in a alternate universe (a.k.a. our diocese :)). I just can’t imagine being the professor who got fired. How strange the whole situation must be for him. Getting fired for…actually teaching?

  3. Susan Mary says:

    I’d suggest readers log onto, a conservative (Christian, not Catholic) website, to see frequent news of the persecution of Christians for practicing their beliefs. WND had carried this professor’s story. Also google the Alliance Defense Fund. One can sign up for their free email news letters. Incredible true stories of how believers around the globe are being marginalized and persecuted for their faith.

    It is so easy for us to be so wrapped up in what is happening in our own parishes and dioceses not to see the frightening world-wide picture. The Marxists and globalists are closing in on us, folks. We need to take back our culture, starting with the upcoming elections in November…although this may be too late to take back the Supreme Court. There are already rumors out there that the feds will contrive a crises to declare Martial Law and cancel the elections, so the current administration can remain in power. Time to get out our rosaries, folks, and pray for our endangered free nation.

  4. Richard says:

    And if a Catholic group preaches the truth about homosexuality in the DOR, they will try and destroy you.

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