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Missouri Family E-News July 26, 2010
Illini Professor Fired for Sharing Beliefs of Catholic Church
Friends and allies of a University of Illinois professor fired for expressing his religious beliefs have taken their campaign to Facebook. Supporters of Dr. Kenneth Howell are seeking his reinstatement by the University after he was dismissed for sharing the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. They have launched a page called "Save Dr. Ken," which already has over 5000 supporters. Howell has taught a class at the University's Urbana campus since 2001 called "Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought." The class engaged in discussion on the church's views on contemporary moral issues, including the subject of homosexuality. Howell explained that the Catholic church believes that homosexual conduct is contrary to the natural law, which has been longstanding Catholic theology. When a student inquired as to whether Howell agreed with the Church's teachings, he confirmed that he did. The student then charged Howell with "hate speech," and university administrators responded by dismissing him from his teaching position, and as a result, his leadership role with the Newman Center on campus. A university spokesperson said that Howell violated the college's "standards of inclusivity." The Alliance Defense Fund has sent a letter to university administrators demanding Howell's reinstatement, and threatening legal action on his behalf. "In relieving Dr. Howell of his teaching responsibilities, the University is firing him for teaching Catholic doctrine in a class about Catholic doctrine," says Travis Barham of ADF. "The University's only reasoning is that other people disliked his [viewpoints]. However, the First Amendment exists precisely to protect controversial ideas from being silenced. University campuses are not enclaves immune from the sweep of the First Amendment." Howell has been a popular professor on campus, with students voting last fall to recognized him for an "Excellence in Teaching Award." Even the atheist group on campus has rallied to his defense. A spokesman for the Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers club said, "His loss is a profound blow to the University of Illinois. Who will be silenced next?"
Decency Groups Call for Appeal of Ruling on Indecent Television
Decency groups are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to appeal a recent federal court decision which they say will lead to a new wave of profane language on television. The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the FCC's policy regulating obscene speech and conduct is unconstitutionally vague, and would create a "chilling" effect on freedom of speech on broadcast television. The policy was adopted following highly publicized incidents involving rock singer Bono and Super Bowl performer Janet Jackson. Patrick Trueman, a former anti-pornography officer in the U.S. Justice Department, deplored the ruling. "Broadcasters will now have a green light to pump indecent language and perhaps much more into the homes of families at will. Broadcast television has joined cable television in serving as little more than an electronic sewer in most households, barraging viewers with a litany of revolting images, crude commentary, and depraved messages. More and more so-called "reality" shows are littered with "bleeped" words where everyone knows exactly what the person is saying. The bleeps don't obscure the words, they only serve to accentuate them. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says the commission is analyzing the appeals court decision. "We're reviewing the court's decision in light of our commitment to protect children, empower parents, and uphold the First Amendment." Another FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps, has already derided the court's action as "an anti-family decision", and called for appeal of the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Parents Television Council (PTC) is mounting an online petition drive urging the Commission to follow through with a further appeal.
Kagan Nomination to Supreme Court Enters Final Phase

"I hope for a future marked by American disillusionment with conservative programs and solutions, and that a new, revitalized, more leftist left will once again come to the fore." So said Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in an opinion piece during her days in college. "It is not necessarily wrong..." for Supreme Court judges "to mold and steer the law in order to promote certain ethical values and achieve certain social ends." So said Kagan in her graduate thesis at Oxford University.

It is hard to imagine that President Barack Obama could nominate a replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens who would have more disrespect for the law and the Constitution and more enmity for traditional values than Stevens has.
But it appears that President Obama has done just that in his selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the nation's Highest Court. This is not surprising considering her history with the Supreme Court. She served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who had complete contempt for our nation's Constitution. He believed the Constitution was "defective" and that it reflected "outdated notions of liberty, justice, and equality." His judicial philosophy was that "a judge should do what he thinks is right and let the law catch up."
On issue after issue, Kagan has not only expressed her hostility for traditional values, but has done so in the most radical terms. On the pro-life issue, Kagan is an ardent supporter of legalized abortion to the extreme. During her years of service as a policy aide in the Clinton Administration, the debate over legislation seeking to ban partial-birth abortion legislation was raging. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists developed a position paper stating that it "could identify no circumstances under which the [partial-birth] procedure would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman." Kagan called the report a "disaster," and vigorously lobbied ACOG to change their position.
Kagan suggested new language in their position paper stating that partial-birth abortion "may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life of health of a woman." ACOG proceeded to adopt her non-scientific statement verbatim. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has called Kagan's action "unethical and disgraceful." "She was willing to replace a medical statement with a political statement that was not supported by any existing medical data."
The same federal courts that have insisted that women have a right to abortion under the Constitution have also held the view that the taxpayers should not be compelled to pay for the destruction of unborn children. The courts have ruled that the government may make a value judgment favoring childbirth over abortion, and reflect that judgment in the allocation of funds. Kagan disagrees, saying the government should not subsidize "anti-abortion speech." She also believes the government should fund pro-abortion groups. On the subject of traditional marriage,
Kagan is a virulent advocate for the homosexual agenda. She has declared that homosexual rights amount to "a fundamental moral principle." Quote: "A society that discriminates based on sexual orientation--or that tolerates discrimination by its members--is not a just society." There is little doubt that Kagan would rule in favor of redefining marriage to include persons of the same gender, and evaluating any speech that publicly challenges homosexuality as "hate speech."

Kagan has already been at work seeking to destroy traditional marriage. In a recent court decision out of Massachusetts striking down provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Kagan was responsible for defending the law in federal court. Instead, she trashed the rationale Congress used in passing the law in 1996. Congress stated that procreation and the rearing of the next generation of children were key reasons for upholding traditional marriage.
Kagan stated that the government does not have "any legitimate...interests in child rearing" and that the Obama Administration does not support DOMA as a matter of policy." President Obama recently renewed his promise to "gay rights" activists that repeal of DOMA is one of his top priorities. Kagan's extremism on the issue of homosexuality was evidenced during her tenure as Dean of the ultra-liberal Harvard Law School. Kagan evicted military recruiters from campus because she opposed longstanding prohibitions against open homosexuals serving in the military. "I abhor the military's discriminatory recruitment policy," she stated. "It is a profound wrong--a moral injustice of the first order."

It is clear that Kagan's concept of morality is completely divorced from that of the Author of our Liberties. As to freedom of speech, Elena Kagan said the following in a recent brief: "Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs." In other words, the government will determine whether a person's speech has value and whether it is socially acceptable.
The seating of a Justice Kagan would not change the balance on the court between those who believe the words and principles of the Constitution should be respected and those who believe, like she does, that the Constitution should be reshaped to reflect their own "ethical values and social ends." Yet Kagan would be a potent intellectual force on the High Court in promoting a legal agenda totally at odds with Biblical values and Christian beliefs.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has now given its recommendation that she be confirmed. It is now up to the full Senate to decide upon her confirmation. We strongly encourage you to contact your two U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose Elena Kagan's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life, sums up the reasons why: " A Kagan nomination means more power to the Supreme Court to make and impose personal policy and radical beliefs, robbing Americans of the ability to keep lawmaking to themselves and their representatives.
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