Jennifer Keeton is a graduate student at Augusta State University in Georgia who, like millions of Christians across the country, holds a biblical belief about homosexuality.
It’s because of this biblical worldview that Augusta State has offered Jennifer an ultimatum: reject your sincerely held religious beliefs or you will not receive your degree in counseling.
The university is demanding that Jennifer denounce her stance that homosexuality is morally wrong and that sexual behavior can be changed. The school is also trying to force Jennifer to attend “sensitivity training” and gay pride events.
That’s what some public universities have been telling their students. Seventy-one percent of public university professors surveyed in 2007 said this country would be better off if Evangelical Christians kept their opinions out of the public square. Over half (53%) of those same professors stated that they feel unfavorable toward Evangelical Christians, in contrast to 73% with favorable feelings towards Jews and 68% with favorable feelings toward Buddhists.
It’s not surprising then, that attacks on religious liberty are particularly common on public university campuses. Some professors and university leaders tout intellectual diversity, while ideas are stifled because they are unpopular or not “politically correct.”
These incidents are occurring across the country, including right here in Arizona. That’s why CAP is supporting HB 2565, which ensures that universities and community colleges do not infringe on the rights of students to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs.
In a Senate Education Committee hearing on Tuesday, ASU graduate Bethany Miller testified about her personal experience of religious discrimination. Here’s what Bethany had to say:
In 2006, a student enrolled in a program at Eastern Michigan University that would allow her to serve her community as a high school counselor. In spite of earning straight A’s in her curriculum, the student was expelled for refusing to counsel a client about goals that violated her religious beliefs, even though she consulted with her professor and referred the client to another counselor.