Julea Ward, a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, was recently expelled from her counseling program and the University. EMU initiated disciplinary action after she refused to affirm a client’s homosexual behavior and asked to have the client reassigned, all before any counseling sessions took place (the client had not met with her and was unaware of her request).
I recall reading something about this last month in the local paper , but didn’t realize at the time that the student had actually been expelled from the University.
by Joe Coffman
Usually May is the time of the year when students are fitted for the cap and gown, count their credits, pay their school bill and plan the parties. With a firm handshake and a costly piece of paper, they will start their lives in the real world.
That won’t be true for Julea Ward, who used to be a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University until…
…she was kicked out for her religious beliefs.
Ms. Ward was enrolled in a graduate program at the school and as part of her education was required to enroll in a counseling practicum. In that practicum, she was assigned a case involving a homosexual who needed help. Ms. Ward did not feel that she could affirm the student’s homosexual lifestyle because of her Christian beliefs, so she asked her supervisor what she should do.
His advice was to refer the student to a counselor who had no qualms with affirming homosexual behavior. That is what she did, and it was all done before she saw the student. But the story doesn’t end there.
Julea was summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing and told that if she wanted to continue on with her graduate program, she would have to submit to a “remediation” program so that she could see “the error of her ways.” She refused to be forced into a re-education program designed to convert her from biblical faith, and as a result, she was kicked out of school. There’s your tolerance.
Does it scare you that the people overseeing her program weren’t content with the fact that she acted properly and with integrity? Does is scare you that they wanted her to change not just her actions, but her religious beliefs?
If you have a child in a publicly funded college or university, this should make all kinds of alarms go off in your head. Any parent who takes their faith life seriously, no matter what brand, should be very concerned.
THE REST OF THE STORY
Click here to read more about this case in the Ypsilanti Citizen. Even more local news and analysis on this topic can be found here and here, and an excellent letter to the editor can be found here. Even Perez Hilton gets name-dropped into the mess here. For more background, the court documents for her federal civil rights lawsuit and the transcript of her EMU hearing can be found here courtesy of Mlive.com and the soon to be defunct Ann Arbor News.
FAIRNESS DOCTRINE UPDATE:
An alternative view of Julea Ward’s case can be found here and here, where the author attempts to show why blatant religious discrimination and such a draconian compensatory measure as expulsion is completely acceptable in the name of affirming homosexual conduct as morally and therapeutically neutral. That is, homosexuality is “not worthy of praise, and it’s not a problem to be solved. It’s just a fact.” According to the author, Ward was expelled because she repudiates this “fundamental therapeutic premise.”
The American Family Association has taken up Julea Ward’s cause, and has created a website where you can send an email to Michigan Governor Granholm and your state legislators to protest this discrimination against Julea Ward. Ask Gov. Granholm and state leaders to pressure EMU readmit Julea Ward, and to apologize in a public statement which reaffirms that this kind of religious discrimination will not be tolerated.