Will an Admitted Catholic Be Supported by ACLU? Probably Not

From Pat Hickey at the Chicago Daily Observer

Ed Yohnka ACLU Spokes-guy could not get back to me about whether or not The American Civil Liberties Union will take up the cause of Professor Kenneth Howell, the religion professor and Roman Catholic, fired for making Hate Speech in an e-mail response to a student – “Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY,” he wrote in the e-mail. “In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same.”

According Professor Howell’s Department Head who tracked the e-mails, a friend of the student who posed the question was “offended” and deemed this hate speech.

Howell, a practicing Roman Catholic, teaches a course about Catholicism and Modern Culture. A student asks a question via e-mail. The student’s friend sees the e-mail, though he was not involved in the exchange. A University of Illinois colleague intercepts the ambush question and gets Ken Howell fired for promoting hate speech.

More at CDOBs


And this from the Chicago Sun-Times

U. of I. too quick to fire Catholic prof

A university classroom is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, not an assemblage of notions upon which everyone already agrees.

So it’s more than a little alarming to see that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has terminated the contract of adjunct professor Kenneth Howell because his “Introduction to Catholicism” ran afoul of the school’s “standards of inclusivity.”

If the university truly wishes to be inclusive, it should reverse its decision and allow Howell to keep teaching the class, as he has since 2001 and for which he was rated by students as an excellent teacher in 2008 and 2009.



  • Jay

    Just to be clear, what I am suggesting is that perhaps the professor was not fired for his beliefs, but for his ignorance of facts. It is highly improbable that the firing was for simply doing what he was paid to do, which is to teach about what Catholics believe. I think it is more likely that the firing was due to statements such as the ones I quoted in my prior comment, which revealed a certain ignorance. I know that if one of my professors is profoundly ignorant in one area, I am much less likely to view him as an authority in what he teaches, and I would question the value of the tuition I was paying for the privilege of access to this person’s knowledge.

  • Jay

    Thomas B,

    Did you even read what I wrote?



Receive our updates via email.