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Augusta State to Christian Jennifer Keeton: Re-educate Yourself or Leave Counseling Program

Jennifer Keeton

Here’s the latest victim of the Pro-Gay Thought Police (PGTP): Jennifer Keeton. Her predicament is further evidence of the “zero-sum game” in the Culture War between pro-“gay” policies/laws and religious liberty. It’s incredible that this public institution, Augusta State U,, is requiring this principled young woman to alter her beliefs and even attend a “gay pride” parade as a condition for completing the program. (Imagine the outcry if a public university required a committed, secular “gay” student to go to a Bible-believing church as part of a remediation plan.)

Will authentic Bible-believing Christians (as opposed to the compromised, homosexuality-affirming variety) be boxed out of the counseling profession? If so, faithful Christians will have to support alternative counseling institutions, because unrepentant homosexuality will never be compatible with Christianity. And there are way too many happy ex-gays and ex-lesbians out there for sexually struggling people not to be given this healthy option.

Modern “diversity” is to genuine diversity as Marxist-Leninist “People’s Democratic Republics” are to true democracy. Wouldn’t true “diversity” allow people to exercise their own choice to see either a pro-homosexual counselor or one that adheres to traditional moral views? I guess that’s asking too much of left-wing academics and the pro-“GLBTQ” movement.  — Peter LaBarbera, www.aftah.org 

P.S. Check out this Queety blog post on the Keeton case. It contains a video of Keeton giving her side of the story. Note the nasty and irrational pro-homosexual comments that follow the Queerty post, including this one:

Imagine if a KKK member became a firefighter and said “If a black person is in a fire I’m not going to save their life. It’s against my beliefs.” Rubbish.

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LifeSiteNews reports [Click HERE to subscribe to LifeSite’s daily e-mails.]:

Augusta State Univ. to Counseling Student: Change Beliefs or Get Out

AUGUSTA, Georgia, July 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed suit against Augusta State University Wednesday on behalf of a counseling student who was allegedly told that her Christian beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the prevailing views of the counseling profession. The student, Jennifer Keeton, says she has been told to stop communicating her beliefs and that she must undergo “training” to accept homosexuality in order to graduate from the counseling program.

Augusta State ordered Keeton to undergo a re-education plan, in which she must attend “diversity sensitivity training,” complete additional remedial reading, and write papers to describe their impact on her beliefs. If she does not change her beliefs or agree to the plan, the university says it will expel her from the Counselor Education Program.

“A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French.

“Abandoning one’s own religious beliefs should not be a precondition at a public university for obtaining a degree. This type of leftist zero-tolerance policy is in place at far too many universities, and it must stop.”

Keeton, 24, is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling at Augusta State. Lawyers say that after her professors learned of her biblical beliefs, specifically her views on homosexual conduct, the school imposed the re-education plan. Keeton says she never denigrated anyone in communicating her beliefs but merely stated factually what they were in appropriate contexts.

The plan, according to ADF lawyers, assails Keeton’s beliefs as inconsistent with the counseling profession and expresses suspicion over “Jen’s ability to be a multiculturally competent counselor, particularly with regard to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (GLBTQ) populations.” They say the plan requires her to take steps to change her beliefs through additional assignments and additional “diversity sensitivity training” and to “work to increase exposure and interactions with gay populations. One such activity could be attending the Gay Pride Parade in Augusta.”

Each month, Keeton is allegedly required to complete a report on how the “remediation” assignments have influenced her beliefs so that faculty can “decide the appropriateness of her continuation in the counseling program.” Lawyers say the plan concludes by noting that “failure to complete all elements of the remediation plan will result in dismissal from the Counselor Education Program.”

In an ADF video, Keeton said that, “While I want to stay in the school counseling program, I know that I can’t honestly complete the remediation plan knowing that I would have to alter my beliefs.” “I’m not willing to, and I know I can’t, change my Biblical views,” she said.

ADF attorneys filed the complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction in Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley with the U.S. District Court for the District of Georgia.

ADF is currently litigating a similar case involving a counseling student at Eastern Michigan University and successfully resolved a case at Missouri State University. Also in litigation is a case involving a Georgia counselor fired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because she would not agree to affirm homosexual behavior as morally acceptable.


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