University of Illinois professor found to be teaching Catholic thought, fired.
A University of Illinois at Champaign student was outraged, outraged I say, to discover that an adjunct professor teaching "Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought" was actually teaching Catholic thought (based on natural moral law) on
He/she (the student was not identified) fired off an e-mail to the head of the university's religion department (copying homosexual advocates) complaining that the teacher was
insensitive. Note that the student did not argue the merits or demerits of natural law philosophy versus utilitarianism, the point that the professor, Kenneth Howell, was making.
The university was so impressed with the student's (il)logic that it sprang into action and, as a certain sports announcer might say, "He gone!"
This perhaps is the most boneheaded decision to come out of this public supported university in memory. Contrary to the assertions by the student, Howell emphatically stated that he was not requiring concurrence or agreement in the subject matter. He also tried to explain to his students that this teaching wasn't simply a religious edict. As he said in his e-mail:
As a final note, a perceptive reader will have noticed that none of what I have said here or in class depends upon religion. Catholics don't arrive at their moral conclusions based on their religion. They do so based on a thorough understanding of natural reality.
The university's hypocrisy is self-evident (except to the student and kindred spirits), so I won't dwell on that. Maybe we could just talk some common sense:
Religion is a proper subject to be taught in school, not to proselytize, but to examine one avenue of human thought, as it might teach economics or social policy. Acceptance of the subject matter is not required, but the understanding of it is. And there can by no understanding unless the subject is taught and learned.
It is clear from the professor's e-mail to the students (which he had sent to help them prepare for an examine) was not proselytizing but explanatory. Any twits can see that. But, obviously, the University of Illinois is full of twits, both in the student body and administration.
The e-mail that prompted the complaint is here.
The student's e-mail complaint is here.
P.S. Even more astonishing, Howell was fired from his job at the university, he also bounced from his position from the local Newman Center. Apparently the local diocese has become as addled-brained as the university.