Student Story

Professor Kenneth Howell - Religion and Education

Professor Kenneth Howell was fired from the University of Illinois after he taught students Catholic thought about human sexuality in a class that was about Catholic thought. Students were apparently offended to even hear traditional Catholic ideas in a class they chose to attend.

religion and educationDr. Kenneth Howell, who had been teaching at the university since 2001, was relieved of his duties based in part on an anonymous complaint sent via e-mail to university officials.  The e-mail was sent by the friend of an anonymous student who claimed to be “offended” by a May 4 e-mail Howell sent to students elaborating on a class discussion on Catholic beliefs about sexual behavior.  The May 4 e-mail from Howell addressed a May 3 lecture in which he explained how the Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual conduct. He properly stated the church’s teaching that homosexual conduct is morally wrong, framing the issue in the context of natural moral law.

Recent studies have shown that Christian professors are among the least likely to be promoted even after controlling for such things as educational accomplishment and peer-reviewed publications. ADF cases like Mike Adams’ ongoing suit against officials from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and June Sheldon's against officials from San Jose City College demonstrate that professors can be denied promotions or even fired not just for expressing their viewpoint but for even teaching accurate scientific facts that are not politically correct.

Political correctness has trumped academic freedom at the University of Illinois. Alliance Defending Freedom is intervening to defend Professor Howell and to preserve true academic freedom in America’s campuses.



Demand Letter sent to University of Illinois officials.

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