Dictatorship of Relativism. Catholic Professor Fired for Being Catholic
Professor Howell is a hero
Professor Howell is a victim of the "Dictatorship of Relativism" which Pope Benedict XVI warned of. This is an egregious violation of constitutional rights and overt censorship of speech unpopular to the Cultural revolutionaries who have grabbed the reigns of Western society. Warning to all who hold that truth exists in an age which has followed the pied piper of relativism.
URBANA, IL (Catholic Online) - From every indicator, Professor Ken Howell was an exemplary professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign. He is a faithful Catholic, in fact a convert from the Presbyterian Church and ministry, who was asked to teach courses on the Catholic faith and intellectual tradition. He is extraordinarily qualified on every front. He taught those courses in complete fidelity to the magisterium, the teaching office, of the Catholic Church.
He is now a victim of the "Dictatorship of Relativism" which Pope Benedict XVI warned of in the homily he gave prior to the Conclave wherein he was chosen to become the successor of the Apostle Peter. This egregious violation of the Professors constitutional rights and overt censorship of speech which is unpopular to the Cultural revolutionaries who have grabbed the reigns of Western society, is now being reviewed by the Alliance Defense Fund for a legal response.
I wanted our readers to have the full presentation from the Professor himself. The implications of what has happened in Illinois are IMMENSE and will be the subject of further articles. I first read of this travesty from Tom Peters article on Catholic Vote Action. I was glad to see the Fox Network cover it as well. Several news sources have picked up on it. Here is the Professors own account:
I write this short narrative to explain why I am no longer teaching at the University of Illinois and am not employed by the Diocese of Peoria as of 30 June 2010. First, a little background.
I came to Champaign-Urbana in August of 1998 to be employed by the St. John's Catholic Newman Center as a teacher in the courses of the Catholic faith that were then taught through the Center. For seven years I enjoyed a working relationship with Monsignor Stuart W. Swetland, the Director of the Center, who taught alongside me in that program. In 2000, Monsignor Swetland negotiated an agreement with the Department of Religion in which he and I would be adjunct professors in the department and would teach courses on Catholicism. We simultaneously established the Institute of Catholic Thought of which I became the Director and Senior Fellow. The purpose of the Institute was to promote the intellectual heritage of the western world in which Catholicism played such an integral role.
Since the Fall of 2001, I have been regularly teaching two courses in the Department of Religion. Since Monsignor Swetland's departure in May of 2006, I have taught the equivalent of a full-time professor every semester, sometimes even more. This past semester (Spring 2010) something occurred which changed an otherwise idyllic academic life. One of the courses I have taught since 2001 has been "Introduction to Catholicism." I think that it is fair to say that many students at the University of Illinois have benefited greatly from this and other teaching I have done. Every semester in that "Introduction" class, I gave two lectures dealing with Catholic Moral positions. One was an explanation of Natural Moral Law as affirmed by the Church. The second was designed as an application of Natural Law Theory to a disputed issue in our society. Most of those semesters, my chosen topic was the moral status of homosexual acts. I would be happy to explain more fully the Catholic Church's position on this matter but, for the sake of brevity, I can summarize it as follows. A homosexual orientation is not morally wrong just as no moral guilt can be assigned to any inclination that a person has. However, based on natural moral law, the Church believes that homosexual acts are contrary to human nature and therefore morally wrong. This is what I taught in my class.
This past semester was unusual. In previous years, I had students who might have disagreed with the Church's position but they did so respectfully and without incident. This semester (Spring 2010) I noticed the most vociferous reaction that I have ever had. It seemed out of proportion to all that I had known thus far. To help students understand better how this issue might be decided within competing moral systems, I sent them an email contrasting utilitarianism (in the populist sense) and natural moral law. If we take utilitarianism to be a kind of cost-benefit analysis, I tried to show them that under utilitarianism, homosexual acts would not be considered immoral whereas under natural moral law they would. This is because natural moral law, unlike utilitarianism, judges morality on the basis of the acts themselves.
After the semester was over, I was called into the office of Robert McKim, the chairman of the Department of Religion, who was in possession of this email. I was told that someone (I presume one of my students) sent this email to the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Concerns at the ...
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