Jennifer Keeton, Augusta State University and the First Amendment

Which of those three doesn’t belong? According to Augusta State University, Jennifer Keeton. This brave young woman is a graduate student in education/counseling. The university has told her that she has to renounce her Christian beliefs or be expelled. Supposedly, her views do not align with accepted norms of counselors, teachers or faculty members at ASU. Wow.

Capt’n Ed:

It sounds to me like the ACA [American Counseling Association] wants a “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule for religion. That runs square into the First Amendment, especially for a state-run school. The ACA’s idea of who comes first doesn’t get to trump the restriction on freedom of religious exercise. If clients get off-put by Keeton’s approach to counseling, they can look for another counselor. Now, the ACA can decide not to certify her; as a private organization, they have that prerogative. If they do that explicitly based on her religious belief, however, they may have a problem with that in court, especially as it will block Keeton’s ability to make a living.

The state-run school has no such leeway. They cannot impose a religious test for graduation, no matter how they dress it up.

Ms. Keeton has sued, stating that ASU actively violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of religion. She is being represented by the Alliance Defense Fund.

More at the AJC. And more to come…but you can bet it won’t be in the MSM.

Where are the Board of Regents? Aren’t they the governing body of the public higher ed institutions in Georgia? Hello? Anybody in there?

1 Comment

  1. July 30, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Very interesting article, thanks. Keep up the good work.


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