Eastern Michigan University’s motto is “Education First.” Perhaps that motto should read “PC Education First, Last and Everywhere Between…”

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 Freedom of religion was dealt another blow this week when a federal judge ruled in favor of EMU removed a Christian student named Julea Ward from its graduate program in school counseling because Ward believes that homosexual behavior is morally wrong. Monday’s ruling could result in Christian students across the country being expelled from public university for similar views.

“It’s a very dangerous precedent,” said Jeremy Tedesco, attorney for the conservative Alliance Defense Fund . “The ruling doesn’t say that explicitly, but that’s what is going to happen.”

U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh dismissed Ward’s lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University. She filed the case after she was removed from the school’s counseling program last year because she refused to counsel homosexual clients according to the guidelines of tolerance stipulated by the school. The school claimed that Ward’s refusal violated the American Counseling Association code of ethics.

“Christian students shouldn’t be expelled for holding to and abiding by their beliefs,” countered ADF senior counsel David French. “To reach its decision, the court had to do something that’s never been done in federal court: uphold an extremely broad and vague university speech code.”

This action is yet one more example of the erosion of a freedom of conscience and of religious liberty. Several court decision of late including a Supreme Court ruling last month have placed specific limits on religious speech and practice in public institutions. We need be concerned, wary, watchful and most of all prayerful about this trend.  Christians should never be surprised when persecution arises. We should not be passive about it either, particularly in this great nation built on the both the great Judeo-Christian tradition of moral values and freedom of conscience, speech and faith.

“God, we expect opposition to our faith and values. We know that our loyalty to your word and our commitment to abide by your stated standards will generate resistance and reaction from those who want to break free from your standards of right and wrong. We know this and are willing to bear the consequences of our obedience. Still, we pray for your protection in the midst of this opposition and we pray for your intervention. We pray that you will reach out and salvage the great and rare gift that is America. We ask you to bless America and in particular to preserve the unique freedoms we enjoy, the freedoms of conscience and speech and the liberty to live as our convictions determine. We ask for all those who are now taking dangerous and bold stands for their faith and morals in places hostile to your Word. There is a tolerance for everything but moral standards. Forgive us a people for wandering, and give us a new birth of freedom and moral courage based on a revived commitment to your never-changing standard, the Word of God expressed in Scripture. In Jesus…”

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