A federal district court has just deemed the Christian convictions of a Shawnee State University professor regarding human sexuality and biological gender to be insufficient grounds for his refusal to use a transgender student’s preferred pronouns.
Now, Nicholas Meriwether, a professor of religion and philosophy, must use the names and pronouns determined by his transgender students or lose his job.
Meriwether had developed a classroom practice of addressing students with such titles as Mr. or Ms. and their last name.
According to Alliance Defending Freedom, a biologically male transgender student of Meriwether’s approached him in 2018, asking him to use feminine pronouns. Meriwether declined, and attempted to compromise with the student and simply refer to him by his last name.
The student refused to accept this compromise and reportedly “became aggressive, circling around him, getting in his face in a threatening fashion, while telling him, ‘Then I guess this means I can call you a c**t.’” The student then threatened to have Meriwether fired and filed a formal complaint with the university.
One can’t help but note how incredibly aggressive these “trans women” get when they’re “misgendered.” Headlines are packed with stories of these folks exploding and verbally or physically attacking anyone who fails to acknowledge their “identity.” Talk about toxic masculinity!
Unsurprisingly, the university sided with the student and formally charged Meriwether, the one who did not throw an expletive-laden tantrum, with creating a “hostile” environment and violating the university’s anti-discrimination policy. Meriwether turned to ADF, who filed the lawsuit against the school on his behalf.
Earlier this month, however, the court dismissed the suit for failing to effectively prove he faced discrimination for his beliefs.
“Plaintiff’s refusal to address a student in class in accordance with the student’s gender identity does not implicate broader societal concerns and the free speech clause of the First Amendment under the circumstances of this case,” the judgment read, arguing that the use of titles is not considered “speech.”
The court further determined the professor had not been compelled to use speech he morally opposed, as the university gave him the option of either removing all gendered titles from his classroom or addressing each student according to his or her individual preference.
The court also rejected Meriwether’s religious objections, upholding the university’s position that accommodating his religious views would open them up to accommodating “racist or sexist” views as well. One of these things is not like the others!!
Of course, LGBTQ Nation lauded the judgment, declaring that “the Constitution doesn’t protect a Christian teacher harassing transgender students, even if it’s his ‘sincerely held religious belief.’”
This is clearly a harbinger of worsening conditions in higher education for committed Christians. We are being marginalized, silenced, and painted as bigots for our convictions.
If we comply, if we allow ourselves to be stifled, it won’t end there. We must take a stand!
Pray that Meriwether and ADF would be able to appeal this wicked ruling!
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