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‘Gays Are Immoral’ Catholic Studies Professor Kenneth Howell Can Keep His Job

Kenneth Howell, the Catholic studies University of Illinois professor who lost his job after nine years over an email he sent to students teaching them about the immorality of homosexuality, will keep his job.

The university says in a statement Howell will be welcomed back for the fall term, which is quite the about-face for the school after latching on to the email — which included statements like:

To the best of my knowledge, in a sexual relationship between two men, one of them tends to act as the “woman” while the other acts as the “man.” In this scenario, homosexual men have been known to engage in certain types of actions for which their bodies are not fitted. I don’t want to be too graphic so I won’t go into details but a physician has told me that these acts are deleterious to the health of one or possibly both of the men. Yet, if the morality of the act is judged only by mutual consent, then there are clearly homosexual acts which are injurious to their health but which are consented to. Why are they injurious? Because they violate the meaning, structure, and (sometimes) health of the human body.

See, it’s not that Howell, a practicing Catholic, actually meant to brainwash his students with any of those words (which were in preparation for an exam). He just wanted to communicate what the Vatican thought about fags. Which he just happens to think, too. Naturally, the Catholics are happy.

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  • Wolvesbleedink

    What the heck? Really? Being gay is a violation to the human body? ass hole

  • Devon

    So the University of Illinois endorses the idea that gay sex is a violation of the human body. Well, that’s good to know.

  • Tallskin

    I think we have to realise that Catholic ideas on gay sex, straight sex, sex in general, porn, democracy, abortion, women’s rights and even choosing our own identity as individuals and as a society, are close to Fascism, quite literally.

    If you read this man, Christopher Ferrara who is president and chief counsel of the American Catholic Lawyers’ Association, an organisation dedicated to the defence of the rights of Catholics in civil litigation, you will see what i mean. He believes that the church should impose its views on society for the good of society, which is as close to a definition of fascism as I know.

  • the crustybastard

    “Freedom of speech” doesn’t mean “freedom from consequences.”

    Oh, and Catholics are immoral.

  • mac

    “to engage in certain types of actions for which their bodies are not fitted.”

    I think Sullivan said it best one day: of course it fits. If it didnt fit we’d go off and do something else.. like play golf.

  • shlong

    His diatribe is wrong but he should not be fired from academia for it as long as students are not intimidated by his status and he does not commit academic fraud and plagiarism.. We have university professors who express radical and controversial ideas all the time but rarely do they lose their jobs over it. Chomsky or Ales anyone?

  • desdemona

    why is this guy so interested in the topic of gays anyway? god, these ‘religious’ closet cases are so annoying.

    the body is not meant for anal sex? with this reasoning he should also be against oral sex or any kind of sex outside of penis/vagina. but no, he fails to make that connection in the tiny brain of his.


    Interesting the Catholic Church should be 100% happy with his hate spewing towards the Gays………

    “homosexual men have been known to engage in certain types of actions for which their bodies are not fitted”

    Tell me Professor Howell what are your thoughts on the thousands of priests engaged in certain types of actions for which little boys bodies are not fitted to also??????…………

  • Syl

    @ Tallskin: Actually, yeah… the Catholic Church opposed separation of church and state, still opposes Capitalism and money-lending with interest, and the current Pope (Ratfuck Ratzinger the former Hitlerjugend) even defended the Church’s handling of Galileo, even though he admitted that he was right about heliocentricity, because of “the ethical and social consequences of Galileo’s teaching…”. In other words, “He found out we’d been lying to people for centuries, and we realized it’d look bad if people found that out”.

    And of course “freedom” to Catholicism is only properly used if you use it to choose to follow God and his alleged teachings-in other words, relinquishing all freedom. And then you’re supposed to be happy about it.

    No sincere Catholic wishes for anything short of global theocracy under the Vatican, the same way that Dominionist Evangelicals like Palin wish to turn this nation into a Christian Iran.

  • David in Houston

    He wasn’t talking about Christianity when he sent out that email. He was talking about his personal views about homosexuality. I don’t recall there being anything in the Bible about same-sex couples with one of the men pretending to be a woman. Which passage was that again? I’m guessing that it’s right near the passage that compares homosexuality to incest and bestiality. Perhaps it’s in the same section of the Bible that explains why people have sex-change operations: So they can have new deviant ways to have sex. That’s right… none of those things appear in the Bible.

    This man is an idiot, regardless of his religious beliefs. They should have stood by his firing. He’s unfit to teach.

  • Hyhybt

    @Syl: I know quite a lot of sincere Catholics who want no such thing….

    But if he was hired to teach Catholicism, it’s hardly reasonable to act surprised when he says something along the lines of what he did.

  • Jeffree

    The problem with this ‘professor” wasn’t that he was espousing Catholic theological viewpoints per se, but that he started going way past those teachings into biology & psychology & politics, which he is unqualified to teach. I absolutely disagree with that sect’s beliefs on human sexu.ality, of course, but if you take that class, you know what will be taught. When he branches out and starts offering personal opinions, he is outta-line.

    I’m surprised he didn’t get put on some form of academic prob.ation.

  • B

    No. 5 · mac wrote, “‘to engage in certain types of actions for which their bodies are not fitted.'” … the doctor probably was referring to fisting, which can cause injuries. The religious nut then broadened the scope – at least, that’s my guess.

    It really isn’t out of line for a college professor to express a personal opinion in class as long as the students are not penalized for disagreeing. This isn’t high school – college students are supposed to learn to think for themselves.

    I once heard a lecture by a sociology professor who expressed his opinion of religion (he viewed it as kind of a racket), and if you were religious you would not be a happy camper. Would we want him fired for doing that? If not, then you just might have to apply the same standard to a professor with an opposing opinion.

  • adam

    @Hyhybt: But Catholics themselves don’t actually define Catholic doctrine. The Holy See does that (which is one of few theocracies existing today.)

  • hephaestion

    What a dumb fuck. Sounds like he is a self-loathing closet case to me.

  • Dawson

    College is supposed to be a place where you get all kinds of opposing view points and get to figure out what you believe. Rather we like it or not, bigots are as needed in the college atmosphere as non-bigots are. Its that free flow and exchange of thoughts and ideas that allow students to form their own belief systems. That is what education is supposed to be about.

  • Dawson

    I think you guys are also overlooking how broad the medical community is and just how many differing opinions that they do have. Many people in the medical community honestly do espouse the belief that anal sex can be dangerous to the human condition.

  • Jones

    Whether we like it or not, homosexuality is not immoral, but it is an aberration of nature. In the biological scheme of things, it serves no purpose. By now we should’ve been extinct, but genes are not perfect, as any one who has studied genetic diseases, defects and rarities will tell you. It may not be kosher and p.c. to say this, but, alas, it’s a fact.

  • Jones

    @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: And most of those priests are gay, so please, do not bring up that argument. It is not in our interest.

  • Jeffree

    “Dawson” and “Jones” are Jason, in case you missed this obviousness :-)


    @Jones: So therefore they get a pass for fucking little boys?????????????

  • Bill Perdue

    Religion is the enemy and humankinds greatest tragedy.

    Bigots and bigotry should be banned in classroom settings in publically funded schools.

    Cult schools, hospitals and ‘charitable institutions’ should be secularized without compensation to prevent the rape of children by priests, imans, rabbis, ministers, preachers, ministers and pastors.

    Tax the cults.

    Arrest the pope as an accomplice to the rape of children.

  • Jones

    @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: NO, learn how to read moron. And Jeffree, go back to your mama. Ur stupid.

  • Christine


    “Whether we like it or not, homosexuality is not immoral, but it is an aberration of nature. In the biological scheme of things, it serves no purpose.”

    Aberration is a term loaded with normative values. I’m an environmental engineer, not an evolutionary biologist, but no biologist I know would ever use the term ‘aberration of nature’.

    Furthermore, I think most researchers would strongly dispute your notion that homosexuality serves no functional purpose (what you labeled as ‘biological purpose’). It’s true that immediate reproductive purposes aren’t always clear, but homosexuality is a widespread phenonmenon in the animal kingdom, and there are many hypotheses as to its function/purpose/role.

  • Jones

    @Christine: You said it. Hypothesis. Things people come u with when 1) they have no clue 2) they want to cover their asses. And like you said, you are not an evolutionary biologist. Stick to engineering sweetie.

  • Christine


    “Hypothesis. Things people come u with when 1) they have no clue 2) they want to cover their asses.”

    So you’re berating science while simultaneously trying to make a sweeping statement as to the function of homosexuality? And you don’t see the inherent contradiction in this?

    And do you even know the requirements involved in my degree? I qualified my statement because I’m not an active researcher in the field. But I do have colleagues working in the field, and they’re quite a bit more qualified to make statements on the subject than you are.

    If you want to make a naturalistic argument, you need to discard your sweeping statements and actually read up on biology from the past twenty years or so.

  • ewe

    Catholics think everyone is immoral. Who gives a shit?

  • ewe

    @Tallskin: The army of hate has been instructed to continue ever since the Courts ruled that the the pope, who must curtail his rhetoric, can now be subpoenaed to testify.

  • Kenthomes

    Shut your stupid piehole Jones. You are the one who does not know what the hell you are talking about. It is indisputable that homosexuality has always existed and is currently existing in most species of the animal kingdom – of which we are a part. Therefore, it is NATURAL – it is just not COMMON. You give the same BS arguments bigots and hatemongerors give. Nature is all about infinite DIVERSITY. It is not just about being able to procreate. Homosexuality obviously serves a purpose for which science is currently studying and will come up with answers in the not too distant future.

  • B

    No. 15 · Dawson wrote, “Many people in the medical community honestly do espouse the belief that anal sex can be dangerous to the human condition.” …. probably the ones who treated people suffering from the side effects of “double fisting” that sometimes occur or some of the unfortunately consequences of barebacking.

    Keep in mind that all the caveats that a doctor adds usually get dropped when a homophobe repeats the statement.

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