I’m guessing Ward intends to go into Christian counseling, where values are very much part of the therapeutic approach, but wanted to get solid training in the counseling field. The problem is that you can’t enter into a secular program but demand that it be twisted around to fit religious values. As Jesse says:
You have a First Amendment right to believe what you want without the government barring you from believing it or forcing you to believe something else. You don’t have a First Amendment right to grant yourself a blanket exemption from the religion-neutral requirements of the professional degree you voluntarily chose to pursue.
Quite so. Professional degree programs are there for the benefit of the public, all of it. If Ward or her defenders feel that gays and lesbians don’t deserve counseling, that’s their prerogative. But that’s what private, non-ACA-accredited programs are for.
Again as Jesse says, lawsuits like this are attempts to dominate the culture. He doesn’t use the word, but I will: it’s bullying to get special treatment.
I will only add that it doesn’t strike me as particularly Christian, either. We can talk about Jesus’ ministry to people outside the Jewish tribe, even with initial reluctance. But really it comes down to common sense. The best way to testify to the loving grace of Jesus Christ is to listen with patience and kindness to people in need. “Orthodox Christians” like Ward may say they feel a responsibility to testify to The Truth as they know it, including proclaiming Christ’s judgment on sin. That’s their gospel, and they’re welcome to it. I’ve never known that approach to help much of anybody, therapeutically or pastorally.