Point Counterpoint: Psychologist suspended for discrimination

Faith and work cannot mix- Eric Naing

The Minneapolis Police Department has temporarily suspended psychologist Michael A. Campion of the Champaign-based firm Campion, Barrow & Associates. Community members questioned whether Campion’s association with the conservative Illinois Family Institute would prevent him from administering psychological screenings for potential police officers without any bias.

Members of the Police Community Relations Council met with Campion and were apparently disturbed by the things he said about race and single parents. Former State Fair police officer and Bloomington firefighter Lisa Epps says that during her screening with Campion, “he was asking me questions about being a single parent, and then he would make facial expressions,” and that she “felt like he was judging me.”

Ron Jones, a sworn Minnesota patrol officer of 16 years and an African American, believes he was rejected due to Campion’s views on race.

Campion previously was criticized after two black candidates were rejected from the Springfield Fire Department based on his “psych eval.” Campion, Barrow & Associates has also been a target of the NAACP.

Campion co-authored a 1977 article for the Christian group American Scientific Affiliation which sought to “define the problem of homosexuality and recommend a treatment.” In it, Campion compares homosexuality to adultery, says it is based on selfishness and blatantly states that he makes scientific conclusions based on “scripture.”

Campion sat on the Board of the Illinois Family Institute which claims to be a “non-profit organization dedicated to upholding and re-affirming marriage, family, life and liberty in Illinois.” Some of the organization’s more notable accomplishments were its failed attempts to gather enough signatures for an anti-gay marriage amendment in Illinois and to get sponsors to pull out of the Gay Games in Chicago. The IFI also openly promoted the 2006 Illinois convention of the Constitution Party which can be traced back to the racist presidential campaign of George Wallace and which draws support from neo-Confederate groups in the south.

The IFI says that Campion’s dismissal is “one of the most blatant acts of anti-Christian bigotry and discrimination” and was the result of the “militant homosexual lobby, aided by willing liberal activists in high-level positions of government.”

The Minneapolis Police Department was not opposing Christianity or people of faith. It was suspending a man who has been accused multiple times of bias against African Americans, single parents and homosexuals and who was an active leader in an anti-gay organization.

Radical Christian groups need to stop victimizing themselves. They have a massive influence over the government and media. Their beliefs prevent millions of homosexuals from having the same rights as everyone else and millions of women from having control of their own bodies. The vast majority of Christians are good people, and it is painful to watch a few radicals hijack the entire religion to serve their narrow-minded purposes. Minneapolis has nothing against Christians; what it does have a problem with are people whose reactionary beliefs prevent them from faithfully executing their jobs.

Just because he’s different- John Bambenek

Recently, the Minneapolis Police Department suspended from work psychologist Michael Campion when it found out that he used to belong to a group that opposes gay marriage.

?Despite an outside consultant rating Campion as outstanding and procedurally fair and despite having no complaints whatsoever, he was suspended because the community relations board did not like his affiliation to the Illinois Family Institute. That’s it.

When Campion performed a similar service for Illinois, there were allegations that he had a problem with single mothers and minorities. Those complaints had their day in court, and they were found to be, well, unfounded. No investigation has ever shown any bias on the part of Campion. Still, some pundits will bring up these unfounded allegations to bolster their claims. But bringing them up, despite his judicially determined innocence, is just an attempt to throw whatever they can find against the wall in the hope that something sticks. In a word, it is un-American.

The only matter of objection is Campion’s former affiliation with the Illinois Family Institute. This year, the IFI tried, unsuccessfully, to have an advisory ballot referendum on whether marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman in the state of Illinois. After spending millions of dollars and enormous amounts of effort, the LGBT community has had this question censored from the ballot. Even allowing the public to express their opinion in a non-binding way has the leaders of the LGBT community in a state of fear.

Demanding public recognition without giving the public a say is also in a word, un-American.

In short, Campion has been deemed unqualified for his job based on his Christian beliefs. There can be no intelligent debate on this issue because that is simply the fact. Campion was targeted because he believes that homosexuality is morally wrong and that homosexuals can change their orientation.

There is simply nothing alleged or otherwise that shows he is anything but extremely qualified for his job. Much like Rocco Buttiglione who was denied any seat in the European Union cabinet for simply being Catholic, the LGBT lobby has shown that it is more than willing to persecute anyone whose only crime is to be “different.”

The LGBT community does have a legitimate complaint about many of the injustices that have been visited on them. However, that does not entitle them to pursue a course of fascism. Campion has not advocated violence against gays nor has he sought to isolate them from society. Instead he disagrees with a personal choice that gays make. Orientation may or may not be a choice, but their actions are. Making rational choices is a defining feature that separates man from animals.

At a gay marriage debate last year I challenged the audience to come up with a reason to for me to support gay marriage. If their treatment of Campion is the response, I’ve found more than enough reason to say “no.”

I am a state employee, and I am against gay marriage. Will they start lobbying the Provost to have me fired next because I am “different?”

How is that being any different than those that killed Matthew Shepherd?