There is an interesting story developing down at Pat Robertson’s Regent University. It seems as if one of the students, Adam M. Key, doesn’t seem to like Robertson much and doesn’t really fit the stereotype of the typical Regent student:
Key, a bearded 23-year-old with a tableau of tattoos, would seem an odd fit at the evangelical Christian institution Robertson founded in 1978.
Key, a Lutheran, describes himself as a “liberal Christian” who heads the campus’ small “Christian Left” organization.
The tattoos reflect his passion for justice and the legal system. The colorful jumble of images features the U.S. Constitution written on a scroll, the Magna Carta, the Torah, phrases such as “due process,” and men of principle such as Martin Luther, Sir Thomas More and former Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
One startling image shows Osama bin Laden juxtaposed with Robertson.
“I believe they’re both reprehensible people,” Key said, “but I defend their right to believe whatever they want.”
Key, who is from Texas, said he had wanted to attend a Christian institution with a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, such as Regent. One motivating factor, he said, was “the opportunity to show people that liberalism isn’t a sin.”
Key said he has a grade-point average close to 3.0 and that he’s on track to graduate from the three-year program in 2½ years. He said he was only vaguely familiar with Robertson and his political views when he applied to Regent.
Key reportedly posted a photo of Robertson appearing to make an obscene hand gesture on his Facebook page, which he took from a freeze-frame of a YouTube video of Robertson scratching his face on “The 700 Club” – and apparently the folks at Regent didn’t find it funny:
Regent officials gave Key two choices: publicly apologize for posting the picture and refrain from commenting about the matter in a “public medium,” or write a brief defending the posting. He faces punishment that could include expulsion.
Key, a second-year law student, said he refused to apologize and “be muzzled” by the university, so he composed the document, which includes citations from noted First Amendment cases.
Key said that Jeffrey Brauch, dean of the law school, rejected his brief and that he now awaits disciplinary action under the university’s Standard of Personal Conduct. At one point during the controversy, Key said, he was escorted by three armed security guards from the university’s public relations office.
And now Robertson U. has gone a step further and ordered Key to submit to a Regent-approved mental health counselor:
Adam M. Key, 23, was ordered to undergo a mental-health evaluation before he can return to classes. He also was ordered to undergo counseling if a mental-health provider that is acceptable to the university deems it appropriate, and to provide a report showing that he has completed any treatment plan required.
Key also must agree to allow the mental-health provider to provide regular updates on his treatment to the school.
Presumably, Key’s case won’t be discussed when Regent Law School students gather for this:
LAW 774 First Amendment Law (3) Survey of the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Topics covered include freedom of religion, the establishment clause, freedom of speech and freedom of the press.