“Live as people who are free…” – 1 Peter 2:16a
Philosopher, Dr. Nicholas Meriwether is a professor at Shawnee State University where he teaches courses in political philosophy, ethics, and religion. His nightmare began three years ago, when a male student approached him after class and said that he identified as a transgender woman, and, furthermore, demanded that he be addressed by feminine pronouns.
When Dr. Meriwether respectfully expressed his concerns and denied the student’s request, the student became belligerent and sought to have the university punish the professor. The university responded to the student’s complaint by trying to coerce Dr. Meriwether into using the student’s preferred pronouns.
Dr. Meriwether decided to fight back and stand strong for his First Amendment right to free speech. In 2018, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on Dr. Meriwether’s behalf. In March of 2021, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in favor of Dr. Meriwether, where the Court upheld his First Amendment rights and ruled that he shouldn’t be forced to speak a message that violates his convictions.
In conjunction with this ruling, recently, the university and Dr. Meriwether reached a settlement in Meriwether v. The Trustees of Shawnee State University where the school has agreed to pay $400,000 in damages and Meriwether’s attorneys’ fees. Furthermore, the university has agreed that Dr. Meriwether will never be mandated to use specific pronouns that violate his beliefs.
Praise the Lord, Dr. Meriwether’s First Amendment rights have now been fully vindicated. This is not only a gigantic victory for him, professors, and universities, but this is also a gigantic victory for Americans’ right to free speech.
LET US PRAY…
Father, we praise You, for this gigantic victory for Dr. Meriwether and for free speech in America. Lord, help each one of us as Americans to exhibit strength and courage as we stand for our precious God-given rights. Father, may the universities in this nation truly be centers for the freedom of ideas and not institutions of coercion. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.