There used to be a time when universities were known for being bastions of freedom of speech in which openness to ideas and genuine intellectual inquiry were affirmed. But that is no longer the case at many Western campuses. Instead a stifling political correctness is curtailing open debate and unfettered learning.
More and more we find the major universities have now become a hot house for secular left ideology. Christians and conservatives have a difficult time making a go of things at such places, and many are now becoming the target of official campaigns of anti-Christian bigotry.
There has been a lot of documentation on this, with full-length treatments available for some time now. Back in 1991 Dinesh D’Souza wrote, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. The stranglehold of political correctness and leftwing ideology was well in place by then, and case after depressing case of this are documented by D’Souza.
He makes clear that this radical transformation of the universities is having serious repercussions: “instead of liberal education, what American students are getting is its diametrical opposite, an education in closed-mindedness and intolerance, which is to say, illiberal education.”
Plenty of other writers have spoken to this issue. Other volumes worth mentioning include:
-Jim Nelson Black, Freefall of the American University: How Our Colleges Are Corrupting the Minds and Morals of the Next Generation (Thomas Nelson, 2004).
-Roger Kimball, Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Higher Education (HarperCollins, 1990).
-Alan Charles Kors, The Shadow University: The Betrayal Of Liberty On America’s Campuses (Harper Paperbacks, 1999).
-Ben Shapiro, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (Thomas Nelson, 2004).
David Horowitz, himself a former Marxist, has written a number of books on this topic. In 2007 for example he wrote The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (Regnery) in which he examines in detail some of these radicals in academia.
And in 2009 he penned One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy (Crown Forum). In it he examines twelve major US universities, and how academic standards have been brushed aside for the advancement of radical social and political agendas.
So when we find cases of ridiculous PC or leftist tyranny on campus, we should not be surprised. But still, surprises can and do occur. Just yesterday a new example of this PC idiocy made the light of day. It concerns the University of California at Davis.
They have a document entitled “The Principles of Community.” In it we find this definition of “Religious/Spiritual Discrimination”: “The loss of power and privilege to those who do not practice the dominant culture’s religion. In the United States, this is institutionalized oppressions toward those who are not Christian.”
There you have it folks. According to the intellectualoids at UCD, Christianity is an oppressive religion, and is guilty of gross discrimination simply for being the majority religion in the US. Well I am glad we have that settled. Good to know who the real bullies are.
Evidently Christianity was singled out as a discriminatory oppressor group. So what about other religious groups in the US, like Muslims? Is UCD telling us they are oppressed victims of Christian discrimination? So to be fair, if UC opened an extension campus in Saudi Arabia, would they be telling us Islam is a discriminatory oppressor religion? Somehow I just don’t think so.
What we have here is discrimination all right. But it is discrimination against Christians by a loony left secular university. They are the ones who are being discriminatory. They are the ones engaging in oppression. They are the ones who make clear their contempt of opposing viewpoints.
So much for academic freedom. So much for freedom of speech. So much for free inquiry and open minds. The funny thing is, the secular left, in its hatred of the Judeo-Christian worldview, is lopping off the very branch it is sitting on. Modern education is in many ways the result of the Judeo-Christian worldview.
The secular lefties are enjoying the fruits of the very worldview they wish to censure and discredit. The Judeo-Christian heritage which they so despise is the very thing which made the West possible in the first place. But such a disconnect does not seem to faze these folks too much.
But I suppose the only remaining question worth asking is this: Today Christianity is branded as a discriminatory and oppressive institution, so how much longer before Christians are banished from these secular campuses altogether?
These institutions of higher learning used to be about open-mindedness. But judging by today’s standards, it seems that many of these open minds need to be closed for repairs. And the sooner the better.