My wife and I have four children, all of them being brought up in a (GASP) Fundamental Christian manner. Oh, and did I mention that we home-school them all (for a partial look at why, check out this post over at Doc Bulldog & Ronin’s, and this site as well.)? Well, excepting the youngest since he’s only 2.5 months old. 🙂
My 12-year-old daughter has decided that she doesn’t want to go to college. While I suspect that she’ll change her mind by the time she’s 17-18, I’m starting to think maybe it’s actually a good idea. Why? While it’s true that college graduates tend to make significantly more money over their lifetimes than non-graduates, I have to wonder if they’re really any more successful – looking at that term as a measure of happiness and positive societal impact on a daily basis. And along with that, the corruption in academia (especially in Universities) has me very concerned. I’m not worried that she’ll abandon her faith. I am worried that she’ll be ridiculed because of it, especially as this tendency keeps moving forward.
Today at Front Page I got yet another reminder of why the University setting has me apprehensive about throwing my daughter to those wolves.
DePaul University, which bills itself as “the Largest Catholic University in America” was described as a “basket case” on a Hannity and Colmes segment because of its questionable “commitment” to free speech. In the past couple of years DePaul has suspended, without due process, a professor who defended Israel. It has created de facto policies to prevent students from posting flyers opposing an on-campus event featuring the plagiarist professor Ward Churchill. It has also shut down a student-run Affirmative Action Bake Sale in which cookies were sold at different prices depending on the customer’s skin color because the campus left was offended. It later condemned the student group sponsoring the bake sale in a university-wide email.
The Task Force has finally produced a document: Guiding Principles of Free Speech and Expression. The Task Force chose a wise path in deciding against adopting speech codes against “hate speech,” a term which does not appear in the Principles. In fact, the language of the document seems to open the doors of the University to all ideas––as it should. It respects “open discourse and robust debate” and at the same time remains “open to a broad range of ideas and opinions” as a way to “create the best conditions for discovering the truth.” Most importantly, it’s not patronizing and it respects the “right of listeners to respond with their own expression, or choose to turn away.”
It’s also eloquent in its commitment to “ennoble the God-given dignity of each person”––wait just a minute, I’m sorry. Scratch that whole part about dignity being “God-given.” Such a reference would alienate members of our community who do not believe in God.
“What?” a concerned friend asked me when I informed him of what had happened.
“Yes,” I said, “the Task Force voted to remove ‘God-given’ from the Guiding Principles before making it an official statement of the largest Catholic University in America. That’s not all. The Task Force also voted to remove the phrase ‘create the best conditions for discovering the truth.’ ‘Truth’ was too ‘strong’ and too ‘offensive’ a word for a free speech document.”
Is that ridiculous to anyone other than me? What could drive such stupidity?
[Task Force members] Manley and Cho told us our Principles were fundamentally invalid because we lacked a diverse racial make-up in membership. Isn’t it important to note the ideological diversity on this Task Force? “No,” Manley said, and pointing to the back of his hand added, “it is about this: skin color.” Cho then highlighted words and phrases in the Principles she considered to be “hegemonic.” Hegemonic phrases allegedly exclude the marginalized and oppressed. Among the highlighted phrases were: “free speech and expression,” “exercise of reason,” “competing arguments,” and “immeasurably enriched by exposure to differing points of view.” According to Cho, free speech should provide “an environment that encourages enfranchising the disenfranchised” and discontinues “the practice of exclusion and marginalization.” According to Cho, “hegemonic free speech” (her term) does the opposite.
Bowing to the Manley and Cho, the Task Force added some new members who met their diversity standard. Our newly assembled Task Force took up the concerns they raised. Not surprisingly, the new members were not only diverse by skin color, they were ideologically in tune with Manley and Cho. The Task Force now agreed that some speech does “threaten the community.” Some speech does silence, because it “wounds” and is “so hurtful.” Some people simply don’t have a voice. And so, students who are offended should be given a special “safe space” where they feel “comfortable” speaking publicly with potential offenders silenced.
Now the Task Force removed the phrase “discovery of the truth,” because the idea that there is “truth” can be harmful and excluding to the oppressed. So can “God-given dignity.” These are “right-wing buzzwords” in any case – at least according to the leftists on the Task Force. Sonia Soltero, a President’s Diversity Council appointee, was baffled by the concept that a university was founded on the pursuit of truth. She had never heard that before. She would rather understand the university as a place for “exploration” and “seeking knowledge.” And one of our new members, Theatre School professor Phyllis Griffin, even went so far as to say that whenever she reads “God-given dignity” she feels the “heavy, historical foot of the Catholic Church on her neck.” Really? At the largest Catholic University in America?
There are more details in the original (go read it), but this is more than enough to make my point. Academia is rife, even rank, with activist “professors” who are more interested in furthering the damnably dangerous and suicidal PC-Leftist agenda than in actually educating.
Do not disagree. Do not debate. Above all, do not offend.
This is not what America was supposed to be about, and it’s absolutely not what I want the wonderful curious mind of my daughter poisoned with.