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'How Fair and Balanced is our Post-Christian Culture?'

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In conversation with atheists who are ever so quick to ridicule and replace our Judeo-Christian Culture, let’s raise a question or two (actually seven) about how well their Post-Christian Replacement is performing! Long ago I learned that it is not enough to attack the status quo, we need to make sure we have something that is not just new, but improved, before we replace it.

At first glance we would expect a philosophy born amidst academic freedom and artistic license to bend over backwards to be fair and balanced in its treatment of opposing views. However, surveys document that Christians (especially evangelicals) are getting short shift. One writer points out that while most Americans still identify themselves as Christians “their views are grossly underrepresented in our venues of higher learning. While these institutions present themselves as open to all viewpoints, they are largely dogmatic propaganda centers with antipathy for the values a substantial portion of the American people holds sacred.”

Law professor Phillip E. Johnson emphasizes how “naturalist philosophy rules the academic roost absolutely. The idea that God mighty really exist is rarely seriously considered” but “classroom advocacy of atheism is common and everywhere assumed to be protected by academic freedom.” I mentioned in my previous column how William Buckley described in detail this situation at Yale University when he was a student in the late 1940s.

One writer points out that while most Americans still identify themselves as Christians “their views are grossly underrepresented in our venues of higher learning.

David French of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education observes: “Experience teaches that religious individuals and organizations are most often victimized by university policies that, in theory, were enacted to promote tolerance, diversity, and fairness.” A particular example is the banning of Christian organizations on the campus of Vanderbilt University just because of their requirement that  leaders of their organization ought to be Christians. The faculty advisor for the Christian Legal Society, which was banished, writes: “Vanderbilt University’s intolerance of and open hostility toward” avowedly Christian organizations “runs counter to any notion of a university being a marketplace of ideas.

Moreover, it sends to students the chilling message that Vanderbilt’s leaders have the right to unilaterally decide which ideas the university will tolerate and affirm … the university is openly discriminating against Bible-believing religious organizations ….”  This oligarchical dogmatism is not representative of nor sensitive to people of faith.

Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist Nicholas Kristof  “openly acknowledges that ‘nearly all of us in the news business are completely out of touch with a group that includes 46 percent of Americans,’ the proportion who described themselves … as evangelical or born again Christian.” He admits that “the entire evangelical movement often has been pilloried among progressives as reactionary, myopic, anti-intellectual and, if anything, immoral.” This attack is waged by people who though believing they are “in the know” are in fact quite ignorant of those they vilify.

He admits that “the entire evangelical movement often has been pilloried among progressives as reactionary, myopic, anti-intellectual and, if anything, immoral.”

A Jewish rabbi named Daniel Lapin replies to those who accuse Christians of trying to ram our values down other people’s throats by writing: “I inform that the Secular Left has introduced sexual indoctrination and condom distribution to eleven-year-old public school students …  It has dramatically increased illegitimacy in America. It has created an entertainment ethos that brings smut and vulgarity into our living rooms. Take an honest look at the values the Secular Left has already succeeded in forcing down the throats of religious America. How can anyone honestly confront the changes that have been inflicted by the Secular Left and worry about the changes that the Religious Right might force down our throats?”

How can an English department in a prestigious and sophisticated university offer an in-depth education when it deliberately ignores or disparages the unrivaled masterpiece in the English language: the Bible? How true to American History is a course that ignores the influential role Christianity has played in American culture?  How liberal is any college, news organization, or artistic group that chooses to be ignorant of and intolerant toward people who are not in step with them?

academic, college, education, evangelicals, freedom, liberty

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