Friday, August 18, 2006

Higher Education is a Threat to Christianity!

The American Family Association Journal ("Family," of course meaning "Christian," since apparently non-Christians don't have families) has a hilarious article about the "dangers" of higher education:

With memories of high school graduation still fresh on their minds, millions of parents will send their children off to college in the coming weeks. For parents, the time is a bitter-sweet milestone. For students, it marks the beginning of a quest for freedom.

But what students and parents don’t realize is that today’s campuses are functioning as an indoctrination into the realm of liberalism. As early as the 1790s, Yale college students were openly disavowing Christ. Despite periods of revival, the denial of Christian beliefs and the acceptance of secularism have persisted and gained strength through the years.

...

In his book University of Destruction, David Wheaton cites research by Dr. Gary Railsback and the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. Wheaton wrote, “Depending on the type of college attended, as many as 51% of students who claimed to be ‘born-again Christians’ as freshmen said they were no longer born-again Christians four years later.”



“The trial everyone has heard about – but most people underrate – is the sheer spiritual disorientation of the modern campus,” wrote J. Budziszewski in a Focus on the Family magazine article.

“Methods of indoctrination are likely to include not only required courses, but also freshman orientation, speech codes, mandatory diversity training, dormitory policies, guidelines for registered student organizations and mental health counseling,” Budziszewski added.

“[T]he modern university, having lost its moral convictions, has attached itself to relativistic doctrines such as tolerance and diversity, which mean, in practice, tolerance of anything but Biblical faith and traditional morality.”

...

“Parents should try to make sure that their children are grounded in apologetics before sending them off,” said Dr. Richard Howe, a writer in Christian apologetics and a former college professor.

“Training young people to develop a Christian mind is no longer an option; it is part of their necessary survival equipment,” Pearcey wrote.


So to sum up:

  • Today's Universities are all about liberal indoctrination. (Christian indoctrination is apparently okay.)

  • Students at Yale have been disavowing Christ since the '70s!

  • Higher Education cures leads astray "born-again" Christians.

  • This is clearly a fault of liberal indoctrination.

  • Liberal indoctrination includes such evils as "required courses, but also freshman orientation, speech codes, mandatory diversity training, dormitory policies, guidelines for registered student organizations and mental health counseling(!)"

  • We must fill our children's heads with Christian apologetics before sending them off to college.



(Tip of the hat to the great Mis-Nagid.)

18 comments:

wil said...

Students at Yale have been disavowing Christ since the '90s! The 1790s! That's 210+ years (not 30+)...

Wandering Coyote said...

This is very interesting. I didn't go to university in the states so I cannot speak to this liberal indoctrination thing, but I would say that critical thinking skills, which is what university up here is supposed to be about, would be more of a threat to religion.

CyberKitten said...

Its possible that the link isn't with education but with a broadening horizon. I'm guessing that High Schools are normally within the community the kids grew up in - not much of a challenge there. Colleges are further afield? Universities could be in other states.... So at each level up the educational tree you get further from your cultural 'roots' and therefore your basic belief system comes under strain...

It's not surprising that people lose their faith - before College it had probably never been challenged!

Sadie Lou said...

I have to say something here. My sister-in-law went to the University of Santa Cruz. She is a Christian. She lived in a house with four or five roomates that were a mix of spiritual differences. They all loved each other like sisters.
My sister-in-law told me of an experience she had in one of her classes. This would fall under the "diversity training" and I find it to be hilarious.
The excercise was for the students to sit in a circle with the teacher. Each student was to take the opposite sexual lifestyle than their own and adopt it for five minutes.
They had to introduce themselves and answer questions from a sheet of paper as though they were this new identity.
100% of the students in my sister-in-law's class were straight so all of them had to pretend they were gay. My sister-in-law went along with the whole thing and then at the end of it, she asked what the purpose of it was. The teacher said it was so that the students could better understand what it meant to be gay.
My S-I-L asked if the school experienced a lot of hostility towards the gay community and she responded "no--not really."
So my S-I-L proceeded to explain the hostility she had experienced while her and another student were doing a Bible study in the library.
My S-I-L suggested that maybe some diversity training using the Christian lifestyle would make an impact on the negativity the Christian MINORITY received on a daily basis.
The teacher was unresponsive.
Interesting, yes? Do you know much about Santa Cruz as a demographic?
While I think the article you posted is on the extreme side of the issue--there is an issue.

Mis-nagid said...

You fell right into their trap, saying Christianity when you meant Fundamentalist Christianity. It's right there in your title. Don't aid them in their quest for linguistic mark/unmarked deligitimation; be very careful to always qualify what brand of Christianity you're talking about. Remember: they're the fundamentalists, not you. Let them be the ones who insist that liberal Christianity "isn't really Christianity." Every time they say it they lose the tacit support of another no-longer apathetic moderate Christian.

Mis-nagid said...

Ugggh, typo. delegitimation

Mis-nagid said...

And just in case:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markedness

Mark said...

Since you're article goes back a bit in time, of the two colonial movements (folkways ala D.H. Fischer) which were explictly religions movements the Quakers and the Puritans, who does it fit your education thesis when one (the Quakers) was suspicious of higher education and the Puritans, of all the colonial movements secular or not) were the strongest supporters of higher education.

Jewish Atheist said...

wil:

Students at Yale have been disavowing Christ since the '90s! The 1790s! That's 210+ years (not 30+)...

I know, although it did used to be a Divinity school. I just thought that statement about Yale was so bizarre.

WC: Very true.

CK: Another good point. For example, they might learn that non-born-again Christians can also be good people.

Sadie: I agree that certain sub-types of Christians might be in the minority on certain campuses and indeed face hostility from other students. I wouldn't be opposed to having people role-play as Christians as they do as gays.

Mis-nagid:

You fell right into their trap, saying Christianity when you meant Fundamentalist Christianity. It's right there in your title.

I was being tongue-in-cheek. I thought the exclamation point would give it away. :-) Actually, I thought someone like Sadie would come along and say, "Those Christians don't speak for me!"

Mark: Obviously, not all Christian sects have issues with higher education. The Jesuits are pretty into scholarship, for example, from what I've heard.

Anonymous said...

Christianity is nothing more than a collection of ideas which are wholly disconnected from reality.

asher said...

I imagine most students who attended Yeshiva University were not longer born again when they left the school.

It would be interesting to see how many of those students majored in physics, biology, chemistry, mathmatical sciences, accounting, computer science, or other disciplies where the lectures centered around the subject taught and not some philosophical arguments.

Jewish Atheist said...

anonymous:

That's not the most insightful comment this blog has ever seen.

asher:

The chart is the percentage of those who started as born-again Christians. I don't think many YU freshman would qualify. :-)

It would be interesting to see how many of those students majored in physics, biology, chemistry, mathmatical sciences, accounting, computer science, or other disciplies where the lectures centered around the subject taught and not some philosophical arguments.

Yeah, it would.

Joseph said...

Judging by Yale's reaction to Orthodox Jewish students who wanted to live off campus, any liberal brainwashing is done in the dormroom, not the classroom.

wil said...

Ahh...ok. Your '70's comment was just so bizarre I thought you might have misread the text. ;-)

I'd be interested to know how many "born-again" high-school graduates still consider themselves "born-again" four years later - whether they go to college or not. I'd guess there's some base attrition rate which college life may just exacerbate.

Half Sigma said...

This is related to the finding that more intelligent people are less religious, a trend observed in the 1790s.

Kyaroko said...

He-who-loves to take credit for other peoples' finds ;-) ,
I'm going to start resenting you for all these great articles that I send you that you get credit for. Grrrrr.

Hat tip to Michael Mason, the real Eminem.

Jewish Atheist said...

You sent this to me? I thought I got it from mis-nagid, as the hat tip says. Sorry if you sent it first. :-)

Laura said...

Late to the party:

I work at an institution of higher education - a very, very liberal one by definition. Let's just say we have a Center for New Deal Studies and you can figure out whose political ideology the place is modeled after...

Anyway - diversity training of the kind Sadie mentioned is becoming all too common. I definitely agree that seminars like that, with very little critical thinking are usually themselves based on stereotypes (i.e. act "gay" as if there's one way to act).

That said - I agree with WC and Cyberkitten that it's the critical thinking that is a "threat" to religion. I know several Catholics who went to DePaul (a catholic school) who left questionning their doctrines. They still had faith, but their views had been broadened to incorporate the realm of possibilities and not just the narrow doctrine they were raised in.

It's important to allow critical thinking to occur. If someone's faith is secure enough, then it shouldn't be a threat. "Protecting" your kid from higher education also means protecting him from future job opportunities, future social opportunities, and an enriching experience that will help develop the person they will become.