Colleges, Censorship and Truth

Dr. Mark Draper is a former college professor who is now the director of Accuracy in Academia. Here are some thoughts he shared in a recent letter:

Angry criticism of our schools is reaching a crescendo. As a teacher and parent, I am deeply troubled by what has happened to our schools, but what worries me even more is what our schools will be like when today’s students become tomorrow’s teachers and professors.

I have three children under ten years old and another on the way. Where can I send them safely to college? Seeing your kids go off to college used to be a time of joy and satisfaction. Now, it’s a time of anxiety.

Will I get back the same decent good young person I entrust to the university?

Our colleges are teaching dreadful lessons no sane parent would want his children to learn. Here’s how a distinguished law professor put it: “I wish the university would have the honesty to tell the American people just what they think of them: Your child is the product of a racist, sexist, homophobic society. and for roughly $25,000 a year, we will attempt to undo the mistakes that you, your church, and your community have made. But they don’t do this. They wait until the tuition check is clear, and then you learn about mandatory political chapel.”

The old idea of the university as a place where the pursuit of truth receives special protection is gone. It’s as out of date as leather football helmets.

It has been replaced by “politically correct” or “PC.” That’s a catchall phrase describing an assortment of militant minorities, student activists, feminist extremists, sexual deviants, and balding 60’s radical retreads using the professor’s podium to foment revolution. What unites this bizarre group is a hatred of America and of anyone so racist, sexist, and homophobic as to think they can make moral judgments. To them, American history is a record of exploitation and oppression. A perverse orthodoxy now dominates university life. Scholars may endanger their careers if they engage in research that produces results that are not politically correct.

It is amazing how little one is allowed to deviate from the politically correct line before incurring the wrath of militant students or craven administrators. I learned my lesson the hard way as a professor of humanities at a university in West Virginia. I was no agitator. I didn’t try to stir up trouble.

All I did was write a letter to the editor of the Charleston Gazette mildly critical of the racial quota system being forced on the university in the name of diversity. The next thing I knew, my name was up before the faculty senate for censure!

When I dared to express misgivings about the radical attack on the principles of democracy by militant multiculturalists, I was in deeper trouble. Then I dared to suggest in a newspaper article that extremist feminism did not represent most American women. The next day, I was informed by an angry dean that my contract would not be renewed for the next year.

I was stunned. My students had given me rave reviews, my colleagues praised my leadership and called me a master teacher. But my call for academic excellence, my support of traditional virtues, my love for America, my passion for the unfettered pursuit of truth, made me unworthy to teach our youth.

Note from Randy Alcorn: Dr. Draper’s experience, while extreme, reflects the kind of pressures currently put on college and university faculty. Increasingly, on college campuses and elsewhere, the first amendment right to say what you believe is being replaced by an obligation to say only what others think you should believe.

As parents and young people consider their college options, there’s a question worth asking--does this school belittle, demean and even attempt to censor professors and students who believe the Scriptures and are committed to the moral values of the historic Christian faith? If so, why would I pay huge amounts of money to go here?

The answer may be, “to be a missionary.” That could be a very good answer, provided the young person is called, trained and prepared to be a missionary. “To learn truth in an open minded environment” is not a good answer when it comes to such schools. Many of today’s college campuses are the exact opposite of open minded and truth-oriented. Eternal truth and current political correctness are two very different things.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries