Friday, April 22, 2005

David Horowitz' Point of View...

In an effort to not be labeled as a complete Stalinist, I would like to present a discussion of what I think are some of the valid critiques that Horowitz and his promoters sponsor.

1. Academics are predominantly liberal: Yes, they are. Most of the professors that I have had, excepting some of those at my Christian undergraduate college, have been solidly Democrats.

2. Some of these liberal academics make it their personal mission to foist their opinions and views on others: Almost everyone who has attended college has had at least one professor who has spent at least part of the beginning of nearly every class ranting on how those **** Christians and their Bush are dragging everything into a collective cess pool where they will hope to rule with ruthless and totalitarian fists.

In addition to opening class rants, I have personally endured attacks on myself as an individual where I was told any or all of these things:
  • No sane person would ever believe in a Christian God.
  • Christianity leads directly to fascism.
  • There is no room for being both Christian and progressive.
  • There is no such thing as Christian feminism.
  • When, in philosophy, we discuss the existence of God, we actually are talking about how historically God has been used as a support for evil things, thus we have grown beyond such childish fairytales. Therefore, the purpose of talking about ontotheology is to disprove God's existence.
  • All Christians believe X,Y, and Z.
  • You have no business talking about religion informing philosophy or ethics because religion always leads to a will to knowledge.
  • "You kinds of students who think you can be a thinking Christian make me want to quit teaching. You are parasites on those of us who want to give you 'real' knowledge."

Needless to say that all of these not only are personally offensive, but they also show the complete lack of willingness on the part of many academics to discuss issues of faith, values, or ethics unless it is completely on their terms. You are, after all, either with us or against us.

3. Many times this sort of abuse goes unchecked and threatens a students quality of life and ability to function within the college or university system: also true. I am a big burly intelligent white male who most people would assume brimmed with advantage and self-confidence, but I have been reduced to tears many days after a particularly difficult day of classes.

Sure alcohol and nicotine can help at times, but I hardly think students should be reduced to self-medication to get through college.

Furthermore, with the appeals process at most university being nothing but a vestigial nod to students' rights, if a situation occurs where a student's grade is in question, there are few, if any, roads of accountability. At my current institution, even if a student proves that discrimination occurred and that it affected their grade, no one can force the professor to change their grade.

Something needs to be done. Some of my colleagues disagree with me, but I think that Horowitz and his supporters are not on a completely arbitrary witch-hunt. If there were not professors abusing their position as teachers in order to become evangelists, then students would not rally to his cause as readily.

Too often, I hear professors in the lounge gleefully talking about how they can't wait to fail a student who dared write a paper on why they think abortion is wrong or why their faith is important to them. Rather than carefully challenge all students to learn to critically engage with what they think and where that came from, they want their students to reject all of their past and learn to spout a new rhetoric without thought.

In the next few days, I promise, I will be posting on the types of audacious claims that make it impossible for me to ever join with Horowitz. Surprise, surprise, many of them are the same.

Until then, "May all of your sorrows be patched and your joys be quilted."

Friday, April 08, 2005

David Horowitz Hates Me...

Or at least hates my campus. Now, I know that it has been a while since I posted, but I have been super busy with the end of the semester approaching. Still, when I posted on March 30th on the upcoming presentation by David Horowitz, I could never have imagined the debacle that would result.

I must give some background in order to explain my discussion which will follow. When Mr. Horowitz came to speak, I assumed that significant opposition would result, especially from the highly political members of my department, but I have to admit that I was surprised by the vehemence of their expression of disagreement.

It all began with a vocal rally outside of the doors to the hall where he was going to speak. Members of campus liberal groups gathered and shouted at those who entered to hear the lecture. The abuse continued inside of the lecture as opposition forces booed, hissed, and generally heckled throughout Mr. Horowitz's "lecture."

Following the repeated breakdown of order and a disorganized question and answer period, Mr. Horowitz stated that BGSU was the worst place at which he had ever spoken, and I eagerly awaited his comments on his blog.

Well here they are: (

In his article, "Bowling Green Barbarians," Horowitz cites BGSU as the prime example of everything that is wrong with American higher education: "there seem to be no adults around to mind the playground."

In my next post, I will directly respond not only to Mr. Horowitz's accusations but also to the behavior of my opposition minded colleagues.