Saturday, May 05, 2007

Religion, biases and college...

The Washington Post takes an interesting look at Is There Disdain For Evangelicals In the Classroom? that I recommend reading no matter your personal stand on this subject...

A few paragraphs of note:
...sociologists Neil Gross of Harvard and Solon Simmons of George Mason University, found that college professors are less religious than the general public but are far from the godless horde that is sometimes imagined. Even at the country's 50 top research universities, a minority of the faculty is atheist or agnostic, Gross and Simmons found.

The other survey, by the San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish and Community Research, confirmed those findings but also found what the institute's director and chief pollster, Gary A. Tobin, called an "explosive" statistic: 53 percent of its sample of 1,200 college and university faculty members said they have "unfavorable" feelings toward evangelical Christians.

Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, disagreed. What the poll reflects, he said, is "a political and cultural resistance, not a form of religious bias."

Nelson, a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said the unfavorable feelings toward evangelical Christians probably have two causes: "the particular kind of Republican Party activism that some evangelicals have engaged in over the years, as well as what faculty perceive as the opposition to scientific objectivity among some evangelicals."


Cyberseaer said...

Viewpoint discrimination? It's offical. I'm hopping off this planet.

Are people insane? Now the politicans want to protect everyone's viewpoint? Does this mean that debates must be regulated and taxed on (since this will become a federal service)? There isn't this much hoopla when a student refuses to cut up a frog in biology class due to her beliefs.

This was another article that shouldn't have been written about. Most poeple are intolerant of other people. It's a fact of life. We don't love everyone one. You may not like a person due to his skin color, religion, politics, drinking habits, smoking habits, walking habits, talking, opinions, eating, or just being an asshole. I guess it's the Evangelical Christians' turn to get print on how they are being slighted.

Can we just get over ourselves? According to the article, the student was told to send a letter to state politians about an issue that she didn't believe in. The professor gave her an F and she sued and won. End of stroy. The university settled and that should be the end. But no. We need a study to see how another group of people are being viticmized by the way people think about them.

As the days go by, I see the foundations of the Consitution be eroded little by little. Though it has been laughed at in the past, if this should continue, we will have government approved thought police. And by the time the media, the politicians, and the general public realize what has happened, it'll be too late.

Lisa Renee said...

Actually I do have a funny story about what happened when Erin who is a vegetarian refused to cut up the frog in biology. Her teacher told her that he wasn't going to make her eat it...When he realized she was very serious in her beliefs as to animal cruelty and the like they came to a compromise. She would take notes but not be forced to be the one to actually cut into the frog.


I think the article should have been written because it something that should be out there. If nothing else so that you can write what you did in response. There are always going to be situations that come up where our own personal value system may not be the same of those in a class or a job or even on the internet. We should not have to like everyone, nor can every scenario be created that is going to be "fair" to everyone.

We do need to "get over ourselves" when it comes to believing that one particular group just "has" to be the one who is right and while we should be more tolerant of others, there does seem to be more accusations of bias when even as it states in the article that I linked the original professor and the student who complained about having to write the letter felt their thoughts had been misrepresented by the media and thru the course of the lawsuit.

Head Spinner Scott said...

I don't believe that I have to be right, just that everyone else is wrong :-)

I have a bias against evangelical Christians, even though I know that most are not like the ones who get on TV or the radio. I just feel that the brand that is pushed most is one that is anything but Christian.

Sure, they have a right to believe what they want, but I also have the right to disagree. They don't seem to appreciate that I also can have my own views. I may go to hell if there are right and I am wrong, but that is my choice.