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Thu Oct 12, 2017, 12:36 PM

College Professors Arent Killing Religion

Last edited Thu Oct 12, 2017, 03:42 PM - Edit history (1)

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/college-professors-arent-killing-religion/




College Professors Aren’t Killing Religion: But college degrees certainly aren’t helping.
By Daniel Cox

In a speech last week at an Alabama university, Donald Trump Jr. alternately mocked and ridiculed the culture of college campuses that teach students to “hate their religion” and “hate their country” — places where the moral teachings of the Bible are held up as “hate speech.” Trump Jr.’s impassioned condemnation of campus politics and college professors has become an increasingly common refrain in conservative politics, particularly among the conservative Christian wing. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican Sen. Rick Santorum railed against the indoctrination occurring on college campuses (and used an errant statistic to buttress his claim). A year earlier, Newt Gingrich similarly accused college professors of undermining the Christian values of the Founding Fathers.

But it’s not a new critique.

Of all the many criticisms weathered by institutions of higher learning, none has been as difficult to shake as the claim that a college education adversely affects religiosity. Colleges and universities have long been accused of subverting the religious commitments of their students. One of the most prominent early critics of college education was the evangelical populist William Jennings Bryan. At a 1921 address at the University of Wisconsin, Bryan accused the university’s president of promoting atheism, and he suggested that a warning label be affixed to university classrooms, stating: “Our classrooms furnish an arena in which a brutish doctrine tears to pieces the religious faith of young men and young women.” Armed with anecdotes and a 1916 study — which asserted that over four years, students would “gradually abandon the cardinal Christian beliefs” — Bryan barnstormed the country decrying the malevolent forces of higher education.

But if Bryan was worried that the content of college classrooms would create a generation of atheists, his fears were largely unfounded. Though the U.S. is becoming less religious, college curricula have little or nothing to do with it. A recent study found that 24 percent of Americans are now religiously unaffiliated, including 38 percent of young adults. But these changes are occurring at a much earlier age than Bryan or other critics imagined. Most young people who wind up leaving their religious commitments do so before ever stepping foot on campus.

If you care, for my part I would characterize this as "Good News" but I didn't put that qualification in the OP title because I think you are perfectly capable of determining your own qualification without my guidance.

Just sayin'

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply College Professors Arent Killing Religion (Original post)
NeoGreen Oct 12 OP
saidsimplesimon Oct 12 #1
niyad Oct 12 #2
Brainstormy Oct 12 #3
rurallib Oct 12 #4
rurallib Oct 12 #5
The Genealogist Oct 12 #6
Brainstormy Oct 12 #7
ProfessorPlum Oct 13 #8

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 12:44 PM

1. Good News it is.

If you care, for my part I would characterize this as "Good News", but I didn't put that qualification in the OP title, because I think you are perfectly capable of determining your own qualification on your own without my guidance.

Just sayin'

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 12:59 PM

2. I am an alum of one of the most (at the time) liberal colleges in the country. and, for

the life of me, I cannot remember any of my profs EVER discussing religion when it was not pertinent to the subject under discussion (like when it came time to determine who was going to host which holiday party)

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 02:25 PM

3. I know I did my part

I let it slip while teaching Western World Lit that Jesus didn't speak Elizabethan English. This blasphemy was reported to my department head by a parent.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 03:08 PM

4. that was no doubt a huge surprise to that parent

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 03:13 PM

5. I would say if anything kills religion it is the religion's inability to stand up under scrutiny

Hopefully one thing people learn in college is to check out claims.
When the claims of a religion are checked out they almost always come up short.

So I guess if you went to college and no longer just take a religious claim as true without checking, that is somehow the college's fault.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 04:40 PM

6. Correct, they are not destroying religion

This claim that the Christian right puts out is garbage. It is but one in an arsenal of bogus arguments they use to attack academia. The reality is that academia is not just another right wing mouthpiece. That they cannot directly control academia consumes right wingers with fury. I honestly think these people want an ignorant, compliant, obedience population that they can manipulate to gain power and wealth and keep it. They want serfs and peasants to mindlessly and blindly serve the wealthy and powerful. Academia is a major roadblock to their accomplishing this.

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Response to The Genealogist (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 05:21 PM

7. Yep. You nailed it. n/t

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Response to The Genealogist (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 07:36 AM

8. absolutely

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