Evangelical Christians have been making the same point for so long, we are running out of ways to say it.
We’ve tried the following phrases/statements:
- The intolerance of tolerance.
- There is a lack of diversity in the push for diversity.
- Those complaining the loudest about discrimination, are often the most discriminatory.
- Liberals are not really liberals, but simply want one view.
- Those pushing for all view to be treated fairly, are not treating all views fairly.
- The supposed quest for equality, is really a quest to privilege a certain viewpoint.
And on and on we could go.
The basic point is this. In the modern liberal push for diversity there is one enormous category missing: intellectual/religious/ideological diversity.
All the while our liberal culture pats itself on the back for being so diverse–whether that diversity be racial, ethnic, or cultural–it continues to ignore the biggest area of potential diversity. Diversity of thinking.
After all, isn’t this what the public education should be doing? Shouldn’t it be exposing students to a variety of intellectual/ideological viewpoints? But that is precisely the thing modern universities do not do (or refuse to do).
It is well known that conservative thinkers make up a shockingly small percentage of major university faculties–and many of these faculties are funded by public tax dollars. A recent study, for example, showed less than 2% of English professors are Republicans.
This point has been eloquently made by Nicholas Kristoff in a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece aptly entitled, “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.” He writes:
WE progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservatives.
Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.
This lack of diversity is particularly evident in the field of biblical studies at major American universities. Go on a search for genuinely evangelical professors who hold a teaching post in biblical studies at a major public university and see what you find. They are an endangered species.
And the intellectual discrimination doesn’t just happen at the hiring level. It also happens at the Ph.D. level. Evangelicals have trouble getting hired at major universities because they first have difficulty being accepted into the Ph.D. programs of these major universities.
I have seen this up close and personal here at RTS. We had an extremely bright student a number of years ago apply to PhD programs in biblical studies at some of the major universities and divinity schools in America. He had exceptional academic credentials including prestigious undergraduate scholarships, academic awards, fantastic grades, and also a near perfect score on the GRE.
And how many of these major universities and divinity schools accepted him? Zero.
Of course, critics could always write off this single example as an irrelevant anomaly. It doesn’t prove anything, they might say. Maybe he was rejected for other reasons.
Even so, the state of our institutions of higher learning today are not in doubt. They are vastly, enormously, and seriously slanted towards a single ideological and intellectual viewpoint. That is undeniable.
The question isn’t whether it is true. The question is whether anyone cares, or whether anyone will do anything about it.
And if nothing is done about it, our universities (and our culture) will not be the better. Indeed, we will become what the liberals have always said they want to avoid. A totalitarian state that simply indoctrinates rather than educates.