A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the bias against conservatives in academia. For anyone who has attended college, this comes as no surprise. However, what is noteworthy is that this is published in the New York Times, America’s premier liberal newspaper (though the article’s author is conservative). It is nice to see someone calling the diversity cult out on its inconsistency. The academy loves diversity—unless such diversity includes conservatives.
This liberal bias in our nation’s universities deserves far greater attention than it presently receives. People know about it, but they may not fully appreciate the extent of this bias. This is demonstrated in that most parents, even conservative parents, send their children off to liberal universities without any second thought. This is not a good trend, and it has certainly contributed to the increasing liberalism among America’s younger population. Parents need to be aware of what’s going on at our colleges today, both behaviorally and intellectually. And let’s be frank—most of it is not good.
The Academy’s Liberal Guild
It is well known that the academy is biased against conservatives, particularly in the social sciences and humanities (history, economics, psychology, religion, etc.). This means political and religious conservatives have trouble getting hired as college professors. This is not only true of state-run colleges but also private universities, many of which were founded as Christian institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.).
This is a sad situation. The academy, which is supposed to be the place of intellectual freedom and debate, has come to be dominated by those who are hostile towards Christianity and conservative thought (the two often overlap). And if you want to become a professor and get a PhD, you have to go through the liberal academy. This really is guildism at its finest. If you are not part of the club, they simply will not let you in.
The American educational system has thus become a training ground for progressive, anti-Christian thinking. The process begins in public elementary and high schools (whose teachers were trained in universities), and the progressive slant gets ramped up in college. The lower level schools lag behind in this manner partly because their teachers and staff have not been trained in the latest ideas. But give it enough time, and today’s progressive university doctrine will be implemented in tomorrow’s grade schools.
So from kindergarten to college, most American students receive a secular education. This does not mean “neutral,” as these schools are biased in favor of non-religious (and often anti-religious), Darwinian, anti-Western, and anti-capitalist thinking. They are not exposed to competing views of man’s origins, gender roles, economics, or even American history. They are simply taught that income inequality is a great evil, and the solution is to redistribute wealth through heavy taxation. (And yes, they are buying it—hook, line, and sinker.)
Though there are many great conservative authors and thinkers out there (e.g. Thomas Sowell), they are neglected by most professors at the college level. Students therefore go through college and are unfamiliar with the thought that drove Western civilization. And these students who come out of college are supposed to be the “educated” of our society. (Not to mention, we are paying for this garbage with our tax dollars.)
As if the intellectual sphere is not bad enough, many American universities also promote immoral behavior. They not only expect college students to be promiscuous, but they encourage it by having prophylactics available in dorm halls and providing the morning-after pill at the college health clinic. As ridiculous as this may sound, it is at least consistent with the ideas taught in the classroom. For if we are all just complex animals, why not live like them?
What Should Christian Parents Do?
Christians ought to be seriously concerned about this situation. And Christian parents ought to think long and hard about where they send their children for a college education. Some students will be mature enough to handle the worldview they will be exposed to at a secular university—but many will not be. (Some of this will depend on the k–12 education they received.)
Parents who desire their children to get a college education should therefore seriously consider Christian colleges. Sadly, many of the “Christian” schools out there are Christian in name only. Few genuinely provide a biblically-grounded education. However, by God’s grace, some good Christian colleges still do exist—such as Grove City College, Covenant College, Wheaton College, Boyce College, and Reformation Bible College, to name a few. There are also schools that, though not explicitly Christian, still have a strong conservative bent. The best example of this is Hillsdale College in Michigan.
Another (cheaper) option would be to have students start at a local community college (which is often less liberal) and/or take advantage of CLEP exams. These exams require hard work and discipline, but they are a great way to earn college credits for cheap (a $100 test can earn a student up to three college credits). A student can then finish his or her bachelor’s degree for the last two years, delaying and avoiding much of the brainwashing that comes from college courses.
It must also be said that some liberal universities have particular departments that are on the more conservative side, which may be a good option if a student wants to go into that particular field. This usually depends on the professors in charge of the department at the time. That is to say—there are conservatives who survive the system and are able to establish themselves in the academy. But this, unfortunately, is a rare situation.
The point of all this is that we must be aware of the dangerous circumstances of our day. Rather than going to a school because our parents went there or because our favorite football team plays there, we should go to a school because it will provide a genuine education. Part of the reason America’s universities are able to get away with their liberal and destructive ploy is that Christians and conservatives keep sending their kids there, thus limiting the demand for more conservative schools.
Some may respond that I am advocating retreat, as the old fundamentalists did. But I am not advocating that Christians and conservatives retreat from public life or society as a whole. I am simply recognizing that education actually impacts how we think and live. And if that is the case, we should be concerned about what is being taught in the classroom. A college degree is already too expensive and losing value in the market. Why would anyone want to spend $100,000 for a four-year stay in the loony bin?
We need to get our heads out of the sand. If we don’t get serious about what’s happening in our educational institutions, we will be looking around wondering why our younger generations are so liberal and unbelieving. Oh wait, that’s already happening.