In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner examines four popular misconceptions and misstatements about the nature of objective truth, tolerance and our over-reliance on science. If there are no objective truths (or they can’t be known) there is little reason to examine the truth about God. We need to get to the truth about truth before we can ever know the truth about anything else.
Wallace does a lot of speaking on university campuses, so he gets to meet and talk with the college kids. It’s interesting to hear what an evidence-driven cold case homicide detective thinks about the squishy postmodern views of the average college student.
My favorite political podcast is The Weekly Standard, and my favorite cultural podcast is Ben Shapiro. I really recommend subscribing to both and listening to them. The video of this lecture shows you what makes Ben Shapiro special. (H/T Kevin the Super Husband)
Question and Answer:
And here’s a news article for those who cannot watch from Breitbart News.
Ben Shapiro’s speech Thursday evening at the University of Missouri was a galvanizing moment for the campus and community that became the national focus of media attention in early November after a group of radical black liberation activists, assisted by leftist faculty members, forced the resignation of the university’s president and chancellor.
The event marked the first large, public backlash to the political correctness gone wild that had overtaken Mizzou in the past several months.
Towards the end of his rousing speech, Shapiro discussed how the “micro aggression” culture of taking offense at minor, even unintended things leads to real aggression. Shapiro said, “There’s never been a bad person on planet Earth who has not felt justified in doing his or her bad thing. All colleges do now is give people reasons to feel justified in doing the bad things that they want to do.”
Shapiro lit into the very real aggressions that had played out at the University of Missouri, including the story that Breitbart News covered of Mizzou faculty member Dr. Melissa Click, who blocked a student reporter with a camera when he attempted to enter a public space on campus that #ConcernedStudent1950 activists had declared a “safe space” for themselves.
[…]The audience of over 350 responded immediately with applause that lasted several seconds. The crowd’s applause showed the cathartic impact of someone speaking the truth out loud at the University of Missouri.
Shapiro was invited to speak by the Young America’s Foundation. My first thought when I see an event like this is why aren’t Christian churches more involved in applying the Bible and Christian theology to the culture. My pastor almost never applies the Bible to anything that is happening in real life. He almost never references anything that is happening in the culture, much less current events.
Thank goodness there are brave conservatives like Ben Shapiro who are willing to put rounds downrange onto the target, rather than focus on pious language doesn’t equip anyone to declare or defend their conservative beliefs. There are so many ideas that are undermining the life plans of Christian men these days – feminism, postmodernism, relativism, global warming alarmism, socialism, pacificism, unilateral surrender and appeasement, and so on. And yet so few pastors can see these threats and how they differ with the Bible’s teachings. Even those that see seem to lack the courage of those who speak out about them. We need to be talking about what is happening in politics and in the culture, so that we can make a world where it is safe to speak out about Christian things without fear – even if the truth makes people feel “offended”.
Here’s the latest story of secular leftist coercion from Breitbart News.
The charges against Lopez shifted almost constantly and to this day he has never been shown the formal complaint from the still-unidentified former student. His understanding of the charges against him have been from meetings with university administrators and taking notes.
Her first complaint centered around a conference called The Bonds that Matter that Lopez organized at the Reagan Library, a forty-minute drive from the UC-Northridge campus. The conference featured noted speakers on divorce, third party reproduction, and adoption.
She says she was coerced into attending, that she was never informed of what the subject matter of the conference would be, and that she was offended by some of what she heard that day. She said the conference should have come with a trigger warning that it might cause trauma to gays and lesbians. She also said she broke down “in tears, crying.”
She says speakers explained that “all women who use sperm banks are evil” and that “gay people cannot be good parents.” She also complained about a brochure produced by the Ruth Institute she picked up at the conference aimed at the “victims of the sexual revolution” including those who tried the gay life and now want out.
Once the complaint was made, Lopez stepped beyond the Looking Glass and into the world of university investigations. For the next 378 days Lopez and his paid lawyers spent countless hours trying to keep up with the charges and investigations by multiple university administrates and their lawyers.
[…]He was formally charged with “discrimination,” one of the few charges that can result in revocation of tenure and dismissal.
[…]It should be noted that the speakers at the conference, while controversial, are not considered wild-eyed radicals. Jennifer Lahl speaks on the dangers to women of selling their eggs or renting their wombs. She’s from Berkley and is a frequent guest on liberal campuses. In fact, Lahl specializes in speaking to the left. Alana Newman spoke, a folk singer, who was born from surrogacy and is now an advocate against it. Perhaps the most controversial speaker was Jennifer Roback Morse who runs the Ruth Institute and who focuses broadly on what she calls the “victims of the sexual revolution.”
None of the speakers talked about gay issues and Lopez provided the tapes to prove it. There was one exchange between Newman and one student who asked about gays and surrogacy, but the student turned out to be the complainant. So, the only person who brought up the gay issue at the conference was the student who complained the conference slammed gays.
Lopez provided documents that also showed the students were not coerced. In fact, they didn’t even have to attend the conference. It was one of two options in the course. Most of the class chose the conference option.
The article alleges that the student was a plant by powerful LGBT groups who want to silence Lopez.
This reminds me of the other professor McAdams from Marquette who got into trouble for writing about how a student argued with his professor that he should be allowed to disagree with her about gay marriage. The left-leaning The Atlantic has the story, and surprisingly sides with professor McAdams.
Here are the details:
The incident that McAdams blogged about happened on October 28, 2014. Cheryl Abbate, a graduate student in philosophy who was leading a class called Theory of Ethics, was teaching undergraduates about John Rawls. She asked for examples of current events to which Rawlsian philosophy could be applied.
“One student offered the example of gay marriage as something that Rawls’ Equal Liberty Principle would allow because it would not restrict the liberty of others and therefore should not be illegal,” according to Holtz’s version of events. “Ms. Abbate noted that this was a correct way to apply Rawls’ Principle and is said to have asked ‘does anyone not agree with this?’ Ms. Abbate later added that if anyone did not agree that gay marriage was an example of something that fits the Rawls’ Equal Liberty Principle, they should see her after class.”
Sure enough, a student approached her after class, and in what was arguably an ethical breach, surreptitiously recorded their exchange.
[…]At this point, both the undergraduate and the grad student instructor spoke to various “superiors” about the incident. And the undergrad talked to McAdams, who decided to blog about it. He has been stripped of tenure for that blog post.
Marquette is a “Catholic” university, except it obviously is not.
Meanwhile, here is yet another recent example of a professor getting into trouble for going against the secular left. National Review has that story, written by the famous civil rights expert Peter Kirsanow.
The illiberal idiocy currently on display at the University of Missouri and Yale has now manifested itself at Vanderbilt, where an online student petition demanding the suspension of Professor of Law and Political Science Carol Swain for being “hateful” toward minorities has gotten more than 1,000 signatures. The fact that Professor Swain is black is no insulation from these charges.
Swain’s apostasy is that she has made politically incorrect statements about radical Islam and her traditional Christian beliefs, statements that the petitioners deem intolerant and which the University, therefore, must not tolerate — tolerance, of course, being a one-way street.
That’s right. She’s a female, black professor. No one is safe from the secular left inquisition. They own the university, and if you want to go there, you have to get in, do your STEM degree, get out, and get to work. And vote to defund them completely when it’s election time.
The United States ought not have an official state church. But as Dennis Prager often says, universities and colleges are left-wing seminaries. They teach their secular left religious dogma, and God help you if you say one word to disagree with them. These are not people who handle disagreement and dissent well. These are not people who value free inquiry. These are not people who value truth.
So, Bible-believing Christians are doing lots of things in the world these days, and some are more useful than others. In my opinion, the most significant thing that a Christian can do is produce original research that leads to the development or improvement of arguments for the truth of Christianity. So, Douglas Axe’s work showing that protein sequences that have biological function was significant. However, that kind of contribution going to be out of reach for most of us, because who has 6 years to waste on a PhD? But there is a next best thing, and that’s sending scholars to the universities to speak to the college students.
Here’s an account of Frank Turek speaking at the prestigious University of Michigan from The College Fix.
It’s rare that college students are told on a university campus by someone holding a PhD that the universe is no accident, but rather designed by a loving creator.
Perhaps that is why a visit to the University of Michigan by popular Christian apologist Dr. Frank Turek drew a standing room only crowd of about 500 students, filling the school’s largest ballroom to capacity.
Turek, a former aviator in the U.S. Navy who holds a master’s degree from the George Washington University and doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary, offered students his blunt reasoning on why he believes Christianity is supported by science, not just faith, but the event last Thursday also delved into subjects such as radical Islam and homosexuality as well.
Turek gave straight answers to touchy questions that flew in the face of political correctness and the academe. On the topic of homosexuality – which he says is the biggest question he gets – he maintained homosexual acts are sinful, per the Bible. On the topic of evolution, he denied “macro-evolution” in support of intelligent design.
“You can breed all kinds of dogs from dogs,” he said, “but can you can’t get something that isn’t a dog from a dog.”
In case you’re wondering about his being a naval aviator, what I heard is that he used to fly navigator and bombardier on the P-3C Orion. I use those to hunt Russian subs in the military simulator I play. Anyway, I digress.
The bedrock of Turek’s lecture was one that many religious people can appreciate, that people must hold themselves to God’s moral law. Turek attacked the materialistic determinism (the belief that there is no higher meaning to life) of scientists like Francis Crick. He attacked the way scientists deny there are such things as miracles.
“People don’t want morality and accountability,” he said. “I was in college, too.”
“The greatest miracle in the Bible has already occurred and there’s scientific evidence for it,” he said, referring to the creation of the heavens and the Earth. “God is the unmoved mover, the one who is contingent for all his creation.”
It’s very important for Christians to be familiar with scientific arguments for God’s existence. Here is a list for those who have not looked into it, so you can get a bird’s eye view:
Turek also nails what the problem is with students abandoning their faith and having no curiosity about ultimate questions:
Turek also asked students if they thought religion was being marginalized on campus, to which a senior named Alexander answered that “university culture has become more hostile to religion and to the idea of faith.”
After the speech, Turek was asked by The College Fix about why the younger generation is leaving religion. As of two years ago, the largest religious denomination on campus is now the “nones” – people who do not identify with any religion at all.
“It’s the church’s fault,” Truck said bluntly. “If the church doesn’t know how to defend itself, then people will leave.”
“Sex,” he added, “is the new religion.”
Right. No atheist in college is examining the claims of theism against the evidence rationally. The college students are seeking their own pleasure first and foremost, and to use others for that end. They adopt the lifestyle and worldview that allows them to feel good about pursuing fun and thrills above all. But I do think that confronting them with the evidence for God’s existence and character is the right move. At least then when they find out that pure selfish hedonism is a dead end, they will remember that there was another truth-focused approach that they never looked into.
In the meantime, we can help them along by writing and speaking about the harm caused by the Sexual Revolution. It never hurts to be familiar with studies that show what happens when people dump the Bible’s approach to sex, and go their own way. On this blog, I try to post lots of studies about the perils of premarital sex, rapid relationship tempo, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, abortion, etc. It’s important to share this research with young people so they can detect the threat before they walk blindly into it.
I’m going to introduce a lecture by Dr. George Yancey by linking to an article from the Cornell University campus newspaper. (H/T Dennis Prager)
Of the nearly $600,000 Cornell’s faculty donated to political candidates or parties in the past four years, over 96 percent has gone to fund Democratic campaigns, while only 15 of the 323 donors gave to conservative causes.
The Sun’s analysis of Federal Election Committee data reveals that from 2011 to 2014, Cornell’s faculty donated $573,659 to Democrats, $16,360 to Republicans and $2,950 to Independents. Each of Cornell’s 13 schools — both graduate and undergraduate — slanted heavily to the left. In the College of Arts and Sciences, 99 percent of the $183,644 donated went to liberal campaigns.
OK, now with that out of the way, let’s watch a 28-minute lecture from Dr. George Yancey about bias against religion in academia:
If you watch 5 minutes, then you’ll definitely stay and watch the whole thing. It’s fascinating.
Join Dr. George Yancey in an in depth discussion of the bias taking place within academia against religion in general, but more specifically Christianity. Within the discussion Dr.Yancey uses brief explanations of his previous book, Compromising Scholarship and many other excerpts of his past research as well as his forthcoming research to give us a new viewpoint on academia and religion.
Republican scholars are more likely than Democrats to end up working outside academia,as documented by Daniel Klein, an economist at George Mason University. Dr. Klein, who calls himself a classical liberal (a k a libertarian), says that the university promotes groupthink because its system of “departmental majoritarianism” empowers the dominant faction to keep hiring like-minded colleagues. And when a faculty committee is looking to hire or award tenure, political ideology seems to make a difference, according to a “collegiality survey” conducted by George Yancey.
Dr. Yancey, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, asked more than 400 sociologists which nonacademic factors might influence their willingness to vote for hiring a new colleague. You might expect professors to at least claim to be immune to bias in academic hiring decisions.
But as Dr. Yancey reports in his new book, “Compromising Scholarship: Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education,” more than a quarter of the sociologists said they would be swayed favorably toward a Democrat or an A.C.L.U. member and unfavorably toward a Republican. About 40 percent said they would be less inclined to vote for hiring someone who belonged to the National Rifle Association or who was an evangelical. Similar results were obtained in a subsequent survey of professors in other social sciences and the humanities.
Dr. Yancey, who describes himself as a political independent with traditional Christian beliefs and progressive social values, advises nonliberal graduate students to be discreet during job interviews. “The information in this research,” he wrote, “indicates that revealing one’s political and religious conservatism will, on average, negatively influence about half of the search committee one is attempting to impress.”
Dr. Yancey’s research was a survey, not a field experiment, so it’s impossible to know how many of those academics who confessed to hypothetical bias would let it sway an actual decision. Perhaps they’d try to behave as impartially as the directors of graduate studies in Dr. Gross’s experiment.
The lecture is a real eye-opener. It turns out that in academia, you are likely to be viewed the same way as blacks were viewed by slave-owners, and Jews were viewed by Nazis.
We have a lot of work to do to correct these perceptions, but that’s not going to happen unless churches and Christian parents start to take the life of the mind more seriously.
UPDATE: Papa Giorgio posts the Dennis Prager audio: