Are secular leftists on campus interested in discussing different viewpoints?

A few stories that lead me to think that they are not.

First, Campus Reform writes:

A female student was threatened by feminist and LGBT organizations at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington after she invited them to attend a pro-life event.

Madison Marston sent personal email invitations to UNCW’s National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), PRIDE, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Student Association (WSSA), to extend an invitation to Ratio Christi’s “Abortion and Human Equality: A Pro Life Defense of the Unborn” discussion. The three organizations collectively declined while threatening Marston for sending the invitation.

“Each of the leaders of PRIDE, NARAL and WSSA ask that you no longer contact us directly,” the email, obtained by Campus Reform said. “As a student organization, your events are on the CAIC calendar, part of Hawk e-News, and disseminated in a variety of other ways, which is sufficient for us to be aware of them. We do not need, nor want, these invitations. If you continue to attempt to contact any of us, we will take further action.”

In the email, the organizations said they already had a separate event scheduled for that same date but also said they will not participate in any debates with the Christian apologetics organization as they do not share the same beliefs when it comes to abortion and LGBT issues.

“As such, we have no desire to debate them with you or your organization,” the organizations said in the email.

[…]“We have no desire to attend any event sponsored by your organization and its narrow beliefs steeped in religious bigotry and intolerance.”

[…]Ratio Christi’s event, scheduled for Feb., 26, will host Adams, an outspoken conservative professor at UNCW, “to present a scientific and philosophical argument on the topic of abortion,” according to the event’s press release obtained by Campus Reform.

The free event has a Q&A portion concluding Adams’ talk, during which Marston, a biology and chemistry major, was hoping the other student organizations could participate.

“I had naively thought UNCW’s pro-choice student organizations would jump at any and every opportunity to participate in events on the topic of abortion,” Marston told Campus Reform in an interview. “Or at least, I thought they would be somewhat interested in having a platform to defend their views. If they believe so strongly that abortion is a woman’s right—why are they afraid to defend their belief?”

[…]UNCW’s College Democrats also declined the invitation to attend the event as “our party’s views do not align with the views of the speaker.”

I think the pro-abortion folks, the LGBT folks and the Democrats are not so much interested in debate as they are in coercing anyone who disagrees with them.

Next article is from Fox News.

They write:

Students at Acalanes High School were given a handout with LGBT terminology – including words like pan-sexual, demi-boy and gray gender.

Teenagers at a California high school were publicly shamed for disagreeing with speakers allowed to push an LGBT agenda during an English class, according to several upset parents.

The Queer Straight Alliance at Acalanes High School, in Lafayette, lectured students in several ninth-grade English classes on Jan. 29 about LGBT issues, according to Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing the parents.

During the class, the students, ages 14 and 15, were instructed to stand in a circle. Then, they were grilled about their personal beliefs and their parents’ beliefs on homosexuality, PJI alleges.

“The QSA had students step forward to demonstrate whether they believed that being gay was a choice and whether their parents would be accepting if they came out as gay,” PJI attorney Matthew McReynolds said. “Students who did not step forward were ridiculed and humiliated.”

PJI is a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases. They are representing several families who had children in the freshman classes — some of whom also are angry because there was no parental notification of the LGBT lecture.

“Singling out students for ridicule based on their moral or political beliefs is a Marxist tactic that should have no place in the United States of America,” Dacus said.

Yes, and Christian parents are paying for it by force – there is no school choice. You are forced to pay for this, whether you use it or not.

And finally, an essay on the bullying of Christians and conservatives that happens in schools, from ISI Review.

Excerpt:

“The new intolerance” is shorthand for the chilled public atmosphere in which religious believers now operate. Many people of faith face unique burdens that would have been unthinkable even a couple of decades ago: burdens of ostracism, of losing the good opinion of their neighbors, of being trash-talked in the public square. Some even face the loss of livelihood or the constant threat and reality of litigation; for a primer, see the hounding last spring of Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich for his donation years earlier on behalf of traditional marriage.

Although this new intolerance has begun to attract attention and debate, the connection between that phenomenon and the rise in unbelief among twenty-somethings remains to be explored. And the scrutiny is overdue. It is well known, and well documented by social science, that many students, not only in America but all over, lose their religion in college. The interesting question is why.

[…]Students, like any other human beings, cannot help being sensitive to atmospherics. Let’s think again of the new force that drives a CEO out of his post for having donated to defend traditional marriage. If the new intolerance can penalize an “alpha” like him so dramatically, how much more menacing must it be to people just starting out, whose futures and livelihoods depend so heavily on the opinion of their peers?

[…]It’s time to air the idea that college students do not stay out of church or synagogue because their education leads them to enlightened conclusions about the big questions. No, the more likely dynamic is that thanks to the new intolerance, the social and other costs of being a known believer in the public square mount by the year—and students take note. Hence intimidation on the quad, multiplied over many years and campuses, is an unseen engine of secularization.

This intimidation didn’t work on me, but I have met Christian women who were very sensitive to peer approval when they got to college. They went from Bible verse memorization to shacking up to abortion to divorce. They started to drift because of the peer-shaming and the professor-shaming, and then it is cemented by the repeated experiences of binge-drinking, hooking up and shacking up. The repeated experience of putting aside God and moral boundaries in order to have fun forms a new worldview at a deep level, and it continues as they age.

Even if they come back to the Christian faith at a superficial (emotional, devotional) level, the underlying worldview is hard to fix. Attempts to re-orient them towards an effective Christian life that addresses the real problems that Christians are facing today in the culture will not be accepted. The self-centered life-plan that was formed in college remains intact, with just a veneer of piety on top to justify it when it’s called into question.

4 thoughts on “Are secular leftists on campus interested in discussing different viewpoints?”

  1. I went to a secular university and I expected to be different and ridiculed for it. I was prepared to handle it and actually took pride in standing up for what I believe and not caring what people thought of me. I never had the desire to fit in with people I knew were wrong. And I knew they were wrong because I had evidence that my worldview was correct and theirs was false.

    However, I can see where people with greater peer dependence would find it harder and harder to stand out and be different in the face of opposition and ridicule, especially if they don’t have evidence to back up their beliefs and can’t provide a good answer to others for why they believe as they do. That lack of evidence is a big part of the problem, as is peer dependency.

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  2. Discussion assumes there is more than one valid point of view. They obviously feel that no rational person could think differently than they do so any “discussion” is a waste of time.

    The left seem to only feel useful if they are crusading for the underdog. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be able to deal reasonably with any situation where they cannot claim victimhood.

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  3. “In the email, the organizations said…they will not participate in any debates with the Christian apologetics organization as they do not share the same beliefs when it comes to abortion and LGBT issues.”

    Apparently they do not realize that the whole point of a debate is to have a dialog between people who do not share the same beliefs.

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