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Academic Freedom?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

This article is particularly telling regarding the what is considered "academic freedom" today. (HT: Greg Linscott)

Notice the first few paragraphs:

The request seemed simple enough to the Rev. Hershael W. York, then the president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He asked Georgetown College, a small Baptist liberal arts institution here, to consider hiring for its religion department someone who would teach a literal interpretation of the Bible.

But to William H. Crouch Jr., the president of Georgetown, it was among the last straws in a struggle that had involved issues like who could be on the board of trustees and whether the college encouraged enough freedom of inquiry to qualify for a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Dr. Crouch and his trustees decided it was time to end the college’s 63-year affiliation with the religious denomination. “From my point of view, it was about academic freedom,’’ Dr. Crouch said. “I sat for 25 years and watched my denomination become much more narrow and, in terms of education, much more interested in indoctrination.’’

If the article is accurate, all the president of the KBC did was ask them to "consider" hiring someone who actually believes the Bible and the president of the college determined that this was an attack on academic freedom that could not be tolerated.

Wow! If he was truly interested in "freedom of inquiry" it would seem like it would have been a wise thing to think about hiring someone who actually had a different point of view than what was already there - wouldn't that be "diversity" and therefore to be highly valued among liberal educators?

The reality, of course, is that neither "diversity" nor "freedom of inquiry" is truly valued by the liberal crowd. What is valued is forcing their view down people's throats while not allowing the other viewpoints to be publicly espoused without ridicule or censure (see the vehemence demonstrated when people try to get a simple disclaimer added to evolutionary textbooks). The "diversity" and "freedom of inquiry" angles are only helpful when one is in the minority position and wants to force their views in against others. Now that the liberal view is in control in places like this, the values of "diversity" and "freedom of inquiry" are thrown out the window because they were not valued by the left for principled reasons, but rather for utilitarian reasons. Now that the pragmatic usefulness of these principles might be used by the other side, we find that the principles are thrown aside because these precious principles were not really valued in the first place.

Just my thoughts,


File under: Culture War