Friday, March 25, 2005

Liberalism on Campus

I teach at four schools and five campi this semester. Something will pop for a full-time position and I will settle down ... it's the price you pay for changing careers. Seems de minimus to me. But what opportunity to see the differing faces of liberalism in action.

Faculty parking lot of one school. I would expect to see plenty of Kerry bumper stickers and perhaps just one W sticker. Not disappointed. But then the antagonism begins. A rainbow with the words, "Imagine no religion." You know the Jesus fish? Well, this particular travesty is called the Procreate Emblem (go about 3/4 of the way down the page on the left). It shows a Darwin Fish fornicating with a Jesus fish. Amazing.

Isn't there something to be said about creating a hostile work environment? I think that there is a federal law of some kind or another. Well, yes, it does seem to be on point. But does a parking lot constitute a material portion of the workplace?

Inside the buildings I am not presented with such hostility. I smile as I recall one professor with whom I would speak regularly - just social - until she found out I was a conservative. Not a word since. How sad.

In my classroom, my students know I am a Christian because I tell them and I bring the Bible into the discussions often. I have never been taken aside by the dean or any other person, but neither have I left the adjunct pool. Perhaps there is a correlation.

Students tell me of lectures in other classrooms. Teachers are rude about religion and republicans. Conservatives are fools. Students tell me because, they say, I give reasons for why I feel as I do, rather than simply bad-mouthing the other side.

Onto another school. I park with the students, so I don't know about the faculty cars. And I teach at night, so I don't know the day-time culture. But I do get the flyers. "Please inform your class of this important event." Something called "safe spaces" is very important. It applies to "GBLTs" - gays, bi-sexuals, lesbians, and trans-genders. A second forum was announced on "fighting heterosexualism." Oh my. Push this agenda far enough and there won't be sufficient number of straight couples left to procreate the race.

This second school has an underlying edge to it. Very hard, very antagonistic. During my interview (I must look liberal), I was told by the acting Dean that she wore a shirt in the late '80s that read, "I survived Reagan." Wanting to be hired, I showed discretion and kept, "perhaps, but you also prospered under him as well" to myself.

All the way up the pecking order of this school are women. Not a bad thing, per se. But in education, that seems to bring with it a wide path of inclusion for the liberal tent and exclusion for the conservative tent.

The students love me (at least according to the evaluations) but the deans don't. In fact, one new "acting Assistant Dean" (read, "they like me! they really like me!!!") has tried to pick a fight via e-mail. How sad. No, not sad - pathetic. It's ok. I've got lots of other places to teach.

My other two schools are fine. One is a religious school. It is easy to bring Christ into the classroom when I have a Cross on the wall behind me. The other school is private, no religious affiliation. But you know it is fine when a teacher puts the words to "Amazing Grace" on the board in the lounge and they stay there for months.

Pundits worry about our educational system and that we are losing our kids to a bunch of mind-numbed liberals. It is a valid point in some measure. But it discounts the intelligence of the students and the other teachers (like me) that bring Jesus to the discussion.

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