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Conservative students vs. liberal professors

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hmm - whatever happened to academic freedom and open debate? http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/12....ap/index.html
post #2 of 26
Oh, for crying out loud! Suing because you're required to read the Quran?! You're required to read it, not to BELIEVE it! That is absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, a lot of the people in that article sound like total whiners. So your professor's beliefs, and the things he or she teaches in class are widely divergent from your own beliefs - big deal! Switch courses or, *gasp*, actually tolerate hearing (hearing, not embracing) beliefs different from your own. I have the opposite 'problem' - I'm very left-wing, and some of my profs. are very right-wing (including one last year who was a fundamentalist Christian and not at all shy about proselytising), and quite vocal about it - I don't p*** and moan and make frivoulous lawsuits and what are basically blacklists, I listen to what they have to say, and disagree where I choose to. Some people really need to just suck it up - disagree with what your professors say all you want, after all, you're just as entitled to freedom of speech as they are, but law suits?! Making online blacklists of professors who are 'anti-American'?! Absurd.
post #3 of 26
My opinion is that personal politics shouldn't be the overriding concern of what is taught by the professor. That cuts both ways, liberal and conservative. If a professor wants to discuss current events, that's OK as long as the true curriculum isn't overshadowed, which in some cases I think it is. However, the professors have to realize that not ALL of their students believe the same thing they do and those students should not be singled out, made to work harder for the same grade, or degraded in class because they don't share the same view. That's wrong!

I can tell you this, I wouldn't even think about attending CU-Boulder because of the political leaning of the town and especially the university. I honestly don't think I would get fair grades by some of the professors because of my political views from things I have heard on many radio shows here. Is that fair?

I don't have a problem with even "required" reading of a book about the Quran. We all need to have a better understanding of the Islamic religion so there isn't the predjudice against the entire religion because of some fanatics. I agree, suing over that is a bit ridiculous...but at the same time, imagine the lawsuits if a book about the Bible was required reading for anyone entering a public university - and how many would say that's just wrong of them to push their views down those students' throats?
post #4 of 26
The thing I find distasteful is the lawsuits. Everybody wants to sue everybody all the time over everything. To me it really taints what the American justice system stands for.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
...but at the same time, imagine the lawsuits if a book about the Bible was required reading for anyone entering a public university - and how many would say that's just wrong of them to push their views down those students' throats?
I *was* required to read several books about Christianity/the bible for one of my first year courses, and it was a public university. I didn't have a problem with it at all, and there certainly weren't any lawsuits (I'd think such a law suit was as ludicrous as the other one). Now, if they'd told me I was required to read those books AND accept as fact and truth everything said in them, I'd have taken issue. But - call me crazy - reading a book that has a differing opinion from my own does not upset me, provided I'm not required to *agree* with that opinion.

I do agree that if professors are grading students more harshly or denying them certain privileges based solely on their political leanings, that's very wrong and needs to be dealt with, but I find myself wondering if there is actually any persuasive evidence of this, or if it's of the same nature as those Christians who like to complain that they're horribly persecuted in America today. Run an objective investigation (meaning that it's run by an impartial mix of conservatives and liberals, not a biased conservative/religious or liberal group), complete with actual experimental studies of whether or not this is going on (shouldn't be very difficult at a university) show me real evidence, and then I'll be all for taking action if injustice is really occurring.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Hmm - whatever happened to academic freedom and open debate? http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/12....ap/index.html
I personally think both the bible and Quaran should be required reading.
I am amazed at how little people know about both, including myself.
I read the Quran recently (yes...I was even on vacation...) to find out how
Mohammed approaches violence, (He says only if attacked first by the way...and he came to this conclusion after being attacked) I have friends who think Jesus taught the "rapture" and was thus violent (He didn't teach it, that is an interpretation of a section of John)

If you look up the word "liberal" in the dictionary it includes free thinking so of course colleges are going to have that. So I think conservative students are going to have to open their minds or why are they there? If reading the Quaran bothers you then go to a trade school..I am serious.

Heidi, I work at UC Berkeley, and while the faculty is liberal, the students for the most aren't. So you would probably be fine at U of C. I work directly with students and they are moderate to conservative with rare exceptions. There were virtually no anti war demonstations. When the clerical staff had a strike they got no support from students, quotes were like "just get another job if you dont' like it" This is a conservative generation and faculities are used to it.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
I just wonder about the accusations of political or religious beliefs influencing grades mentioned in the article. I attended three pretty conservative universities, the one where I did my undergrad studies private and parochial, my political leanings aren't exactly middle of the road, and I've been getting into political discussions since the Vietnam era (my mom would tell you since I was about two). The only time I ever felt I was discriminated against grade-wise (and lodged an official complaint, two years after receiving the grade, just to make it clear that my complaint wasn't an attempt to raise my GPA) was in one class because of my gender. The matter was investigated, and the ruling in my favor, and helped those females who "dared" to take one of dear old Prof. S.'s classes after me. I've been teaching since 1980, and have witnessed very, very few cases where grading hasn't been objective. It happens, but more rarely than a lot of students probably think, and complaints are reviewed. I'm on a review panel right now, and the final outcome will probably be that the teacher in question wasn't too subjective, but simply too tough on all her students.
Where does the attitude, "We're only interested in covering material that fits into our Weltanschauung", come from? How can anybody be certain just what their view of the world is if they don't compare and contrast various philosophies? I had a couple of German history seminars, and Hitler's "Mein Kampf" was required reading for one of them. I never felt that that meant the professor was a Nazi, or trying to turn me into one. Or that I should sue him for that. Ditto contemporary Cuban literature. If you don't want to read something on the list, don't. I studied German and Latin American Lit., and did AP English Lit.. I never got through T.S.E.'s "The Wasteland", which was required (I B.S.'d my way through the exam, resulting in a B+, which I still have a guilty conscience about), and have tried to get through the LOTR trilogy five times (and failed, even during an extended hospital stay). It's one thing to try, and fail to finish, or get upset about the contents of a book, and quite another to say that it disturbs your sensibilities and not even crack it open.
Hey, I even read stuff from the "Faux News" Web site. And read one of Coulter's books (and promptly threw it in the nearest trash can once I got through it). At least I read/listen to her stuff, and O'Reilly's, Hannity's, etc.. Limbaugh is totally unknown over here.
What I find really bad is that a lot of kids don't know enough about what's going on in the world, and why, to even discuss things that directly affect their lives. I got into the difference between "Islamism" and "Islamicism" with one class last Tuesday, due to a text we're translating; I was gratified that about 1/3 of the class knew the difference - that's sad. It was my Turkish, Bosnian, and Azerbaijani students who could explain it.
post #8 of 26
makes me wonder why there are so many more liberal professors than conservative.. maybe it's the conservatives fault eh? Maybe the students should bust their own side for not producing any.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by annabelle33
makes me wonder why there are so many more liberal professors than conservative.. maybe it's the conservatives fault eh? Maybe the students should bust their own side for not producing any.
I just think it all comes down to psychology, everthing does. The type of person who would want to teach in college is more apt to be liberal. No big conspiracy, just if you are a more free thinker you want teach. Same with
journalism, it probably does have more liberals just cause of the nature of the work. Engineers are more apt to be conservative for instance. Bankers conservative. Things like that...
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Hmm - whatever happened to academic freedom and open debate?
That's the whole question isn't it? It's no longer a matter of open debate, any comments that contradict the PC view are squashed and condemned as "hate speech" in the classrooms. The incident briefly referred to in this article at the University of North Carolina happened over two years ago. Right after 9/11 university faculty joined with some of the other more extreme views in calling the attacks "justified" and saying the US brought them on ourselves. For the following school year (2002) the university required all incoming freshmen to read a book which was primarily a propaganda piece touting the merits of Islam. It created quite an uproar, including from the mostly Democratic state legislature, from the Democratic US Representative from that district, and from Jesse Helms, the Republican Senator. The only one we didn't hear from was the Democratic Senator, John Edwards (is anyone not surprised?) Three students went to court (funded by a Christian group). The University stated that the reading wasn't actually required, so the case was dropped, but two days after leaving court the University posted on its web site and sent out notices to all incoming freshmen that it WAS required. Well, back to court they went, but by the time it got heard the entry day had passed and the court decided it was mute.

Gradually the stir died down until the next year (2003) when the University again "required" a very controversial book to be read by incoming freshmen. This time it was a propaganda piece about the oppression of people on welfare, and how they are trapped victims with barriers intentionally put up to make them unable to better themselves. It was supposed to be a researched first person account, but some quick fact checking by the newspapers found it to be mostly fiction. Again the accusations, again the legislatures got involved, and again the faculty screaming "academic freedom". At this point the legislature reminded the University (in pretty strong terms) that it was a public institution funded by the tax payers dollars, allocated by the legislature. The next year (2004) the required reading was generally uncontroversial (I believe it was something on economics, but generally along the line of the required reading in the years before the 2002 controversy.)

On the other hand, what this University did do this year:

- Kicked out the Christian fraternity because it required it's members to be Christian (though black fraternities can require members to be black, gay groups can require members to promote lesbian/gay issues, etc.) The claim was that their requirement was against the "all inclusive" stance of the University, but I guess that only applies if your views are not in alignment with the liberal views of the faculty.

- A student was strongly reprimanded by a professor for mentioning in a discussion group that he "was uncomfortable with homosexual displays of affection." The professor sent out a nasty reprimand, with copies to all members of the class, calling this "hate speech" and stating it had no place in a discussion. This time when the legislature got involved the University president required the professor to give an official apology (both the text of the reprimand and that of the apology were printed in the local paper. The apology was half hearted at best.) No other action was taken against the professor. The legislature has started a investigation into the matter. It was pointed out that if the student had remarked he was uncomfortable with a Christian group preaching in the "quad" and the professor had reprimanded him the professor would have been fired. (The "quad" is an open, paved area in the center of campus where groups often hold rallies, give speeches etc. On several occasions when walking through there I've actually seen people standing on small stools, just like a soap box, giving a speech to a dozen or so who would listen.)

As for Berkley, when Michelle Malkin gave her talk about her controversial book In Defense of Internment the liberal student groups first tried to prevent the talk, then disrupt it by attempting to storm the building, planted people in the audience to disrupt the event, sent in threats, etc. A book signing scheduled at the end of the event had to be cancelled because of security concerns after threats were received. Ms. Malkin supports many non-PC ideas, including using reasonable profiles (including ethnic criteria) when it comes to screening for terrorists. Like so many universities Berkley, which often claims to the hub of free speech, appears to only support it when it espouses the PC view.
post #11 of 26
By the way, though the dictionary might still have "free thinking" in the definition of liberal, the modern practice of liberalism is anything but. I know the liberals always want to spin their views by calling the "progressive" or "free thinking" or some other such term. The reality is they are generally close minded and unwilling to listen to other views as they claim others to be.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmsDad
That's the whole question isn't it? It's no longer a matter of open debate, any comments that contradict the PC view are squashed and condemned as "hate speech" in the classrooms. The incident briefly referred to in this article at the University of North Carolina happened over two years ago. Right after 9/11 university faculty joined with some of the other more extreme views in calling the attacks "justified" and saying the US brought them on ourselves. For the following school year (2002) the university required all incoming freshmen to read a book which was primarily a propaganda piece touting the merits of Islam. It created quite an uproar, including from the mostly Democratic state legislature, from the Democratic US Representative from that district, and from Jesse Helms, the Republican Senator. The only one we didn't hear from was the Democratic Senator, John Edwards (is anyone not surprised?) Three students went to court (funded by a Christian group). The University stated that the reading wasn't actually required, so the case was dropped, but two days after leaving court the University posted on its web site and sent out notices to all incoming freshmen that it WAS required. Well, back to court they went, but by the time it got heard the entry day had passed and the court decided it was mute.

Gradually the stir died down until the next year (2003) when the University again "required" a very controversial book to be read by incoming freshmen. This time it was a propaganda piece about the oppression of people on welfare, and how they are trapped victims with barriers intentionally put up to make them unable to better themselves. It was supposed to be a researched first person account, but some quick fact checking by the newspapers found it to be mostly fiction. Again the accusations, again the legislatures got involved, and again the faculty screaming "academic freedom". At this point the legislature reminded the University (in pretty strong terms) that it was a public institution funded by the tax payers dollars, allocated by the legislature. The next year (2004) the required reading was generally uncontroversial (I believe it was something on economics, but generally along the line of the required reading in the years before the 2002 controversy.)
On the other hand, what this University did do this year:

- Kicked out the Christian fraternity because it required it's members to be Christian (though black fraternities can require members to be black, gay groups can require members to promote lesbian/gay issues, etc.) The claim was that their requirement was against the "all inclusive" stance of the University, but I guess that only applies if your views are not in alignment with the liberal views of the faculty.

- A student was strongly reprimanded by a professor for mentioning in a discussion group that he "was uncomfortable with homosexual displays of affection." The professor sent out a nasty reprimand, with copies to all members of the class, calling this "hate speech" and stating it had no place in a discussion. This time when the legislature got involved the University president required the professor to give an official apology (both the text of the reprimand and that of the apology were printed in the local paper. The apology was half hearted at best.) No other action was taken against the professor. The legislature has started a investigation into the matter. It was pointed out that if the student had remarked he was uncomfortable with a Christian group preaching in the "quad" and the professor had reprimanded him the professor would have been fired. (The "quad" is an open, paved area in the center of campus where groups often hold rallies, give speeches etc. On several occasions when walking through there I've actually seen people standing on small stools, just like a soap box, giving a speech to a dozen or so who would listen.)

As for Berkley, when Michelle Malkin gave her talk about her controversial book In Defense of Internment the liberal student groups first tried to prevent the talk, then disrupt it by attempting to storm the building, planted people in the audience to disrupt the event, sent in threats, etc. A book signing scheduled at the end of the event had to be cancelled because of security concerns after threats were received. Ms. Malkin supports many non-PC ideas, including using reasonable profiles (including ethnic criteria) when it comes to screening for terrorists. Like so many universities Berkley, which often claims to the hub of free speech, appears to only support it when it espouses the PC view.
I'm only going to touch on one point here, and that is "required reading". As a teacher, I have to give reading assignments. For the past eight years, I've been using two excellent "Op-Eds" from "USA Today" regarding the death penalty, which doesn't exist in Germany. My students have to read both articles, one pro, one anti, regardless of their personal views, and comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments used. One current assignment is reading interviews with Merkel (opposition leader in Germany, against Turkey joining the EU), and Erdogan (Turkish PM) regarding Turkey's possible accession to the EU. I've used articles written by former Russian Foreign Minister Kosyrev plugging the invasion of Chechnya, and a "Faux" article arguing Bush's reasons for invading Iraq. The idea is to get the kids to really think about issues, and to analyze them. As I mentioned in another post, there is a difference between "Islamist" and "Islamicist", and young people have to be made aware that "Moslem" doesn't equal "terrorist".
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmsDad
...the university required all incoming freshmen to read a book which was primarily a propaganda piece touting the merits of Islam.
IMO, young people should be made aware that Islam does have its merits, just as most other religions do.
In short, just because something is "required reading" doesn't mean it's being assigned for purposes of indocrination.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I'm only going to touch on one point here, and that is "required reading". As a teacher, I have to give reading assignments. For the past eight years, I've been using two excellent "Op-Eds" from "USA Today" regarding the death penalty, which doesn't exist in Germany. My students have to read both articles, one pro, one anti, regardless of their personal views, and comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments used. One current assignment is reading interviews with Merkel (opposition leader in Germany, against Turkey joining the EU), and Erdogan (Turkish PM) regarding Turkey's possible accession to the EU. I've used articles written by former Russian Foreign Minister Kosyrev plugging the invasion of Chechnya, and a "Faux" article arguing Bush's reasons for invading Iraq. The idea is to get the kids to really think about issues, and to analyze them. As I mentioned in another post, there is a difference between "Islamist" and "Islamicist", and young people have to be made aware that "Moslem" doesn't equal "terrorist".
Tricia, the issue is that there are professors and apparently entire school faculties who aren't doing what you are doing, which is presenting both sides regardless of your own personal feelings about the issue and trying to get the students to think for themselves. Presenting only one side of an issue isn't good journalism and it isn't good teaching. That is indoctrination.

I can't speak for anyone who was involved in the lawsuits, but I do not have a problem with hearing opinions that differ from mine (otherwise I would avoid this forum like the plague!). What I do have a problem with is one side or the other teaching their OPINION as if it were fact to students who *should* be taught, at that point in their intellectual development, how to analyze the information they get from all sides in a critical light to come to their own conclusions. I don't want colleges to be turning out a bunch of mindless drones, either liberal or conservative!
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmsDad
That's the whole question isn't it? It's no longer a matter of open debate, any comments that contradict the PC view are squashed and condemned as "hate speech" in the classrooms. The incident briefly referred to in this article at the University of North Carolina happened over two years ago. Right after 9/11 university faculty joined with some of the other more extreme views in calling the attacks "justified" and saying the US brought them on ourselves. For the following school year (2002) the university required all incoming freshmen to read a book which was primarily a propaganda piece touting the merits of Islam. It created quite an uproar, including from the mostly Democratic state legislature, from the Democratic US Representative from that district, and from Jesse Helms, the Republican Senator. The only one we didn't hear from was the Democratic Senator, John Edwards (is anyone not surprised?) Three students went to court (funded by a Christian group). The University stated that the reading wasn't actually required, so the case was dropped, but two days after leaving court the University posted on its web site and sent out notices to all incoming freshmen that it WAS required. Well, back to court they went, but by the time it got heard the entry day had passed and the court decided it was mute.

Gradually the stir died down until the next year (2003) when the University again "required" a very controversial book to be read by incoming freshmen. This time it was a propaganda piece about the oppression of people on welfare, and how they are trapped victims with barriers intentionally put up to make them unable to better themselves. It was supposed to be a researched first person account, but some quick fact checking by the newspapers found it to be mostly fiction. Again the accusations, again the legislatures got involved, and again the faculty screaming "academic freedom". At this point the legislature reminded the University (in pretty strong terms) that it was a public institution funded by the tax payers dollars, allocated by the legislature. The next year (2004) the required reading was generally uncontroversial (I believe it was something on economics, but generally along the line of the required reading in the years before the 2002 controversy.)

On the other hand, what this University did do this year:

- Kicked out the Christian fraternity because it required it's members to be Christian (though black fraternities can require members to be black, gay groups can require members to promote lesbian/gay issues, etc.) The claim was that their requirement was against the "all inclusive" stance of the University, but I guess that only applies if your views are not in alignment with the liberal views of the faculty.

- A student was strongly reprimanded by a professor for mentioning in a discussion group that he "was uncomfortable with homosexual displays of affection." The professor sent out a nasty reprimand, with copies to all members of the class, calling this "hate speech" and stating it had no place in a discussion. This time when the legislature got involved the University president required the professor to give an official apology (both the text of the reprimand and that of the apology were printed in the local paper. The apology was half hearted at best.) No other action was taken against the professor. The legislature has started a investigation into the matter. It was pointed out that if the student had remarked he was uncomfortable with a Christian group preaching in the "quad" and the professor had reprimanded him the professor would have been fired. (The "quad" is an open, paved area in the center of campus where groups often hold rallies, give speeches etc. On several occasions when walking through there I've actually seen people standing on small stools, just like a soap box, giving a speech to a dozen or so who would listen.)

As for Berkley, when Michelle Malkin gave her talk about her controversial book In Defense of Internment the liberal student groups first tried to prevent the talk, then disrupt it by attempting to storm the building, planted people in the audience to disrupt the event, sent in threats, etc. A book signing scheduled at the end of the event had to be cancelled because of security concerns after threats were received. Ms. Malkin supports many non-PC ideas, including using reasonable profiles (including ethnic criteria) when it comes to screening for terrorists. Like so many universities Berkley, which often claims to the hub of free speech, appears to only support it when it espouses the PC view.

I work at Berkeley sir so I think I might know a little better than you.
(talk about not listening) There is a liberal group but believe me its SMALL.
I mean yes they protest Malkin, another small group blockaded a hall when ethnic studies was being removed from curriculm but the majority are conservative types. Go to Sproul plaza these days, the seat of famous free speech movement, it's mostly fraternities and sororities.
There is a much more active young republicans group. For instance I was privy to an "insiders" email conversation about whether or not to protest Gates when he came, basically grad students were advised not to by their peers. A really small group did.

Look Malkin is a bad example. The title itself is provacative, she is getting what she wants with this reaction. Sorry..you don't name a book "In Defense of Internment" and NOT expect STRONG reaction. They were just playing into her hand. I had family friends who were interned during WW2. They lost their homes, their health. Tell me sir, if your parents had had that happen how would you feel about some young women writing a book with that title? Yes we can forgive but it was a stain on American history NOT to be thrown in people's faces just to sell books.
They had to live horse stalls where they hay had been spray painted.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmsDad
By the way, though the dictionary might still have "free thinking" in the definition of liberal, the modern practice of liberalism is anything but. I know the liberals always want to spin their views by calling the "progressive" or "free thinking" or some other such term. The reality is they are generally close minded and unwilling to listen to other views as they claim others to be.
Examples please? (and not just cause we have strong opinions please,
remember Kerry apparently lost cause he was too wishy washy...)
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Tricia, the issue is that there are professors and apparently entire school faculties who aren't doing what you are doing, which is presenting both sides regardless of your own personal feelings about the issue and trying to get the students to think for themselves. Presenting only one side of an issue isn't good journalism and it isn't good teaching. That is indoctrination.

I can't speak for anyone who was involved in the lawsuits, but I do not have a problem with hearing opinions that differ from mine (otherwise I would avoid this forum like the plague!). What I do have a problem with is one side or the other teaching their OPINION as if it were fact to students who *should* be taught, at that point in their intellectual development, how to analyze the information they get from all sides in a critical light to come to their own conclusions. I don't want colleges to be turning out a bunch of mindless drones, either liberal or conservative!
Heidi, the problem, as I see it, isn't what the universities are doing, but how the media presents their approach. It's much too easy nowadays to only access those print, tv, and internet media that report in accordance with our own personal views.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Heidi, the problem, as I see it, isn't what the universities are doing, but how the media presents their approach. It's much too easy nowadays to only access those print, tv, and internet media that report in accordance with our own personal views.
I can definitely see your point. Wouldn't it be nice to actually have an unbiased media that we could trust to actually give us facts instead of their opinion???

At the same time do personal accounts "count" toward making an opinion? The reason I ask is because I have heard quite a few personal accounts from people calling in to radio shows this past year since CU was in such a spotlight with the football recruiting scandal, the alcohol related deaths, and some political rallies they had. These are from former students, parents, and current students at the school. Boulder is a VERY liberal town (one man I know who lives there says that the directions to Boulder are: Go to the edge of reality and take a left. ), and CU is a notoriously liberal campus (politically speaking). And that's fine, but it is also known as a very good academic school. I just don't think that one should be a prerequisite for the other, and from the accounts I have heard that appears to be true in some classes. Not all by a long shot, but there are some...
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I can definitely see your point. Wouldn't it be nice to actually have an unbiased media that we could trust to actually give us facts instead of their opinion???

At the same time do personal accounts "count" toward making an opinion? The reason I ask is because I have heard quite a few personal accounts from people calling in to radio shows this past year since CU was in such a spotlight with the football recruiting scandal, the alcohol related deaths, and some political rallies they had. These are from former students, parents, and current students at the school. Boulder is a VERY liberal town (one man I know who lives there says that the directions to Boulder are: Go to the edge of reality and take a left. ), and CU is a notoriously liberal campus (politically speaking). And that's fine, but it is also known as a very good academic school. I just don't think that one should be a prerequisite for the other, and from the accounts I have heard that appears to be true in some classes. Not all by a long shot, but there are some...
Remember Heidi, colleges are made up of individual teachers too, while yes some are jerks, some Profs are great. As in all life, good with bad. I am sure though for every one who forces opinon on you, many more don't. I had a very
conservative,born again, right wing student student work for our program
(yes at UC Berkeley) he was one of pretty large movement over there, and he
never felt treated different by his liberal Profs ( he wore Christian T-shirts all the time...you couldn't miss it)
post #19 of 26
In my opinion
dont attend if you dont like it
post #20 of 26
Quote:
I agree, suing over that is a bit ridiculous...but at the same time, imagine the lawsuits if a book about the Bible was required reading for anyone entering a public university - and how many would say that's just wrong of them to push their views down those students' throats?

Yes, and I feel the same. I had a similiar situation with an adolescent lit class where the teacher "required" us to read Harry Potter. I told her my reservations about reading it and requested an alternate book or assignment. She still tried to justify the book by claiming "Catholics" endorse it, blah, blah, blah, but I still stuck to my convictions. I DID say however that if she couldn't provide an alternative, I WOULD read it and offer an "anti-Harry Potter paper as my response/discussion of the novel.

Turns out (thank-God) that because of a snow day, my professor had to offer Harry Potter OR a different novel in the curriculum because we didn't have enough days to cover both books!!

If Schools and Government are hell-bent on "Seperation of Church and State" and don't allow the name of Jesus to be spoken in a public school OR prayer, OR Bible readings, then fairs fair. They shouldn't require the study of other religions. This only shows they DO endorse humanism and other religions but exclude Christianity. Personally if they kept it fair and allowed discussion of ALL religions including Christianity OR if they don't want prayer in schools then they shouldn't allow other religions practices disguised as "cultural" activities/learning, I am ALL for seperation of church and state. The problem is that Christianity is treated like a disease and other religions are welcomed as "cultural enrichment" for the students!!

If those students had THAT much of a problem with reading the Q'ran, they shouldn't have enrolled in a public university. There are plenty of quality Christian institutions.
post #21 of 26
...but the seperation of church and state does not apply to private institutions, as Charm demonstrated in the thread about homosexuals being kicked out of private schools... so Berkely is well within its rights to require the Q'ran.

Personally, I would not be interested in such a class, but I don't think the topic is sue-worthy.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover67
If Schools and Government are hell-bent on "Seperation of Church and State" and don't allow the name of Jesus to be spoken in a public school OR prayer, OR Bible readings, then fairs fair. They shouldn't require the study of other religions. This only shows they DO endorse humanism and other religions but exclude Christianity. Personally if they kept it fair and allowed discussion of ALL religions including Christianity OR if they don't want prayer in schools then they shouldn't allow other religions practices disguised as "cultural" activities/learning, I am ALL for seperation of church and state. The problem is that Christianity is treated like a disease and other religions are welcomed as "cultural enrichment" for the students!!
But there is a difference between studying a religion and practicing a religion - you're confusing the two. Christian prayers and bible readings (in a religious context) would be the practice of Christianity (I'm pretty sure there's no law prohibiting someone from saying the word 'Jesus' in a public school, so I'm not sure what you mean there), and that's not appropriate for a public school. Just as Muslim prayers or readings from the Quran (again, with a religious intent) would be the practice of Islam, and also not appropriate for a public school. That wasn't what happened here, though - the lawsuit was because the students were required to read a book about the Quran. Reading a book about a religion does not constitute practicing that religion - it is simply study of that religion. Christianity can be studied in a public school, too (we *did* study it in my public school) - it cannot be practiced, via school-lead prayer. So, no, it's really not like schools are playing favourites - Christianity can't be practiced (well, it can be, privately, nothing to stop someone from praying in their own head, the practice just can't be lead or scheduled by the school), and neither can Islam (when was the last time you saw Islamic prayer lead by an authority in a public school during class time? Never?). But both, or any religion, can be studied.
post #23 of 26
I understand the distinction, Juniper. SOME schools DO NOT however, or they let other religious groups "practice" their religions all in the guise of "education". For instance, at my public university, a girl wanted to do a music lesson plan using a Christian folk song. She was told "NO" by the instructor, YET, the same instructor gave permission to different student to bring in a Native American Indian tribe to do a tribal "prayer to the ancestors" dance complete with sprinkling tobbacco on the drums to (and I quote one of the Native American members: "We use the tobacco to summon SPIRITS!!

If that isn't blatant discrimination against Christianity by not allowing a woman to use a Christian folk song in a cultural sense, but allowing a Native American group in to actually perform a religious ceremony, I don't know what is!!

I wasn't even talking about being allowed to "preach and practice". MOST students are warned by my college professors to not use the name of Jesus in schools lest we offend someone!! It has gotten to the point that every religion is encouraged, tolerated, talked about, and in some cases practiced in schools, but Christianity in ANY form (other than bashing it) is taboo!!

But hey, I've done my time, gritted my teeth, held my tongue, and given my profs what they wanted and soon I will have my degree and can CHOOSE to go wherever it is acceptable to talk about God in an educational setting.

If Christian colleges were less expensive, I would have attended one, but least expensive was the "liberal" Christian bashing college near me. Oh well, I am not permenantly scarred. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, LOL!!
post #24 of 26
Quote:
work at Berkeley sir so I think I might know a little better than you.
Ah yes, the indignant response. Every read any Ann Coulter? She predicts this very type of response. Enough said.

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Look Malkin is a bad example. The title itself is provacative, she is getting what she wants with this reaction. Sorry..you don't name a book "In Defense of Internment" and NOT expect STRONG reaction. They were just playing into her hand.
So she's not entitled to an opinion if it's controversial? Go ahead and blame her for the response if you want to, but I see it as very similar to blaming a rape victim, saying she "asked for it" because of the way she dressed. Both accusations are offensive to thinking people.

Quote:
Examples please? (and not just cause we have strong opinions please,
remember Kerry apparently lost cause he was too wishy washy...)
Well, if you read my previous post you'd see examples. There are plenty in other threads on this very forum. I don't feel a need to look them all up because you are personally offended.

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In my opinion
dont attend if you dont like it
That's fine and absolutely appropriate for a private school. But now we're talking about public institutions which are funded primarily by tax payers' money.

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...but the seperation of church and state does not apply to private institutions, as Charm demonstrated in the thread about homosexuals being kicked out of private schools... so Berkely is well within its rights to require the Q'ran.
First, the lawsuit was against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which I can almost throw a rock at from my house. The issue was so controversial because the book in question was not simply an education about Islam, it is a very pro-Islam propaganda piece which could clearly have been interpreted as promoting Islam. In addition, it was required AFTER 9/11 and AFTER so many UNC faculty went on record saying it was the fault of the U.S. for the attacks, and AFTER so many minor shows of patriotism were attacked by University officials (including such simple things as flying flags or wearing flag pins.) In addition, the University has been very aggressive about NOT allowing any readings about Christianity, and as I mention even kicked off the Christian fraternity because they required their members to be Christian, though they didn't apply the same standard to other groups. By the way, even our devoutly Islamic friends (who's wedding we attended at the local Mosque) considered this requirement an extremely poor decision on the part of the University.

As in the other thread, the private school was within it's rights to expel a student for violating the school's standards. On the other hand, if it had been a public school it would have been a very different thing indeed.

Second, the University of California at Berkley is part of the University of California system, a PUBLIC institution.

In our immediate community we have four major universities: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University. Of these only Duke is a private institution. If THAT school had set such a requirement it may have raised a fuss but it would not have been nearly the same issue because it is not a public university and would have been within their rights to establish their own standards. By the way, Duke DID have a controversial speaker this year when they invited the woman who bombed the Capital way back when (and spent a lot of years in jail.) She claimed bombing buildings was inappropriate, but she was right to do so because apparently her cause was so much more important than that of anyone else. (i.e.: she's a convicted terrorist!) No one tried to storm the building when she spoke, and there were never any threats reported.

Now the UNC faculty are up in arms because a conservative non-profit group has offered $2 million to fund the startup of a program in European History, and has offered to make annual donations to maintain the program. (The University was already looking to start this program.) The curriculum is defined by the University, and not by the donor group, but the Faculty are unhappy because it's a conservative group. This was never an issue when liberal groups made donations for other programs.
post #25 of 26
Okay. I come from a strange Point of View on the subject. My father is islamic. He grew up going to mosque in the mornings when he could first distinguish the difference in the hues of his fathers prayer mats.. He followed the 5 pillars and everything. He Married my mum. She is Roman Catholic. If there's a way that my parents can look at their two religions, why is it that everyone else is so offended to look past the outward diference to see how similar the beliefs are?

They both tout cleanliness, peacefulness, and healthiness. they have the same stories in them!! It's my opinion that if you're unwilling to see the other side of things, that's because you're bigoted, and afraid to find outyou're wrong. Guess what? the Koran was not required reading for me. ever. I still read it. And the bible. And Martin Luther's 95 theses. So, what's the problem?

I think it's neccesary to know MORE about the islamic belief, so it is more widely understood that TERRORISTS come in MANY different religions, not just islam, and like in other religions, it's only a percentage of people that are muslim and terrorist. It's a pretty small percentage as well.

Guess what WAS required reading? The Communist Manifesto. And you know what? I enjoyed reading it. I felt it to be enlightening. I also realized how *******ized the theory of communism has become in this era, all because of a man named Stalin. Not all communists are Stalin, JUST like not all italians were fascists, not all Irish Catholics are form the IRA, and not everyone that reads the koran is going to become a terrorist.


Should I sue because Iwas made to read the communist manifesto, or should I feel happy that I read it, and got a better understanding of the idea? In like kind.. how should those poeple feel.. since they were trying to learn something, shouldn't they feel gratefull that they were given the opportunity to broaden their horizons, and see a differnt perspective on religion as their own?

How would they have felt if they were to read some other holy text? I doubt they'd be nearly so offened.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover67
I understand the distinction, Juniper. SOME schools DO NOT however, or they let other religious groups "practice" their religions all in the guise of "education". For instance, at my public university, a girl wanted to do a music lesson plan using a Christian folk song. She was told "NO" by the instructor, YET, the same instructor gave permission to different student to bring in a Native American Indian tribe to do a tribal "prayer to the ancestors" dance complete with sprinkling tobbacco on the drums to (and I quote one of the Native American members: "We use the tobacco to summon SPIRITS!!

If that isn't blatant discrimination against Christianity by not allowing a woman to use a Christian folk song in a cultural sense, but allowing a Native American group in to actually perform a religious ceremony, I don't know what is!!

I wasn't even talking about being allowed to "preach and practice". MOST students are warned by my college professors to not use the name of Jesus in schools lest we offend someone!! It has gotten to the point that every religion is encouraged, tolerated, talked about, and in some cases practiced in schools, but Christianity in ANY form (other than bashing it) is taboo!!

But hey, I've done my time, gritted my teeth, held my tongue, and given my profs what they wanted and soon I will have my degree and can CHOOSE to go wherever it is acceptable to talk about God in an educational setting.

If Christian colleges were less expensive, I would have attended one, but least expensive was the "liberal" Christian bashing college near me. Oh well, I am not permenantly scarred. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, LOL!!
Yes, that was definitely totally innappropriate on the part of the instructor - she should have been able to use a Christian song in a cultural/learning context. Did she/you try reporting it to the appropriate authorities? I would have - I'm not sure what sort of standards you have there, but here, there's no way that sort of thing would fly at all.

As for not using the name 'Jesus' in school - I suppose it depends on what context they were using it in - was it for the purpose of proselytising? If so, I agree with the profs. If it was simply in the course of a discussion about religion - again, quite innappropriate for them to be barred from using the name.

On one hand, I really think that a number of Christians are responsible for the fact that many non-Christians shy away from ANY exposure to Christianity, because Christians (not all, but as a whole) are such ardent, unabashed proselytisers, whereas many other religions do not proselytise at all. I mean, I've been told NUMEROUS times by Christians that I'm going to go to hell if I don't convert to their belief system, have been followed down the street with 'literature' even after I said 'no thanks', had them knocking on my door pestering me, etc., etc. On the other hand, I've never been harrassed by any Natives trying to convince me to convert to their belief system. Or for that matter, by anyone of any other belief system. I mean, I think it's pretty obvious how knowing that many Christians actively try to convert people could make one wary of discussion of Christianity, while knowing that, in your example, Natives are non well-known proselytisers, would make one much more comfortable with exposure to those beliefs. I always suspect that Christians are bringing up Christianity in order to try to sway me (because, let's be honest, many Christians do proselytise a lot), whereas I have no such suspicions of people of other religions, because these people aren't, by and large, proselytisers.

That said - no religion should be barred from school in the context of study. And here, it isn't. It's unfortunate that your school did this. If you have proof, really you should make a fuss about it.
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