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A Confession of Liberal Intolerance


JDaveG
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“Of course there are biases against evangelicals on campuses,” notes Jonathan L. Walton, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard. Walton, a black evangelical, adds that the condescension toward evangelicals echoes the patronizing attitude toward racial minorities: “The same arguments I hear people make about evangelicals sound so familiar to the ways people often describe folk of color, i.e. politically unsophisticated, lacking education, angry, bitter, emotional, poor.”

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17 hours ago, JDaveG said:

“Of course there are biases against evangelicals on campuses,” notes Jonathan L. Walton, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard. Walton, a black evangelical, adds that the condescension toward evangelicals echoes the patronizing attitude toward racial minorities: “The same arguments I hear people make about evangelicals sound so familiar to the ways people often describe folk of color, i.e. politically unsophisticated, lacking education, angry, bitter, emotional, poor.”

To be fair, the disdain toward evangelicals has been "earned" somewhat. 

Its not a blanket disdain for religion, more so a disdain for a certain type of member. 

Thats not like racism at all. 

It's more like disliking frat guys for the typical way they act. 

 

I'd also like to point out that this comparison to minorities is ridiculous and wreaks of a "gotcha" type argument that falls incredibly flat. 

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49 minutes ago, WORilla said:

To be fair, the disdain toward evangelicals has been "earned" somewhat. 

Its not a blanket disdain for religion, more so a disdain for a certain type of member. 

Thats not like racism at all. 

It's more like disliking frat guys for the typical way they act. 

 

I'd also like to point out that this comparison to minorities is ridiculous and wreaks of a "gotcha" type argument that falls incredibly flat. 

Do you think this applies to PhD university professors the way it does, say, the dude who walks up to you in the Wal-Mart parking lot and asks if you die today will you know if you're going to heaven?

As for the last sentence, this dude is a minority.  And he's telling you what it's like in the academy.  Are you suggesting we discount his voice (thus proving his point)?

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1 hour ago, WORilla said:

To be fair, the disdain toward evangelicals has been "earned" somewhat. 

Its not a blanket disdain for religion, more so a disdain for a certain type of member. 

Thats not like racism at all. 

It's more like disliking frat guys for the typical way they act. 

 

I'd also like to point out that this comparison to minorities is ridiculous and wreaks of a "gotcha" type argument that falls incredibly flat. 

Something else bugs me about this response.  You are suggesting that it's okay to stereotype and mistreat people based on loose associations, but only in this instance.  In other words, what you are doing is saying it is okay to be bigoted, so long as the bigotry is directed at "a certain type of member."  Because of how people like them "typically act."  What's the difference between that and considering all black people lazy or all Mexicans to be abusive toward women or all Muslims to be wild eyed terrorists?

I would say something about Asian drivers but @holymoses would then have to remind me that this is the last proper racism allowed.

In any event, your post demonstrates that it is EXACTLY like racism.  You are essentially telling us that it is okay to disdain evangelicals because of "the typical way they act" (whatever that is).

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17 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

Something else bugs me about this response.  You are suggesting that it's okay to stereotype and mistreat people based on loose associations, but only in this instance.  In other words, what you are doing is saying it is okay to be bigoted, so long as the bigotry is directed at "a certain type of member."  Because of how people like them "typically act."  What's the difference between that and considering all black people lazy or all Mexicans to be abusive toward women or all Muslims to be wild eyed terrorists?

I would say something about Asian drivers but @holymoses would then have to remind me that this is the last proper racism allowed.

In any event, your post demonstrates that it is EXACTLY like racism.  You are essentially telling us that it is okay to disdain evangelicals because of "the typical way they act" (whatever that is).

I think he forgot to type in purple?

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26 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

I would say something about Asian drivers but @holymoses would then have to remind me that this is the last proper racism allowed.

"'White trash' is a very funny expression to me, because it's the only racial expression you can use and no one gets offended. Nobody gives a **** when you say 'white trash.' Nobody gets all quiet like, 'Hey man, why are you talking like that?! That's not cool!' Nobody defends white trash. You could be talking to the most liberal hippie in the world and you go 'Hey, I saw this guy, he was white trash' and he'll go 'HA HA **** THAT GUY! White trash piece of ****. Let's laugh at him because he's poor and he's starving to death! ******* loser! He lives in a trailer because he can't afford a house! Let's go **** right in his face right now!'

That's why they're funny too us, 'cuz they're ******* poor. 'He wears stupid clothes!' BECAUSE THEY'RE ******* FREE, SO HE CAN EAT. HA ****IN' HA."

 

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If we distinguish between "Evangelicals" and "Theocrats", is it all right to "discriminate" against Theocrats?  It is not an ethnicity, religion, or Nationality or Orientation.  It is a group of people who act in a specific way; They use a (perhaps misguided) interpretation of the Bible to deprive others of liberty.  So yeah, I have a problem with Theocrats.

That being said, there are plenty of rocket science smart Theocrats out there, so make generalizations at your peril. 

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11 minutes ago, holymoses said:

If we distinguish between "Evangelicals" and "Theocrats", is it all right to "discriminate" against Theocrats?  It is not an ethnicity, religion, or Nationality or Orientation.  It is a group of people who act in a specific way; They use a (perhaps misguided) interpretation of the Bible to deprive others of liberty.  So yeah, I have a problem with Theocrats.

That being said, there are plenty of rocket science smart Theocrats out there, so make generalizations at your peril. 

How is being a theocrat not a form of "orientation?"  Are you really going to suggest that believing something is different than being something, in this day and age?  

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18 minutes ago, holymoses said:

If we distinguish between "Evangelicals" and "Theocrats", is it all right to "discriminate" against Theocrats?  It is not an ethnicity, religion, or Nationality or Orientation.  It is a group of people who act in a specific way; They use a (perhaps misguided) interpretation of the Bible to deprive others of liberty.  So yeah, I have a problem with Theocrats.

That being said, there are plenty of rocket science smart Theocrats out there, so make generalizations at your peril. 

Generalizations are exactly the problem.  The point of the article is not, as I read it, to draw attention to the plight of evangelicals in the academy, but rather to shine a light on the biases and prejudices so those holding them can see.

So far in this thread, though, I'm getting quite a lot of "well……why can't we just hold our biases and prejudices against THOSE people?"  So I'm guessing it isn't working very well.

As to your point, there isn't a problem with you having a problem with Theocrats.  But if you were to assume someone was a Theocrat simply because they are an evangelical, I assume you'd agree with me that would be unfair and inappropriate and, to the point of the article, intolerant?

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No doubt some of this occurrs in academia, but some of the claims being made were very overstated.  The comment about being like someone who was gay in the 1950s, for example, is ludicrous.   Back then, gay people could go to jail just for being gay, and were often targeted for physical violence and even killed in some instances.  Even the civil rights analogy is silly considering the physical violence against blacks who wanted to go to restaurants and other public places.  Sorry, but academics are not beating and killing conservatives who want to enter academia.  It's not even close to being the same.  

That said, of course discrimination against anyone because of political views is wrong and should be addressed.  I work with people who I could very well see discriminating against conservative applicants.  I've fortunatelly never heard of that happening, but I could see it happening.  Some of that could be stereotypes about behavior in the classroom that could pose very legitimate problems - you cannot have a professor condemning gay marriage in class when there could be LGBT students present, for example.  Rejecting the scientific basis of climate change is going to raise doubts about that person's ability to engage in valid empirical research.  

But I think that, while a very real concern, the article blows the problem out of proportion and makes it sound as though there are no academics who are open about their religious and/or political beliefs who are accepted and respected in the field.  Off the top of my head, I can think of five such people in the field of Political Science alone.  Michael Munger is one of the most respected political scientists in the country and teaches at Duke University.  He also ran for governor as a Libertarian Party candidate several years ago.  My own dissertation chair was a pretty conservative guy economically and was best friends with half the department.  He certainly wasn't discriminated against.  There was a lecturer when I was in grad school who was a former Republican state legislator and also evangelical, and he was beloved within the department.   One of my best friends, who used to work with me at my present job, is a Republican and considers himself evangelical (he's pretty moderate on social issues), and is also supporting Trump.  He's now working at a pretty well-known university and didn't have any problems regarding his political beliefs at any of these jobs.. In writing this, I just thought of about a half dozen more respected academics who are open about their conservative beliefs.  Edit:  Two of the ones that I'm thinking about actually worked on Rick Perry's reelection camnpaign when he was governor, and everyone in their department knew about it  

I think a better approach would be for people to talk with successful academics who are conservative/libertarian and don't appear to have any problems in addition to those who do see discrimination.  Then we could figure out if there are situations or circumstances that make people feel discriminated against more often or less often.  Focusing only on those conservative academics who feel (most of them legitimately, I believe) that there is bias against their political/religious views exaggerates the scope of the problem and doesn't allow us to determine what might be underlying the bias and discrimination they experience.  

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Also, while I was searching for information about the book by Dunn and Shields cited in the article, I found this article written by the authors themselves:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/03/11/forget-what-the-right-says-academia-isnt-so-bad-for-conservative-professors/

The focus on tenure is especially interesting because it highlights the perils of political beliefs for everyone pre-tenure.  Liberal professors in a heavily-Republican state, especially one that depends on the state government for funding, also feel the need to self-censure, sometimes even post-tenure. I've seen legislators take comments from professors and use them to argue for cutting funding for the state colleges and universities.  There were congressional hearings where people's research was demagogued and misrepresented to justify cutting public funds for research.  I myself really wanted to conduct research in Cuba recently and was told that the optics of that with the state government would be a problem, and therefore I had to put off those plans for a few years.   

Again, this isn't to deny that outright bias against conservatives exists nor to say that it's not a problem.  It does and it is. The point is simply that it's a much more complex problem than was portrayed in the article.

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I also think the issue is likely dependent on where one teaches.  I'd wager such discrimination is felt more in places like Harvard and Berkley than in general academia.  I know it is present everywhere, but then all sorts of discrimination can be found nearly everywhere.  

As I said, though, I think the chief benefit is in taking the perspective of a black evangelical so we can look at the problem with clearer eyes.  And, more to the point, I think Walton's specific objection, that "the same arguments I hear people make about evangelicals sound so familiar to the ways people often describe folk of color, i.e. politically unsophisticated, lacking education, angry, bitter, emotional, poor,” ought to be considered.  If that is how evangelicals are viewed (or if that is the perception he gets as a black evangelical based on how he is treated), that is a problem that ought to be evaluated and considered.

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19 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

I also think the issue is likely dependent on where one teaches.  I'd wager such discrimination is felt more in places like Harvard and Berkley than in general academia.  I know it is present everywhere, but then all sorts of discrimination can be found nearly everywhere.  

As I said, though, I think the chief benefit is in taking the perspective of a black evangelical so we can look at the problem with clearer eyes.  And, more to the point, I think Walton's specific objection, that "the same arguments I hear people make about evangelicals sound so familiar to the ways people often describe folk of color, i.e. politically unsophisticated, lacking education, angry, bitter, emotional, poor,” ought to be considered.  If that is how evangelicals are viewed (or if that is the perception he gets as a black evangelical based on how he is treated), that is a problem that ought to be evaluated and considered.

Regarding the negative stereotypes about evangelicals, I absolutely agree.  

I'm not sure about it happening more at Harvard, though.  Berkeley, probably. I think it's more about the specific field, the departmental dynamic, and probably the personality of the senior people.  I know about a very high-ranked public university in the midwest, for example, where everyone in the economics department is a Marxist.  I don't mean the stereotypical "extreme left", I mean people who were only trained in, and only teach, economics from a Marxist perspective.  Someone who wants to get an economics degree at this place is going to get a Marxist perspective only.  Conservatives would absolutely be discriminated against by that department because they want to keep it a closed system.  

Another area you probably see a lot of this bias would be small programs like Gender Studies or African Diaspora Studies.  Here, it's the nature of the field itself that would create the bias. You won't see a lot of success by arguing for traditional gender roles in a Gender Studies program, for example.   

But broader areas like psychology or sociology, and especially the natural sciences, I think it's likely to be rare and isolated to particular universities and/or departments.  There's far more bias in terms of theoretical or methodological preferences than religous/political values.  For example, about 15 years ago there were political science departments that were quantitatively oriented that would actively refuse to hire anyone who did qualitative work.  And there were departments that were the opposite.  I think most fields are more concerned about that kind of stuff than whether someone is evangelical or conservative.  [And again, none of this is to deny that bias and discrimination against evangelicals occurs in academica.]

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8 hours ago, JDaveG said:

Something else bugs me about this response.  You are suggesting that it's okay to stereotype and mistreat people based on loose associations, but only in this instance.  In other words, what you are doing is saying it is okay to be bigoted, so long as the bigotry is directed at "a certain type of member."  Because of how people like them "typically act."  What's the difference between that and considering all black people lazy or all Mexicans to be abusive toward women or all Muslims to be wild eyed terrorists?

I would say something about Asian drivers but @holymoses would then have to remind me that this is the last proper racism allowed.

In any event, your post demonstrates that it is EXACTLY like racism.  You are essentially telling us that it is okay to disdain evangelicals because of "the typical way they act" (whatever that is).

I should have made the point that I'm not saying it is okay. Just that's it's not on par with true racism like this guy is trying to argue. 

I think the stereotype point you're making is accurate. It's not alright to stereotype, but stereotyping is not exactly racism. Stereotypes are judgements of certain actions of a group. Racism, at least in the context im using it, is judgement on a group for traits they can't really control. 

Like holy Moses said, evangelicals are being lumped in with theocrats that believe that they should be able to run the country as their religion sees fit. I'm not saying that's right at all. I should have made a point about the actual topic in the first place but I just scanned through quickly before work. 

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Just a question. 

Arent there passages in the bible about being "persecuted" and treated unfairly for your beliefs? 

I'm not saying it should be accepted, but it's a little odd that we're seeing such an outcry recently for something that God said would happen, and frankly from what Ive read, should be seeked out. I'm not going to go googling a gotcha bible verse but isn't part of Gods call to be different than the people of this world, and doesn't he specifically say that catching **** for this means you're doing something right? 

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15 minutes ago, WORilla said:

Just a question. 

Arent there passages in the bible about being "persecuted" and treated unfairly for your beliefs? 

I'm not saying it should be accepted, but it's a little odd that we're seeing such an outcry recently for something that God said would happen, and frankly from what Ive read, should be seeked out. I'm not going to go googling a gotcha bible verse but isn't part of Gods call to be different than the people of this world, and doesn't he specifically say that catching **** for this means you're doing something right? 

It isn't that we don't expect it.  But that doesn't warrant it.  I disagree we should seek out unfair treatment, however.  Jesus did not seek out the cross.  He did not run from it, but He did not seek it out.  He said specifically "if it be Your will, let this cup pass from me."

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6 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

It isn't that we don't expect it.  But that doesn't warrant it.  I disagree we should seek out unfair treatment, however.  Jesus did not seek out the cross.  He did not run from it, but He did not seek it out.  He said specifically "if it be Your will, let this cup pass from me."

Ah okay. My bible study leaders always loved the line "if people are judging you, it means you're doing your job". But that could have just been a "don't give up" pep speech lol. 

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1 minute ago, WORilla said:

Ah okay. My bible study leaders always loved the line "if people are judging you, it means you're doing your job". But that could have just been a "don't give up" pep speech lol. 

I think that's a different thing from seeking it out.  You have to speak the truth, in love.  Often, the truth is not received in love, but with hatred.  That's one reason during Lent, the ektania have the petition where we pray "for those who love us and those who hate us."

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  • 3 weeks later...

yeah that liberal intolerance thing is just a myth

 

so DePaul University forces this guy to pay for his own security (made up of university police) and then they refused to do anything to stop this

to make it worse. the university president had the temerity to compare these students to the soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy

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37 minutes ago, Dago 3.0 said:

yeah that liberal intolerance thing is just a myth

 

so DePaul University forces this guy to pay for his own security (made up of university police) and then they refused to do anything to stop this

to make it worse. the university president had the temerity to compare these students to the soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy

WAT?

also lol @ dangerous ******. 

 

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On 5/29/2016 at 1:50 PM, Dago 3.0 said:

yeah that liberal intolerance thing is just a myth

 

so DePaul University forces this guy to pay for his own security (made up of university police) and then they refused to do anything to stop this

to make it worse. the university president had the temerity to compare these students to the soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy

I think Sun Tzu said it first: "Be wary of giving your enemy exactly what he wants."

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