I’ve been wondering lately what it is about academia which seems to breed liberalism. My roommate in college once asked me “How can you be a Republican? We’re in college! College is supposed to be full of Democrats!”
But it isn’t just Republicans and Democrats. Its a way of thinking which naturally leans toward liberal politics because of … What? What is the permiating pull away from conservative thought?
I think it’s because education in general breeds a wide variety of ideas and interpretation of ideas. In a literature class I took we discussed the many guesses into what an author was trying to say through his or her work, most of which seeming to deal with messianic symbolism or sex. In an anatomy class my professor once discussed the possibility of aliens having created the human race.
Now ideas are great. I’m an idea man, but academia is like a think tank on crack.
In general, academia goes something like the flowing:
The word “the” which I have already used twice in this sentence can be pronounced with a shwa or a long e at the end, depending on its place in the sentence and the speaker’s background. It is known as an article, which reminds me of an article I once read about the word “the” suggesting that such a word is much to definite and would do well to learn from its cousin the “A” in that, for one an a leaves much less of an inky footprint and for another, is much less close-minded. An idea is much more palpable than the idea, which carries connotations of haughtiness. How dare it presume to be THE way when it is actually only one of many ideas. And besides, T and H blending to make a new sound is disturbing in that the T and the H both lose their identity.
I could go on, but you get the idea. By the time the students leave the classroom half have no idea what just happened and the other half consider themselves the authority on the scandalous word called “the” and create a hashtag denouncing any radical right-wing fascist insensitive enough to dare use such a word.
Unfortunately this example is closer to truth than some might think. The point is that literally anything can be expounded upon in a 20 page dissertation and most importantly anything can have a thousand different viewpoints and each one must be given equal respect.
Which means when conservative individuals spouting dogmatic things like “killing unborn babies is wrong” or “the sky is blue” academics will do their very best to dogmatically proclaim how much they have to learn about science and consensus and humility.
Because who is anybody to hold to anything strongly when there are so many possibilities out there?
That’s appealing to me actually. Because it means we can all get along in our not knowing for sure and it means we don’t have to stress over whether we’re right or not. Because hey, believe what you want. I’ll believe what I want and you believe what you want and we’ll all judge conservative wackos for being idiots all our born days.
And therein lies the rub. A mind full of a myriad philosophies and ideas as a mind ungrounded. And a mind without roots is a mind that can easily be manipulated. For instance manipulated into thinking there’s such a thing as consensus science or that a baby isn’t a baby until its been in the womb for a trimester or two.
The Bible says not to be like those who are carried away by every wind of doctrine or cunningly devised fable. That’s because the pressure of the academic mindset infiltrates the church on a daily basis. A preacher I heard recently said it this way. “Maybe we don’t know persecution like in other countries but we sure know compromise.”
It is a simple statement but with resounding, sometimes horrifying, truth.
So learn. Listen to ideas. Be ready to accept something beyond what you know. But also hold fast to your faith and be like a tree planted by streams of living water. Be discerning and be critical of the academic mindset, not letting it keep you from standing firm or from using the word “the” every now and again.