The Least Free Place in America
Dry Bones (Bible Prophecy Insights Ep6)
Question: Which American institution—one that prides itself on being open, democratic, and diverse—punishes its members severely for offering unpopular opinions, while it offers them a very narrow, limited worldview? Answer: Universities. Once the vanguard of open debate and free speech, colleges have become a place where alternative thinking goes to die. Students who speak out on behalf of traditional American ideals, unfortunately, are often silenced by college administrators. Learn how the college campus, a place that should be an intellectual melting pot, has turned into anything but, violating the rights of those who have alternate opinions.
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Lecturer: Greg Lukianoff, President at The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. His book, “Unlearning Liberty,” is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unlearning-Liberty-Campus-Censorship-American/dp/1594036357/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390934290&sr=1-1&keywords=unlearning+liberty
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How important is free speech on a college campus?
Here’s what the Supreme Court said in 1957 in the landmark case Sweezy v. New Hampshire: “Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire …otherwise, our civilization will stagnate and die.” Inspiring words. And true… which is why what’s happening at American colleges and universities is so disturbing.
A study conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 2010, revealed that only 30 percent of college seniors strongly agreed with the question; “Is it safe to hold unpopular positions on this campus?”
Worse, the study found that students’ confidence that that they can hold unpopular opinions declines from freshman to senior year. How can it be that at the place where speech should be the most free, the university, young people fear merely holding — to say nothing of actually expressing — unpopular opinions?
The reason is that for decades now, students have been sent a clear message from their schools: express dissenting opinions, violate political correctness, or even just criticize the administration at your peril. After working for 12 years at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, I have seen hundreds of examples of students in peril. Here are just a few:
At Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, a student employee was found guilty of “racial harassment” for publicly reading a book that some of his fellow employees found offensive. The book was Notre Dame vs. the Klan and it was available in the school’s library. It recounted and celebrated the defeat of the Ku Klux Klan when its members marched on Notre Dame in 1924. So what did the university find offensive? The photo on the book’s cover.
At the University of Delaware, students were forced to undergo ideological reeducation as part of the university’s compulsory student orientation program. The program was described as “treatment” for students with incorrect attitudes and beliefs. Students were taught to adopt highly specific university-approved views on politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. They were also required to attend one-on-one meetings with their resident assistants where they were compelled to answer intrusive, probing, and utterly irrelevant personal questions, such as … “When did you discover your sexual identity?”
And an increasing number of schools are trying to drive religious students off campus. Vanderbilt University, for example, has enacted a policy that forbids faith-based student groups from selecting members and leaders based on . . . their faith. As a result, 14 Christian groups have been derecognized by the university.
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