Tag Archives: religion

Tenured Incognizance

A small controversy surfaced
last week at University of Central Florida when a psychology professor sent an email
to all his students to berate some of them for “religious bigotry.” 

According to the professor’s letter, some Christian students in class
that evening claimed that their faith is “the most valid religion,” thereby
“demonstrating to the rest of the class what religious arrogance and bigotry
looks like.” When the professor asked students to imagine how Muslims,
Hindus, Buddhists, and “non-believers” experience that
affirmation, a student stood and urged others “not to participate”–to the
professor a grossly arrogant and disrespectful act.

A university should abhor such “censorship” and
“anti-intellectualism,” the professor concluded. Students go there to be
challenged, to encounter ideas contrary to “cherished beliefs,” to become
“critical, independent thinkers.”

Very well. We don’t know exactly what happened in that class,
but the lengthy email contains nothing to surprise anyone who has spent
time on campus and doesn’t share the orthodox secular
left-liberalism. On the professor’s part, we have:

  • The customary
    condescension–“We’re adults.  We’re at a university.”
  • The inability to
    respect class boundaries–“There is no topic that is ‘off-limits’ for us to
    address in class, even if only remotely related to the course topic.
  • The elevation of
    mainstream beliefs into an oppressive hegemony–“the tyranny of the masses” (the
    dominant group, that is, which in this case, are Christians).
  • And finally, the
    interpretation of conviction as intolerance–“Bigots–radical bigots or religious
    bigots–never question their prejudices and bigotry.  They are convinced
    their beliefs are correct.”

Of course, every believer believes his or her religion is the most
valid one, and to say that doing so victimizes others is to raise sensitivities
to paranoid levels. Indeed, no belief can be held if it isn’t regarded as
correct.

But it is a waste of time to make such points. For professors
such as this one, the inconsistencies and contradictions run so deep that there
is little hope of dispelling them. His cultural relativism is
absolute. He calls for mutual respect, yet inserts sarcasms about
students. Etcetera. 

His incognizance is more significant than his ideology. It
poses a stiffer challenge to conservatives and libertarians than his liberalism
does, and so does his attitude. Instead of taking the Christian students’
assertion as a position to explore, he denounces it. Instead of ponder
the “not-participate” ejaculation as a comment upon him, he turns it onto the
student alone.

This is a hardened condition, and it won’t soften. It has
tenure and (spurious) academic freedom behind it, so why change, especially
when the majority of colleagues reinforce it? No wonder the many
and valid criticisms of the ideology of the professors have produced so little
real reform. They don’t touch attitudes and self-images, things academics
guard more closely than their ideas.

Double Standards Again at Yale

Earlier this week, Yale president Richard Levin sent out an e-mail to the Yale community, expressing his outrage at this AP report, regarding police surveillance of Muslim student organizations. In a passionate defense of due process, Levin affirmed, “in the strongest possible terms, that police surveillance based on religion, nationality, or peacefully
expressed political opinions is antithetical to the values of Yale, the academic community, and the United States.”

Continue reading Double Standards Again at Yale

School Officials Attack Easter, Thanksgiving and White Oppression

A column by Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the financially strapped Lakeville, Minn., school district (94 teachers let go) found enough money to send a delegation to the annual state “White Privilege Conference” now going on in Bloomington. Carol Iannone at Phi Beta Cons picked up the story, as did blogger Hans Bader at the Washington Examiner. Bader said the Conferences have lashed out at Easter, Thanksgiving and of course, white people. “Past speakers at White Privilege Conferences, ” Bader writes, “include Obama’s Department of Education appointee Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay. Lesbian, Straight Education Network.”  The Seattle school district, a veteran participant in the White Privilege meetings, has claimed for years that “individualism ” is a form of “cultural racism,” and insisted that Easter eggs be referred to as “spring spheres,” to avoid offending non-Christians.

More Wreckage from Ginsburg’s ‘Neutral’ Ruling

When the Supreme Court ruled in June that public universities could deny official recognition to a Christian student group that barred openly gay people as members because homosexual acts are considered sinful by many Christian churches, some commentators hoped that the 5-4 ruling would be construed as a narrow one that permitted but did not require campuses to enforce their anti-bias policies in ways that interfered with religious belief. (Writing for the high court majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the state-supported Hastings College of Law’s policy of requiring student groups to take all comers in order to qualify for official status was a neutral one that did not interfere with religious freedom.)
Think again, optimistic commentators. Already this summer two federal lower-court judges have used the high court’s decision in Christian Legal Society of the University of California vs. Martinez to uphold the right of two different tax-supported universities to expel Christian graduate students from counseling programs because those students could not in good conscience agree with the fashionable prevailing ideology—endorsed by the American Counseling Association—that homosexual activity is morally neutral and that gay people should be counseled in “affirming” ways that essentially endorse their lifestyles.
It turns out that the word “permit” is the operative one. University and college administrators have interpreted the Martinez decision as giving them carte blanche to restrict religious expression on campus as long as administrators could characterize the restrictions as “reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns,” in the words of Ginsburg. After the Martinez decision came down, David French, a senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents both graduate students, said that the Supreme Court’s June ruling set in motion “a disturbing trend” of “excessive deference to university administrators” that would allow them to enforce politically correct speech codes simply by making them into curricular requirements that they could argue were neutral on their face.

Continue reading More Wreckage from Ginsburg’s ‘Neutral’ Ruling

Prof. Espenshade Runs From His Own Research

On July 12th Russell Nieli reminded readers of Minding the Campus what critics of racial preference policies (widely known by the euphemism “affirmative action”) have long known — that when university administrators talk about “diversity,” what they really mean is blacks … and to a lesser degree Hispanics. “Most elite universities,” he pointed out,

seem to have little interest in diversifying their student bodies when it comes to the numbers of born-again Christians from the Bible belt, students from Appalachia and other rural and small-town areas, people who have served in the U.S. military, those who have grown up on farms or ranches, Mormons, Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, lower-middle-class Catholics, working class “white ethnics,” social and political conservatives, wheelchair users, married students, married students with children, or older students first starting out in college after raising children or spending several years in the workforce.

Continue reading Prof. Espenshade Runs From His Own Research

Long Before Hastings There Was Tufts

This is a U.S. News column I wrote a decade ago about the first highly publicized attempt by gays and their allies to use anti-discrimination regulations to “derecognize” (i.e., eliminate) campus religious groups that oppose non-marital sex, including homosexuality. The Christian Fellowship at Tufts said it supported gay rights and welcomed gay members, but drew the line at candidates for leadership who denied the group’s theology. The decision to derecognize was a student decision, overturned quickly after a burst of publicity and vague threats to sue. I assumed at the time that if cases like this at public universities (Tufts is private) ever got to the Supreme Court, the result would be a no-brainer 9-0 decision in favor of three rather important First Amendment concerns—freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. How naive.

Tufts University in Medford, Mass., is punishing a campus evangelical group for refusing to allow practicing homosexuals into its leadership positions.
A student tribunal, the Tufts Community Union Judiciary, voted to “derecognize” the Tufts Christian Fellowship. This means that the evangelicals will have trouble functioning on campus. They will not be able to reserve rooms for meetings, publicize events in campus listings, or even use bulletin boards. They are forbidden to use the Tufts name, and they will lose their share of student-activity money doled out to all student groups, some $5,700 a year. One administrator was quoted as telling the group, “I don’t mean to get dramatic or anything, but essentially, on the Tufts campus, you do not exist.”

Continue reading Long Before Hastings There Was Tufts

What Now After CLS?

The Supreme Court’s Christian Legal Society v. Martinez ruling has received a good deal of high-quality commentary: FIRE and David French criticized the ruling; Eugene Volokh argued that the Court got the decision right.
Anne Neal has correctly noted that trustees should respond to the ruling by going slow, especially since the “all-comers” policy employed by Hastings is rare. That said, it seems more than likely that more and more universities will imitate the Hastings policy, whether from a desire to inoculate themselves from lawsuits or on behalf of what Justice Alito termed a campus agenda of political correctness.
The “all-comers” policy has satisfied the Supreme Court. But from an educational standpoint, does it make any sense? What purpose is served by a college or university creating an official Democratic club whose membership is open to unabashed defenders of George W. Bush? Or creating an official Jewish students organization that must admit Arab students who deny Israel’s right to exist? Not only does such a policy undermine freedom of association, but the resulting organizations are essentially useless.

Continue reading What Now After CLS?

CLS v. Martinez: A Curious and Mistaken Decision

Ponder this: According to the most current Supreme Court authority, a group of students can form a local chapter of a violent national organization, refuse to promise that they won’t disrupt the campus, and still have a right to be recognized by the university. At the same time, however, if the university has a certain, peculiar kind of policy on its books, it can refuse to recognize a small group of religious students who merely want to conduct Bible studies led by members of their own faith.
In 1972, the Supreme Court decided Healy v. James, a landmark case that granted a Connecticut chapter of Students for a Democratic Society the right to exist on a public campus in spite of the fact that SDS chapters nationwide had seized and vandalized buildings, destroyed scholarly research, started fires, and caused campus disruptions that had shut down all university instruction for extended periods. When university officials pointedly asked if the local SDS chapter would disrupt its own campus, they replied that their “action would have to be dependent upon each issue.”
Faced with possible violence, the university refused to recognize the SDS. The students sued, and the Supreme Court issued a ringing opinion upholding student rights on campus. Specifically, the Court found that students had a freedom of association interest in student group recognition:

There can be no doubt that denial of official recognition, without justification, to college organizations burdens or abridges that associational right. The primary impediment to free association flowing from nonrecognition is the denial of use of campus facilities for meetings and other appropriate purposes.

Fast-forward to 2010. This year the court heard yet another university student organization case, this one involving not a potentially violent group, but its opposite: a small group of students who wanted to host Bible studies on campus. The Christian Legal Society was denied recognition at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. But CLS’s sin was very different from SDS’s: CLS simply wanted its voting members and leaders to share the group’s faith and live accordingly.

Continue reading CLS v. Martinez: A Curious and Mistaken Decision

Does Identity Politics Need More Identities?

Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that “seeks to build interfaith cooperation on campus,” has a provocative article on Inside Higher Ed May 20, “The New Campus Culture Wars,” arguing that the campus rage for inclusion, multiculturalism, and diversity has been too narrow.
“Muslim students waking up to chalk drawings mocking the Prophet Muhammad on their college quads,” he writes, “are probably likely wondering why their identity is not a cherished part of the college ethos of inclusiveness.”
When there is a racially demeaning event on a college campus… higher education responds like it’s a five-alarm fire. Administrators organize town hall meetings to discuss the threats to inclusiveness, Presidents send out e-mails to the whole campus calling for racial sensitivity. Faculty committees are formed to submit recommendations on how to make minority students feel welcome. The incident is used, appropriately, as a teachable moment, an opportunity to affirm and expand the university as an inclusive learning environment.
If there was any alarm raised by higher education in response to the chalking Muhammad incidents, it’s been hard to hear.
The issue, Patel insists, is about far more than Muslim sensitivities. “What the race-class-gender-ethnicity-sexuality movement of the 1990s missed was religion.”

Continue reading Does Identity Politics Need More Identities?

Feminist Scholar Can’t Condemn Stoning of Muslim Women
(That Would Be Intolerant)

In his impressive recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the formerly banned Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan’s first appearance in the United States, Peter Schmidt includes one tidbit that I found particularly interesting.

After noting that Ramadan faced a surprising number of critical questions from a Cooper Union audience thought to be overwhelmingly friendly, Schmidt added that Ramadan also

received support for his positions where it was not entirely expected. Such was the case, for example, when the discussion turned to the longstanding controversy over Mr. Ramadan’s refusal to call for an outright ban on the stoning of Muslim women for adultery, and insistence that there should instead by a moratorium on stoning, in general, while Muslims jurists discuss whether it should continue. A fellow panelist, Joan Wallach Scott, a professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study, in New Jersey, who identified herself as a feminist, said, “I actually think that his solution to the problem is not a bad one,” because an end to stoning cannot be imposed on the Muslim world by the West.

Professor Scott is considerably more than just “a feminist,” as she coyly described herself. In fact, she personifies the preconceptions and biases of academic women’s studies and is one of the nation’s leading feminist theorists and historians. Just ask her. Her posted biography claims that she

Continue reading Feminist Scholar Can’t Condemn Stoning of Muslim Women
(That Would Be Intolerant)

Heckler’s Veto in Texas and an Apology at Duke

A heckler’s veto at Tarleton State University in Texas has stopped a class production of an excerpt of the Terence McNally play, Corpus Christi, which depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals. Canceling the presentation was a mistake. It was made by a professor running his own class, not the university administration, which muddles the free-speech issue slightly. Still, it was an act of censorship made in response to threats. When a speaker or staged event draws threats, the job of an administration is to provide security, not to stand by and let a menacing crowd get its way. One of the protesters’ slogans was “Blasphemy is not free speech,” but of course it is. Sadly, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst took the side of censorship, saying, “Every citizen is entitled to the freedom of speech, but no one should have the right to use government funds or institutions to portray acts that are morally reprehensible to the vast majority of Americans.” So the only plays allowed to be staged would be those morally approved by large numbers of Americans.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram got it right editorially: “Yes, the play’s premise is as offensive to some Christians as representing the prophet Muhammad as a dog is to some Muslims. But people in this country don’t have a constitutional right not to be offended.”
In an open letter, the president of Tarleton State, F. Dominic Tattovio, sounded the same note: “Like every citizen of the country, the student who chose to direct excerpts from the play enjoys his right to free speech. This right is protected by law even if the speech is offensive to others.”
On another censorship front, the Duke women’s center apologized today for cancelling a discussion on student motherhood on grounds that the sponsor of the event was holding a pro-life event elsewhere on campus. A representative of the center said, “I have taken steps to ensure that such an incident will not happen again.”

Pro-life College Event Hurts Feminists’ Feelings!

The Duke University women’s center has canceled a discussion of student motherhood as “upsetting and not OK” because the sponsoring group, Duke Students for Life was holding a pro-life event elsewhere on campus. A spokesman for the center said the pictures at the “Week for Life” event were “traumatizing,” perhaps because he was under the impression that body parts of aborted babies were being shown. Actually the pictures featured various stages of fetal development, based on sonograms. The spokesman failed to indicate how far away pre-birth photos must be to justify holding a discussion of motherhood at the center. The center allows pro-choice speakers but not pro-life ones. The mission statement of the center by the way, in addition to firmly opposing “ableism” and “heterosexism” says: “We ascribe to a broadly defined, fluctuating and inclusive feminist ideology that welcomes discordant viewpoints from varied experiences.” Not too inclusive and not too discordant, though.

Beware the Sensitivity Gestapo

The trajectory of my career changed in late 2006, although I could never have recognized it at the time. I am a tenured full professor of journalism at Michigan State University. I was sitting in my office when a student dropped by and identified himself as the chairman of the MSU College Republicans. They needed a faculty advisor.
I had no problem giving the young man an enthusiastic “yes” to his request. And all I had to do was sign a paper.
By the fall of 2007, I was being investigated by the campus Office for Inclusion, charged with harassment and discrimination against students because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, political persuasion and weight (!).
What happened?

Continue reading Beware the Sensitivity Gestapo

Why Christian Colleges Are Thriving

Evangelical colleges and universities have been thriving. According to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the one hundred or so “intentionally Christ-centered institutions” that they count among their affiliates have been growing at a remarkably faster rate than have other major sorts of American colleges and universities. From 1990 to 2004, all public four-year campuses grew by about 13%, all independent four year campuses (including many schools with broad religious or denominational connections) grew by about 28%. But schools associated with the CCCU grew by nearly 71%.
One factor contributing to this growth is that these schools offer the sort of coherent educational experience that has become increasingly difficult to find elsewhere in American higher education. By way of contrast, consider Harry R. Lewis’s, Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education (2006). Lewis, former Dean of Harvard College, laments that Harvard is driven by so many competing careerist and ideological interests that there is little attention either in the curriculum or among faculty (who are rewarded only for scholarship) to fostering healthy personal and moral growth among its students. If that is the case at Harvard, one can imagine the incoherence of the educational experience at the huge state universities and the many community colleges where the vast majority of America’s collegians get their degrees. Most of what students study involves practical skills in preparation for careers. Liberal arts are incidental to most undergraduate experience. The best hope for “community” is found in fraternities and sororities or more likely just in a dorm containing many sub-groups of those who happen to find common recreational interests.

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Who Should Speak At Catholic Colleges?

The overwhelming majority of American catholic colleges won’t be honoring public figures that flout church teaching at this year’s commencement exercises, according to the Cardinal Newman Society, the conservative Catholic watchdog group. Of the hundreds of men and women who will be awarded honorary degrees by the nation’s 225 Catholic universities this month, the Society labels only 6 as dissenters on key moral issues (abortion, as always, seems to be the biggie), down from 24 in 2006 and 13 in 2007, according to the Boston Globe.

As the Globe’s Michael Paulson points out, pro-choice catholic politicians are the most obvious snubs. Rudy Giuliani, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy, all regulars on the commencement speaker circuit, will not be addressing a catholic college’s graduating class this year.

Many catholic schools, particularly the smaller, more conservative institutions, seem to have genuinely taken to heart the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops advice from 2004 that “the Catholic community and the institutions which are a part of our family of faith should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”

For schools like Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Boston College, which have large, politically diverse student bodies and faculties, as well as the prestige to lure big names if they want to, the move away from politicians as speakers may also be borne at least in part from a desire to avoid partisan rancor that detracts from the communal nature of commencement. Boston College, in particular, has drawn ire from all directions over its choice in partisan honorees in the past. Extending invitations to socially liberal honorees like Warren B. Rudman (1992) and Janet Reno (1997) has been panned by more conservative voices within the church, while attempts to honor Bush administration officials like Condoleezza Rice (2006) and Michael Mukasey (Law School, 2008) have angered pacifist Jesuits on campus and the more left-leaning lay faculty. It’s not surprising that this year the school opted for the very non-controversial historian David McCullough.

Continue reading Who Should Speak At Catholic Colleges?

Catholic Colleges Lose Their Character?

Among today’s postings is an article asking whether hiring professors strictly by excellence isn’t a way to guarantee that Catholic colleges will, in time, lose their Catholic character and become secular. The article, “Academic Excellence Is Not an Excellent Criterion“, is by Georgetown University associate professor of government Patrick Deneen and it appeared in the campus publication The Hoya. Deneen serves as director of the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy. If affirmative action allows veering away from excellence to raise the number of women and minorities on campus, he asks, how is it wrong to actively and consciously recruit Catholic faculty to safeguard Georgetown’s religious tradition? Reader reactions to Deneen are worth reading too.

No Quarter For Nichol

Although the mainstream media would have you believe he was a martyr to religious fundamentalists and moral Pecksniffs, Gene Nichol lost his job as president of the College of William and Mary in Virginia for only one reason: he was a lousy administrator who seemed not to be able to get it into his head that one of the main jobs of a college president is to raise money from alumni and others and thus to cultivate good public relations for the institution he represents. Nichol seemed to think that he had been hired by the college’s governing Board of Visitors in 2005 to thumb his nose at sundry traditionalists, and his in-your-face actions cost William and Mary at least one $12 million donation along with a great deal of good will among Virginia citizens toward the venerable and highly rated liberal-arts school.

Yes, William and Mary, located adjacent to the famous colonial-days tourist site in Williamsburg, Va., is a state-run institution, as Nichol never ceased reminding the many critics of his unilateral decision last November to remove a 70-year-old cross from the altar of the college’s historic Wren Chapel, which dates almost to the college’s founding in 1693. Like many quality state schools, William and Mary is highly dependent on private donations to cover its costs, especially since the state of Virginia has been steadily reducing its contribution to the college’s budget, cutting $3 million in 2007. Alumni and generous Virginia citizens are important stakeholders at William and Mary.

The cross, donated to the chapel by a William and Mary alumnus in 1931 and symbolizing William and Mary’s Anglican heritage, had been the subject of no known complaints by students. The Wren Chapel has been regularly used for non-Christian religious services as well as secular functions for several decades, and when non-Christians used the space, they simply removed the cross temporarily. Nichol decided, in the fall of 2006, without consulting anyone, that the cross violated the First Amendment’s ban on establishment of religion so he had it removed. After a huge uproar among students, alumni, and members of the Board of Visitors, Nichol allowed the return of the cross, although in a glass display case.

Continue reading No Quarter For Nichol

Administrative Orthodoxy At Ave Maria

Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, Ave Maria University, and the town of Ave Maria, Florida (in that order) obviously isn’t attracting media acclaim in his effort to establish a conjoined orthodox Catholic University and Catholic town on a former tomato farm in Southwest Florida. No, he comes off as something as something of an Inquisitor, putting a farm of happily secular Florida tomatoes to the sword to make room for a bishopric of right-wing Catholics. The caviling about Monaghan, for the most part, is easily explained; Monaghan has explicitly proclaimed his intention of creating an orthodox Catholic University, and his critics despise the thought.

Monaghan’s truly revolutionary step here isn’t imagining a university – it’s that he hasn’t simply handed his dream over to the standard mush of college administration, but has remained deeply involved with the project – so far as to literally uproot the college over several states. The college’s move from the Midwest to Southwest Florida is a rather dramatic example of a founder’s influence, but American higher education seems to have altogether forgotten the experience of a living founder in this day of universal rule by amorphous faculty-trustee-administrator confederation (aka “our costs will always go up but no one knows who’s responsible”). Faculties are accustomed to Presidents who can be curbed when overly outspoken (Laurence Summers) and administrations are accustomed to routinely ignoring the wishes of donors and trustees (the Bass donation at Yale, the Robertson donation at Princeton). Monaghan is a very different quantity in this mix, an individual who hasn’t been content to see his wishes run aground in the morass of standard academic decision-making. He’s continued to exert a very active role in his University – a step that professors would see in almost any case as a clear intrusion into their purlieus.

Continue reading Administrative Orthodoxy At Ave Maria

Professors And God: Any Connection?

By Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio

A report by Gary Shapiro in yesterday’s New York Sun carried some surprising information about the religiosity of college professors: though less religious than the general population, the majority believe in God. Randall Balmer, a professor of religion at Barnard, was quoted as saying that the new data helps to refute the notion that academics are mostly atheists and agnostics.

But let’s turn on the caution light. The study of 1500 college professors at twenty top institutions that grant bachelors degrees, conducted by Neil Gross (Harvard) and Solon Simmons (George Mason), did indeed find that a slight majority claims to be religious. The numbers, not listed in the Sun, showed that 35.7 percent say “I know God really exists and I have no doubt about it,” while 16.9 percent reported “while I have my doubts, I feel I do believe in God.” Atheists and agnostics accounted for 23.4 percent of professors reporting.

The most heavily religious professors in the study teach accounting, followed by professors of elementary education, finance, marketing, art and criminal justice. The least religious professors were in biology, psychology, economics, political science and computer science. Research-oriented professors and faculty at elite institutions are significantly less religious than other academics. Only twenty percent of these academics “have no doubt that God exists.” The implications for the larger culture of these findings are crucial. Professors who are the least religious and most hostile to religion are the ones most likely to be writing textbooks, articles and monographs, and the ones whose opinions are most sought after by the media. It is these ideas of irreligious professors that carry the most prestige among the punditocracy, dominate elite discourse, and filter down to the general public. Liberal arts professors are much less likely than accounting professors to believe in God. The liberal arts and social science professors are the ones who most often express opinions on religion and deal with issues involving religion and morality in the classroom.

Continue reading Professors And God: Any Connection?

What Faculty Think About Religion

Faculty at American colleges and universities are more religious than many of us believe-65 percent say they believe in God and 46 percent claim a personal relationship with God. Still, they are far less religious than the general population, some 93 percent of which believes in God, with 66 percent reporting a personal relationship. While 80 percent of the public identify themselves as Christian, the comparable percentage of faculty is much lower-56 percent-primarily because Evangelical Christians account for 33 percent of the general population but only 11 percent of college faculty. These numbers show up in “Religious Beliefs and Behavior of College Faculty,” a report by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research. Some 6,600 faculty were surveyed.

One of the strongest findings is that political ideology is highly associated with attendance at religious services. Those who go to services every week, or almost every week: 24 percent of liberals, 44 percent of moderates, and 66 percent of conservatives. Non-religious faculty tend to be the most negative about U.S. policies in the Middle East and most positive about the United Nations and institutions such as the International Court of Justice. The vast majority of faculty listed North Korea, followed by the U.S., as the greatest threats to international stability. Continue reading What Faculty Think About Religion