Anyone who spends five minutes on a public university campus knows that the school can be very different from the outside world. Within the ivied walls, mainstream ideas are ridiculed, and radical politics are mainstream. For a long time, campus apologists dismissed Christian complaints as the product of provincial attitudes exposed for the first time to true diversity and “critical thinking.” The environment is not hostile, they would argue, but merely “challenging.”
Now, after more than a generation of study and public scrutiny, we know the truth: The environment is hostile; the marketplace of ideas is closing, and few individuals face greater “challenges” than Christian students and professors. Here is the truth about college:
In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research released a study on the political beliefs and attitudes of college professors. The study was commissioned in part because of concerns that anti-Semitism was rising on campus. Rather than finding rising anti-Semitism, the Institute discovered that 53% of college professors admitted to “unfavorable” feelings about evangelical Christians no other religious group (including Muslims) was even close to this number.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has engaged in a multi-year effort to determine whether teachers’ political philosophies translate into classroom indoctrination. Almost half of students surveyed found that professors “frequently” inject politics into class, and almost one third said they felt they had to agree with the professors’ views to get a good grade.
The modern academy often considers Christian speech “offensive” or “bigoted” because it departs from the establishment’s approved views on abortion, marriage, and sexuality. According to annual surveys by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), more than 70% of surveyed colleges and universities have policies in place that prohibit so-called “offensive” speech and have been used with great frequency to silence Christians.
At the Legal Limit (New York Times)
At the same time that college stifles the intellectual and spiritual freedom of Christian students, it encourages and fosters an atmosphere of unrestrained sexual “freedom.” Binge drinking, a “hookup” culture, and institutional endorsement of deviant sexuality results in an atmosphere where every secular school is a “party school.”
Unsurprisingly, the combination of intellectual intolerance and hedonism leads college students to become significantly more liberal during their college years. Students support abortion and same-sex “marriage” in greater numbers by their senior year.
From the Pew Foundation, to UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, to the Barna Group, every credible polling organization that has surveyed the religious beliefs and practices of college students or college-aged young adults has found that they are abandoning their faith and faith practices as they advance through college. For example, the Higher Education Research Institute found that while more than 50% of incoming freshman report regular attendance at religious services, by the end of their junior year, that number drops below 30%.
To share truth, one must be free to speak. Learn more about your religious liberties and Speak Up.