Unlearning Christianity | Benjamin Wiker | Catholic World Report
A review of Gregory Lukianoff’s Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate
Gregory Lukianoff’s Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate is well worth the read, even with the criticisms I’ll be making of it. Lukianoff is a self-declared liberal and atheist, but one who believes in free speech and works tirelessly for it through his Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). That makes his book all the more important for Christians—FIRE is not the ACLU. Lukianioff and FIRE are actually working for free speech, rather than, with the ACLU, attacking Christianity at every turn and trying to establish secularism and atheism.
Lukianoff wants fairness, and that brought him to a very interesting realization about who is actually getting treated unfairly on our campuses today. “If you told me twelve years ago,” Lukianoff confides, “that I, a liberal atheist, would devote a sizable portion of my career to defending Christian groups, I might have been surprised. But almost from my first day at FIRE, I was shocked to realize how badly Christian groups were often treated.”
As Lukianoff amply documents, on campuses across the nation persecution is directed at Christians by secular liberals intent upon imposing uniformity in the name of diversity, complete intolerance in the name of tolerance, liberal absolutism in the name of relativism—and all this with identifiably religious zeal in inculcating the far Left’s beliefs as orthodoxy.
I know whereof he speaks. Twenty-five years ago I saw it firsthand during my graduate school experience earning my Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. Even mild disagreement with the “politically correct” party line was met with hysterical accusations and verbal attacks. Not arguments, mind you. I was informed by one well-indoctrinated young woman that rationality and logic were instruments of male domination, and that she would have no part of them. She was good to her vow, as were her mentors. It was very clear what one was allowed and not allowed to say, and which moral and political positions were considered clean and unclean, and the unclean were not permitted to speak.
My experience was not unusual. The combination of liberal dogmatism backed up by institutional authority is still the rule, not the exception, in academia. And in fact, it has gotten far worse, both on the graduate and even more on the undergraduate level, since I was in school.
Today, for example, incoming students routinely undergo intensive indoctrination during freshman orientation week, and it continues for the rest of the year, administered in regular doses by heavy-handed propagandists in the administration, among the faculty, and through converted students (especially the RA’s that oversee dorm life).