Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom
Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom

(IL)Liberal Education

by John Rabe

As a new school year rolls around, many parents might not realize that they are spending tens of thousands of dollars on tuition at institutions of higher learning just to have their children indoctrinated in leftist philosophy through repressive speech codes.

At one time, colleges were considered places of honest, open debate. After all, what’s the point of a liberal (in the classical sense—based in freedom) education if not to be challenged by differing points of view and facts outside of one’s own experience? Even today, most schools tout the benefits of “diversity.” But the term now refers only to racial composition; in many places, diversity of viewpoint is strictly verboten.

Indeed, America’s colleges and universities are becoming totalitarian nanny-states, where even the mildest opposition to politically correct, far-left viewpoints must be silenced, lest some poor, sheltered soul be offended by actual diversity.

Recently, in light of the increase in high-profile, false rape claims at American colleges (such as the completely discredited Rolling Stone story on the University of Virginia this year, and the disproved charges brought against members of the Duke lacrosse team a few years ago), a Brown University student group organized a debate between two women on how colleges should handle allegations of sexual assault.

When word got out that one of the debaters might criticize university “rape culture,” in which false allegations are too easily made and innocent students are treated as pariahs, a furor erupted among liberal student groups, who set out to “protect” their fellow students from the horrors of free speech.

Some set up a “safe place” where students could hide from opposing views. According to The New York Times, the room “was intended to give people who might find comments ‘troubling’ or ‘triggering,’ a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.”1 It turns out that college is now merely a much more expensive version of nursery school.

One of the organizers of the “safe place” ventured over to listen to a bit of the debate, but quickly had to flee back to the recuperation room. She told the Times, “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs.”2 Heaven forbid.

This is just one example of a trend that’s sweeping through universities, as unapproved speech is slapped with “trigger warnings,” “trauma warnings,” and “content notes” with growing frequency.

But while such incidents may seem laughable, there’s a larger agenda at play here. Notice the term “safe space.” It implies that those who are “bombarding” people with unapproved, politically incorrect views are actually dangerous—a threat to one’s safety. And danger is something that must be eliminated.

This is not by accident. More and more, those who wish to hush dissent are doing so by portraying their opponents as threats to the public good. At Christ Church College (ironically enough) at Oxford University, the student union succeeded in having a scheduled debate on abortion cancelled—because the debaters were both men.

“[The cancellation] clearly makes the most sense for the safety—both physical and mental—of the students who live and work in Christ Church,” said the student union’s treasurer. California State University “de-recognized” Intervarsity Christian Fellowship chapters on 23 campuses because of their requirement that group leaders live according to biblical sexual standards—and the same scene is being repeated at numerous other American colleges.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to stand for biblical truth—which is politically incorrect and radically so—on the college campus. It is vital for parents to imbue their children with a strong, unshakable courage in the face of opposition, and to do research and ask pointed questions before handing their children—along with thousands upon thousands of dollars—to a specific college or university.

Jesus said, “Whoever will confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever will deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
Those fostering an oppressive regime of speech suppression at many of our higher-learning institutions aim to force your children and grandchildren to choose.

1 Judith Shulevitz, “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas,” The New York Times, March 21, 2015.

2 Ibid.