~ At coffee yesterday a conservative Christian acquaintance of mine was talking about the various culture wars that progressives in the Western World have won over the past few decades,
“Ya know Kenneth, progressives have made it legal to kill your unborn baby, it’s legal for people of the same sex to marry each other, it is against the law in Canada to speak publicly against homosexuality, and the overwhelming majority of liberal arts colleges and Universities only teach progressive worldviews like global climate change and radical anti-God Darwinian evolution…. gosh, the list is endless. It seems like Christianity has all but ceased to matter anymore” he said
In many ways it is rather strange to look at what the Western World was like in the pre-Industrial era and what it has become over the past hundred years or so. What person living in the 19th century could have ever predicted the massive amount of change we have experienced in recent decades?
In my blog articles, I usually lament the radical individualism of the Western World that has left so many people feeling lonely and disconnected. I use examples of how technology, despite all the modern conveniences, appears to be leading to massive numbers of people taking drugs for depression, anxiety, loneliness, and an escalation in rates of various mental illnesses.
Regardless of how you might feel about the various political and social issues related to progressivism versus conservatism, have you ever noticed the manner in which our culture has shifted; at what point did progressives end up deciding that a “free” society means people on the “right” (aka “Christians”) are no longer even allowed to have a platform to speak anymore?
—) Progressive Liberal Arts colleges tend to black ball anyone who doesn’t tote the party line
—) Progressive Liberal Arts colleges go out of the way to prevent conservatives and non-progressives from speaking to student assemblies
—) Progressives have decided that debate over “Global Warming” is over, they are not open to debating it, and anyone who denies it is a blooming idiot
—) Progressives are hostile toward any other theory of human origins being taught at the University level other than Darwin evolution, the debate is over they say
—) Progressives are hostile toward non-progressives like Donald Trump, even demanding he not be allowed into the United Kingdom!
The more I thought about what my acquaintance was telling me, the more I realized how much progressives remind me of a militant army.
Don’t get me wrong. If you have read anything I have written over the years on my blog, you know how critical I have been of the Christian church. Often, my most heated critics have been from Christians who deem me a heretic because I don’t believe exactly what they believe.
Interestingly enough, even though far-right Christian colleges like Liberty University tote the hardcore Christian line, they still seem to be open to debate and dialogue. While I am in no way an advocate for Liberty University, I find it admirable that they invited both Bernie Sanders (a self-declared socialist) and Donald Trump (a loudmouth New Yorker) to speak at their University to the student assembly. Trump and Sanders are not the kind of people that fit into the Liberty University way of thinking; yet the school had no problem letting them both come and speak to the students.
Thus, it is interesting to me that even though conservative Christians can be some of the hardest people to get along with, they still seem to be open to debate and dialogue. On the other hand, it frightens me that progressives seem to be so hostile toward open debate and dialogue. The manner in which progressives demean anyone and everyone who do not agree with their values, is something akin to the type of militancy that people usually attach the label “totalitarianism”.
I’ve always been a fairly liberal person. It why I pursued a Masters Degree in Liberal Arts. My attitude is that it is best to look at all sides to an issue; to study all of the different positions equally….at least to the best of our ability.
However, my liberal arts perspective is not very popular among many of the academic institutions throughout the United States.
Take for instance the subject of positivism. Throughout the social sciences (psychology, political science, sociology, anthropology, etc), positivistic frameworks are the entire basis of these systems. Thanks in large part to the sociologist Max Weber, the social sciences have adopted a worldview called “Value Free Science” or “Value Free Research” which entirely dominates the progressive academic worldview.
Despite the fact that hundreds of books and essays have been written which offer compelling arguments against value free research; progressive Universities tend to blackball anyone who teaches or advocates anything other than value free research and positivistic worldviews.
It is very troubling to say the least.
A professor from Boston College recently wrote to me on the subject and said that while it is true that the majority of colleges reject anyone who teaches against value free research, there are in fact a growing number of professors who are joining the ranks of those who reject positivism and value free research. It is refreshing to get emails like that, but it is still troubling that the overwhelming majorities of textbooks and curriculums teach only one worldview.
Regardless of my own personal views on global warming, homosexuality, or fill-in-the-blank…..my point is very simple; I don’t want to live in a world where debate and dialogue is suppressed. A world where Progressives (or any way of thinking) squelches all other voices at the academic or political level is a frightening world that I don’t want any part.
I have written extensively on my heartache regarding the way that Evangelical churches have treated homosexuals over the years. Much of the problems we have faced in the Western world on this subject could have been circumvented had Evangelicals not been quite so hardheaded and unloving. I can’t tell you how many Evangelicals have talked to me about homosexuals as though they are lepers, and have said they would never let their children even be in the presence of anyone who is gay.
That type of attitude is really sad. It is no wonder there has been such a war between the Church and the homosexual community with that type of attitude permeating the air. This type of thinking within the Christian community during the 20th century led to many men and women going into hiding and doing things in secret, resulting in massive upheaval behind the doors of the church.
Whether you believe in climate change or not. My goal is not to convince you to believe in it, or to convince you to not believe in it. I’m merely suggesting that if you are one of these people who believe “debate” is over, then I feel for your soul. Because that type of thinking is the same that led to some of the worst types of human injustice throughout history; slavery in the USA, Hitler, etc.
Debate should always be encouraged and welcomed. Sadly, the country I was born into seems to have decided that the debate is over.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,
Categories: Culture & Society