What To Do When Secular Professors Beat On Christianity

In an April 8, 2005 article on What To Do When Secular Professors Beat On Christianity, the Christian Post neglected to mention the three students featured in the article are based on a fictional account created by the author, Professor J Budziszewski. The Christian Post apologizes for any inconveniences incurred by the inaccuracy.

On campuses in this nation, Christian students come across professors who espouse the secular humanist creed and express bigotry against the Christian faith. One professor tells students to combat by expressing their opinions, even if the professor has the final word and students cannot "win."

According to one student's account, Peter, a professor opened class by saying, "All of you here are too intelligent to be pro-life, right?" When one student said, 'I'm pro-life,' he "tore her down for five minutes," the student said. The teacher "figured she was religious" and "labeled her a "fundamentalist." Much of the rhetoric was "recycled quotations," such as "H.L. Mencken's line about uneducable people who belong to the species homo boobiens." "The teacher then asked, 'Would anyone else like to say anything?' Of course no one else did, so he smiled and said to her, 'It seems that you're a minority of one."

According to J. Budziszewski, a professor of government at the University of Texas in Austin, "Professorial bigotry is a common problem because students seek my advice about it privately."

Budziszewski told the Christian Post he advises students to be courteous - but also to remember to speak up.

His advice to students is to "Limit yourself to a single point; don't lecture your professor; reason simply and clearly; don't bash your professor with the Bible; stay calm; model courtesy; and remember that you don't have to 'win.'  After all, the professor will have the last word, so all you have to do is plant a seed."

"They strike me as hateful," said another student named Don, talking about the professors. Don also gave an account of a similar experience. His Modern European teacher blames Christianity for the oppression of women, slavery, the Holocaust, Stalin's purges - before becoming a Communist, Stalin was a seminary student, and Terrorism. According to her, "we're just getting what we deserve," said Don.

A third student, Theresa, said, "Not many faculty are that extreme," but there is "a persistent left-wing, anti-religious bias in almost all of our classes."

Budziszewski said, "being courteous is not the same as being a mouse.  When a professor says something outrageous, the student should stand his ground, offering an opposing view and giving a logical argument to back it up."

He advised the students to challenge their professors.

In the case of Peter, Budziszewski suggested the student say, 'Sir, how do sarcastic remarks about homo boobiens prove your case about abortion?'

"You'd be surprised. Professorial bullies are a lot like other bullies. They aren't prepared to be contradicted." "By pointing out that an insult isn't an argument, you put him in a dilemma. Either he presents you with a real argument... or he loses face."

"In a case like this winning isn't the point. The point is bearing witness," he said. "So what if your professor isn't convinced? So what if he gets the last word? So what if he changes the subject? All you have to do is plant a seed," he stated.

J. Budziszewski writes a column for Focus on the Family's website for college students and published, How to Stay Christian in College (NavPress). He is a popular speaker at Christian forums on college campuses. His article, "The Angry Tribe of Opinionated Professors" is a dialogue between himself and three students on how to deal with professors, who might put down the Christian faith in a bigoted way.