Free Speech? Only If You Speak The Language Of The Left

Universities are supposed to be areas where there is open debate and free speech is prized…unless you deviate from the leftist ideology.

From the CarmiTimes.com:

The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism after a student accused the instructor of engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church’s teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.

The professor, Ken Howell, had this explanation:

“My responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches,” Howell said in an interview with The News-Gazette in Champaign. “I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never required to believe what I’m teaching and they’ll never be judged on that.”

So the professor got fired for teaching what the Catholic Church says in a class about the Catholic Church because a student didn’t like what he had to say?  Does this mean that when I’m sitting in History class this fall, and my professor talks about Christopher Columbus being the first to discover America, and I read a book about the Chinese doing it first in 1421, can I complain and get him/her fired?

I’m currently a senior History and History Education major with a minor in Political Science at a state university in Illinois.  The campus is very, very liberal.  As a conservative, I find myself butting heads with my fellow students and professors over what they teach, or discuss in or out of class.  For instance:

– In my World Geography class, the professor spouted on and on about global warming.  A student in that class, wearing a Mao t-shirt, tried to say the government could solve the global warming “problem” with Cap and Trade.  I argued vigorously against him, and I was only one of two students in a class of 30 that argued against global warming existing.  The debate over Julian Simon vs Thomas Malthus was even more heated.  Mao-boy loved Malthus – no surprise.

– In my Sociology 101 class, which I called Marxism 101, I was taught in a roundabout way that all of societies ills were the fault of the rich, white capitalists and governmental redistribution of wealth and hate crime laws were necessary to rectify those ills.  I argued conservative views every chance I got, much to the chagrin of my professor.

– In my Adolescent Psychology class, my professor left the room while she had the campus gay-bi-transgender group come in and tell the class how awesome it was to be homosexual/bi/etc.  The class that day was extra credit, so I stayed because I needed the points but I played Freecell the entire time on my laptop while other students in class asked questions about what it was like being gay.

– In my World History class, I was forced to read Franz Fanon’s Wretched Earth which the book and the forward to the book by Jean-Paul Sartre explained how violence was justified in overcoming an oppressive government.  I also was forced to read Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost which details the horrible things the Congo suffered under Belgian colonialism.  However, the overall point of the book was how capitalism led and permitted a situation like the Congo and it took an investigative journalist to spotlight and lead the charge against the Congolese occupation.  While writing the report for the book, I pointed out these underlying themes and that Hochschild was a socialist and a journalist, and a founder of Mother Jones magazine.  My professor wrote back on my rough draft to change socialist to “progressive”.  I changed nothing about Hochschild, and turned the final draft in with a written note at the bottom: “Progressive is just another word for socialist, I did not change the passage about Hochschild”.  Got a B on the paper.

– In my History of Immigration in the United States class, the first day we watched a “hilarious” clip from the Jon Stewart show making fun of those that are against amnesty or who want to crack down on illegal immigration.  I ended up dropping the class due to a schedule conflict, but not before I heard several wisecracks about conservatives for a few weeks.

– In my Ancient History Until 1500 class, I got to hear my professor work the Iraq war into his lesson every chance he got and hear him say how much he hated the war and President Bush.  To this day, I have no idea what the Iraq war has to do with ancient Phoenicia. I also got to hear how much he hated BC and AD and said that marking time by the birth of Christ was ludicrous so he was going to use the new form of historical time dating- BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era).

– In a History seminar class on Early America 1787-1815, I got to read plenty of books trashing the Founding Fathers.  In this class of 10 in a seminar setting, I was able to defend conservative principles all I wanted.  Many a discussion got heated.  The great part?  I got to spout my conservative beliefs in a class endowed by Al Corzine – the brother of former Gov. Corzine of New Jersey – and even go to do so while he was visiting the class to see how his money was being spent.

– Finally, in my Modern British History class, my professor – who I debate often outside of class and consider a friend – went on and on about how British socialism was great and how much he disliked Margret Thatcher.  Outside of class one day during the GM takeover, I told him Obama was a “damned socialist”.  He smiled and retorted that “Obama wasn’t socialist enough for me”.

Those are just a few instances of leftist and socialist ideology present in my university classes.  I have only met one conservative – an Economics professor – at my university (he no longer teaches there).  The campus groups devoted to leftist ideologies are plenty.  Conservative principles and ideas are rarely discussed in class and if they are, they are scoffed at, so I am not really all that surprised that Ken Howell was fired. For all the talk the media does about purges regarding the Tea Parties and the Republican Party, there are purges going on inside academia that receives little attention by the same mainstream media.  The sad part is that the students in these classes are filled with leftist ideology and move on to spout the junk they just learned in other classes or in their everyday life.   In other words, it’s pure indoctrination.  Free speech is a luxury that conservatives don’t have on college campuses, and certainly not a luxury while teaching – even if it is in line with the subject you are teaching.