I previously wrote about atheism and secularism here, and commented about “Atheist Awareness” Week at UCSD.
It appears that a growing trend towards secularism is being witnessed on college campuses nationwide. Religion, critics assert, corrupts people and makes them bigoted. As a result, atheism and secularism must succeed in order to combat the Judeo-Christian tyrannical stronghold in place in the United States! (Sarcasm intended).
In all seriousness, this trend signals a bad course in society. It is alarming that such “righteous” people are painting morals, Biblical teachings, and faithful people as boneheads, when they are the ones demanding special attention and conditioning programs to make us more accepting of their belief system.
Pitzer College in Southern California will be the first to launch this program. The press release elaborates further:
Claremont, Calif. (May 9, 2011) — Pitzer College will launch a Secular Studies Field Group in the fall 2011-12 academic year. With the creation of this department, Pitzer College will become the only higher education institution to offer courses and an undergraduate degree in secular studies.
The creation of a Secular Studies Field Group reflects an emerging interest in an awareness of the notable growth of secularity in America and elsewhere. For example:
- Approximately 660,000 Americans join the ranks of those claiming no religion each year. Fifteen percent claims “none” when asked about religious affiliations, a doubling of “none” since 1990.
- Twenty-seven percent of Americans currently “do not practice any religion” and 22% say that religion is “not a factor” in their lives.
- The Secular Student Alliance – a college campus group for nonbelievers – reports 240 chapters nation-wide, up from 42 in 2003.
- Almost 30% of Canadians can be considered secular and approximately 1 in 5 Canadians does not believe in God.
- Fifteen percent of Australians claim to have no religious beliefs.
- In France, 33% of the citizenry are atheists, while in Belgium, the percentage is 27%. Rates of unbelievers are even higher in the Czech Republic, Estonia and Slovenia.
- Sizeable secular populations can also be found around the world including Israel, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea and Azerbaijan.
The Secular Studies Field Group will be headed by Pitzer College Professor Phil Zuckerman, an internationally renowned secular studies scholar. It will offer courses focused on various aspects of secularity from a historical, philosophical and sociological perspective. It entails the study of non-religious people, groups, thought and cultural expressions. Emphasis will be placed upon the meanings, forms, relevance and impact of political/constitutional secularism, philosophical skepticism and personal and public secularity.
Nevertheless, it looks like San Diego State will follow suit. KPBS reports the following about this development:
Southern California colleges are leading the country in the field of secular studies. Claremont college recently announced their latest bachelor’s program devoted to secular studies, UC Irvine now offers courses on Atheism and Secularism, and San Diego State University is debuting its first course on Atheism, Humanism and Secularism this Fall. We will be speaking with the SDSU professor who is instructing the course to discuss this recent trend in higher education and the field of religious studies.
Professor Roy Whitaker, SDSU religious studies professor and expert in the history of religion and irreligion; and African American religious thought.
Students and taxpayers should be alarmed at how their money is being appropriated by university administrations. Instead of focusing on these politically correct, quasi-Marxist programs, why not invest in real religious studies? Talk about the persecution of Jews and Christians in Muslim countries in the present day, along with the growing phenomenon of militant Islam and rising anti-Semitism. Why not talk about religious persecution in the former USSR and why the absence of religion there corrupted people? Can’t they dedicate one lecture to religion and its value in society, or is that too much to do? Why don’t universities give a fair account about history/religion/politics, instead of spewing leftist propaganda?
The crusade to combat political correctness will ensue. We must do all in our power to vanquish it once and for all.