A Time to SpeakMIKE S. ADAMS
Dear Intimidated Christian: I want to thank you for coming by the office last week to vent your frustrations over the anti-Christian remarks your professor has been making in the classroom.
My main reason for writing you today is to convince you to change your mind about letting this incident go without making a complaint. You admitted in my office that you would not even consider going to his class wearing a cross around your neck because you would be afraid of flunking the course. If you were serious, that means that you and your husband have just paid tuition to the state of North Carolina to have one of its employees insult your religion (or, as you said, your personal Savior) and to infringe upon your constitutional right to freely exercise your religion.
In recent years, our university has increased its funding for a diversity movement that has tried to promote the idea of compatibility between Christianity and various "alternative lifestyles." As aggressive and one-sided as that movement has become, it poses less of a threat to religious liberty than the incident you reported to me. Anti-Christian remarks in the classroom are more serious because, short of dropping the class, you can't escape from them. And these remarks are made in the classroom all too often at this university. Just last semester, another student reported to me that his professor told him that anyone who believed in God was "stupid." He handled the situation the same way you did. He did nothing.
I'm not sure why the other student decided to let the matter go, but I do understand why you are reluctant to do anything. While you were in my office, you told me that it was easy for me to recommend action because I am a tenured professor and you are only a student. I understand your apprehensions, but I disagree with your ultimate decision.
First of all, my tenure has nothing to do with the situation. But the fact that your professor does not have the protection of tenure is relevant. And, of course, I would argue that you really do have tenure because you are a Christian. Speaking up for what is right will only cause temporary problems. You can be confident that you will be rewarded in the end.
If I were in your situation, I would go to class with a T-shirt that says "Christian, American, Heterosexual, Pro-Gun, Conservative. Any questions?" in order to provoke the professor. But that's just me. Of course, that really won't be necessary because your professor's arrogance is sure to produce another anti-Christian remark before long. When that happens, I want you to demand an apology from him for calling you stupid previously and for whatever remark he makes on that occasion. You should also insist upon an in-class apology, so that he will no longer intimidate other Christians.
If he refuses to apologize, ask to speak with his department chair. If the chair refuses to help, ask to speak to the Dean. If the Dean refuses to help, go to the Provost. If the Provost fails to remedy the situation, go to the Chancellor. If that doesn't work, go to the press. I know at least one columnist who would love to cover this one.
If you get your apology, you will have made your point and the professor will likely think twice before again spewing his anti-Christian remarks in the classroom. If, on the other hand, you experience retaliation, I will make certain that you get a lawyer, free of charge. I will also urge you to contact the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education .
Of course, there is a distinct possibility that you will get neither an apology nor experience any retaliation. Perhaps you will just be smugly dismissed by academics using the First Amendment to defend your professor's remarks. If the university takes that approach, you can really have fun with this one by turning the First Amendment on your adversaries.
If the professor wants to stand by his remarks you can help him to do so by printing his name and his exact quotation in a letter recounting your experience in his classroom. The letter could be sent to donors, the alumni association, and to local churches telling them the truth about the institution that relies so heavily upon their donations.
Remember that you are angry with your professor because you believe that he is wrong and you are right. If you are right, you will be taking a very powerful ally into this battle. On the other hand, your professor wants to save the rain forests because they're pretty and he likes monkeys. You aren't really afraid of this guy, are you?
Mike S. Adams. "A Time to Speak." Townhall.com.
Used with permission from the author.
Mike S. Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a professor at UNC-Wilmington. His first book, Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel, will be released in April, 2004.
Copyright © 2003
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