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Students’ survey highlights censorship of Christian college newspapers

A recent study suggests widespread censorship of student publications at American Christian schools. Photo illustration by Kit Doyle

(RNS) — A group of Christian college students has released a survey that suggests  censorship of student publications is not uncommon at American Christian schools, with student editors alleging faculty and administrators wield broad editorial control over campus newspapers and sometimes kill stories before publication.

Administrators at Christian colleges have a legal right to control their schools’ newspapers, and argue they do so to safeguard the values that define their institutions.

“There are certain sensitivities that you’re just going to have to respect about campus culture,” said Greg Bandy, faculty adviser to the newspaper at Asbury University in Kentucky.

Many student journalists at Taylor University, northeast of Indianapolis, insist the restrictions imposed on them at their newspaper, The Echo, go too far. They wanted to know if their peers at Asbury and other Christian schools share their frustrations — and the results indicate they do.

The study, conducted this spring, was not sponsored by Taylor, a nondenominational Christian school, but by the Student Press Coalition, which was created by the Taylor students.

According to the study, released on May 1, more than 3 out of 4 student editors surveyed said school officials have pushed them to alter or pull a story — a number experts say would be much lower at public schools or even other private colleges.

Although some students expressed interest in finding a “balance” with administrators, others argued the findings shed light on pervasive censorship policies that contravene the journalistic values they learn in their classes and could adversely impact their future prospects in the field.

“It began as an independent project to persuade our school to change its policies,” said Cassidy Grom, head of the SPC and former co-editor-in-chief of her campus newspaper. “But when we saw the data, we decided to go public with it.”

Graphic courtesy of ISPU Student Press Coalition designer Ellen Hershberger

Surveyors reached out to student newspaper editors at 136 schools affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in the United States. (CCCU says its members represent “more than 150” schools in the U.S. and Canada). Including Taylor, 49 schools participated in the study, which was conducted through an online questionnaire after editors were contacted directly.

As for the more than three-quarters of respondents who reported facing pressure from the university to edit or remove an article after publication, “that is an entirely different number than we’d get at a public school — it’d be much, much lower,” said Mike Hiestand, senior legal counsel at the Student Press Law Center.

In addition, 72 percent said faculty advisers to their paper have the power to kill a story before publication online (70 percent for print), and 34 percent reported instances in which advisers have done so (30 percent for print).

In total, 49 percent of respondents agreed “it is fair to say” their “publication is censored” by someone who is not a student at some point in the editorial process, and 48 percent said university officials have asked student journalists to stop pursuing a story while it is in the research and writing phase.

Chris Evans, president of the College Media Association, said the numbers echo his organization’s own research on threats to independent journalism at universities. He said instances of censorship “happen all the time” at private colleges because they are in a different legal category than public schools.

“It’s tough because it’s perfectly legal at private colleges for administrators to censor because there is no guarantee of First Amendment protections,” Evans said.

Catherine Ross, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University Law School who specializes in the First Amendment, said the survey’s findings aren’t surprising in the context of private schools. She said religious schools in particular have “understandable reasons” for exacting control over internal publications: Their faith-rooted nature means they prioritize specific spiritual teachings over the “freewheeling culture you would expect from a public institution.”

A photo illustration of a newspaper in flames. Photo by Elijah O’Donell via Unsplash/Creative Commons

But Ross said the level of oversight evidenced in the survey was an “outlier” compared with the vast majority of private colleges — which often emphasize free expression — and reminded her of the control wielded over public high school newspapers.

The data adds context to other allegations of censorship at Christian schools, which writer and Christian college graduate Sarah Jones argued in a recent piece for The New Republic constitutes an “invisible free speech crisis.”

In March, an assistant news editor at Liberty University — which is not a member of the CCCU — told Religion News Service that school President Jerry Falwell personally censored her attempt to cover a revival organized by faith leaders critical of him. She said the Liberty Champion, her campus paper, sometimes has articles pulled before publication, and she questioned whether it was “more a PR vehicle for the university than a newspaper.”

Liberty officials have not responded to requests for comment about the alleged incident.

Graphic courtesy of ISPU Student Press Coalition designer Ellen Hershberger

Robin Gericke, executive editor at The Asbury Collegian and a participant in the survey, also recounted an incident of what she described as censorship. When the Collegian published an interview with an openly gay alumnus about his experience at their school, administrators at Asbury University — a multidenominational institution grounded in “Wesleyan-Holiness theology” — confiscated the papers and locked them away, she said. Gericke says they were only released once the newspaper provided a letter proving they had express permission of the alumnus to publish the interview.

“That’s kind of our glory story,” she said, adding that she wants administrators to “stop seeing a newspaper as a PR piece and start seeing it as actual journalism.”

Asbury officials did not respond to requests for comment, but the newspaper’s faculty adviser confirmed the papers were at one point “secured.”

For those who would argue for greater freedom for student journalists at Christian colleges, the survey raises concerns about funding and control. Nearly 20 percent of  respondents said their newspaper officially exists wholly or partially as university public relations, and 88 percent are funded at least in part by the college itself.

But those who champion student journalists’ editorial independence were encouraged by one statistic: 88 percent of respondents said their advisers support journalists, even if the administration is critical of their work.

Gericke praised Bandy, the faculty adviser to her newspaper and an assistant professor of journalism at Asbury. He argued faculty oversight offers an educational experience for student journalists.

“I have supported the students very strongly when I feel like they have all the facts,” he said. “I can’t remember advising against running a story when that was the case.”

But he noted that “at the end of the day, I work for Asbury University,” and said some topics are bound to stir controversy in a conservative Christian environment, including pieces that deal with human sexuality.

Grom said Taylor University’s conservative Christian roots impact her reporting, and how the administration views journalism as a whole.

Graphic courtesy of ISPU Student Press Coalition designer Ellen Hershberger

“I think that the root of some of this censorship is the idea that Christians should have their own culture, their own microcosm, that is separate from culture,” Grom said. “There is a belief that secular culture is dirty, especially the mainstream media, and reporters are just out to get the scoop.”

Ross, who also described herself as a First Amendment advocate as well as a law professor, expressed concern for students who want jobs outside Christian media.

“There is the question of whether (the control) undermines your education, and if you’re a journalism major, whether you’re getting a fair bargain,” she said. “If these colleges are going to operate so far outside the norms that generally apply to journalism, maybe they shouldn’t be offering journalism concentrations or make it clearer to their students the ways in which this experience is going to be unrepresentative.”

The survey shows that less than a quarter (24 percent) of respondents “absolutely” believe their school gives them the same freedom of the press that public universities give students.

Speaking of her own school, Gericke said the role of student editors at Christian colleges is ultimately a “balance” between student views and “the people paying for our paper and our scholarships and our stipends.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that 49 schools — not 50, as claimed in an earlier version of this article — participated in the survey. Two editors from Taylor University participated in the study, resulting in 50 total survey respondents, but only 49 schools.

About the author

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.

91 Comments

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  • Administrators at Christian colleges have a legal right to control their schools’ newspapers, and argue they do so to safeguard the values that define their institutions.

    Presumably those “values” include silencing any opinion that might challenge the schools’ status quo. I always thought that real universities were supposed to value and indeed encourage the free exchange of ideas. This sounds more like a cult to me.

  • Forget about any fantasies that today’s journalism — on ANY side — is totally objective & unbiased. Secular journalism isn’t really on the same page with Christian journalism. Different ethics & emphases, sometimes even different political & religious goals.

    So if today’s Christian universities know what’s good for them, they better help their journalism students to really wake up to the current situation, like Liberty recently did. Otherwise Christian schools are simply giving a free pass to media attacks from within.

  • “You have to be carefully taught” was about far more than mere racial bigotry.

    The whole thrust of this article is that for the religious schools, ideology is far more important than truth.

  • As campus behavior towards conservative speakers demonstrate, it goes both ways.

    In fact I could say much the same about many of your own posts.

  • When one blindly tosses their hard earned cash at a private institution designed to control thought, dialogue, and behavior, one can not cry wolf.

  • A faith that can exist only inside a precious, hermetically sealed bubble isn’t any kind of faith at all.

    A faith that has to keep probling questions and the search for truth at bay — in all fields of human knowledge — can be nothing but shallow and insubstantial, when its props and defense mechanisms are removed.

    “Values” that do not encourage the active, free pursuit of the truth, and free speech, are not values at all: they’re hollow to the core.

    This behavior, this understanding of religion, is light-years removed from the founder of Christianity, who spoke of bringing truth to set people free. It’s light-years removed from the early interpreter of that founder’s message, Paul, who proclaims that for freedom, Christ has set his followers free.

    Religious colleges that do not respect academic freedom and freedom of speech are radically short-changing their students, and are preparing them very badly to meet the challenges of living in a secular pluralistic democratic society.

  • I suspect there might be 2 things at work here.

    One is that the folks running these schools may well have a need for control and power; thus, anyone who challenges that must be dealt with severely.

    Second, as you point out, the schools–specifically, the administrators–are afraid of what might happen if students are exposed to views other than the “correct” one. This is practically a definition of folks with authoritarian personalities and impulses.

    If the administrators were really confident of the correctness or usefulness of their views, and of the intelligence of their students, they’d welcome views other than the ones they advocate, because publishing alternative views would help show the accuracy etc of the “approved” view.

  • The key idea in your statement above is the phrase “real universities”. Clearly, these Kristian schools are something other than real universities.

  • Do you think there are any mass media that do not have a “liberal bias”?

    Oh, and how do you define “liberal bias”?

  • When they suppress the free exchange of ideas then no, they’re not real universities but rather centers for particular forms of propaganda.

  • Apples to oranges, Bob. These aren’t student -led grassroots protests or boycotts of speakers with regressive values. This is top-down administrative censorship. One is an expression of free speech directed towards someone unpopular, potentially overshadowing their platform due to the popularity of the counter-message. The other is flat out denying students a forum to speak, but pretending otherwise.

  • This isn’t an institute of higher learning. It’s a blog. And there is no censorship here. You can respond as you like to anyone’s opinion.

  • It’d be very interesting to see how the numbers actually work out on the public school side rather than just speculate as to how they might be.

    It’d also be very interesting to see the nature of the pieces that were censored, how they fall in to theological, political and “PR” categories.

    Certainly merits further investigation both in depth and breadth.

  • Trying out some new ingestive or inhalable recreationals?

    Or did you bother to read what I was responding to: “ideology is far more important than truth”?

  • Of course. But I think it’s probably a good idea to distinguish betw a school newspaper, and course.

    This discussion raises the question of the academic freedom of faculty members, especially in areas like biology (creationism?) and history–the whole idiotic notion of “US founded as a Christian nation”.

    I wonder how many of these “colleges” are accredited.

  • So “ideology is far more important than truth” is only relevant if the censor – in your opinion – is not “protests or boycotts of speakers with regressive values”?

    Your last sentence is inconsistent with the content of the article and the comments by the schools, which indicated that in a private school settings students don’t have an unrestricted “forum to speak”.

    So, some repressive censorship is good, some bad, depending on who you agree with.

  • According to the CCCU, their affiliated institutions are accredited colleges and universities.

  • And for a number of families that send their kids to these schools, the echo chamber of the “right” views is the bulk of the reason they send their children there. So their position also is a matter of marketing, not just conviction.

    I spent a semester at Bob Jones University. Encountered a number of kids whose parents demanded they attend there—the fees associated with college applications certainly sabotaged my own ability to apply anywhere my mother and stepfather didn’t want me to. Some of the coerced students intentionally did things like be on the wrong side of campus at night, to get expelled so their parents would have to change their demands.

  • I would also like to see what occurs at non-Protestant and non-Christian schools. The CCCU is a mainly evangelical endeavor — I only saw one Catholic school on their list of affiliates. LDS’s Brigham Young University of course is not on the list. I’d like to see what the numbers are like at, for example, a large Catholic school like Notre Dame.

  • I read about half of it. What have parents done that children cannot be said “no” to any longer?

  • Highly faulty reasoning there. If you’ve ever worked for a secular employer, you already know that one thing they won’t tolerate from you (as an employee) is writing a newspaper article that essentially attacks them, their supporters, and policy preferences.

    It ain’t outta fear — and especially not if the employer or the boss is already fully capable of explaining and defending it’s chosen position. (And that is NOT difficult when Shane Claiborne-type liberals show up.)

    Rather, YOU signed up for a given workplace or school and its mission statement, policies, and current public positions. You can publicly oppose and attack (or let the opposes & attackers one-sidedly use your voice) against your employer if you wanna, but you’ll be gone before lunchtime. Gotta choose which employer, values, supporters, and mission statement you really want.

  • These “children” are adults. Universities do not have in loco parentis authority over 18+ students anymore.

  • They are still children Spud, and they are in training. To be trained properly, sometimes one is told “no”.

  • The first instance isn’t censorship. It is protest and therefore protected free speech. Restricting the rights of the student body to protest against regressive speakers would be censorship.

  • Highly faulty reasoning from you, floydlee–as usual.

    An institution of higher learning is different in lots of crucial ways from a private enterprise.

  • The first isn’t adult and makes ideology far more important than truth.

    No, “protest” ≠ “free speech”, and depending on the circumstances and the location you may actually wind up under arrest.

    While I appreciate the fact that, like most of us, you believe your sh-t does not stink, I regret to inform you that it does.

  • You could well be right.

    I was addressing the administrators and policies of the schools, not the students and reasons for attending.

  • Speaking of ingestibles, you might want to increase your antacid intake. From the tone of your posts, you seem to be in a constant state of dyspepsia. Just looking out for you, Bob.

    You may or may not be right about Ben putting a higher priority on ideology than truth (I have no opinion on that). But the point is, you can say as much in this forum, unlike the students at the religious colleges referenced in the article.

  • Odd – a major public university missed by a hair being found liable for the suicide of a student over 21 because it failed to take action based on his behavior.

    In this case, a private religious college or university can say “no”, non-compliance with which can result in the exit of the student forthwith, creating a situation nearly indistinguishable from loco parentis.

  • Does that mean accredited by CCCU? I suspect that that would be kind of dubious, with quite different standards than “normal” accreditation organizations.

  • Generally if you’re paying the big bucks to send offspring to a private religious-affiliated college, you’re not expecting it to have porno on the campus cable and a condom distribution center in the cafeteria.

  • Since, in theory, the faith requires education until the youth possesses sufficient knowledge to know when she or he is being propagandized, a certain amount of restriction is to be expected in a religious-affiliated institution.

    Values require experience and maturity.

    For example, if someone were to send offspring to a Catholic college or university, and found that they were being instructed by a professor who opposed the Catholic Church’s teaching on – for the sake of argument and example – same sex sexual activity in class, I would expect that someone to approach the school and make inquiry as to whether that professor’s contract was up for renewal. I might even expect that someone might approach other parents about the same topic.

    There is essentially zero risk that any youth in any college will wind up in a “a precious, hermetically sealed bubble”, unless that student lacks internet access, never watches television, never goes to a movie, never reads a newspaper, never reads a magazine, and never talks to others in the same age group not going to that particular school.

    The founder of Christianity had this to say:

    Matthew

    15 “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

    Paul proclaimed the freedom with which Christ set his followers free – a freedom from error which is sin.

    Religious colleges that bought the “academic freedom and freedom of speech” mantra of the ‘70s either corrected that mistake or are now in fact ex-religious colleges.

  • Unless you can provide a quotation from me which states, either directly or in so many words that people cannot say as much as they want in this forum, you are out of your lane and well wide of your mark.

    Again.

  • Are you talking about the MIT case in the news recently? MIT is a private institution, although the court’s ruling wasn’t about public or private universities. It wasn’t about in loco parentis either. The Court acknowledged that the age of university in loco parentis has passed, and the institution does not owe a general duty of care to students over all aspects of their lives. The ruling was that a “special relationship” may develop between the university and the student, depending on the facts of the case, and thus may lead to liability, but it was not present here.
    [On a side note, perusing the decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court apparently is one of those courts that still feels the need to inform the reader that “exams” mean “examinations” and that there’s something called “electronic mail” which we will abbreviate for our purposes as “e-mail.”]
    As Floydlee pointed out, a private *employer* can say no, to adults decades older than college students, non-compliance of which may lead to dismissal. This is not in loco parentis, it’s private institutions in a free country.

  • Wow, Bob, you sure are taking this personally.

    College student are adults. They have at least as much right to protest the presence or invitation of an offensive speaker as said speaker has to speak on their campus. There’s nothing magical about what said speakers say that makes it truth. Different, sure, but still ultimately nothing more than one person’s opinion.

  • Do try to get your head around this. It isn’t about what you have or haven’t stated about censorship. It’s about why Ben’s alleged valuing of ideology over truth isn’t the same as that of an ostensible institute of higher learning, the main difference being the freedom to respond, dispute, argue, etc. Students at these schools don’t enjoy that freedom.

    Moving on. Have a lovely afternoon.

  • In other words, Bob, you either cannot answer my questions, or you decline to.

    Thanks for making that clear.

  • I assume it will be easy for you to provide the name(s) of 2 or 3 such, and of course, supporting documentation.

  • Their purpose is not to spread knowledge of the truth, but continue the indoctrination of Students into adulthood. The difference between this religion and a cult is the size of this ridiculous movement.

  • 2 or 3 such what, exactly?

    Schools, parents, or students that offer or procure or attend a religious-affiliated school, or porno and/or condoms?

  • In other words, Howard, you know what you like and thanks to your comments so does everyone who reads your posts.

  • Technically, all monotheistic religions—Christianity included—are cults. Size isn’t part of the definition, and the negative connotation on the term is very much a propaganda thing.

    But yes, the point is to give students the education needed for various jobs while leaving them ignorant of ideas that could lead to them questioning the status quo. Questions are a dangerous slippery slope to becoming a liberal, don’tchya know. [sighs]

  • Do try to get your head around this.

    My comment was directed at the phrase “ideology is far more important than truth” offered in a context which implied that the author was above that sort of thing, or at least disapproved that sort of thing.

    The words “institute of higher learning” were absent, and frankly I believe them to be irrelevant both in his original post and in this of yours to which I am responding.

    Students at these schools may have limits on what they can discuss, and the article provides:

    “Administrators at Christian colleges have a legal right to control their schools’ newspapers, and argue they do so to safeguard the values that define their institutions.”

    and

    “Catherine Ross, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University Law School who specializes in the First Amendment, said the survey’s findings aren’t surprising in the context of private schools. She said religious schools in particular have ‘understandable reasons’ for exacting control over internal publications: Their faith-rooted nature means they prioritize specific spiritual teachings over the ‘freewheeling culture you would expect from a public institution.’”

    This for some reason provoked “This isn’t an institute of higher learning. It’s a blog. And there is no censorship here. You can respond as you like to anyone’s opinion.” from you.

    I am sure that this all makes sense … to you.

  • Precisely.

    But the issue here is that some these schools are …. gasp! …. religious.

    And, of course, you know that religion is the enemy of …. truth!

    The article, and the comments for the most part, are a tempest in a teapot.

    If folks don’t like how it plays in private schools, there is a plethora of public schools out there, some much much less expensive.

  • Clearly the phrase “Kristian schools” bespeaks a large axe you’re grinding.

  • “As Floydlee pointed out, a private *employer* can say no, to adults decades older than college students, non-compliance of which may lead to dismissal.”

    Which is also true of private colleges.

    While it is not in loco parentis, it creates a situation which has many of the same characteristics.

  • I agree, I didn’t mean only private employers could do this, I just meant no one would call it in loco parentis even though there are some similarities.

  • I’m not grinding an axe. I just happen to be aware of the history of “Christian schools”. If you have any curiosity at all, you will find that lots of these schools began as segregation academies–Bob Jones “University”, for example.

  • Most obviously, it’s supposed to be dedicated, not to making money, but to education and inquiry.

  • You have a history here of making all sorts of claims and allegations and accusations and then failing to provide specifics when asked. And of course you’re doing it once again. For all to see. Thank you for that. It makes clear that you are reacting from your gut and not from any actual facts.

  • I think we’re writing someone’s Master’s Thesis for them. There are many variables to consider: Protestant vs Catholic, Private (including private secular) vs Public, Evangelical vs Mainline, size of school, geographic location, what types of information are limited…it’d be fascinating!

  • What, exactly, that you said–schools that have a porn on the campus cable and a condom distribution center in the cafeteria. And of course, supporting evidence from a credible source–not some crackpot.

    I won’t hold my breath, tho, because I know you will not be able to provide evidence from a credible source.

  • You should reread what I wrote.

    I did not state that any school had porn on the campus cable and a condom distribution center in the cafeteria.

    Do hold your breath until I reply, please.

  • No, you misread my post.

    That, of course, is something you have a history here of.

  • And yet it seems beyond you to respond with anything but ad hominem attacks.
    There’s a logical difference between a community looking at a person’s message and telling everyone that the person’s ideas are wrong, and a person in power trying to ban certain information or certain speech from a community.

  • I would assume that it has to make enough money to pay all the bills and perhaps expand this, that, or the other.

    If it is a seminary I believe it would dedicated to education in what denomination sponsors it and sufficient inquiry to accomplish that purpose.

    If it is not a seminary, it may make clear in the front end what its intentions and program to achieve that will be:

    https://www.christendom.edu/about/

    “Founded in 1977 in response to the devastating blow inflicted on Catholic higher education by the cultural revolution which swept across America in the 1960s, Christendom’s goal is to provide a truly Catholic education in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and thereby to prepare students for their role of restoring all things in Christ.”

    Truth in advertising.

    So, the amazing discovery is that different colleges have different goals, programs, and rules and that if you want to protest naked advocating for polygamy, some schools would be better choices than others.

  • Of course you’re grinding axe.

    Yes, I would everyone would be familiar with Christian schools, and Hebrew seminaries, and so on so that they don’t head for one them expecting to say anything they want on campus or in a campus publication.

  • Uh, my response was NOT an ad hominem.

    Persons in power in seminaries, Christian schools, or a Hebrew school are not obligated to refrain from banning certain information or speech or for that matter expelling protestors.

    I would expect the name, affiliation, and college catalog to provide all the fair warning a person of normal intelligence requires before filling out an application.

  • Sorry, Bob, your attempt to hijack this discussion won’t work. Stick to the issues. Address the matter raised in any post you’re responding to.

    And I have to thank you for once again showing us your lack of curiosity.

  • Bob, you have a certain genius at diverting discussions and addressing issues that have not been raised.

  • Your post above certainly suggests very strongly that you had in mind a school that had porn on the campus cable etc etc.

    But, of course, by now I’m very familiar with your tactics and method of discussion, so I know that you continually make allegations and accusations and implications that you cannot support.

  • If I had a school in mind, I would have named.

    But, of course, by now I’m very familiar with your inability to read English, and that you continually conclude people wrote things they never wrote.

  • I have a problem with only one point you made above.

    I don’t think the purpose of any real university is to “give students the education needed for various jobs…”. Rather, my idea of a university education is to expose students to a wide variety of ideas and knowledge–which, as you implicitly note, can be dangerous to ideas a student has previously held.

  • Actually I addressed the very issues your post to which I responded made, starting with making a profit.

  • I prefer the broad-exposure premise of university education, too, but that’s not a goal shared by all universities. Would you consider ones with alternate goals to be “not-real” universities, then?

  • Note that the deluded Christian nutcase, bigot, snowflake, and NRA shill presenting himself frequently in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

    The José Carioca account for this present post is used as a parody of “Bob Arnzen”.

  • Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase in extremis, bigot, and NRA shill presenting himself in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

    It is recommended that you refer to him and reply to him using his name as “Bobosé”, “BobbyJoe”, or just “snowflake”.

    The José Carioca account for this present post is used as a parody of “Bob Arnzen”.

  • Slightly OT, but that gave me a laugh. I tell my clients that it is forever 1990 in our local courts. We still use fax machines to serve documents (the rules call it “facsimile” to be proper), my process server needs to file original documents in person at the court house, and I get to wear robes based on a design from England a few hundred years ago.

    We are making progress however because our governing body just renamed itself the Law Society of Ontario instead of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Never mind that the province has been known as Ontario for over 150 years.

  • Perhaps. It’s pretty well known that religion can only keep going if people don’t question it, so it’s not surprising that religious schools would need to stop students from talking to get for years of tuition out of them. It’s not as if I expect a Christian organization to care about personal liberty of anyone who disagrees with them. At least this survey shows that no one else should either.

  • Given the plethora of non-religious schools that are cheaper, people who are looking for a religious school appear to be looking for and willing to pay for a religious education.

    The article was a tempest in a teapot.

  • I agree thoroughly with your point. It is necessary for a government “by the people” to embrace skepticism. In our complex social environment, Liberty requires the ability to understand and make reasonable choices.

    Both the words “cult” and “liberal” have multiple and varying meanings. I think your meaning could also include both atheistic religions (Buddhism ) and those with many Gods (Hinduism).

    Liberalism is often meant in discussions like this to be to the political left or not conservative. I see its opposition to radicalism. Liberalism can be seen as the desire to improve this system to make it more just. Radicalism is the revolutionary desire to replace this system because it is innately unjust. I consider myself a radical.

  • It happens in the public marketplace as well. Since it is usually the institution’s resources that provide the opportunity for student writers and editors, than like any publisher, the schools have the right to manage the content.

  • I have a different problem than Howard with your statement. You said, “Technically, all monotheistic religions- etc….” That depends on the objective definition of a cult, and who provides that definition. Unless you have better evidence than the mere assertion, I find your argument within the context of a somewhat semantical point problematic at best.

  • I think we need to be precise here. It seems to me that:

    1. what we’re talking about is some kind of statement somewhere by the specific college in question.

    2. It seems to me the only way a college can “prepare students for the job world” is to tailor courses to the specific needs or requirements of specific employers. Otherwise, the best colleges can do is to train students in things like how to reason well, how to raise objections when your boss doesn’t want to hear them, the politics of the workplace, etc.

  • 1. I was thinking more in terms of underlying premise behind universities in general, where their policies are determined by what they think best prepare students for being productive citizens.

    2. If the goal is workplace prep, then general knowledge is fine—general for workplaces, like how to organize thoughts, and then general to the more specific field of study, often with specific goals in mind for what type of job the graduate will end up in. Critical reasoning actually isn’t an advantage in all jobs.

  • Indeed, in some jobs and employers, critical thinking ability is a distinct disadvantage!

    If you think about it, most work does not require a college education. And for some college majors–English, French, history, art, etc–it’s difficult to see how that prepares the student for work.

  • [wry smile] No argument here. I decided against finishing college when an office hired me full-time because I tested better than the folks with degrees. For a lot of jobs, the only real “need” for a degree comes from the employer.

    Majors like art or English, some universities have a goal of producing an art or English teacher rather than someone who actually does it for a living.

  • Until a few years ago, the New York City Bar Association went only by its official name: the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. And only within the last eight years have the federal courts in Manhattan allowed attorneys to bring cell phones into the building. You had to check them at the door.

  • My hypothesis would be the more heterogeneous the population at a Christian school, we should expect less censorship.

  • The subject at issue is journalism. It has to do with examining events, trends, ideas, policies etc.

    It’s far removed from a business looking to boost its sales/profits.

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