Tenure Shrugged: A Scholar's Affinity for the Philosophy of Ayn Rand Cost Him His Job

Mike_M's picture
Submitted by Mike_M on Thu, 2007-07-05 20:15

From the Chronicle of Higher Education. John Lewis loses his job because of Objectivism. Note for those who doubt the threat on the right: Lewis was ousted by "mainstream and evangelical Christians." Not liberals.


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I was confused since Stark

Mike_M's picture

I was confused since Stark wasn't involved in the Social Forces study. I'll look at the studies you linked to and get back to you.

Among Evangelical identifying religious people, Republican Party identification has dropped from 55% to just 37% today.

Something similar happened after the colapse of the Moral Majority, and after Ralph Reed left Christian Coalition. People have been writing the obituary of the religious right for the last 25 years. Each time they come back stronger. What is unique about this time?

Theocrats W/O a base? And getting back to John Lewis situation

Orson's picture

Both? asks Mike? No. Just the study.

But regarding the Hsiehkovian controvery and the rise of religious theocrats overtaking the Republican party - and thereby the US government - people here will be interested in last months religious polling data from the Pew Center, given a basic going over at Anderson Cooper, on CNN Thursday night.

(I'm sure the polling data can be dug out, online; CNN post's transcripts later.)

Among Evangelical identifying religious people, Republican Party identification has dropped from 55% to just 37% today.

So, if these sorts are going to "lead" us all into the theocratic promised land, they'll have to do it WITHOUT most Evangelicals helping them.

I'd say the DIM hypothesis looks rather dimwitted to any informed "brights."

Meanwhile, Prof Lewis situation has gained the attention of an expert in employment law, and law prof at George Mason University, David Bernstein. He summarizes the case in four cogent sentences, aided with a link to further documents.

Orson, There ARE

Mike_M's picture

Orson,

There ARE well-established sociological data that Stark (et al) findings simply wildly contradict.

First, income and education (as we all know) are positively correlated; and second, income and religiosity are negatively correlated. Ergo, as education increases, in general, religiosity declines.

Is your post meant to discuss both the Social Forces study and Stark's book?

Marginal measured changes-a function of economic change? or not?

Orson's picture

Mike_M

There ARE well-established sociological data that Stark (et al) findings simply wildly contradict.

First, income and education (as we all know) are positively correlated; and second, income and religiosity are negatively correlated. Ergo, as education increases, in general, religiosity declines.

Consider Mark_M's statement:
The more educated a person is, the more likely he is to be religious.

Now, when someone comes along and argues - implicitly - these long established relations just are not so without presenting extraordinary evidence to the contrary simply must be taken with many piles full of salt.

In other words, I don't believe Stark's claims are true! They simply contradict too many other well-established germane data points. I expect he's fudging something to conveniently ween an audience point, not to do good scientific sociology. Parsing the truth, as President Clinton did so engagingly, to make some people feel good about themselves. Or else there is something else going on, like the impact of inter-generational economic change upon different stratas of US society.

Consider the Inside Higher Ed article linked to above:
“Actually we’ve just been wrong about this for quite a while,” said Mark D. Regnerus, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the authors of a new study that suggests students who attend and graduate from college are more likely than others to hold on to their faith.

"[A] new study suggests...." sounds like an important caveat, and the contradiction admitted by Regnerus concedes the controversiality of the claim. My suspicions? It depends upon how the data is parsed. For example, are two-year degree holders included or excluded from this sample?

The data that they analyze come from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which tracked more than 10,000 Americans from adolescence through young adulthood from 1994 to 1995 and from 2001 to 2002. Because the study was looking at individuals, it differs from studies looking at those attending certain colleges and includes students from a range of colleges and those who didn’t attend college at all.

"[T]hose attending certain colleges and includes students from a range of colleges and those who didn’t attend college at all." Odds that my suspicions are true are increasing. You see, there are maybe a 100+ major research universities in the US; 2,000 some four year institutions; and many thousands more 2 year and vocational places of "higher learning" in the US. It is a very polyglot pool from which to slice and dice the "data."

So the claim may well be in some sense true, but its real [in]significance lost or buried under deceptions underlying the "data" that's parsed. Given the puff-ball character of the reportage, is it any wonder that all but one of the commentors (below the story) are from the religious? Of course not.

Religious colleges as a whole are not among the elite educational institutions of the US. And the elite colleges and universities have long been recognized as being much more liberal and much less religious than their less prestigious peers. "A substantial majority of young adults report a decline in attendance at religious services, while a minority report that religion has become less important and that they have completely dropped their religion. But the greatest drops come from those who are not in college.

This last claim is certainly a novel finding, something new to chew on. But finding a version of the study's results online, allows us to go further.

[N]early 70 percent of all young adults who attended church at least once a month during high school subsequently curtailed their church attendance. These are aggregate results.

Now, disaggregating the results, Contrary to our own and others’ expectations, however, young adults who never enrolled in college are presently the least religious young Americans. Which is what we've heard before, above.

But wait; there's more: The assumption that the religious involvement of young people diminishes when they attend college is of course true: 64 percent of those currently enrolled in a traditional four-year institution have curbed their attendance habits. Yet, 76 percent of those who never enrolled in college report a decline in religious service attendance.

Now, notice the numbers: 64% versus 76%. Differences, but not huge differences. Given that these are cohort snapshots of one generation’s moment in time, what the results will be down the road are anyone's guess. But these controversial findings are hardly well-established despite the sample's large size).

One plausible interpretation is that the diligence college attendance requires follows through in other areas of life. Whereas 20 percent of those that did not pursue college renounced any and all religious affiliation, only 13 percent of four-year college students had done the same. Again, not huge differences. But these are results which again raise the question of just what "college" is in this study.

Other findings will find Objectivist's smiling, knowingly: The arrival of postmodern, post-positivist thought on university campuses has served to legitimize religiosity, even in intellectual circles. Which is precisely why a Christian-woman I dated as an undergrad became a college-level teacher of deconstructionist ideology in English lit.

But again, the implications do not seem so earth-shattering, especially since there is no mention of graduate trainings impact on religiosity: We are not claiming that higher education does not liberalize students—that very well may be
true
, they admit.

The study seems to only capture the social impact of structural economic change over the past two decades: that the value of blue-collar work is diminishing, and the premium of white-collar training is increasing. Or, in other words, the middle-middle class is shrinking, while the upper-middle and lower-middle class are increasing in size. The slight change in patterns of religiosity seems to be one of the impacts of this generational economic change. But - as I've said before - I'd want to see what counts as "college" in it before claiming so. By leaving out advanced higher education, the claim that education doesn't impact religiosity (which Mark-M heralds) seems quite weak. They maybe lumping apples together with the apricots of higher education in order to stretch their point.

Jesus Fucking Christ. How

Mike_M's picture

Jesus Fucking Christ. How shortsighted.

Phil, put on your reading glasses and take a deep breath. Now read what I wrote again. "I don't see how a study of atheism matters on this point." What do you think "this point" refers to? Please explain how studying atheism affects how rapidly the denomination of your choice grew. I wasn't talking about anything other than that.

Don't Oversimplify

PhilipC's picture

> don't see how a study of atheism matters on this point. [Mike Mazza]

Jesus Fucking Christ. How shortsighted.

*Everything* related to religion in the culture matters (if you actually want to predict its future): Its history. Its psychology. Its plausibility. The level and nature of its weaknesses and strengths. The nature or its opponents.

It's like tidal currents, eddies, undertows. You have to add them up to get a vector sum...and you have to add them up across a long period of time. What is the strength of a force, what is its trendline? What is the strength of a countervailing force?

You can't ignore any factor that actually has either a direct causal or even a catalytic role.

Religion on campus came up

Mike_M's picture

Religion on campus came up during the discussion. From the NYT a few months ago.

Orson, Stark's conclusions

Mike_M's picture

Orson,

Stark's conclusions are derived from census data, numbers of churches, size of chuches, numbers of members reported by churches, etc. It's not a "new" study, though it does tap into information that had not been used before.

I don't see how a study of atheism matters on this point. A study of atheism isn't going to change facts surrounding how rapidly the size of southern Baptism grew, for example.

re Wall Street Journal article

Orson's picture

Regarding the coming again of Old Fashined Religion (TM) to Europe, as reported in the WSJ, the same caveats as above apply. The WSJ editors want religion to be respected AGAIN! to be taken SERIOUSLY.

Who else notices what not at all Old Fashioned? First, the Faiths are lumped together instead of warring amongst themselves. And second, who among the Old Fashioned would trumpet the respect gained by an atheist like the late Oriana Fallaci - "'I am an atheist, yes. An atheist-Christian,' she said in New York in 2005." (See WSJ)

But her admiration and respect came dispite her dissenting atheism, and because of the (correct, I must add) perception that the West and its Enlightenment traditions of openness and tolerance are under attack by Islamo-fascists abroad, and the object of betrayal by the Left from within. This doesn't make Oriana a Believer. Merely less historically superficial (as Leftist idealists typically are) - and an admirer of Christian pacifism, in place of warring Jihadism of Islam.

When Christians are fishing for compliments from life-long but recently dead atheists, you know they are desperate to publicize R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I see no Reader's Digest revival. This is obviously a rear-guard thesis.

The obvious source of a momentary counter-trend is, in fact, the challenge of Islamic terror and revivalism, and the utter silence of authority in its face. I mean, isn't THIS a big reason why France just elected Sarkozy?

Ask yourself this counter-factual question: over the decades since I first visited Europe, when the problem of the "empty Cathedrals and what to do with them" first loomed, is there any mass re-opening of them? No.

Ergo, case closed. There is no revival of Christianity in Europe - or if there is, it is not substantive or only mementary.

Stark pro-Christian - other authorities more pessimistic

Orson's picture

Mike_M summarized:
"Over the last two hundred years, there has been a steady rise in religious adherence among Americans. It plateaued during the 1930s. Approx 60% of Americans are religious. Within that 60%, over the last 70 years there has been a migration of religious Americans away from mainline modernized churches to denomenations which tend towards fundamentalism. Since the 80s, this group has become politically active and increasingly influential. (The more educated a person is, the more likely he is to be religious. Liberals aren't much opposition, but that's not news.)".

I read a recent review, only published last winter - appearing in "Free Inquiry," a philosophical magazine devoted to atheistic free-thought and contemporary topics - of two books on this subject. But primarily "Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America's Nonbelievers" By Bruce E. Hunsberger and Bob Altemeyer, reviewed by Tom Flynn, Free Inquiry (February / March 2007 [Volume 27 Number 2] page 63)."

This brief book studies atheists: who they are and how they came to be.

Its authors, professors of sociology, admitted that the subject of atheism is poorly researched. Thus, I think giving much credence to Stark, et al, is misplaced. There isn't much to measure it against. The point of the review was to highlight pioneering studies on the subject.

I do recall that it said that religious belief in America is in steady, long-term decline. Including the evangelical version, contrary to popular misperception. These comments were not from the studies under review (as best as I could tell), but the comments of the reviewer Tom Flynn - the magazine's editor and himself the author of a few books on atheism.

Again, I think Mike_M is making too much of one study where too much in the way of detail is unknown. Saying that religious belief plateaued in the 1930s, before scientific polling was available, doesn't tell us much that can be independently verified as accurate. Stick to the larger, better, more recent and reliable stats. Saying that Belief increases with education is going to make anyone with a brain guffaw!

Besides, Stark himself is a very pro-Christian Believer, and he is won't to play up optimism (its not called "preaching to the choir" without good reason) - not confront the pessimism that may be more veridical with reality.

Thank you.

Mike_M's picture

Thank you.

The article is available

JulianD's picture

Mike,

You can read the article here.

Julian

word from the Wall Street

Mike_M's picture

word from the Wall Street Journal that old-fashioned religion is enjoying something of a come-back even in secular Europe...

Is this article available online? I'd like to read it.

Disgusting!

James S. Valliant's picture

Of course, a private institution has the right to be idiotic -- to violate its own rules -- to change its policies -- but this IS horrible. They would be thought too "closed minded," no doubt, to boot a prof for being a socialist, or an existentialist, or Lord knows what else, but they're perfectly willing and able to draw the line at Objectivism -- is that it? If this were Georgetown or Notre Dame or Loyola, would that make the point for those in doubt that this is ominous?

In recent days, we've seen the Pope turning the clock back on Vatican II, the Supremes turning the dial back on religious freedom, word from the Wall Street Journal that old-fashioned religion is enjoying something of a come-back even in secular Europe... and now this?!

> Search 'jeff perren

PhilipC's picture

> Search 'jeff perren religion site:dianahsieh.com'

Actually, if I recall correctly, Jeff Perren made dozens of long and detailed posts on why the Left was more dangerous right now than the Right ***ON THIS VERY SITE*** not just on NoodleFood. . . but I don't have time to try to track down all of them.

And most of them were pretty much ignored (although I didn't mention Boaz or Mike by name, but if they were part of the debate and ignoring the strongest arguments and data...then the shoe would fit.)

Am I wrong about that?

1. We've drifted off the

PhilipC's picture

1. We've drifted off the thread topic of John Lewis's firing. Mike Mazza's comment and my reply (on 7/5 sarcastically entitled "vast right wing papist conspiracy") below probably began it--->

> The significant point is that "liberal" universities are the ones opening up to Objectivism, while "conservatives" are actively trying (and in this case succeeding) to shut us out. [Mike M]
You're wlldly overgeneralizing from this. Objectivists have often gotten jobs at Christian-related (both Catholic and Protestant) or right wing related schools, not leftie ones: Reisman at Pepperdine, both Lewis and Thompson at Ashland (unti the new president came in), Mayhew at Seton Hall, Andy Bernstein at at St. Mary's . . .
It's only the wedge of offering them money (the Anthem Foundation) that has recently pried open the doors of non-religious, non-right wing, more mainstream or liberal places.

2. On the John Lewis matter, it's sad to see this happen. I know John and like him, although I have never heard him lecture...when I knew him he was in insurance and had not started his academic career. I agree with the FIRE letter to the university that they went against their own policies and principles, accepting money to study Objectivism and then firing somebody who was actually doing that.

1. We've drifted off the

PhilipC's picture

1. We've drifted off the thread topic of John Lewis's firing. Mike Mazza's comment and my reply (on 7/5 sarcastically entitled "vast right wing papist conspiracy") below probably began it--->

> The significant point is that "liberal" universities are the ones opening up to Objectivism, while "conservatives" are actively trying (and in this case succeeding) to shut us out. [Mike M]
You're wlldly overgeneralizing from this. Objectivists have often gotten jobs at Christian-related (both Catholic and Protestant) or right wing related schools, not leftie ones: Reisman at Pepperdine, both Lewis and Thompson at Ashland (unti the new president came in), Mayhew at Seton Hall, Andy Bernstein at at St. Mary's . . .
It's only the wedge of offering them money (the Anthem Foundation) that has recently pried open the doors of non-religious, non-right wing, more mainstream or liberal places.

2. On the John Lewis matter, it's sad to see this happen. I know John and like him, although I have never heard him lecture...when I knew him he was in insurance and had not started his academic career. I agree with the FIRE letter to the university that they went against their own policies and principles, accepting money to study Objectivism and then firing somebody who was actually doing that.

> Search 'jeff perren

PhilipC's picture

> Search 'jeff perren religion site:dianahsieh.com'

Actually, if I recall correctly, Jeff Perren made dozens of long and detailed posts on why the Left was more dangerous right now than the Right ***ON THIS VERY SITE*** not just on NoodleFood. . . but I don't have time to try to track down all of them.

And most of them were pretty much ignored (although I didn't mention Boaz or Mike by name, but if they were part of the debate and ignoring the strongest arguments and data...then the shoe would fit.)

Am I wrong about that?

Unhinged

Boaz the Boor's picture

Can someone clean up the troll's mess? I'm being accused of holding positions and impure motives in threads I didn't even participate in. It's one thing to lump my stated positions in with other positions I don't agree with -- that would be bad enough -- but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say when somebody puts words into my mouth and then proceeds to judge me for keeping them IN my mouth...in threads I wasn't anywhere near involved with at the time.

I'm not going to dance with the *haggish troll on crack* any more than necessary, but I'm being smeared for (a) having opinions I may or may not even have held in the first place with regard to topics I haven't debated in the first place.

You think he and others on that side of the debate [Mike Mazza or Boaz or Fred Weiss or Jim V] took Perren's arguments seriously the FIRST time they were posted?...Didn't you notice how THEY DODGED OR IGNORED ALL HIS ARGUMENTS THE FIRST TIME AROUND?

This is a deranged form of mind-reading. Let's see: I agreed with Diana or Peikoff on X, therefore I must have agreed with them on Y [!]; therefore, when presented with an argument against Y, my silence is proof of...something or other, and also of some form of dishonesty or bad faith (for "dodging").

Perhaps my non-response to Jeff was proof of...err..not having a proper rebuttal? Not disagreeing? Disagreeing partly, but without conviction? Still formulating a proper position on the issues under discussion? Still unsure about the evidentiary status of one's own claims, experiences, etc.? Perhaps I wasn't in the room? Perhaps by the time I was in the room the discussion was over because people had been accused of nasty things and left and Jeff was gone and yet somehow you were still here to torment those who'd chosen to stay?

As it happens, I'd be happy to argue some of this stuff with Jeff. I don't think I'd like to discuss it here, with troll-on-crack randroid graffiti on full display every fifteen minutes, but I've become accustomed to not always getting what I want.

Or when Diana said his reference to concrete facts was "concrete-bound", did you hear Mike Mazza or Boaz or Fred Weiss or Jim V or the others disagree with her? And call her a rationalist on this point?

As I recall, Diana said "concrete-bound" of some of the examples Betsy (and her husband) used on NoodleFood -- she didn't say that with respect to Jeff here on SOLO. Cite it if you can (if someone can find it) because people are being accused (absurdly, in my case) and minds are being read with respect to something that may not even have happened.

Did you ever stop to think that it might take me weeks, to go thru all the references I have, all that I have learned over -decades- about the issues involved here...

OMFG, that's fucking hilarious. The haggish troll-on-crack thinks she has copious mounds of wisdom to contribute. The troll-on-crack thinks we want to read it. The troll-on-crack will imitate Atlas and withhold her precious copious mounds of wisdom from us.

And why not? She's been withholding the whole time. She probably plans on publishing something non-mind-bogglingly derivative and non-mind-bogglingly monotonous, someday, someway...and she wants it to be a surprise.

Just a wee, teensy link or cite?

William Scott Scherk's picture

I think Phil may be referring to the thread 'Diana's Takedown,' in his remarks about kids not playing nice then so why should he play nice now. Er, um, meaning, nobody paying proper attention to his article. Gee, one of the longest and best-read threads on the whole site. Even containing a WSS snarkout.

We can find the Takedown commentary here, with Phil's numbered conclusions at bottom | Find: 3 seconds, Check, 4 seconds, Post 7 seconds.

He is also perhaps referring to (thanks, Mike M) a series of posts to the DMH blog.

Search 'jeff perren religion site:dianahsieh.com' | Find: 2 seconds, Check: 255 seconds . . . Post, well, I won't post the whole dang thing, but will point to a representative thread wherein Perren and Vespasiano and Speicher and others all fork up some interesting books and studies and polls.

Phil, you ask of others to provide cites and be careful, if not scholarly. You don't do this yourself when asked, right here. It is not the monumental flipping of dusty pages in your 6 storey archive, it is a few clicks of the mouse, and some scampering over the keyboard. Moreover, and more importantly, it was Master Civil who pointed off to the material as supporting his contentions. So, what is wrong we me asking a discussant to provide cites for his assertions.

Now, sadly, we turn back the dial to BitchOut. Mazza thinks you are a lazy, mean-spirited pontificator, you think he is a shallow, scheming, bad-faith Oacko, and the insults fly like night-bombers.

Good, that.

Par for the sand-traps of discussion with witheringly contemptuous interlocutors on both sides.

In any case, the debate about the rise/fall of 'dangerous' fundamentalists in the US is a constant. It informs the discussion better when we don't hear vague assertions of someone having debunked somebody with "scads of studies, reams of reports, towering shelves of books."

As ever, Phil, we check. We check cites and we check the material under discussion. I hate the sloppy, frat-boy style of discourse in which insult and derision are the prime currency. But at the same time, I expect better, of you.

From "Analyzing the Moral Case Against Chris Sciabarra - Phliip Coates

1. Diana has not offered a shred of proof of Chris Sciabara's lying or immorality (or even manipulating the truth slightly) in -any- of the individual emails or prefaces she has offered us.
2. And certainly not on the still wider claim that he is systematically dishonest.
3. Or even more broadly, on the still more sweeping claim that her essay has "conclusively demonstrated" he is a deeply immoral person.
4. Her claim that she has conclusively proven something of this nature to the outside observer is irresponsible and further undercuts her credibility and our sense that she understands what constitutes proof.

WSS

> maybe even link to the

PhilipC's picture

> maybe even link to the original Perren thread

You think they're hard to find? And it would take more than five minutes?

You think I need to do Mike's homework for him?

You think he and others on that side of the debate took Perren's arguments seriously the FIRST time they were posted?

Didn't you notice how THEY DODGED OR IGNORED ALL HIS ARGUMENTS THE FIRST TIME AROUND?

Or when Diana said his reference to concrete facts was "concrete-bound", did you hear Mike Mazza or Boaz or Fred Weiss or Jim V or the others disagree with her? And call her a rationalist on this point?

No? Neither did I.

And that they will suddenly engage them now, just because I made it easier for them by posting a link?

...
Did you ever stop to think that it might take me weeks, to go thru all the references I have, all that I have learned over -decades- about the issues involved here...and that once I laid all that out, they would still find a nit to pick?

Did you happen to notice that every time I do a very detailed post with dozens of points on a topic, these guys simply blow it off? And you actually expect me to invest as much time as I did with them a year ago when first getting to know how their minds work?

Let me explain something to you, William:

A year ago I did a 'test' of good faith. I referenced all my arguments, nailed down every single point in another debate - over Sciabarra. The wolfpack DIDN'T ADMIT A SINGLE ONE OF MY POINTS. I tried patiently to simplify, to outline, to restate, to make exact quotes. Fred W said it very baldly --- he believed Diana on first reading and didn't need to consider my endless posts.

So I have zero intention of doing a major research project to prove something to rationalistic ideologues who will dodge every fact, find a rationalization to counter everything.

More on Lewis

Mike_M's picture

The FIRE organization appears to have been involved on Lewis's behalf.

A quote from the article.

"While the Faculty Rules and Regulations do indeed require that professors support Ashland’s mission, there was no reason for Lewis to assume that Objectivist scholarship was opposed to Ashland’s mission. Those same Rules and Regulations also state that “[t]he teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results subject to the adequate performance of his or her other academic duties” and that “[w]hen [a professor] speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline.” Ashland has therefore explicitly made academic freedom a condition of professors’ employment.

But increasing restrictions on academic freedom could be the product of Ashland’s turn toward evangelicalism. This past year, Frederick Finks, formerly president of the Ashland Theological Seminary, was appointed president of the university, and the Board of Trustees authorized amending the mission and identity statements this past March to emphasize that Judeo-Christian values are at the center of the university’s social and academic environment."

I practice what I preach when I feel like it, cries Phil Coates

William Scott Scherk's picture

Jeepers, Phil -- Mike Mazza is asking for a reference and you react as if he is going to perform a involuntary emergency trichotomy / tonsillectomy on you.

For heaven's sakes, back up your assertions with links and references -- just as you ask of others when they utter bald assertions. Provide the context for your opinions, or go argue the meaning of life with your lawn.

*******************

Now, I may or may not agree with Mike in his conclusions, or with his Tone. In this instance, though, having tangled with his Tone in the past and seen past it to his quite reasonable argument, I support his request 100%. He provides references and answers the questions put to him with whatever decent scholarly instincts he can manage. You, on the other hand, some wise elder . . .

What I see is that you are not playing -- in this instance -- by the same rules you DEMAND of others. What is so hard about staying within the lines in your own colouring (when you stand over all the poor Students of Objectivism with your Ruler, ready to crack their knuckles a good one whether they deserve it or not)?

For someone who seems to spend all his waking hours (and half his dreams) on the internet, surely you could fork up a reference to support "fact after fact, study after study" (maybe even link to the original Perren thread) -- and provide the reference to those who are discussing an issue in good faith, so that discussion can proceed.

Yes, Mike Mazza is discussing in good faith. He is not accusing  you of acting like a hypocritical nitwit in this instance. That accusation comes from me, your supporter. Just because Mike has given you Tone in the past, he is not doing so now.

I note you have entirely evaded my earlier post in which I said the same thing about hypocrisy and finger-wagging in about one hundred a forty different ways. 

Remember, this critique comes from someone who supports you and likes you, and would appreciate your wisdom if it were not lobbed like stinkbombs at the millions who are not quite as smart or informed as you . . . before my latest redundancies, you had, in effect, written, "hey, I should work on that, you are right."

Well, are you working on that, or not?

WSS

If ever I want to ignore a

Mike_M's picture

If ever I want to ignore a user, then I ignore the user.

Hmm... maybe that will be my mid-summer resolution. Ignore Phil no matter how many enticing exclamation points his posts contain.

Mike M

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Linz, can you send me a PM and tell me how to turn on the "ignore user" function? I'm too stupid to figure it out on my own.

Actually I've never used it, don't know, and didn't even know we had such a function. Smiling Best ask the webmasters. Wm and Julian are on R&R at the moment. Ross?

If ever I want to ignore a user, then I ignore the user. Smiling

Of course, I never ignore Mistress Phyllis. She's the wisest, most mature, most intelligent person ever, and the only true Objectivist. I know that 'cos she never ceases to tell us. Ignore her at your peril! Smiling

Linz

Phil,Contra what you think,

Mike_M's picture

Phil,

Contra what you think, I've been looking for Jeff's studies for a while. You mentioned them, so I thought you could link me to them. But it doesn't matter now; I've found them in old NoodleFood comments. Other than that, I don't think you have anything useful to say, which is part of the reason I took my conversation with Michael off list.

Also, despite the fact that you've recently said I'm not worth talking to, and that I'm stupid, and that you're smarter than me, and that you won't be responding to me any more... You continually try to start debates with me. What gives? I've no use for you, you've no use for me, I thought that was the end of it! But I know you couldn't make it as an intellectual. And it probably sucks to be an intellectual failure when it's so obvious your self-esteem is tied to your smarts. I hope when I'm your age I don't have to tell everyone on the internet how smart I am to get self-validation. So I'll end it myself, and let you have all the hissy fits you want.

Linz, can you send me a PM and tell me how to turn on the "ignore user" function? I'm too stupid to figure it out on my own.

Veering off the key points

PhilipC's picture

>Can you link me to "fact after fact, study after study, poll after poll." I reread the three election threads, and Jeff only mentioned two polls that I could find.

Mike, instead of focusing on the central arguments, (i) you seem to be scanning any post I make and looking for any tiny loose end you can "poke a hole in" and picking a nit by focusing on whether its 3 polls, 4 facts, and 2 studies or 10 studies, 1 fact, and 5 polls, (ii) apparently feeling that relieves you of the need to address the many excellent points that, first, Jeff P made, then I made, then Michael Moeller just made.

Michael, I'm sending you a

Mike_M's picture

Michael,

I'm sending you a PM about Objectivists in academia. The email will explain why I'm not posting it on the forum.

You said: At first, many were not convinced after LP's original statement, then changed their minds after thinking about it more. I am trying to figure what evidence people find so convincing.

You might want to look at Kingdom Coming. I think it is the best discussion of the influence the "Christian Nationalists" have on the Republican party, as well as state and national politics.

Phil,

Can you link me to "fact after fact, study after study, poll after poll." I reread the three election threads, and Jeff only mentioned two polls that I could find. Here is about the religious left. Here is another, but the link is dead. I might have missed a thread.

The Coming Theocalypse???? Part II

PhilipC's picture

> among the most rabid liberals I have ever met...government agencies feeding them grant after grant. They are totally institutionalized...These people are going to cede their cushy jobs and their dominance in academia so readily? [Michael Moeller]

Exactly -- they have massive institutional dominance - foundations, the press, government bureaucracies, the unions, the magazines, one hundred years of cadres of trained intelligentsia . . . even the priests and churches of many denominations to a very large extent.

The spread of the Christian right is a joke compared to that. Yes, in numbers of joe citizen and voter in the South and majorities in the red states, but not in the 'commanding heights', not among the intellectuals.

Once the evangelicals and neo-cons take over academia, I agree, they probably will shut out Objectivists. But worry about the devil in front of you. Not the devil that won't come o until we are all dead. Or may -never- appear:

The next ice age and the glaciers are likely to come before the "theocon" right takes over the academy...for the very reasons Michael Moeller eloquently describes.

The Coming Theocalypse????

PhilipC's picture

> evidence is presented in such a manner as to downplay the influence of Leftists and to make it seem like there is an evangelical apocalypse on the horizon. ... Everytime somebody posts and gives their evidence it seems weak and they seem to be missing a huge chunk of other relevant evidence. [Michael Moeller]

That's been my observation as well. If you remember back a few months ago. Jeff Perren was posting and answering every single argument for the "Theocalypse" [to coin my own word..if Linz can make up bastardized English, why can't I?}. And what was stunning was the embarrased silence of the Theocalyptics.

He completely shredded their arguments with fact after fact, study after study, poll after poll. He must have made a hundred posts.

Now that that is a few months in the past, this argument starts up again, ignoring all the telling points he made. As though this were a completely new subject.

Mike

Michael Moeller's picture

You write: "Objectivist professors and students have been saying for quite some time that, on the whole, they have faced more oposition from Right-Christians and neocons than from liberals non-religious conservatives. Outside of neocon faculty and the new Evangelical president, Lewis face no oposition to his tenure and was even supported by the faculty, so this is a nice example of the point. More neocons and Christian rightists in academic power means more opposition to out Objectivist professors."

Mike, part of me wonders why there is such a stink about this situation if the liberals will happily open their arms to Lewis elsewhere. At any rate, in order to be a threat one must have opportunity to carry it out. So I might be inclined to agree with the last sentence IF this represented the overwhelming state of current academia, but it doesn't on many levels--not even close.

For the same Inside Higher Ed website I found this article, which linked to this study. I have seen studies like these before and I still find the numbers absolutely staggering, especially in light of the fact that conservatives and liberals are roughly equal in number in this country. Economics has the lowest ratio at 3:1, philosophy at 13.5:1, and fields like anthropology/sociology at around 30:1. Contrary to the thought that the liberals are opening up in academia, the article alleges that this disproportion has doubled in the last generation.

It makes me wonder which schools the Objectivist students/professors are involved with. It certainly hasn't been my experience. In the 3 universities where I took classes plus my current law school experience there has been no doubt who runs the joint. I can't remember a conservative professor much less having enough information about them to distinguish them as a neocon or a religionist. Just didn't happen, and looking at the numbers, it seems obvious why. In contrast, especially in law school, liberal professors were/are CONSTANTLY bringing their politics into the classroom. I've been downgraded for my convictions, I've had angry knock-down battles with liberal professors, and on and on. That's not to say I haven't had a lot of good liberal professors that I respect, I have. But the point is that of all the opposition I have faced, it has been exclusively from liberals.

This also extends past being a student. In my job I have worked in collaboration with a number of MD's and PhD's on scientific research grants, including such universities as USC, UCLA, Berkeley, Brown, Indiana, UPenn, Northeastern and with only 2 exceptions (as they did not reveal their politics) these people were among the most rabid liberals I have ever met. One wouldn't think that in scientific research it would be this bad, and I hate to think what it is like in the more liberal fields. I've sat through meetings that turn into a contest of who hates George Bush the most. They've been in these positions for god knows how many years and have their cronies in the ABC government agencies feeding them grant after grant. They are totally institutionalized. I get apopletic just thinking about it.

These people are going to cede their cushy jobs and their dominance in academia so readily? You can count me among the skeptics, Mike, especially when I see them trying to indoctrinate elementary school children with Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. I don't expect that people will take my experience as evidence, but they can look at academia and judge for themselves. I think the numbers here are enlightening.

Mike, I wasn't implying that you were using this incident as evidence for theocracy, I meant it as a serious question. I don't know where you stand these days, so I was just asking if you saw it as part of an alleged trend towards "frightening soon" theocracy.

After the election debate, I have noticed a flurry of blogs and posts focusing on Christian fundamentalism and its influence. If that's what certain Objectivists want to now focus on so be it. My problem is that evidence is presented in such a manner as to downplay the influence of Leftists and to make it seem like there is an evangelical apocalypse on the horizon. At first, many were not convinced after LP's original statement, then changed their minds after thinking about it more. I am trying to figure what evidence people find so convincing. Everytime somebody posts and gives their evidence it seems weak and they seem to be missing a huge chunk of other relevant evidence. This trend disturbs me.

Regards,
Michael

> Objectivist professors

PhilipC's picture

> Objectivist professors and students have been saying for quite some time that, on the whole, they have faced more oposition from Right-Christians and neocons than from liberals non-religious conservatives. Outside of neocon faculty and the new Evangelical president, Lewis face no oposition to his tenure and was even supported by the faculty [Mike M]

But at places like Ashland, St. John's, St. Mary's, Seton Hall, Pepperdine, Grove City College, Hillsdale etc. where Oists (and some Austrian economists) have tended to end up being hired -because- of the liberal-left blockade, there would be very few or at least not very militant or capable of ganging up on you liberals.

So the reason it's the evangelicals and neo-cons you see opposing you . . . couldn't that be because you are not teaching at Harvard, Stanford, Brown, Michigan, Berkeley, M.I.T. where the liberals are everywhere, militant, aggressive, etc.?

So you're coming into contact with the big name establishment leftists who run those places?

Not to say there are no liberals there, but the Oists have been teaching at places *relatively* less dominated by the establishment left, so it would stand to reason that they would not be complaining of being opposed or stopped there by the establisment left.

The opposition HAPPENED EARLIER. In refusing them even an entry into Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, etc. Let alone tenure.

I mean you go to teach at a Catholic or Protestant or relatively right-wing and religious school because the liberals wouldn't let you in the building elsewhere. And then you complain that the first group is more opposed to you than the second because they wouldn't let you *stay in the building for more than seven years*, ignoring the fact that the second group wouldn't even let you *enter the building* . . . which is a far more adamant degree of opposition?

Mike M

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I empathise with your frustration at Phyllis' scoldings. I'd suggest you ignore her rather than let her wind you up. She just grandstands. You could have read a thousand books and she'd say that wasn't enough and they were the wrong ones anyway.

I raised the matter of theocracy because, obviously, I thought you were heading in that direction. Your initial post, if you recall, contained a little scold of its own, reminiscent of the fatwa, along the lines of Objectivists still being blind to the menace posed by the Christian Right. All along, none of us "Linzinskis" (where's Bill Visconti btw?) has denied such a threat; just that it was the biggest one right now, of such magnitude that a theocracy was imminent and we should all vote Dem-scum as Peikoff claims.

I fear that this strategy of an all-out assault on Christianity has been overtaken by events, and should be revised. And in the meantime I don't think Dr. Lewis should be invoking immoral laws to shore up or get back his position.

Linz

Mike

Mike_M's picture

Are you stating that because Lewis got tossed out of Christian Podunk U by the new evangelical president that this is definitive evidence that Christians are the greatest threat in academia?

Not simply because Lewis was ejected. Objectivist professors and students have been saying for quite some time that, on the whole, they have faced more oposition from Right-Christians and neocons than from liberals non-religious conservatives. Outside of neocon faculty and the new Evangelical president, Lewis face no oposition to his tenure and was even supported by the faculty, so this is a nice example of the point. More neocons and Christian rightists in academic power means more opposition to out Objectivist professors.

The other part of the argument is that, outside of the neocon/evangelist club there is openness to Objectivism. Some of the older crowd has trouble believing this, unfortunately.

And further that its another indication of the threat of a "frighteningly soon" theocracy?

The theocracy question was raised by Robert when he asked if my position was that, "this is a harbinger of a Christian takeover of the USA because you can extrapolate this moron's actions to every theist in the country." I read all of my posts again, and I can't see where I mentioned theocracy until Linz and Robert asked me about it. But here is what I think.

(1) This gives us an example of how evangelical Christians and neocons will treat Objectivists when they have control over institutions we want a part of.

(2) This is not evidence of impending theocracy. I can't find where I ever made that claim. Nothing in my first two posts mention politics, though in the 6th post for some reason Linz brought it up. And again in the 16th, though I still hadn't mentioned politics, only what was going on in academia.

The closest I came was in post 20. I said, "That should tell us who we absolutely want out of power." And shouldn't it? If the neocon/evangelists want to keep us down, while the (non-lunatic) liberals want to hear us out, why move to give them power over pubic education? That's just me saying don't vote for these people, not that there is an impening theocracy.

In my post at 2007-07-06 21:10 I said "So to summarize: to say that my position is fear of theists, or of Christians, is a mischaracterization. I'm simply noticing an acknowledged (by historians and sociologists, not yet Objectivists unfortunatley) trend within American religion and interpreting it through the Objectivist theory of history. This is another indication of this." "This" refers to the trend within Christianity, not theocracy.

The rest is just Phil teaching me how stupid I am.

Mike

Michael Moeller's picture

Let me get this straight. Are you stating that because Lewis got tossed out of Christian Podunk U by the new evangelical president that this is definitive evidence that Christians are the greatest threat in academia? And further that its another indication of the threat of a "frighteningly soon" theocracy?

Regards,
Michael

Phil, I'm simply asking for

Mike_M's picture

Phil, I'm simply asking for a book recommendation. You told me you are well read on "the rise or decline of religion in the West and in recent decades and centuries." If you don't want to help me then just say so.

You are free to participate on any thread you like. But if your first post accuses one of the participant of parroting, expect to be met with hostility. Btw, who or what was I parroting?

> argues that religion has

PhilipC's picture

> argues that religion has been in decline in America since 1776.
> Randroid
> hadn't participated in the conversation up until then

This is why I don't want to waste time endlessly debating you--->

You put words in my mouth with the first two of the above - both a year going back that far and the sloppy term Randroid. And in the third, you seem to be implying no one can enter an online thread after it started, or that that is somehow inappropriate.

Link to Inside Higher Ed.

Mike_M's picture

Link to Inside Higher Ed. Here is the url in case the link doesn't work: http://www.insidehighered.com/...

Your point that religion is on the increase (not merely a shift to a more evangelical form) is enormously controversial.

Hmm... that's interesting, because I never made that claim. Here is what I said originally: "Over the last two hundred years, there has been a steady rise in religious adherence among Americans. It plateaued during the 1930s. Approx 60% of Americans are religious. Within that 60%, over the last 70 years there has been a migration of religious Americans away from mainline modernized churches to denomenations which tend towards fundamentalism."

Read more carefully next time.

Oh, and by the way, Yes I have done a fair amount of reading on the subject of the rise or decline of religion in the West and in recent decades and centuries.

Please name me one book which argues that religion has been in decline in America since 1776. I'm not trying to be antagonistic. I want to read more books which contradicts what I've read so far.

And of course "polls" and sociologists and surveys are never wrong, they never end up concluding what the poll-takers want them to, do they? God forbid that Oists who think religion is rising and a threat rather than the left would selectively find polls and 'experts' who think the same thing???

Ok. So why should I believe whatever data you quote which contradicts
me? God forbid Oist who think religion is in decline and less of a threat than the left would selectively find polls and 'experts' who think the same thing???

Moreover my point was that you didn't cite evidence in your -original- post, just made a very sweeping claim.

Ok. But you seem to have trouble following what was said on this thread. Robert interpreted me as claiming that I "extrapolate this moron's actions to every theist in the country." I was simply and briefly correcting him, telling him what I actually think. I didn't think I would immediately be called an irresponsible Randroid by someone who hadn't participated in the conversation up until then.

Please pay more attention next time.

Silence does not constitute assent

PhilipC's picture

> Have you checked out that Inside Higher Ed article I linked to? [Mike M]

Jesus Christ, Mike, stop wasting my time having to look for your latest alleged "rebuttal'!!

Your link doesn't work and the original 'scienceblogs' article didn't prove what you claimed. [I'll leave it to the perceptive reader to see that.] Moreover my point was that you didn't cite evidence in your -original- post, just made a very sweeping claim. Which you are attempting to do late, without actually acknowledging that my -original- point was well taken.

There was no indication of your 'fifteen books' or that your thinking was somehow universally accepted.

Your point that religion is on the increase (not merely a shift to a more evangelical form) is enormously controversial. Hardly a slam dunk as you seem to think. Reminds me of the people who claim 'everyone knows' global warming is true...here are fifteen books on the subject.

And of course "polls" and sociologists and surveys are never wrong, they never end up concluding what the poll-takers want them to, do they? God forbid that Oists who think religion is rising and a threat rather than the left would selectively find polls and 'experts' who think the same thing???

I already indicated some of the reasons why and what is wrong with some of the poll-driven approaches to sociology, but you apparently swept those aside ungrasped and unintegrated.

The fact that I don't keep posting endlessly in reply to you, when you make errors is not an indication that I "immediately dropped the subject after I pointed out that this data is from a peer reviewed sociological study"....as your irritating and stupid comment would indicate.

Just FYI, I will often "immediately drop" debates with you or some other people on this site, not because you have made some unanswerable point but because what you -did- offer was not enough to convince me. Or becase you are making some error that it would be like pulling teeth and another dozen posts to show you you are committing.

I'll give you a hint though: Usually my *very first post* on the subject was conclusive. And you or whoever thinks they are 'refuting' me simply didn't integrate the points I was making.

Silence does not constitute assent. So for that reason, I sometimes just give up and let you have the last word. And people like you ALWAYS INSIST ON HAVING THE LAST WORD.

(Oh, and by the way, Yes I have done a fair amount of reading on the subject of the rise or decline of religion in the West and in recent decades and centuries. And on cultural change and trends. And how ideas spread. And what seems to be spreading or declining now. I can't be certain, but it wouldn't completely surprise me if I actually know more about the subject than you do. And about Objectivism.)

Without getting deep into

Boaz the Boor's picture

Without getting deep into specifics (my thoughts on the issue are too muddy at the moment), I would say that the issue of hostility to Objectivism from the left vs the right (and the threats to civilization therefrom) should be framed in terms of the methodologies underlying the respective movements -- i.e., how people tend to hold their ideas and how they shape their worldview.

So there's a basic question of fact, an empirical question about trends within the left and right. While I haven't investigated these trends in the sociological literature, I've seen for myself, in the very gilded cradle of the left (Berkeley), that intellectuals on that side are more flaky on economics and ideology and far less irrationalist in their basic approach (perhaps it's just less pronounced) than what seems to have been the case in preceding decades. Obviously it would help if I were alive thirty years ago and able to make a more direct comparison. But I'll boil it down to this: I was friendly with almost every professor I ever had. I was always open with my ideas, and without exception I found grad students and teachers to be reasonable and open in their intellectual approach. And not one open socialist -- not in econ or political science or history or philosophy.

It's not a proof, but it's certainly an important part of the background of this discussion. This boils down to how people think -- their attitude toward ideas -- and how these trends manifest culturally within groups.

Phil,Why don't you check

Mike_M's picture

Phil,

Why don't you check out Martin Marty's forward to Understanding Religious Growth and Decline, 1950-1978. Marty describes the decline in mainline Protestantism and the rise in Evangelicalism that took place during the 1960s as a "seismic shift." Here is Mary's Wikipedia page and personal homepage since I guarantee you haven't the slightest clue who he is.

Also, I want to return to this: When you make claims this extreme and contrary to conventional wisdom - the more educated the more religious

Contentional wisdom may be wrong, or the world might be changing too quick for your wisdom to keep up. Have you checked out that Inside Higher Ed article I linked to? You immediately dropped the subject after I pointed out that this data is from a peer reviewed sociological study, and not some random poll.

2. And the problem is that

Mike_M's picture

2. And the problem is that it is insufficient evidence when you can specifically cite only ONE book to back that up.

Phil, you asked for me to cite my source for one claim I made. I did. Are you now asking me to give you an inventory of what I've read on the topic? Give me a few hours and I'll get back to you. By the way, how many books do I need to cite for you to agree that, though overall religious adherence is holding steady, fundamentalist thinking is growing?

BTW, what if my one book is considered to be a definitive study? Isn't it OK to cite just one in that case? Do yourself a favor and see what the reception to The Churching of America was.

2. And the problem is that it is insufficient evidence when you can specifically cite only ONE book to back that up.

Actually, Churching is a synthesis of studies done by scholars over the last two hundred of years. It doesn't provide new data, but an analysis of existing data.

BTW, ONLY one book? You didn't even give me a chance to say anything else before you magically concluded that I've read nothing on the topic. Who's overgeneralizing again? I don't know how many books I've read on this topic (I'd ball park it at 15), plus the classes I took on this topic while still in school. So kindly go fuck yourself for assuming I'm being irresponsible. Not everyone who disagrees with you is stupid or irresponsible or has a screwy psycho-epistemology.

If you can recommend a book or study which contradicts what I've said, please tell me about it. I've had more trouble locating scholars who think religion is shrinking than scholars who think its influence is growing. I'm interested.

Also, please tell me what I am parroting. Don't go changing a basically civil discussion into a flame war, and then act like you never said what you did.

Citing One Book as Proof

PhilipC's picture

> My source for these specific claims was "The Churching of American" published by Rutgers University Press. The authors are Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, both sociologists and professors of religious studies.

Mike, this makes it much more clear that your error is methodological. I am not claiming that I have complete evidence about the degree of religiosity in America and its trend line or am prepared to specifically cite a number of polls as proof.

1. You are the one doing claiming a great deal of certainty in this area.

2. And the problem is that it is insufficient evidence when you can specifically cite only ONE book to back that up.

When you make claims this

Mike_M's picture

When you make claims this extreme and contrary to conventional wisdom - the more educated the more religious - (as opposed to saying there is no life on the moon) you REALLY need to footnote it or provide references, rather than making oracular pronouncements which make you sound like a crackpot, unaware that there are polls, articles, books indicating the opposite which any educated person greq up reading or being taught in school.

Phil, did you follow the link? I think no. The results showing that the educated are less likely to shrug off religion is from a sociological study published in Social Forces. Here is the original article from Inside Higher Ed.

When you make claims this extreme and contrary to conventional wisdom - the more educated the more religious - (as opposed to saying there is no life on the moon) you REALLY need to footnote it or provide references, rather than making oracular pronouncements which make you sound like a crackpot, unaware that there are polls, articles, books indicating the opposite which any educated person greq up reading or being taught in school. I certainly was.

Phil, you prove yourself massively ignorant yet again. Please list me the last book you read on this topic, which contradicts my claims. My source for these specific claims was "The Churching of American" published by Rutgers University Press. The authors are Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, both sociologists and professors of religious studies.

Also, do you have any concept of how inaccurate polls are . . . and how anyone can find some poll to support what they already believe?

Pay more attention next time. I cited a sociological studies, not polls.

Mike, stop being a true believer parroting instantly what a bunch of paranoid grad students have told you and go out and do your own research. Reading between the lines of your posts if you had more you would have posted it.

Phil, what in the world are you talking about? Am I parrotting on the state of religion? Or what happened to John Lewis?

Is this going to be yet another case where you admit ignorance of the subject halfway through the conversation? Remeber last time, you admitted to knowing nothing about what has been going on in academia over the last 15 years.

Wild Overgeneralizing & Oracular Prononouncements

PhilipC's picture

> Do you think Anthem bribed Cambridge into publishing ARNE? Or paid off the Review of Metaphysics to publish Allan Gotthelf's article?

Mike, these breakthroughs are really great and important. If memory serves there was no? virtually no? academic publishing of Objectivist-related material in the not too distant past...not prior to Sciabarra (and his was not from a prestigious press like your two examples): Two swallows do not make a summer (Aristotle).

> "That neocons and evangelicals oppose the hiring of Objectivists more strongly than liberals is something I've heard time and again from Objectivist academics and aspiring academics. If this event doesn't convince you then I don't think I can say anthing else that will."

It's not yet enough to convince. It's still anecdotal, still one case: One, two, three examples in a field of ten thousand instances do not yet make a generalization.

>"Over the last two hundred years, there has been a steady rise in religious adherence among Americans. It plateaued during the 1930s. Approx 60% of Americans are religious. Within that 60%, over the last 70 years there has been a migration of religious Americans away from mainline modernized churches to denomenations which tend towards fundamentalism. Since the 80s, this group has become politically active and increasingly influential. (The more educated a person is, the more likely he is to be religious. Liberals aren't much opposition, but that's not news.)"

When you make claims this extreme and contrary to conventional wisdom - the more educated the more religious - (as opposed to saying there is no life on the moon) you REALLY need to footnote it or provide references, rather than making oracular pronouncements which make you sound like a crackpot, unaware that there are polls, articles, books indicating the opposite which any educated person greq up reading or being taught in school. I certainly was.

Also, do you have any concept of how inaccurate polls are . . . and how anyone can find some poll to support what they already believe?

Mike, you may be correct but just stating a series of claims like the above is not convincing.

> I'm simply noticing an acknowledged (by historians and sociologists, not yet Objectivists unfortunatley) trend within American religion

"acknowledged (by historians and sociologists" - Yeah? Like who?

Once again, just because you say it's so doesn't mean it's acknowledged or non-controversial.

Mike, stop being a true believer parroting instantly what a bunch of paranoid grad students have told you and go out and do your own research. Reading between the lines of your posts if you had more you would have posted it.

Where we differ is (as I

Mike_M's picture

Where we differ is (as I understand it) whether this is a harbinger of a Christian takeover of the USA because you can extrapolate this moron's actions to every theist in the country.

No, this isn't my position. Over the last two hundred years, there has been a steady rise in religious adherence among Americans. It plateaued during the 1930s. Approx 60% of Americans are religious. Within that 60%, over the last 70 years there has been a migration of religious Americans away from mainline modernized churches to denomenations which tend towards fundamentalism. Since the 80s, this group has become politically active and increasingly influential. (The more educated a person is, the more likely he is to be religious. Liberals aren't much opposition, but that's not news.)

So no I am not worried about Christians in general, but a growing trend within Chrisitianity. Mainline "secularized" Christians have been shrinking in number since the 30s, and more radical fundamentalist and evangelical denominations have been growing at an equal or greater pace. At Ashland, it appears the mainline protestants were somehow over run by this trend.

So to summarize: to say that my position is fear of theists, or of Christians, is a mischaracterization. I'm simply noticing an acknowledged (by historians and sociologists, not yet Objectivists unfortunatley) trend within American religion and interpreting it through the Objectivist theory of history. This is another indication of this.

Thanks for posting this.It

Mike_M's picture

Thanks for posting this.It does put their actions in a much more negative light. They were pretending to be something they're not and trying to have it both ways.

Right. By their own admission, Lewis had an excellent teaching record and was on track to becoming a successfully well published scholar. But then new people were hired and the neoconservative faculty (who had been against both Lewis and Thompson for being Objectivists) had an ally on top, and none of that mattered anymore. And then out went the Objectivist.

I agree

Laure Chipman's picture

I need to pull a little Emily Litella now... "Oh, that's very different.  Never mind." Eye

(My son is going to St. Gregory College Preparatory School in the fall; the name is supposedly just a vestige of the school's Episcopal origins; hope there's not too much Judeo-Christian ethic still permeating the place.  We'll see.)

Ashland

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

Mike,

You wrote:

From Ashland's website: "Ashland is not a Christian institution; but a Liberal Arts university committed to Judeo-Christian values. The difference between AU and a Christian college is that faculty, staff and students do not have to adhere to Christian beliefs in order to work at or attend."

Thanks for posting this.It does put their actions in a much more negative light. They were pretending to be something they're not and trying to have it both ways.

Jim

It's only the wedge of

Mike_M's picture

It's only the wedge of offering them money (the Anthem Foundation) that has recently pried open the doors of non-religious, non-right wing, more mainstream or liberal places.

On what grounds do you assert this? In order to get Anthem money, there must be an ALREADY EMPLOYED faculty member interested in doing or sponsoring research on Objectivism. That's why there is an Anthem program at UPitt (Jim Lennox) but not at NYU (no Objectivists!). Do you think Anthem bribed Cambridge into publishing ARNE? Or paid off the Review of Metaphysics to publish Allan Gotthelf's article?

Is Ashland a Christian University?

Mike_M's picture

From Ashland's website: "Ashland is not a Christian institution; but a Liberal Arts university committed to Judeo-Christian values. The difference between AU and a Christian college is that faculty, staff and students do not have to adhere to Christian beliefs in order to work at or attend."

Thanks to David Odden who posted that on Objectivism Online.

Robert asks: Really? I understand that support for the anti-free speech 'fairness' doctrine for Talk-Radio comes from both sides of the political divide.

So? We're talking about getting a job in academia, not talk radio. That neocons and evangelicals oppose the hiring of Objectivists more strongly than liberals is something I've heard time and again from Objectivist academics and aspiring academics. If this event doesn't convince you then I don't think I can say anthing else that will.

Phil:Objectivists have often gotten jobs at Christian-related (both Catholic and Protestant) or right wing related schools, not leftie ones: Reisman at Pepperdine, both Lewis and Thompson at Ashland (unti the new president came in), Mayhew at Seton Hall, Andy Bernstein at at St. Mary's . . .

No kidding. I said, and this article makes clear (if you read it carefully), that Ashland had no problem with Lewis's and Thompson's Objectivism until they hired an evangelical president. The problem isn't mainline protestants or liberal Catholics.

Serious Question

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

Mike,

Yes it was a serious question and I'm satisfied with your answer. Having gone to engineering schools, I don't have a broad spectrum of exposure to liberal arts schools. I tend to put some weight on the school mission statements and affiliations. Maybe that weight is overrated.

Jim

OK...

Robert's picture

So basically your point is that the relationship changed when a new broom moved into the President's chair.
That's tough. But it's the same thing blue collar workers face when a new boss arrives and starts 'restructuring' to remake the business in his image. And this college is a business and they appointed the President to run it as a profitable one. He seems to think that a church-founded liberal arts school shouldn't employ atheists and has acted accordingly. The school gave him that power and shows no sign of retracting it, so his views may very well reflect those of those who fund the school.

We both think the president is an idiot or [insert favourite epithet].

Where we differ is (as I understand it) whether this is a harbinger of a Christian takeover of the USA because you can extrapolate this moron's actions to every theist in the country.

I on the otherhand see it as another example of a weenie with power doing what all weenies with power do regardless of their political beliefs. If this describes the argument then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

But, before I fully entrench myself I'd like to clarify a couple of things here: from the sounds of it, before shifting into a new tenure track position after acquiring research funding, Lewis held the job of lecturer in a non-tenure track position. Essentially he accepted a new job with new terms of employment.  Yes or no?

If yes, in the new job he accepted that he was on tenure track for a finite period of time and won a grant - (also for a finite period of time) to be an evangelist for Objectivism. And while that grant was paying out the University let him do just that?  Yes or No?

At some stage, when that grant finished paying out (or there abouts) the University or Lewis decided to revisit the issue of Lewis' value to the University by way of a compeditive tenure process where he was one of several people vying for one of the limited number of tenured positions open in his department? Yes or No?

Had his time limit as an untenured faculty member expired when this hit the fan? I ask because it could have been possible for him to take this set back on the chin and wait until the President left before applying once more for tenure. In otherwords, his accepting the resignation deal was his own decision. Yes or No?

If yes, I agree that the situation stinks, but you appear to be arguing that there are no circumstances under which the University would have allowed him to continue his objectivist activities.

He was turned down by the person with the authority, given to him by the university, to do so. The reason given was that he was preaching anti-theism (or some such) and the person in authority chose to interpret that as being against the fundamental tenets of a school founded by the Brethren Church and likely funded by same or alumni with a similar religious outlook. Yes or No?

If the answers are all yes, then the bottom line reads: Lewis was competing for one of a limited number of tenured positions. He was turned down by a religious president who is likely backed by religious alumni who didn't want their money supporting something they are opposed to.

And, ironically, the only reason this is an issue is that the Fundy in question was honest enough to give his true opinion. He could just as easily have kept silent and awarded the open tenured position to an external compeditor with a more pretegious academic record and a pro-thiest outlook and nobody would have said a thing. Which is to say that this sort of shit probably goes on more than you think under presidents with more smarts then the one in question. Thus IMHO, your using this example as a harbinger of a theist conspiracy against objectivism is probably stretching it a bit.

When all is said and done, I think that Lewis will look back on it once he's secured another job and thank his luck. Had he been granted tenure under that administration it could have been bloody ugly for him. Which is only to reiterate what I said before about it always being better to find out that someone is a wanker before you end up working for or with them.

When given the power...

Robert's picture

...  neocons and evangelicals will work to elimate Objectivist faculty. Liberals are not doing that.

Really? I understand that support for the anti-free speech 'fairness' doctrine for Talk-Radio comes from both sides of the political divide.

I know from NZ that election 'Speech rationing' is certainly being championed by the looney left as are the new rules that TV footage from the NZ parliament may not be used to satirize or make derogatory comments about the politicians therein.

What you are seeing is an abuse of power by people who have no idea what academic freedom and freedom of speech are. And those sorts of people are found in the left and right sides of the political spectrum.

Otherwise why are there organisations compiling lists of academics who like to insert their political views into their teachings - often on pain of failing the course. (I believe that one time SOLOist Alec Mouhiban had something to do with one of those organisations while he was at UCLA, but I can't find the link.)

Oh, I forgot about St.

PhilipC's picture

Oh, I forgot about St. John's (the word "saint" ought to be a clue here): George Reisman before Pepperdine and Nort Buechner.

I'd even go wider: Not just Objectivists, but free market types, Austrian economists have often found a home at religious and right wing colleges (Hillsdale is only one example that immediately comes to mind.

The Vast Right-Wing Papist Conspiracy

PhilipC's picture

> The significant point is that "liberal" universities are the ones opening up to Objectivism, while "conservatives" are actively trying (and in this case succeeding) to shut us out. [Mike M]

You're wlldly overgeneralizing from this. Objectivists have often gotten jobs at Christian-related (both Catholic and Protestant) or right wing related schools, not leftie ones: Reisman at Pepperdine, both Lewis and Thompson at Ashland (unti the new president came in), Mayhew at Seton Hall, Andy Bernstein at at St. Mary's . . .

It's only the wedge of offering them money (the Anthem Foundation) that has recently pried open the doors of non-religious, non-right wing, more mainstream or liberal places.

Robert: As I understand it,

Mike_M's picture

Robert:
As I understand it, tenure usually means that the University is prepared to back you with their own money if you can't find another source to support yourself. As far as I can see, the fundies weren't willing to make that offer with their own cash and let Lewis go. That is their perogative.

They already were backing him with their own money. He earned a salary and taught history courses for Ashland. Anthem funded his research and I think maybe a conference he and Thompson sponsored. Also, the university is not a fundy school. The fundy was a recent hire, and the specific professors who were trying to get him dismissed were neocons.

The good news is that Lewis can get Anthem funding at any University. And, once again, I wish him every success.

No, perhaps I explained poorly. Pre-fiasco, Anthem did not pay Lewis's salary, Ashland did. Anthem gave him a research grant, not a job or a salary.

Jim: So was John Lewis

Mike_M's picture

Jim:
So was John Lewis denied tenure by a bunch of pacifist footwashers or neocon faculty?

Is this a serious question? The article and Lewis's testimony on HBL make it clear that he was opposed by the neocons on the faculty, and the recently hired evangelical president. Lewis made no complaints about the Brethern.

Linz:
And this incident does not prove the imminence of a Christian theocracy or justify voting Dem-scum across the board!!

Ok. But since liberal academia is letting us in (according to State of ARI talks, begging us for more!), and conservative academia is shutting us out, that should tell us something about our enemies. That should tell us who we absolutely want out of power.

Robert:

Agreed on the frees peech point. But it is clear from this article that when Lewis and Thompson took jobs at Ashland, they were under the impression that their advocacy of Objectivism wasn't an issue. The university encouraged this perspective by allowing Anthem grants. It wasn't until new evangelical administrative hires that Objectivism became an issue. Which is the point. When given the power, neocons and evangelicals will work to eliminate Objectivist faculty. Liberals are not doing that. They are doing the oppossite.

Mike...

Robert's picture

The academics you mention are at different Universities. That suggests to me that the Anthem funding is transferable and available regardless of the University. Anthem funding isn't only offered to Ashland-based scholars.

All that means is that Ashland was happy to accept Anthem funding while Lewis was on the tenure track. And while he was they allowed him to stump for Objectivism. But tenure tracks have a time limit. And when that time is up, the untenured faculty is generally let go to make space for the next bloke.

As I understand it, tenure usually means that the University is prepared to back you with their own money if you can't find another source to support yourself. As far as I can see, the fundies weren't willing to make that offer with their own cash and let Lewis go. That is their perogative.

The good news is that Lewis can get Anthem funding at any University. And, once again, I wish him every success.

Refuse a job at Georgetown?

Robert's picture

Yes there are many types of lefties. Are their only one type of christian fundies?

Ashland may very well teach mainstream liberal arts courses to attract students, but that doesn't mean that they are automatically obliged to live up to your or my standards of free speech or even entrepreneurship. They are a private business and free to fuck up or succeed as they are able to.

Like I said, I'm sympathetic to Lewis' plight. I'm going to be swimming the unsure waters of the unemployed myself when my contract ends. But that's the thing, objectivist or not, Lewis was a contracted worker who was let go for a bullshit reason and that's something that happens all over the USA everyday. I hardly see that as the harbinger of a Christian Fundy takeover of the USA.

As for my answer to the question pose in the title of this reply: My own political affiliations can be easily devined with a single Google search and I fully expect that this has affected the jobs I've been offered. I actually look at this as a blessing in disguise. Frankly, I wouldn't want to work for someone who couldn't divorce my political and philosophical proclivaties from whatever useful talents I might have in my line of work.

It so happens that Lewis' philosophical proclivaties overlapped his job description. However, the same still applies. Freedom of speech is the grist of Lewis' job, if he chooses to work somewhere where that freedom is curbed - for whatever reason - he shouldn't be surprised when he's let go. And as you yourself (and the article) point out, Lewis' ability to speak freely on University campuses has been curbed by both Lefties and Fundies... A pox on all their houses I say.

Such is the nature of the business that Lewis is in. He picked his employer poorly last time. I wish him all the best in his next selection.

Holy kiss, eh?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Lewis might have had a lucky escape. Smiling

Mike

Lindsay Perigo's picture

So things got awkward when this evangelical arrived. But again, it falls within the category of the university's legit prerogatives, no? I think we undercut our credibility if we invoke PC "anti-discrimination" nostrums when we sure as hell uphold the right to discriminate and would be discriminating like crazy if we had our own university. And this incident does not prove the imminence of a Christian theocracy or justify voting Dem-scum across the board!! Smiling

Church of the Brethren

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

I found this on Wikipedia about the Church of the Brethren:

The denomination holds the New Testament as its only creed. Historically the church has taken a strong stance for non-resistance or pacifism. Distinctive practices include believers baptism by trine immersion, a threefold Love Feast consisting of feet washing, a fellowship meal, and communion, anointing for healing, and the holy kiss.

So was John Lewis denied tenure by a bunch of pacifist footwashers or neocon faculty?

Jim

It's my experience (and if

Mike_M's picture

It's my experience (and if Ashland works differently - I'll happily concede the point) that in the US system a grant may very well pay for all or part of an untenured faculty member's salary office space and equipment.

With Anthem sometimes yes sometimes no. Tara Smith has received Anthem grants, and she has tenure. Allan Gotthelf at Pittsburgh is an Anthem professor. But he is sponsored by Jim Lennox (a full professor) so I'm not sure how the money works in that case. With Lewis and Thompson at Ashland, both were tenure track associate professors. Anthem funded their research, but both were already employed by Ashland, just not tenured.

I assume that the Anthem

Mike_M's picture

I assume that the Anthem grant isn't an Endowed Chair position?

Anthem gives grants to fund the research of established professors. In this case it was Lewis and Thompson. (The money is explicitly for research on or applying Objectivism. It is not for Objectivists to research whatever they choose. The letter referenced in the article shows that the Ashland administration agreed to this.) I believe Lewis was an adjunct when he was given the grant. He was already in a tenure track position before he got the Anthem money.

Also, C. Bradley Thomson was

Mike_M's picture

Also, C. Bradley Thomson was offered tenure at Ashland a few years ago. They didn't have a problem giving tenure to an Objectivist until the evangelical president was hired.

Mike...

Robert's picture

It's my experience (and if Ashland works differently - I'll happily concede the point) that in the US system a grant may very well pay for all or part of an untenured faculty member's salary office space and equipment. But obtaining tenure means that the University is obliged to pick up all or part of the salary tab plus the cost of consumables (electricity, office space, furniture, computer access, library access etc. ad nauseum) regardless of whether the tenured faculty member wins enough funding to cover his costs on his own or not.

Tenure is so valuable because it means that you can't be kicked out on your arse for being not productive enough and the University will pay you a stipend until the day you reach manditory retirement.

So while I concede the point that Lewis was a productive and lucritive untenured faculty member in that he brought in more money then he spent (and he wouldn't have been up for tenure otherwise) the guts of the matter is that the luxury of the tenured position and the prestige it carries was paid for with Christian cash and that's the thread that runs through my argument.

Like I say, show me that an Ashland tenure means something different from tenure at a university like KU (The University of Kansas) and I'll happily concede the point. But I can't see anything in either the article or the Uni's website that contradicts that view.

But I'll read the article again as you suggest because my first glance missed the point about the Anthem grant. I assume that the Anthem grant isn't an Endowed Chair position? If it was, then that changes things entirely. Ashland would have accepted monies under false pretenses and Lewis (and the Anthem organisation) would have an absolute air-tight case against the University.

And as for the left

Mike_M's picture

And as for the left accepting Objectivists... I note that Lewis' previous speaking engagement at George Mason was blocked by Lefties.

Right, there are many types of leftists. That kind generally don't control academia. Else how do you explain the success Objectivists have had at Cambridge and Princeton.

As Linz points out below: why the hell does an Objectivist want to work at a University founded & supported with Church money?

Should an Objectivist refuse a job at Georgetown? Ashland was founded by Christians, but it is still a mainstream liberal arts school. It isn't like Jerry Falwell's university.

Robert: But IMHO, it's a bit

Mike_M's picture

Robert:
But IMHO, it's a bit rich to accept money from christians and whine when they sack your arse because you attack their religion.

I suggest reading the article again, this time more carefully. Over the past several years, Ashland took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Objectivist Anthem Foundation. They took the money so Lewis could do research on Objectivism. Then, recently when an evangelical president was hired, they fired Lewis for doing research on Objectivism.

Lastly, I note that they haven't sewn up Lewis' lips. Indeed to defuse the controversy they've gone out of their way to dismiss him in a way that won't affect his employment record adversely.

Again, you missed crucial points in the article. They did all this after an Ashland faculty committee sided with Lewis, after he got a lawyer, and after American Association of University Professors sided with him.

From their website: "ABOUT

Mike_M's picture

From their website:

"ABOUT ASHLAND UNIVERSITY

Ashland University is a mid-sized regional teaching university, historically related to the Brethren Church. Our mission is to serve the educational needs of all students -- undergraduate and graduate, traditional and non-traditional, full and part-time -- by providing educational programs of high quality in an environment that is both challenging and supportive.

These educational programs emphasize both the importance of the liberal arts and sciences and the need to provide initial and advanced preparation in selected professional areas -- including business, education, and theology -- which enables our students to lead meaningful and productive lives in the world community.

The educational and social environment is built upon a long-standing commitment to Judeo-Christian values and a tradition that stresses the importance of each individual. In this environment, the members of the Ashland University community continually seek ways to challenge and support each other to develop intellectually, spiritually, socially, culturally and physically."

I can't find anything about funding. Wikipedia is no help. The website is vague. Nothing more detailed than claims like this:

"honor the University's tradition and commitment to Judeo-Christian values; and serve others in our world community." (from the campus creed)

This is the point they used to go after Lewis.

From what I can tell, the relationship between Ashland and the Brethren Church is no stronger than the relationship between Georgetown and the Catholic church.

And why would an Objectivist want to work in an institution explicitly dedicated to promoting Judaeo-Christian values?

Which Christian values? Fundamentalist Christian values? Enlightenment George Washington/Thomas Jefferson style Christian values? How dedicated is the university, exactly? Is that just fluff on websites, or is the university more active? Getting a job in academia is hard. His options might have been work for a mildly Christian though mainstream school, or no job.

Lewis was opposed by a specific segment of the faculty (neocon professors), and the recently hired evangelical professor sided with them, resulting in his problem. That's what is important.

Insane?

Robert's picture

Hell yes. But Ashland doesn't owe him the job - it's their cash, their tenured position and they may offer it to whomever they choose. And in the free market that objectivists preech of often, Ashland would be free to sack Lewis for whatever they wanted.

Whining about the fairness of not being 'told' how the tenure decision was going to be biased is a little rich to my mind. The bloody school was founded 128 years ago by the Brethren Church. It explicitly mentions this and it's committment to Judeo-Christian values' in it's home page. And this does contradicts it's credo, however anyone who's ever attended a University in the West (and I've been to four now in two different countries) knows that you need to watch what you say, and to whom, because you are only free to speak your mind on campus if you think the way the majority of the faculty do. And that's the way it's been for longer then I've been alive! In fact I'm flabagasted that these guys have been so open as to give him the real reason for his tenure being denied - normally the real reason would have been buried beneath an inpenetrable layer of PC/MBA/Human Resources Dept. bullshit.

Therefore IMHO this isn't a clear-cut case of deception and in Ojectivist USA sans the current labor laws, Lewis may well have been told that his appeal fell into the caveat emptor catagory.

And as for the left accepting Objectivists... I note that Lewis' previous speaking engagement at George Mason was blocked by Lefties. 

If you want that to change this crappy state of affairs the truely Objectivist (and free market entrepreneurial way) to do it would be to form an Objectivist University paid for by Objectivists. Then you could write into it's by-laws an absolute iron-clad defence for the freedom of thought and expression on campus.

But IMHO, it's a bit rich to accept money from christians and whine when they sack your arse because you attack their religion. As Linz points out below: why the hell does an Objectivist want to work at a University founded & supported with Church money?

I'm sorry for Lewis. If I had a job to offer him I would, because although I disagree with one or two of his essays, I think he's a brilliant scholar and that Ashland will be the worse without him - and that's the best punishment for them.

It's a case of "I disagree with what you say and that's my microphone and I'm not letting you use it anymore."

Lastly, I note that they haven't sewn up Lewis' lips. Indeed to defuse the controversy they've gone out of their way to dismiss him in a way that won't affect his employment record adversely. He is free to ply his trade elsewhere. And I hope he makes the most of this publicity, because University market in this country is both strong and varied and I feel sure that he'll find a tenured position somewhere - especially if he attaches that article to his CV.

Oh I see ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's this theocracy nonsense again. Well, let's all vote for Hillary or Al and nationalised health and cut-and-run. Only way to keep Giuliani's theocrats at bay.

Linz

Query

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Is this university actually funded by the Brethren? If so, why would an Objectivist of all people complain about "discriminatory practices" if that university declined to offer him tenure? And why would an Objectivist want to work in an institution explicitly dedicated to promoting Judaeo-Christian values?

Linz

A private school does have a

Mike_M's picture

A private school does have a right to hire and fire whomever it wishes for whatever the reason. That isn't the point of this, and focusing on it detracts from the significance of all of this. Objectivist professors have been saying for some time that the neocon/evangelical group (those Peikoff would call M2) are the real threat to the spread of Objectivism. They have also been saying that the secular pragmatic conservatives and liberals are the ones who have opened the door for Objectivists in academia (those Peikoff would call D1 or M1). Here is hard proof. The neocon/evangelical cabal ousted Lewis. In contrast, about 18 months ago the nasty liberals at Princeton offered an Objectivist political philosopher a tenure track position.

No matter the insanity of

Erik Christensen's picture

No matter the insanity of the reason, a private Christian school is still a private Christian school with the right to expel for whatever reason they may want to.

Did you read the

Mike_M's picture

Did you read the article?

Mr. Lewis said that Ashland's formal faculty regulations did not explicitly state how and why a faculty member's scholarship might violate the university's mission. The faculty's committee on professional standards and responsibilities, which supported Mr. Lewis's appeal, agreed.

As you can see from the article, a faculty committe sided with Lewis. It was select faculty members and administrators who wanted him out. According to what Dr. Lewis said on HBL, neoconservative faculty members put pressure on the recently hired evangelical president to oust him. They used the Judeo-Christian thing to "justify" their actions. It wasn't an issue when they took hundreds of thousands of dollars in Anthem Foundation money.

The significant point is that "liberal" universities are the ones opening up to Objectivism, while "conservatives" are actively trying (and in this case succeeding) to shut us out.

Mr. Lewis said that Ashland's formal faculty regulations did not explicitly state how and why a faculty member's scholarship might violate the university's mission. The faculty's committee on professional standards and responsibilities, which supported Mr. Lewis's appeal, agreed. Without clearer rules, the committee wrote in an April memo to Mr. Suggs, "the decision must be viewed as arbitrary and a restraint on academic freedom."

Again, it was select (conservative/right wing) faculty that opposed Lewis, while others sided with him.

Mr. Finks, however, said the grants Ashland accepted, while initially intended for the study of objectivism, were significantly revised in response to the university's concerns. "If you would read the grants, they are not for the promotion of that at all," he said.

Mr. Finks declined to share the text of the grants with The Chronicle. A copy of the final Letter of Understanding provided to The Chronicle by the Anthem Foundation appears to contradict Mr. Finks's account. "The primary purpose of the fellowship is to fund release time so that Professors Thompson and Lewis can pursue research and writing on Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism," it reads.

Here is the president, one of the people who opposed Lewis, lying about why his university was OK with taking atheist money.

It's a Christian university

Laure Chipman's picture

Ashland University is a private Christian university.  I can see why they would not want atheist faculty members.  We certainly wouldn't want evangelicals to force their way onto the faculty of Founder's College, the Objectivist foray into higher education, by whining about "discrimination."

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