Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

the limits of academic freedom

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 12, 2007

In a front-page story on Darwinism in academe, the New York Times asks the question:

May a secular university deny otherwise qualified students a degree because of their religion?

The answer looks obvious: No.

But wait: After adding a few more rhetorical questions, the Times turns to a reliable professor:

Those are “darned near imponderable issues,” said John W. Geissman..

The student in question, you see, is a Christian. You certainly couldn't deny a degree to a student of any other faith on religious grounds. But if it's a Christian? Hmmm. Imponderable.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($24,647 to go):
$150,000.00 $125,352.96
16% 84%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2007 8:01 PM ET USA

    The former student does seem to be adept at advancing contradictory views, one of which -- that the world was created 10,000 years ago -- is, to phrase it politely, unsupported by the available evidence. Dr. Geissman's statement makes me wonder if knows what "imponderable" means. Di is right, though, that the story's undercurrent is, as always, anti-Christian.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2007 6:13 PM ET USA

    So it doesn't matter whether the student has done the work, what matters is how he might use his degree after he graduates. It reminds me a little of the movie "Minority Report." We're going to punish you "before" you commit a "thought crime."

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2007 12:17 PM ET USA

    You can't teach if you don't believe in the gospel of Marx. * Abortion * Pre-born stem cell harvesting * Human made climate change * Global government * Anti-theist evolution. I am surprised that they would not want to indoctrinate inform a young mind.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 13, 2007 1:20 AM ET USA

    Diogenes, I have to disagree with your perspective on this one. The student in question, a Christian fundamentalist/creationist, believes the Bible to be literally true and abides in the conviction that the earth is only 10,000 years old. That's not orthodox Christianity. It's a profound misunderstanding of the literary genre of the Book of Genesis. What the NYT has done (in my opinion) is attempt to paint all Christians as similarly unreasonable and scientifically naive.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 12, 2007 10:57 PM ET USA

    Do I sense that atheistic Marxism might have found new life after its Eastern European collapse right in the heart of American academia and media? Time to get the garlic out, the cross and the stake as soon as the dawn starts to break.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Facing entrenched opposition, Pope Francis plows ahead on Vatican reform 3 hours ago
The cardinal who can't let go 9 hours ago
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17