pageok
pageok
pageok
More on Academics and Hostility to Religion:

In his excellent recent post, co-blogger Todd Zywicki cites some data that shed light on academics' attitudes towards different religious groups. Overall, I think the data confirm my theory that most academics are not hostile to religion as such, but merely to those religious groups that they perceive (for the most part correctly) as politically conservative.

The study Todd cites shows that 53% of academics have an "unfavorable" view of Evangelical Christians and 33% say the same of Mormons. By contrast, only 13% have an unfavorable view of Catholics and 3% towards Jews. As Todd points out, Evangelical Christians and and Mormons are generally seen as politically conservative, while Jews tend to be liberal, and Catholics somewhere in between. Todd may well be right that academics' views of Evangelicals and Mormons are based on stereotypes rather than personal experience. However, the stereotype that these groups tend to be politically conservative is actually correct. For example, a recent survey found that 47% of evangelicals describe themselves as "conservative," while only 14% call themselves "liberal." A Pew survey found that 72% of white Evangelicals voted for the Republicans in the 2006 congressional elections. The numbers for Mormons are similar (majority-Mormon Utah is perhaps the most reliably Republican state in the country).

With the exception of attitudes towards Evangelical Christians, the percentage of academics who view various religious groups unfavorable is actually similar to or lower than the percentages of the general public who feel the same way. For example, Todd expresses surprise that 13% of academics have an "unfavorable" view of Catholics. But a 2007 Pew Survey shows that 14% of the general public take the same view. The 33 percent of academics who have an unfavorable view of Mormons is only slightly higher than the 27% of the general public who gave the same answer in the Pew survey. And the Pew study shows that a much higher percentage the general public have an unfavorable view of Jews and Muslims than the percentage of academics who do so; 35 percent of the general public have an "unfavorable" view of Muslims and 9 percent have an unfavorable view of Jews. Among academics, the equivalent figures are 22% and 3%. The study Todd linked to also cites data showing that academics take a more favorable view of Buddhists than does the general public. The Pew study shows that 19% of the general public view Evangelical Christians unfavorably, which is of course a much lower figure than the 53% of academics who do so.

Thus, the evidence shows that those religious groups that are viewed more negatively by academics than the general public are the ones that are (for the most part correctly) viewed as politically conservative.

Todd nonetheless partially rejects my political bias theory of academic attitudes for the following reasons:

So what about Ilya's thesis that religious bigotry is a proxy for political bigotry? There may be some truth to this. I suspect that Evangelicals and Mormons are generally perceived as political conservative[s] and Jews are perceived as politically liberal. Other views, such as Catholics and Muslims, I suppose fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to such stereotypes. But I don't think this can explain it all either. For instance, I think that most academics are quite tolerant of conservative Jews. I also suspect that academics probably think that it is ok for blacks to be Evangelical or Southern Baptist, even if they dislike white Evangelicals.

My own experience is that politically conservative Jews are not viewed more favorably by liberal academics than are other conservatives. The reason why this doesn't translate into unfavorable attitudes towards Jews more generally is that conservative Jews are exceptional and also that most of them are not conservative because of their religious beliefs. By contrast, the majority of politically aware white Evangelicals and Mormons are conservative, and that conservatism is often at least partially dictated by their religious commitments. As for black Evangelicals and Baptists, the fact that academics may view them more favorably than whites of the same religion is entirely consistent with my theory. Black Evangelicals and Baptists tend to be liberal (or at least to vote Democratic), whereas white ones tend to be conservative Republicans. Politically conservative blacks, by contrast, are not popular in academia, whether they are religious or not. Although I don't have survey data to prove it, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is harder to be a conservative or libertarian black in academia than to be a white academic with similar views - perhaps because some leftists view black conservatives and libertarians as "traitors" to their racial group.

To say that academics' hostility to certain religious groups is based on political ideology is not to say that such hostility is justified. As a general rule, I don't think it's defensible to have a negative view of an entire religious group merely because the majority of its members disagree with you on political issues. Be that as it may, what we have here is more a case of political intolerance than religious bigotry. Significantly, the percentage of academics who have an unfavorable view of various religious groups is, in most cases, the same as or lower than the percentage of the general public who feel the same way.

Guest101:
I'm with you up until the last paragraph, where I think you make an unwarranted equivocation between "unfavorable views" and "hostility," which seems to carry a more aggressive or personal connotation. Surely it's perfectly justifiable to hold negative views about a group whose values and political committments you view as anathema to your own (regardless, of course, of the objective merit of either side). It's also perfectly rational to hold negative views about people whose political preferences you believe (correctly or not) to be based on ignorance or superstition. But that doesn't necessarily translate into personal "hostility" toward any individual member of the group in question-- certainly the desire to punch someone whose political views differ from your own is almost always unjustified, but simply disliking the group of which that person is a representative follows almost necessarily from the fact that strongly-held beliefs on both sides of divisive political issues are inevitable.
6.20.2008 4:29pm
Stormy Dragon (mail) (www):
The study Todd cites shows that 53% of academics have an "unfavorable" view of Evangelical Christians and 33% say the same of Mormons. By contrast, only 13% have an unfavorable view of Catholics and 3% towards Jews. As Todd points out, Evangelical Christians and and Mormons are generally seen as politically conservative, while Jews tend to be liberal, and Catholics somewhere in between.
Evangelical Christians and Mormons extensively prosteltyze. Jews don't generally prosteltyze. Cahtolics are somewhere in between.

Perhaps the turn off is not their political views, but that people just don't like being pestered.
6.20.2008 4:30pm
Splunge:
Really, I don't even understand how you can be having this argument. Religious dogma per se has almost no significance to academics, because either it's genetic secular humanist ethical stuff ("be nice") or it's supernatural stuff ("Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day") which they simply don't believe, and can't imagine any other intelligent person believing except as a metaphor of some type.

Can you imagine Professor X being appalled at Professor Y's insistence that praying for the intercession of Mary has more chance of reducing your time spent in purgatory than praying to God directly? In 1520, yes. Not in 2008.

So what's left? Surely the only dimension of religion that nearly everybody these days feels has influence outside the confines of your own skull is the social ethics a.k.a. politics part of it. You might as well say that the only extent to which one's religion these days gives anybody else concern is the extent to which it influences your social ethics, e.g. whether you like more or less government, think "talking to our enemies" is a wonderful genuinely new idea or mere vaporous blowhardery, et cetera.

Maybe your opponent is relying on an outdated definition of "politics" meaning "for whom you vote" or "your party affiliation." But that's 20th if not 19th century stuff, where "politics" is a smaller, more walled-off area of your life that only comes into play every fourth November. The modern man has expanded politics to mean his social conscience, and it permeates his life in far more subtle and extensive ways, from his choices in food (vegan or barbecue), consumer goods (Prius or Chevy Tahoe), or recreation (ecotourism or four-wheeling).
6.20.2008 4:34pm
Ilya Somin:
I'm with you up until the last paragraph, where I think you make an unwarranted equivocation between "unfavorable views" and "hostility," which seems to carry a more aggressive or personal connotation.

I think it's perfectly possible to be hostile to a group without being "aggressive" or "personal" in your hostility.

Surely it's perfectly justifiable to hold negative views about a group whose values and political committments you view as anathema to your own (regardless, of course, of the objective merit of either side).

I don't think this is true as a general rule. Tolerance and respect for opposing political views is an important virtue. I think it is justifiable to feel hostility towards holders of some truly evil views, but the boundaries of such "evil" should be defined relatively narrowly. Otherwise, rational political discourse is undermined.
6.20.2008 4:37pm
Suzy (mail):

Significantly, the percentage of academics who have an unfavorable view of various religious groups is, in most cases, the same as or lower than the percentage of the general public who feel the same way.


Then why is such hoopla being made here about academics' supposed hostility towards religion? Could it be for, say, the same political reasons that are supposedly motivating the academics' negativity toward religion? That's the only conclusion I can uncover, because in every one of these "academia and religion" posts, giant fallacious leaps are being made from scanty factual evidence.
6.20.2008 4:41pm
Malthus:
Evangelicals and their fundamentalist brethren are to be distinguished from Jews, Mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics and particularly Mormons, Amish and Buddhists in the extent to which they continually try to force their beliefs on everybody around them. Here in Texas, we have the damnBaptists an damnMethodists who regularly force prayers, moments of silence, Ten Commandments monuments on public space, biblical science textbooks, virginity and teetotaling on all of the rest of us. As a result, Austin and Houston are the only cities where a freedom lover can survive.

You can drive hundreds of miles (literally) in Texas without the chance to buy a beer or (because of that) dine at a fine restaurant. We put up with prayers at public dances and graduations, prohibition of porn and censorship of computers at Senior Citizens activity centers.

If you ever travel in Texas outside of Austin or Houston, you will spend your time cursing the damnEvangelicals. Darwin help you if you ever get caught in Waco or the Child Protective Services ever take an interest in you. You will die and your children will be taken from you for having the wrong religion.
6.20.2008 4:52pm
ejo:
put up with prayer? wow, how awful. they inflict virginity on you-perhaps that's your personality. it seems like all of the things mentioned are things that people are doing voluntarily which those on the left are trying to force them not to do. you can certainly give legitimate reasons for not liking evangelicals but the left doesn't limit its dislike to them, despite the efforts to distinguish catholicism.
6.20.2008 4:57pm
Steve2:

certainly the desire to punch someone whose political views differ from your own is almost always unjustified,


I assume the exception is when it's a desire to punch them preemptively? After all, if they're showing signs of punching me, well then somebody's getting punched either way, and better them than me. Like the wise man said, "Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back", and the involvement of Evangelicals in politics is no more a secret than their attitudes for various categories of people.

Anyway, don't Evangelicals constitute something like 1 in 5 Americans these days? I'd think them being a good-sized chunk of the overall U.S. population would have something to do with how the overall U.S. population views them - and the extent to which their views contribute to the mean view?
6.20.2008 5:04pm
Cornellian (mail):
Overall, I think the data confirm my theory that most academics are not hostile to religion as such, but merely to those religious groups that they perceive (for the most part correctly) as politically conservative.

I think if one were to survey politically conservative religious groups about their attitudes towards academics, one would likely find that the hostility was mutual.
6.20.2008 5:07pm
Guest101:

I don't think this is true as a general rule. Tolerance and respect for opposing political views is an important virtue. I think it is justifiable to feel hostility towards holders of some truly evil views, but the boundaries of such "evil" should be defined relatively narrowly. Otherwise, rational political discourse is undermined.

Again I'm not sure that "hostility" and "negative views" mean exactly the same thing, but taking them as synonymous, I don't think that taking a negative view of opposing political views is necessarily inconsistent with civil discourse. Tolerance and respect mean recognizing that opposing views must be granted a voice in the political marketplace, but they don't mean that I have to like groups whose professed preferences I view as uninformed or irrational. If I think a group's political preferences are based on assumptions of fact that are simply empirically wrong and that those preferences, if enacted, would lead to bad consequences, it seems to me that I have every right to view that group negatively. That's particularly true where the source of conflicting political views goes all the way down to divergent beliefs about religion and ultimate morality.

I'll go further out on a limb here and say that meaningful political discourse is pretty difficult, if not impossible, where one or both groups' views are based on different religious beliefs. In such situations it's generally impossible to change a political opinion without either engaging in theological debate (arguing, for example, that the Bible doesn't really prohibit abortion after all), which most religious outsiders are both incompetent and unwilling to do. Maybe John Rawls was right when he suggested that we should base all of our political decisions on "public reasons" commonly shared by everyone who accepts a reasonable formulation of liberal democracy, excluding controversial "comprehensive" moral and religious beliefs from the calculation. Unfortunately I don't think Rawls's vision is at all workable in the real world.
6.20.2008 5:08pm
picpoule:
"certainly the desire to punch someone whose political views differ from your own is almost always unjustified"

It's hard to imagine a feminized academic "punching" anyone. Slapping -- yes. Punching? No!
6.20.2008 5:15pm
Latinist:
Surely the only dimension of religion that nearly everybody these days feels has influence outside the confines of your own skull is the social ethics a.k.a. politics part of it.

First of all, can we really conflate social ethics with politics? As I commented on the last post, I think a lot of people are bothered by other religious groups non-political moral teachings; most prominently about sexual relations (pre-marital sex, homosexuality, relations between the sexes, etc). And even metaphysical issues aren't as uncontroversial as you make them sound: people have quite heated discussions about the existence of God, for example, and a lot of non-Christians (and even some Christians) get very offended by the idea that all non-believers are going to hell.
6.20.2008 5:19pm
Frater Plotter:
I have to agree with Guest101 regarding there being a difference between "negative views" and "hostility". It is surely true that many "liberal" academics have negative views of "conservative" evangelicals ... and vice versa. Both groups also wish to reduce the political influence of the other group.

But I have never heard of a professor beating up or stabbing a churchgoer for their views. Nor have I ever heard of a professor advocating that evangelicals should be arrested and executed for treason. That is hostility.
6.20.2008 5:20pm
Guest101:

I assume the exception is when it's a desire to punch them preemptively?

I was thinking more of groups whose views are sufficiently odious as to be truly outside the pale of legitimate political debate, and I was using "punch" a bit loosely as shorthand for the sort of aggressive personal hostility that I distinguished from a general "negative view" of a politically opposeing group. Not to veer into Godwin territory here, but neo-Nazis and the KKK are the sorts of things I had in mind-- political views the very holding of which justifies a strong personal animosity toward every individual who holds them.

Perhaps a personal example will make more concrete the kind of distinction between "negative view" and "hostility" that I'm getting at. I certainly have a negative view of conservative Christians. I think that their political beliefs are based on irrational superstition and that at least some of those beliefs are harmful to society or would be if adopted. But I went to college in the Bible Belt and several of my closest friends to this day are conservative Christians. I don't bear any hostility toward them, and I don't think they're evil people. I do have a negative view of many of the political preferences that they hold, and I think it's perfectly fair to extrapolate that negative view to the religious demographic group in which those political preferences are indoctrinated. I don't see how any of that is inconsistent with the tolerance and respect that Ilya correctly says are necessary to democratic government.
6.20.2008 5:22pm
eddiehaskel (mail):
I third the oversimplification of negative views versus hostility. However, as history has taught us, if someone is condemning you to hell and advocating that the government further that cause by restricting you opportunities, whether by actual incarceration or by restriction of federal funds, precisely because of your aversion to religions, hostility might be the appropriate word and appropriate response. This is not a philosophical response but human response.
6.20.2008 5:23pm
Latinist:
It's hard to imagine a feminized academic "punching" anyone. Slapping -- yes. Punching? No!

Why, some academics are feminized to such an extent that they're actually women! Imagine!
6.20.2008 5:24pm
L.A. Brave:
As other's have pointed out, the hostility towards evangelicals may also have a lot to do with their disposition towards prosteltyzing. A 2004 survey showed (emphasis added):
Of the five faith segments (evangelicals, non-evangelical born again Christians, notional Christians, adherents of non-Christian faiths, and atheists/agnostics), evangelicals were the most likely to do each of the following:

# discuss spiritual matters with other people.
# volunteer at a church or non-profit organization.
# discuss political matters with other people.
# discuss moral issues and conditions with others.
# stop watching a television program because of its values or viewpoints.
# go out of their way to encourage or compliment someone.
6.20.2008 5:27pm
Fub:
Stormy Dragon wrote at 6.20.2008 3:30pm:
Evangelical Christians and Mormons extensively prosteltyze. Jews don't generally prosteltyze. Cahtolics are somewhere in between.

Perhaps the turn off is not their political views, but that people just don't like being pestered.
I'm inclined to think this is a major reason. Once someone has been personally interrupted and annoyed a few times by religious proselytizers at the door, it's difficult to think well of them, and by extension the organization they claim to represent.
6.20.2008 5:28pm
Chris Bell (mail) (www):
For example, Todd expresses surprise that 13% of academics have an "unfavorable" view of Catholics. But a 2007 Pew Survey shows that 14% of the general public take the same view.

I wonder what the academic attitude to atheists is and how that compares to the population at large.
6.20.2008 5:30pm
Latinist:
By the way, there's something I'm having trouble understanding about the survey. They say they asked respondents "What are your overall
feelings toward the following groups using a scale of 0-100, which
goes from 100, very warm or favorable feeling, to 50, neutral, to 0,
very cold or unfavorable?" -- but then they describe the answers only with adjectives -- "Thirteen percent feel cool/unfavorable toward Catholics," etc. Does anybody know what numbers they counted as "warm/favorable" or the opposite? Is it just above or below 50? And if so, what does "very warm/favorable" mean?
6.20.2008 5:31pm
ejo:
perhaps academics, who love to lecture, don't want to be on the receiving end. is it hostility or pomposity at issue?
6.20.2008 5:32pm
Latinist:
Oh, and one nitpick: it's not quite right to say that the study "shows that 53% of academics have an "unfavorable" view of Evangelical Christians": according to the figure on p. 81, "groups [were] excluded from rating themselves," so 53% is the proportion of non-evangelical academics who hold that view. According to p. 19, 11% of faculty are self-described evangelicals.
6.20.2008 5:41pm
Suetonius (mail) (www):
I do not think an evangelical's politics necessarily play into the hostility/prejudice or whatever else you want to call it.

Having grown up around many of the proselytizing nitwits, and (at the time) having been considered to be a conservative by most of my peers and teachers, I can say that it was the self-righteous way in which evangelicals handled themselves and the willfully blind manner they treated subjects with which they disagreed which drew the most negative attention and feeling.

How will a biology professor take a student who, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, insists that the world is 6000 years old and evolution is bs? And the English teacher who gets derided for promoting abhorrent lifestyles for assigning 'Go Tell It on the Mountain' or some culturally permissive secular book?

I was very vocal about my politics in college, and never received anything but respect from my very lefty professors. But the blindly dogmatic and irrational evangelicals were not so fortunate, because, by their nature, they refused to engage in meaningful debate.
6.20.2008 5:42pm
mcallen3 (mail):
I think your data may be measuring something different than what you think. The hierarchy you set out, Evangelical Christians at the top (or bottom) and Jews at the other end may only express a perception as to whether the people actually hold strong religious beliefs. While strong and weak believers exist in all the categories,I'd think the general perception when on says "Jew" is not of a strongly religious person or even a person who believes in God. On the flip side, the term Evangelical sure brings to mind a strong believer.

I do not think you really noticed the first part of the "Theophobia" post. It was about how a non-believing academic asked "what's up with that?" when he discovered and imminent professor was a strong believer. My personal experience is that everyone is just fine with "going to church" so long as you don't really believe in what you are doing. This is not dependent on politics.
6.20.2008 5:45pm
Strick:
Ah, so we down to arguing what kind of bigots they are.

OK
6.20.2008 6:12pm
Adam K:
I think Stormy Dragon is absolutely right. The "unfavorable view" percentage is increasing as the groups' generally-perceived levels of proselytizing and loudly-in-your-facedness increase.
6.20.2008 6:15pm
CJColucci:
While strong and weak believers exist in all the categories,I'd think the general perception when on says "Jew" is not of a strongly religious person or even a person who believes in God.

WTF?!?!

By the way, I have negative views of people who call me at dinner time to invite me to visit timeshare resorts absolutely free as long as I listen to a 45-minute presentation.
6.20.2008 6:33pm
Dave N (mail):
AdamK,

If that were so, then Jehovah's Witnesses would certainly be at the top. My experience with one-on-one proselytizing is that Mormons are more aggressive than evangelicals.

But with all three, a polite, "I have my own religious beliefs, no thank you," has been sufficient to get them to leave my porch.
6.20.2008 6:34pm
maki (mail):
As an evangelical Christian who got his Ph.D. in English at a prominent Division I research university, I can vouch firsthand for the undisguised distaste expressed toward me. One of the faculty members on my committee told me he "hated fuckin' Christianity" knowing I had taught at a Baptist university before coming there to get my doctorate. All but a few were Marxist and it was so bad that a gay, Jewish atheist, who had a chaired position and was the most published member of the faculty, was hounded out of the department because he didn't meet the ideological standards of the Marxist Lesbian chairperson. Presently I teach at an evangelical university where I teach Marxist, queer, feminist, etc. theory. How many secular universities are there that teach a Christian theory of interpretation? I'm pro-life and anti-gay marriage, but who's the "liberal," methodologically speaking, they or I?
6.20.2008 6:42pm
Adam K:
Dave N, I certainly see your point, but my first thought is that Jehovah's Witnesses aren't really all that "visible." I mean, I know they exist, but I think in my entire life I've met maybe one actual professed Jehovah's Witness. She gave me a piece of literature, I said, "okay, thanks," and she walked away. Unlike the rest of the groups mentioned, they just seem like non-entities.

Understand that I have absolutely nothing more than my general perceptions and "gut" to go on here.
6.20.2008 6:43pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Evangelicals .. distinguished from Jews, Mainline Protestants, ... and Buddhists in the extent to which they continually try to force their beliefs on everybody around them."

That's certainly true, and I don't like people trying to force their religious beliefs down my throat. And that goes for the most obnoxious religion of them all: environmentalism. They tell me we can't drill in ANWAR because it must remain "pristine." Why does it have to remain pristine as 99.99% of the humanity will never set foot in the place? It might as well be the dark side of the moon. The desire for it to remain in some kind of absolute virgin state must be viewed as nothing more than some kind of religious impulse. One shoved down our throats, to the detriment of the US economy and its people.
6.20.2008 6:49pm
Malthus:
Not to hijack this thread or anything, but you know Zarkov, you never see anybody of color, whether Indian, Mexican or Black, at any of our pristine National Parks, Forests and even Monuments, like Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Liberty Bell in Central Philly!

This country is nothing if not hypocritical and duplicitous.

The Texas Constitution still requires that all judges (effectively fed or state), prosecutors, defense attorneys and jurors "acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being," which serves to guarantee a free-thinker or atheist an unfair trial while prohibiting his conscientious jury-duty.

Another example of the historical influence of the damnBaptists and damnMethodists.

Jim
6.20.2008 7:16pm
Angus:
I am an academic, and certainly have an unfavorable view of evangelical Christians. By and large this is because of the experiences I've had with them in educational settings (both students and parents). The most recent example: I had a student, backed by her parents, who refused to read a Pulitzer Prize winning novel because on one page of the 350 page book a character said, "God damn." The ONLY problems I have ever had of this type have been evangelicals.
6.20.2008 7:22pm
d:
Unlike other religions, evangelicalism's beliefs involve interfering with other people. It is of course bigotry to dislike people based on their religious beliefs -- unless those beliefs cause them to interfere with other people. For instance, it would not be "irrational prejudice" to have an unfavorable opinion of a person whose religious belief caused them to repeatedly crap on your lawn.

For the same reason, it's not "irrational prejudice" to have an unfavorable opinion about a person whose religious belief compels them to "evangelize" everyone else to one particular religious viewpoint.

Of course I will have an unfavorable opinion of someone who believes I'm going to hell and who wants to harrangue me until he convinces me of that fact. That's not "irrational prejudice." It's based on rational aversion to people who refuse to leave me alone to believe what I want in peace. If evangelicals didn't interfere with others, others wouldn't have such unfavorable views of them.
6.20.2008 7:46pm
genob:
Angus...surely you must have an unfavorable view of Muslims too ...the ONLY problems we've ever had with people flying large jets into buildings have been Muslims. Silly.

Your logic doesn't follow. The fact that one or even some evangelical Christians may have been a pain in your ass (or the only pains in your ass) says nothing about evangelical Christians as a group.

Indeed, the only common traits of evangelical Christians are
1. A belief in Jesus Christ as their savior
2. A willingness to tell others that they too can be saved.

everything else that you project is pure prejudice based upon your encounters with a few or observation of a few outspoken "leaders" who lead very few actually. You've probably had many encounters with people who are evangelical christians that were quite pleasant...you may even have friends or colleagues that you respect or admire that you just don't realize are evangelical Christians.

The postings on this topic define prejudice. It really is remarkable.
6.20.2008 7:57pm
Zywicki (mail):
I think there is plainly some truth to those who observe that the problem is prosyletizing. I certainly have a greater hostility toward environmentalists who want to prosyletize to me about global warming and recycling, for instance. But what is curious to me is that unfavorable views toward evangelicals is twice as high in academia than in society at large. Surely academics are not being prosyletized that much more than society at large are they?

Also, the poll I posted this morning found that the religious group that has the highest unfavorability rating in society at large is Scientology. I'm not sure if they prosyletize. My sense is that they are just thought of as weird and scary (score one for Eugene's hypothesis), although I'm not sure exactly why.
6.20.2008 8:00pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"... you never see anybody of color, ... or Black, at any of our pristine National Parks, Forests and even Monuments, like Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Liberty Bell in Central Philly!

This country is nothing if not hypocritical and duplicitous."


Even granting that you're observation is correct, I don't see the relevance to my post. Are you saying that somehow these groups are made to feel unwelcome in those places? Perhaps they just don't like that kind of recreational activity.

I'm just trying to point out that the proselytizing environmentalists are even more obnoxious than some religious activists because they get the legislatures and the courts to impose their will on the rest of US. There is no rational reason not to at least explore (let alone drill) ANWAR. The idea that it must remain absolutely virgin just because it makes them feel good is tantamount to a theological doctrine.
6.20.2008 8:25pm
d:
The fact that one or even some evangelical Christians may have been a pain in your ass (or the only pains in your ass) says nothing about evangelical Christians as a group.

This argument doesn't hold water, because unlike most other religions, evangelicals hold it as a prime tenet of their religion that they must evangelize others. Accordingly, announcing "I am an evangelical" is tantamount to announcing "I intend to be a pain in your ass."
So I shouldn't dislike such a person?

@Zywicki:
But what is curious to me is that unfavorable views toward evangelicals is twice as high in academia than in society at large. Surely academics are not being prosyletized that much more than society at large are they?
Perhaps academics are responding to another key tenet of evangelicalism, which is belief in the inerrancy of the bible. (see "evangelical" at wordnet.princeton.edu)
Unlike most other religions, evangelicals have announced that they will reject any reason or science that contradicts what they see as the literal truth of the bible. Is it not obvious that academics, more than society at large, would have unfavorable views of those who have announced that they will reject reason and science?
6.20.2008 8:26pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"... the religious group that has the highest unfavorability rating in society at large is Scientology."

I'd hardly call Scientology a religious group. They're a bunco operation masquerading as a religion to gain First Amendment protection for their nefarious activities. Until the Clinton administration they did not even have tax exempt status as a qualified religion. Just because some group says they're a religion does not make it so.
6.20.2008 8:31pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Unlike most other religions, evangelicals have announced that they will reject any reason or science that contradicts what they see as the literal truth ..."

Exactly. And that's what makes some environmentalists and their running dogs in academia so much like evangelicals. They tell you that the science of global warming is "settled." Bring up matters like inadequate cloud physics and you get an insult, not an argument. They have no argument and they know it. How is this different from evangelicalism? Just replace the bible by the IPCC.
6.20.2008 8:42pm
d:
@Zarkov:
what's your point? Are you agreeing that it's reasonable to dislike evangelicals as long as one also dislikes environmentalists??

@Zywicki:
Your references to environmentalists, like Zarkov's, seem to be saying "see, liberals can be dislikeable too!"
First, how does that have anything to do with the topic of this post? How does it establish or refute that unfavorable attitudes about evangelicals are based on prejudice vs reason?
Second, doesn't your invocation of environmentalists prove Ilya's hypothesis that this argument is really about liberals vs. conservatives (by attempting to frame the question as "liberals can be annoying too")?
6.20.2008 8:52pm
Dave N (mail):
This argument doesn't hold water, because unlike most other religions, evangelicals hold it as a prime tenet of their religion that they must evangelize others. Accordingly, announcing "I am an evangelical" is tantamount to announcing "I intend to be a pain in your ass."
So I shouldn't dislike such a person?
I posted this on another thread, but it seems just as apt here:

If someone "gets in your face" about anything, whether it be sports, religion, or politics, that makes that person "obnoxious"--but I do not equate "evangelism" with "obnoxiousness," though I suspect there are some on this thread who do.
6.20.2008 9:17pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"... what's your point? Are you agreeing that it's reasonable to dislike evangelicals as long as one also dislikes environmentalists??"

If one dislikes something because it has certain attributes, then it makes sense to dislike everything with those attributes, otherwise I suspect another motive. I thought that I made it clear that I found it reasonable to dislike some annoying evangelicals.
6.20.2008 10:09pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Why we love the professionals and never ever think badly of them.
6.20.2008 10:23pm
p3731 (mail):
Oh, the irony. *Of course* Evangelicals are unpopular, and not just with Academics, precisely because they're in the forefront of the dissolution of the boundary between religion and politics. And for no other reason. This is so obvious I can't believe you don't get it. Do you have no conception of the direct influence Evangelicals have had on national policy lo these past 7 years? It's a shameful, cowards game these Evangelicals play, getting into bed with secular Authority, then hiding behind their "religion" when they're called on it. Sometimes the level of naivety shown on this blog just stupefies me.
6.20.2008 10:35pm
whit:

dissolution of the boundary between religion and politics


right. the same boundary that prevented the REVEREND martin luther king jr. from fighting for civil rights based on in large part his religious beliefs or the quakers etc. fighting to end slavery based on their religious beliefs or people of faith fighting for the rights of the fetus (im pro-choice btw) not to be killed or various catholic priests and laity fighting against the death penalty etc....

people of faith have been involved in politics for as long as there has been politics. there is no boundary preventing people who believe X whether for religious or other reasons from lobbying for their position, or sparking citizen initiatives, etc.

whatever the issue is, if a person takes a side because of religious belief or for ANY other reason, that's their right.

and when those of faith are on your side based on their religion, it's groovy. but when they are on the opposite side that's when they are violating this invisible "boundary", apparently
6.20.2008 11:20pm
whit:

While strong and weak believers exist in all the categories,I'd think the general perception when on says "Jew" is not of a strongly religious person or even a person who believes in God.


this is true, and at the forefront of acknowledging this have been jewish comedians (an insight into jewish culture for most non-jews who haven't been exposed ).

first of all, judaism is, to some extent depending on what brand of judaism you adhere to, a matrilineal thang. iow, one is jewish even if you don't profess a specific belief, merely because your mom was jewish. israel's right of return iirc basically recognizes this. unless you specifically renounce judaism, you are presumed jewish if your mom was jewish.

second of all, consider terms such as MOTT (Member of the Tribe) that is used by jews to refer to each other. iow, it's as much a cultural thing as it is a belief thing

third, judaism by doctrine basically judges people by WORKS (iow what you do in this life) not by what you believe. contrast with christianity.

the term 'secular jew' or even 'atheist jew' isn't oxymoronic, because there is this cultural/matrilineal bond among jews. the term 'atheist evangelical' otoh would be oxymoronic. it is true that to a lesser extent, "cultural catholics" also exist iow people who may not really believe all the stuff but consider themselves cultural catholics because of their background/childhood/associations.

i think to some extent there are enough 'secular jews' among the most visible jews in our society, such that the public does have this general impression, and it's not far off. while there are jews who are at least as strong in their beliefs as any christian/evangelical/muslim, etc. it is still clear that the concept of "secular" or "agnostic" or even "atheist" jew is not a oxymoronic concept
6.20.2008 11:33pm
Bad (mail) (www):
I still think it might be worth considering things from the opposite direction? What is the opinion of evangelicals about "liberal academics"? I'm betting it's not too high, which makes academics look a little less irrationally hostile out of the blue, and more like any in-group reacting to an out-group that dislikes them.

So which hostility came first, or did both develop at the same time? Probably the latter.
6.20.2008 11:52pm
a knight (mail) (www):
@ A. Zarkov: I recommend that you choose your phrasing with a little more care in the future. A Google search using the quotemark enveloped string: inadequate cloud physics, returns ONE record, which is a study presented in 2001.

Although I have doubts my admonition will have much effect given the bias indicated with: "environmentalists and their running dogs in academia". Damn the pack of demon mongrels, and their willful spreading of mass confusion, leveraging their positions as ordained adepts in the arcane arts, hurling thunderbolts with payloads of dark-knowledge they gleaned from their "liberal" educations. Another argument of yours, is also noteworthy for its amusing errancy: "proselytizing environmentalists are even more obnoxious than some religious activists because they get the legislatures and the courts to impose their will on the rest of US".

Let me introduce you to:
H. RES. 888: Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as "American Religious History Week" for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith.

First proposed on the House Floor by Randy J. Forbes (R-VA 4th) on December 18, 2007, and is now showing up at Thomas with 86 cosponsors, 6 of whom are Democrat, but the bill has been referenced as being 'bipartisan'. The Bill has over Seventy paragraphs beginning with the word "Whereas", some of the assertions are less than crystal clear hyperbole.

On June 17, 2008, a block of time was spent in The House with 17 house Members (1 Dem-was also noted as 'bipartisan') waxing warmly about the proposal.
Congressional Daily Record - June 17, 2008 (House)
Pages H5470-H5476 - DOCID:cr17jn08-138
Our Rich History Of Faith

Now back to the thread with one last citation of your absurdities: "Bring up matters like inadequate cloud physics and you get an insult, not an argument. They have no argument and they know it."

It seems the sound scientists at Real climate dot org, are quite willing to admit there are flaws in the global data models, because of the hard to predict nature of clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere. There have been great strides made towards an understanding of how aerosols affect global temperatures. There has also been efforts made to properly implement data about a dimming sun from Earth's perspective, caused from emmissions' atmospheric conditions.

As to their having no argument, and knowing it: The Real Climate scientists have in the past shown themselves willing to prove the rectitude of their intents, when challenging the data within published reports oppositional of global warming by offering bets regarding the future's climate. I've never heard of a global warming sceptic who has taken them up on their generous propositions. Here's a current prop bet, which my brief browsing this evening indicates is still left on the table unbooked

== == == == ==

Professor Somin, I do not believe the cause for the data correlation is the one you propose, and feel that perceptions of a sect's tendency to forcefully prosleytise may indeed be a determining factor. Growing up in Nevada, next to Utah and in a community in which Mormons were the largest denomination, I also believe that you identification of them as solidly conservative is itself a gloss of fact. Mormons tend to be very avid supporters of government services finded by tax monies, and often view them as being multi-faceted positives for the governed entities as a whole. They are strong supporters of public school systems, and have opposed school voucher electoral referendums. In communities where Mormons predominate there can often be found a societal feeling that governmental bureaucracies provide steady gainful employment for sons and daughters who are faithful LDS members, but realistically do not possess the requisite intelligence to become a professional or business leader.

My family's religion growing up was a small protestant sect, conservative in lifestyles, which practised a non-standard kind of missionary evangelicalism. It was easy on the faith, but strong on the charity and hope, and the missionaries were far more likely to be medical or educational professionals, than clergy. In churches that have the available resources, funeral facilities are provided for free to surviving friends and kin who cannot afford mortuary services without incurring financial hardships, because they believe this is not about the dead, but simply a provisioning of comfort to the living who mourned. I never felt I was perceived negatively because of this faith.
6.21.2008 2:50am
curiusme:
a knight

You sat a lot about the science of global warming while pointing us only to one site for references. I recommend people check out the good documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle for alternative views.
6.21.2008 5:42am
CatCube:
d:

This argument doesn't hold water, because unlike most other religions, evangelicals hold it as a prime tenet of their religion that they must evangelize others. Accordingly, announcing "I am an evangelical" is tantamount to announcing "I intend to be a pain in your ass."
So I shouldn't dislike such a person?


Unlike most other religions, evangelicals have announced that they will reject any reason or science that contradicts what they see as the literal truth of the bible. Is it not obvious that academics, more than society at large, would have unfavorable views of those who have announced that they will reject reason and science?


I think that your comment actually proves the "bigotry" argument. You're rolling a whole bunch of people up under the term "evangelical" and impugning the worst parts of it to the whole group, which is pretty much what racists do with blacks.

Yes, a larger percentage of black people commit crimes, but I hope everyone here recognizes that making the leap to "all black people can't be trusted" is stupid and wrong on its face. Similarly, reacting with the level of viciousness inherent in your comment, saying that someone who is an "evangelical" "intend[s] to be a pain in your ass" is unsupported, unless that individual actually starts being a pain in your ass.

Like many religious obligations, just because someone is a part of an "evangelical" sect doesn't mean that they are actually going to evangelize to you constantly (or at all). Many like the sense of community, and may have a general agreement with an evangelical mission, but are too timid/lazy/polite to bother with actual evangelizing. For the record, I'm a member of a mainline Protestant group (ELCA) and find intrusive evangelizing to be irritating, too (I also have severe problems with many "evangelical" sects doctrine and worship). But I've spent enough time around "evangelicals" (including in very close quarters in basic training) to realize that the vast majority are quiet about their religious beliefs to the uninterested. Like every other group, it's the vocal, visible minority that's a pain in the ass.
6.21.2008 6:42am
Federal Dog:
"And that's what makes some environmentalists and their running dogs in academia so much like evangelicals."


The "running dogs" comment aside, this is completely correct in my experience: Academics and evangelicals are virtually identical in their profound need to proselytize. The offense arises from the conflicting content of their sermons.
6.21.2008 7:45am
Byrd (mail) (www):
If I wanted to find out about academics' positive and negative feelings towards a group, the last thing I would do is ask them straight out. You'll never get reliable data that way.
6.21.2008 7:50am
Chris Green (mail):
Evangelical Christians and Mormons extensively prosteltyze. Jews don't generally prosteltyze. Cahtolics are somewhere in between.

Perhaps the turn off is not their political views, but that people just don't like being pestered.


Then why is it that academics hold more negative views towards evangelicals than the general public. Evangelicals do not, to my knowledge, specifically target academics for 'pestering'.

What I find funny is how some people get so riled up about someone coming to your door once every couple of years, giving you a 30 second pitch, and then going away when you say, "No thanks, not interested." Its not like they are breaking down your door and forcing holy water down your throat. In most cases, at least with mormons (who I've had the most experience with) they politely ask if they can share a messege and when you say 'No', they simply go away.

It also occurs to me that the people who complain the most about the pestering are the ones who have trouble saying "No thanks, not interested".
6.21.2008 8:10am
Zeno (mail):
This analysis treats the most visceral hatreds of the tenured left as if they were arrived at by a logically defined process.

Modern liberalism has less to do with class struggle or the role of government than with giving expression to upper middle class boomer narcissism. The supposed "political" reaction to orthodox religion is far more visceral than mere coincidence of left-right alignment. The enemy to the tenured New Gnostic is always found in tradition, morality, culture, history, patriotism, the military, Western religion and anything else that might impose a personal moral obligation or otherwise threaten the illusion of autonomy.

The kinds of hateful groupthink groupfeel on Kos, the HuffPo et al emanates from campuses where it is tacitly if not openly encouraged by the puerile vanity of the alleged cream of our spoiled generation. To pretend any of this is actually some dry cognitive artifact of rational political choice is silly.
6.21.2008 8:28am
TM Lutas (mail) (www):
Inside the religious community, there is an observation that some religions are thick and others are thin. Thick religions demand a great deal from their adherents, thin religions not so much. The list of religions that are viewed less unfavorably by academics seems to map pretty well onto the list of "thin" religions. Another interesting correlation is that thin religions universally seem to be dying religions while thick religions are very often thriving.

It might be more accurate to say that academics are hostile to religions that are self-sustaining and expanding and actually matter to daily behavior while they seem less hostile to those that seem inoffensive and hardly impact their adherents' daily lives. That makes the attitudes of academics no less objectionable but might aid in predicting where the unreasoned bile and petty lashing out will actually occur.
6.21.2008 9:29am
Angus:
What I find funny is how some people get so riled up about someone coming to your door once every couple of years, giving you a 30 second pitch, and then going away when you say, "No thanks, not interested." Its not like they are breaking down your door and forcing holy water down your throat.


Actually, many college campuses have a "hell-and-brimstone" evangelical preacher (or two) who frequents campus and condemns the sinfulness of college life loudly and in fairly vivid terms. Those crazies tend to color perceptions of evangelicals as a whole.
6.21.2008 9:31am
Moose (mail):

It's obvious what this survey shows.One stat says it all:unfavorable view of evanjelicals versus jews -15 to 1.
That is startling.It clearly shows that the WASPs do not control acadamia.BTW what ever happened to the "evil" WASP?
6.21.2008 9:34am
strategichamlet (mail):
I think we're getting entirely too much mileage out of a survey where the maximally negative catagory is "unfavorable." Among the groups I could be described as having an "unfavorable" opinion of: Dallas Cowboys fans, Dave Matthews Band fans, people who like their steaks "well done", people who forget to turn off their turn signal, people who use credit cards for small purcheses, people who take the elevator to the 2nd floor in a large building, light beer drinkers, and many others. In any of these categories does my unfavorable opinion rise to the level of "hatred" or "bigotry" or any of the other words being thrown around here? Definitely not (not even for Cowboys fans).
6.21.2008 10:52am
CJColucci:
Just because some group says they're a religion does not make it so.
That's certainly the IRS's view, but I'm surprised you agree with the IRS.
Anyone remember the Rev. Bacon from Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities? The narrator weas startled to learn that his "ordination" was performed by his mother, who simply said, in effect, you're a preacher, go preach, without a shred of ecclesiastical authority to back her up. But when the narrator considered the matter further, he realized that all claims to religious authority were, ultimately, self-certifying, and stopped worrying about it.
6.21.2008 11:02am
Clayton:
As a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, I went to meet with the head of the religious studies department. We had a long and very wide ranging discussion about my interest in the Koran, my limited study of Shinto, my desire to learn more about various strains within Hinduism, my fascination with the Druze. He remarked that with my GPA and my background he felt it was unnecessary for me to take introductory courses and if I became a religious studies major he would move me past them, including into a comparative religions class he was teaching. He wanted to warn me though he said that I would have to put up with Christians. He said, "Just the other day I was teaching class and someone continued to argue with me because I said that the claim that Christ made about being "the way" was metaphorical and not an exclusive truth claim." I asked him if he taught about Islam and he replied he did. I asked him if he would be upset if while teaching from the Koran he said that Mohammad was not the final prophet of God and people from his class argued with him. He said "Of course I would not be upset, and I would never say that." When I told him I was a Christian and he was dramatically disconnected from reality he was stunned. I asked him why he thought it was irritating to have 1 group stand up for the exclusive truth claim they believe and not another. His response? "Well you...um...you are in the majority so it is not oppressing you."

Absurd. He is still there I believe. Hostility in the academy to Evangelicals comes from a deep and personal place. Like Matthew Arnold in Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse many of them grew up being taught Truth with a capital T and they rejected it for other beliefs. Now they feel they are at a higher stage of illumination...The Bible explains them.."Thinking themselves wise, they became fools."
6.21.2008 11:04am
ZF (mail):
Academics only react in a hateful way when they run into something that scares them.

They are used to running into isolated individuals with variegated non-left political opinions, which does not scare them or excite a strongly negative reaction.

What really does scare academics is any group with non-leftist political opinions which they see as able to coalesce and operate in the same 'gang' fashion which characterizes leftist behavior any time their local dominance is threatened.

Any group with non-leftist opinions which could cooperate around a strong common core of beliefs would inevitably pose a threat to the left's self-perpetuating dominance in academia. This is why it is only the combination of Christianity and conservative political opinions which truly horrifies them.

As was the case over the centuries when the church did have political power, only the dangerous heresies excite a reaction.
6.21.2008 12:19pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: Steve2
RE: That Many??!??!!

"Anyway, don't Evangelicals constitute something like 1 in 5 Americans these days?" -- Steve2

From whence comes this statistic?

And, if correct, it might explain the level of vitriol being expressed against them. They are becoming a political force to be reckoned with. Therefore, every tool....er....weapon that can be brought to bear should be used against them. Including lies to induce the ignorant to join arms with their comrades in academia.

RE: The Impact

"I'd think them being a good-sized chunk of the overall U.S. population would have something to do with how the overall U.S. population views them - and the extent to which their views contribute to the mean view?" -- Steve2

This adds evidence to my premise that all these evangelicals must be suppressed or other people may come to accept their worldviews in contravention of academia's. Well informed knowledge. What THEN of 'global warming'???!?!?!

The horror!!!!!!

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Learned men are the cisterns of knowledge. Not the fountainheads.]
6.21.2008 4:14pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: Latinist
RE: Yes We Can!

"First of all, can we really conflate social ethics with politics?" -- Latinist

You can no more divide morality and politics than you can divide the spirit from the body....save through death.

All laws are based on morality. All morality is based on 'religious' philosophy.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Those who would treat politics and morality apart will never understand the one or the other. -- John, Viscount Morley of Blackburn]
6.21.2008 4:18pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: A. Zarkov
RE: Heh

"I don't like people trying to force their religious beliefs down my throat." -- A. Zarkov

I guess you never went to college. Or if you did, it was before 1975 and you were a hard sciences major. But even then, in my electives course on religion, the professor was adamantly opposed to Christianity and beat you over the head about it. If you wanted a good grade, you didn't argue with him.

Talk about 'brain-washing'....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education. -- George Bernard Shaw]

TARGET! Cease fire.

Who knew Shaw would be so prescient?
6.21.2008 4:23pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: Byrd, et al.
RE: Excellent Point

"If I wanted to find out about academics' positive and negative feelings towards a group, the last thing I would do is ask them straight out. You'll never get reliable data that way." -- Byrd

Their actions will speak more plainly than their words.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[A tree is known by its fruit. -- some Wag, around 2000 years ago]
6.21.2008 4:28pm
Joe -- Dallas, TX (mail):
What did the survey show regarding attitudes toward islam.

The answer should tell you a lot about the academic's bias
6.21.2008 4:46pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: TM Lutas
RE: Your Theory....

"It might be more accurate to say that academics are hostile to religions that are self-sustaining and expanding and actually matter to daily behavior while they seem less hostile to those that seem inoffensive and hardly impact their adherents' daily lives." -- TM Lutas

...has ONE significant, if not disabling, flaw.

Or, if you would, please explain why academia seems to accept militant Islam when any reasonably prudent individual, who is honest, would say militant Islam would force these academics to (1) take the pledge or (2) die; if these academics were fall into their power.

And I doubt if militant Islam would accept these academics' worldview, e.g., homosexuality, atheism, adultery, punishments, alcohol, dancing, etc.

No. There is a serious problem with your theory. And I think it provides an interesting insight into why academia hates Christianity more than it does most other religions.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. -- some Wag, around 2000 years ago]
6.21.2008 4:57pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
P.S. Speaking of academia and Islam, as Joe -- Dallas, TX, so recently commented.....

....I wonder if there could be a connection between those two aspects and academia's apparent support of Senator Obama for the presidency.....
6.21.2008 5:00pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Back in the 60s, in an English course taught by one Anne A. Paolucci (look her up) we spent about the entire year (sure seemed that way) reading Dante's trilogy and discussing Catholic theology presented in an exceedingly pressing manner.
6.21.2008 5:56pm
Ken Hahn (mail):
A majority of academics believe that they see God in the mirror. They will despise any religion that doubts this.
6.21.2008 6:04pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: Ken Hahn
RE: TARGET!

"A majority of academics believe that they see God in the mirror. They will despise any religion that doubts this." -- Ken Hahn

Cease fire.

By the by....

....the condition is not limited to academia.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[I am the lord my god. Thou shalt have no other god before ME! -- The Atheist's First Commandment]
6.21.2008 6:13pm
SP:
Funny, I've never been "actively evangelized." I suspect the bigots on this board have cherry picked incidents and decided that 20% of the population can be dismissed out of hand.
6.21.2008 6:34pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: SP
RE: Either That....

"Funny, I've never been "actively evangelized." I suspect the bigots on this board have cherry picked incidents and decided that 20% of the population can be dismissed out of hand." -- SP

...or they are one of the following:

[1] Liars.
[2] In dreadful fear of meeting a REAL Evangelical Christian.
[3] Are attempting a pre-emptive strike.
[4] A combination of items 1, 2 and/or 3 (above).

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. In any case, I think they're gutless wonders.

I've attempted to engage a number of them in honest debate, but they ALWAYS pull a Monty Python....Run Awaaaaayyyyy!

The latest being someone identifying themselves as Soda in another venue. Once I laid out Genesis for him, from the perspective of the original 'chronicler', fled the arena.

Game. Set. Match.....
6.21.2008 6:43pm
whit:

Funny, I've never been "actively evangelized." I suspect the bigots on this board have cherry picked incidents and decided that 20% of the population can be dismissed out of hand.



here's what i find ironic. i support gay rights. i also support the right of evangelicals to evangelize - iow use the power of free speech to attempt to persuade. few things are more american.

however, many of the same people who tell those hetero's who dislike the idea of (for example) sharing a public/military shower with gays, or being propositioned by gays, etc. feel otoh that it is some great imposition to be approached by an evangelical who tries to preach "the word" to them. iow, both sides need to grow up.

some heteros may dislike a gay person looking at them longingly - TOUGH! many women don't like being ogled by men either. again, TOUGH! many don't like evangelists trying to evangelize them. i say again - TOUGH. cloister (no pun intended) yourself away inside your house and don't go outside or answer the door, then.

if you are going to participate in society, you have to put up with stuff that makes you uncomfortable, or that you find distasteful - fat people in spandex, gays looking at you longingly (assuming you are as super dreamy as you think you are), people of the opposite sex doing so, evangelicals spouting in your direction, etc.
6.21.2008 7:14pm
Ken Arromdee:
some heteros may dislike a gay person looking at them longingly - TOUGH! many women don't like being ogled by men either. again, TOUGH!

Fine... Except that we do not tell women in this situation "tough". Instead we do our best to accommodate their fears.
6.21.2008 11:35pm
Latinist:
many don't like evangelists trying to evangelize them. i say again - TOUGH.

Okay; I don't think anyone's saying they should be prevented from evangelizing. But is it really out of bounds to have an unfavorable attitude towards someone because he or she is doing something you don't like? I wouldn't be bothered by a survey that showed that women (or men) had an unfavorable attitude towards oglers, would you?
6.22.2008 11:25am
Latinist:
Back in the 60s, in an English course taught by one Anne A. Paolucci (look her up) we spent about the entire year (sure seemed that way) reading Dante's trilogy and discussing Catholic theology presented in an exceedingly pressing manner.

I'm not sure I understand the point of this example, but anyone who thinks this sort of thing would be out of place in contemporary academia is mistaken. Classicists are currently getting much more interested in later, Christian stuff, and Comp. Lit. departments are very interested in medieval writings, very much including Catholic theology. Aside from actual Christian theologians, I doubt anyone takes medieval theology more seriously than the "post-modern" literary-and-cultural-theory types so often derided as mere scoffers at religion.
6.22.2008 11:29am
Stormy Dragon (mail) (www):
Then why is it that academics hold more negative views towards evangelicals than the general public. Evangelicals do not, to my knowledge, specifically target academics for 'pestering'.
No, but they are specifically targeting college students (knowing that whatever patterns the students set during college are likely going to determine the trajectory of their post college lives for quite some time), so academics are likely exposed to prostelytizing more often than the general public, even if they aren't the specific target.

A personal example: when I was attending the Pennsylvania State University, there was a man (Gary Cattell) who had been hired by one of the local churches to stand in front of the main entrance to one of the main classroom buildings (Willard Building) for eight hours a day, five days a week preaching about how everyone at the university was going to hell.

Now yes this is just one guy who's likely not representative of evangelical christians as a group. On the other hand, this one guy is single handedly assuring that every year thousands of new people have as their primary memory of dealing with an evangelical christian being some guy who every single day was hectoring them on their way to and from class.
6.22.2008 12:02pm
griefer (mail):

But what is curious to me is that unfavorable views toward evangelicals is twice as high in academia than in society at large.

I think evangelicals are percieved as more active politically, and well...as intransigently stupid on issues well understood by the academic community like ToE and the biological basis of homosexuality.
Catholics, for example, endorse ToE.
6.22.2008 3:35pm
griefer (mail):
Dr. Ken Miller and Dr. Francis Collins are two examples of catholic academics. Both endorse ToE.
I am pretty sure Dr. Miller at least has a dim view of evangelicals, after watching his Kritzmuller speech at CWR on youtube.
6.22.2008 3:40pm
griefer (mail):
And political activity, like legislation over IDT or samesex marriage would elevate evangelicals in the collective consciousness of academe....more exposure.
6.22.2008 3:43pm
griefer (mail):
Also ESCR legislation....vanishingly few academics think of a fertilized oocyte as a "human life".
6.22.2008 3:51pm
physicist:
There is a much more obvious explanation for the unfavorable view of academics towards evangelicals than the predominantly conservative political views of evangelicals. Evangelicals tend to be hostile to science, such as evolution and the Big Bang Theory, and political groups associated with evangelicals often try to distort scientific studies in support of their political agenda on issues related abortion and sex education.

The unfavorable view of evangelicals has nothing to do with bigotry. It is simply a response to the anti-science attitude of evangelicals.

Mr. Somin, do you also have a theory to "explain" the anti-Nazi bigotry of jews?
6.23.2008 11:21am
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: Latinist
RE: Not Paying Attention, Are We?

"Okay; I don't think anyone's saying they should be prevented from evangelizing." -- Latinist

We've got griefer, who on another thread of this blog made sounds EXACTLY like that. Words to the effect that only certified teachers can 'teach', or 'preach'. However, when confronted with his statement he immediately began back-peddling.

Then there's the IJCR report itself where one of the major findings was
Faculty Are Almost Unanimous in Their Belief That Evangelical Christians (Fundamentalists) Should Keep Their Religious Beliefs Out of American Politics
Faculty who are secular/liberal are more likely to favor separation of religion and government, and those who are religious and conservative are more likely to advocate a closer connection between religion and government.


When they say 'politics', they are saying words to the effect that Evangelical Christians cannot express their opinions regarding any matter relating to living in the United States. That INCLUDES 'evangelizing', as that speaks about living in the United States.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Those who would treat politics and morality apart will never understand the one or the other. -- John, Viscount Morley of Blackburn]
6.23.2008 12:26pm