I Love You but You Didn’t Do the Reading

Welcome to 2018! You might think the last week of the year would be quiet, but you’d be wrong. Here are a couple of the ILYBYGTH-style stories that jumped out at us over the past week:

Issue in review: Has Trumpism killed evangelicalism?

Conservatives and the higher education “scapegoat,” by Catherine Rampell at WaPo.

The thing white professors won’t talk about, by Robert Cherry at RCEd.

Want to avoid a “death of despair?” Go to college. At CHE, research about the link between higher education and better health.Bart reading bible

Jeffrey Salkin admires LDS (Mormons). But he wants them to stop baptizing dead Jewish people, at RNS.

Why one evangelical leader left Trump’s evangelical council. AR Bernard explains his departure to Samantha Bee: “Better think carefully what you are given in exchange for your life, your reputation.”

What’s wrong with the pseudo-intellectual Right? Paul Gottfried tees off on D’Souza, Prager, and Goldberg at AC. Gottfried’s conclusion:

  • “there is . . . a plague of genuinely ridiculous writings on historical subjects coming from conservative media celebrities that surpass in their arrogant stupidity almost anything I’ve encountered in professional journals. As for people who yap about the ideologically tainted work that originates in our universities, one might hope they’d be somewhat better than those they declaim against. That’s not always the case.”
Advertisements

Look, Kids, a Real Live Conservative…

The ad hit the Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday.

The University of Colorado at Boulder is looking for a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy.  Chancellor Philip DiStefano disputed criticism that this move was either a sop to politically powerful conservatives or a strategy to hire one “token” conservative on a liberal campus.

The original plan to fund a full Chair has been scaled back to a three-year pilot program to bring in prominent visiting scholars, according to a school news release.  The program hopes to bring in a prominent intellectual, not necessarily an academic, to provoke intellectual ferment on the beautiful mountain campus.  Will it work?

As we’ve discussed here recently, the notion that many public universities have been captured by the cultural, intellectual, and political left resonates strongly with many conservatives.  But we’ve also noticed that such “secular” universities are also often home to many conservative students and faculty.

Whatever the true purpose for this new program, I can’t wait to see who takes the job.  Would a young-earth creationist–no matter how distinguished–be considered intellectually respectable enough?  Or, if a young-earth thinker lays beyond the pale, could someone such as Alvin Plantinga or Darrel Falk fit the bill?  Or would the campus powers-that-be prefer a more secular thinker?  How about Paul Gottfried?

Though the university insists it would be open to a scholar as well as an activist, it seems they would prefer someone who speaks as a conservative, not just about conservatism.  That’s too bad.  Some of the most interesting university interactions might come from hiring a scholar of whatever personal beliefs, someone whose work illuminates conservatism in America.  Maybe someone like George Marsden?  Or Ron Numbers?

We’ll be watching to see what shakes out with this position.  Who do you think it should go to?  For those conservatives and scholars of conservatism out there, would you want the job?