Unfavorable feelings towards ideologies

Volokh, Eugene VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Tue Aug 14 09:44:22 PDT 2007

	I appreciate Rick's point, and I agree that professors ought to
be careful in class -- and certainly in grading exams -- about
expressing disdain for many ideologies, whether religious or otherwise.

	In class, a few ideologies, I think, can rightly be disdained;
but there should be a substantial zone in which the professor may
express disagreement but should do so in a way that fosters serious
debate.  Certainly a class discussion of same-sex marriage won't go far
if the professor calls one view homophobic (or the other sodomitic, for
that matter).  Likewise, a class discussion of economics won't go far if
the professor describes one mainstream view as countenancing the rape of
the working class.

	But as I understand it the survey (at least as Rick's post
quoted it) did not try to capture how professors behave in class --
whether they express their views constructively and politely, for
instance.  Rather, it meant to capture what professors believe, and whom
they have unfavorable views towards.  Why is it so shocking that
professors would have unfavorable views (not necessarily hatred but
unfavorable views) towards, say, evangelicals, any more than that they
would have unfavorable views towards Socialists or free-market advocates
or libertarians?



	From: religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Rick Duncan
	Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:37 AM
	To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
	Subject: Re: Unfavorable feelings towards ideologies
	I appreciate Eugene's distinction between hating the sin and
hating the sinner, but it is very easy to overlook this distinction when
one is creating a classroom atmosphere or even grading papers.
	If a professor expresses in class his disdain for "homophobes"
or for "fundamentalists" or for persons who base their worldviews on
"religious superstition" as opposed to secular first principles, does
the professor not create a hostile and unwelcoming environment for
students who belong to conservative religious faiths. Is this consistent
with all the rhetoric we hear in Academe about how intellectual
diversity is essential to a rich educational experience for all our
	Should  support for same-sex marriage or domestic partnerships
be a condition for successful completion of a degree in social work?
Should it be relevant to your grade on a paper that focuses on family
policy and law?
	My son is a senior in high school (a national merit qualifier),
and we are not even considering "secular" colleges for his education.
Why go to a place where you are hated?
	But notice this is all the more reason why state scholarship
programs should not exclude religious colleges or "pervasively
sectarian" religious colleges from participating. 
	Separate and equal is one thing; separate and unequal is another
thing indeed.

	Rick Duncan 
	Welpton Professor of Law 
	University of Nebraska College of Law 
	Lincoln, NE 68583-0902

	"It's a funny thing about us human beings: not many of us doubt
God's existence and then start sinning. Most of us sin and then start
doubting His existence."  --J. Budziszewski (The Revenge of Conscience)
	"Once again the ancient maxim is vindicated, that the perversion
of the best is the worst." -- Id.


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