Last September, Rutgers University-New Brunswick student and Campus Reform correspondent Peter Cordi took on an autobiographical essay assignment for his “Gender, Race, and Sexuality” class. His approach was to write about a homosexual friend’s troubles with his mother, a strong Christian who, apparently, does not approve of people “identifying” as gay.
So Cordi quoted the Bible as a way to bolster his argument that, perhaps, this woman might be mis-reading the Scripture.
Whether Cordi is right or wrong in his position isn’t the matter. The matter is how his professor, Kathe Sandler, reacted.
'Avoid quoting scripture in academic papers unless you are commenting on scripture,' Sandler wrote.
Which makes it more than a bit difficult to write a paper debating what Christians are or are not directed by God’s Word to do when they meet a person who is gay.
The idea that one shouldn’t quote scripture in an academic paper is so utterly vacuous and elitist that it’s almost difficult to fathom how ignorant a person must be to assume that “academia” cannot delve into Biblical scripture. In fact, it precludes such a vast range of scholarly explorations, much of Western Civilization, from Thomas Aquinas, to John Locke’s philosophy, would be off-limits to academic papers.
But Cordi received a B+ for his paper, and was marked for the two Bible quotes he cited in it (a paper, remember, in which he employed Bible quotes to support his argument that Christians should love the sinner even if they dislike the sin). So he asked for a meeting with his supercilious teacher, finding out this:
In an exclusive recording of this conversation, Sandler can be heard elaborating on her written remarks by reminding Cordi of ‘separation of church and state’ and that the Bible ‘may not be for everyone.’ When Cordi asked if the professor found the use of scripture offensive she replied by saying ‘I think for instance this wouldn't work for a Muslim or Jewish person.’
Which is completely irrelevant, since the argument Cordi was creating was for his own autobiographical essay about a gay friend and his Christian mom.
Talk about fatuous. This woman implies that there's something improper in quoting Christian thought for a paper centered on Christian thought, and then she has the audacity and displays the ignorance to talk about a “separation of church and state”.
'My right to free speech and religion have certainly been violated. Separation of church and state is supposed to protect the church from the state, and if I want to quote the Bible and say that Jesus loves everybody, then it is my right to do so whether you're a Christian or not,' Cordi told Campus Reform.
If the bosses at Rutgers want to become completely private and not take any dime of government money for grants or students who get government aid, they’re free to crush a student’s speech and religious expression as much as they want to – and people are free to leave the school in droves, driving down their income, and making it harder to pay professors like Sandler. But if they take a dime of money expropriated by taxation, the school has absolutely no right to shut down anyone.
On two levels, this story says a lot. It shows us the towering ignorance of some supposed “professors” in leftist, post-modernist, social justice classes as they parrot tired clichés about “separation of church and state” even as they crush students’ ability to engage in real, scholarly investigations.
It also shows how much more choice we could have if these institutions were truly private and operated in a real competitive market.