How do you feel about the following statement:
Science is the litmus test on the validity of the educational enterprise. If a school teaches real science, it’s a pretty safe bet that all other departments are sound. If it teaches bogus science, everything else is suspect…. I want a real college, not one that rejects facts, knowledge, and understanding because they conflict with a narrow religious belief. Any college that lets theology trump fact is not a college; it is an institution of indoctrination. It teaches lies. Colleges do not teach lies. Period.
Does it shock you? Appall you? Mildly surprise you? Or not really?
Would it, however, shock you to know that this statement got a tenured professor, an eminent educator with a handful of teaching awards, fired from the college where he had taught for 35 years? Inside Higher Ed reports that Erskine College fired Professor Crenshaw for expressing these ideas in spite of the fact that he has tenure. Religious fanatics who called for the professor’s dismissal referred to his teaching as “the triumph of anti-Christ” and “secular brain-dribble.”
Well, at least the secular folks have brains. The fanatics seem to recognize that they are terrified all this brain-power might dribble on them and contaminate their empty heads with – oh, horror! – knowledge.
Shame on you, Erskine College. You have traveled the path from being an educational institution into becoming a laughing stock of every educated, reasonable person in the country. You have to decide whether you want to run an indoctrination school for religious fanatics or an actual college where people receive education. Nobody will take you seriously if you don’t mend you ways and invite Professor Crenshaw back with an apology.
I know that people will now tell me, “Well what do you expect from a Presbyterian college?” Actually, what I expect is what an alumna of this college described as its past:
What a shame the Erskine of old no longer exists. It mattered not what faith or non-faith one practiced during my years there. It was a time to grow and bond with close friends I still have until this day – time of discovery – finding out who I was – who I wanted to be.
I would not be the confident woman I am today if it were not for Erskine and professors who made me learn to think – such as Dr. Crenshaw. (And yes, I would never deign to use his first name. He deserves more respect than that).
Thank you for the difference you have made in my life, Dr. Crenshaw. Keep writing on this board. Eventually someone will listen.
I agree with Ms. Janie Bryan Simpson, what a shame!