ISIS, the Pro-life Movement, and Academic Responsibility

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Higher education in the United States is liberal. This is fact, not opinion. A Higher Education Research Institute survey conducted in 2011 showed that 62.7% of college professors identified as ‘Far Left’ or ‘Liberal’, while just 11.5% identified as ‘Conservative’. While there are exceptions in small, conservative (often Christian) universities, the vast majority subscribes to the left-leaning, politically correct doctrine that has crippled free speech and the proliferation of different ideas on campuses across the country.

As a college senior studying history at a major public university, I have been so fortunate to witness liberal propaganda in all its tired forms. Because history has become entirely subjective, a great deal of the material I read in books and listen to in lecture is distorted. It becomes hard to distinguish truth from opinion as most of the books are written by left-leaning academics — and most of the classes are taught by their friends. It’s exhausting for someone who strongly identifies as a conservative, Christian, but for the most part, I’m educated enough outside the classroom to know the difference between fact and fiction.

But then a very well educated professor (the name and course is really not relevant), chose to use academic authority to insinuate that the violent rhetoric used by the Islamic State is comparable to efforts by the pro-life movement to defund Planned Parenthood. According to this esteemed teacher, the ‘lone-wolf’ terrorist attacks of ISIS fanatics and of white, possibly Christian, males inspired by the pro-life movement are far too similar for the American public not to notice.

I have so many questions about this line of thinking, all of which I could not possibly put into one piece. But there are a few worth mentioning.

First, how can one legitimately call the brutal and public terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and throughout Syria and Iraq “lone wolf?” If the Islamist terrorists, who have sworn their allegiance to ISIS, call out the same thing after beheading/shooting/bombing civilians, have they not proven they are part of a larger group? The whole concept of ISIS is inclusiveness for radical Muslims who share their distorted view of faith. ISIS has established a caliphate, indoctrinates children on the daily, and has a massive social media presence to recruit and encourage terrorists.

Second, the shooting in Colorado was indeed carried out by a lone wolf (I won’t even go into the evidence that he is mentally disturbed). The pro-life movement remains one of the most peaceful, hopeful human rights movements in the history of the United States. Advocacy groups do not encourage violence, but instead reflective prayer and charitable work in crisis pregnancy and women’s centers.

And lastly, ISIS is an extremist Muslim terrorist group. In contrast, the pro-life movement is not religious. While many participants are religious (those religions being Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and even Muslim), others subscribe to no faith. ISIS operates as a terrorist group, adhering to basic tenants of violence. The pro-life movement operates as a social, human rights group, adhering to the basic tenet that all life is sacred. The difference seems clear and rational, right?

In the world of academia, however, ‘clear and rational’ doesn’t always match the agenda (ok, almost never matches it). Liberal college professors use their academic authority to beat to death progressive notions that those who oppose abortion are women hating, religious zealots. These same Christian-bashing professors ironically defend Islam fervently, writing off anyone or any text connecting the faith to ISIS (because how could Muslim extremism possibly relate to the Muslim faith?). The double standard is grotesque, and events like the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado present the perfect opportunity to show it off.

But when professors start to make factually incorrect comparisons between terrorism and the pro-life movement, I can’t help but ask myself, is this really the state of higher education?

Academic responsibility has seemingly disappeared on college campuses. Professors, steeped in liberal ideology and encouraged by political correct administrations, no longer feel the need to adhere to a standard of educational integrity. Why present the facts on both sides when you can simply spend 50 minutes yelling about your personal political beliefs to a room of literally captivated students. Increasingly, what passes as education is nothing more than a subjective, personal view of the world and its problems.

My status as a student, forces me to listen and later regurgitate this gross misrepresentation of the facts in order to pass. Although I partake, I realize that the collegiate institution is becoming a parody of itself. Places that once presented the facts in the hopes of teaching students to think critically for themselves, now force-feed students factually incorrect agenda points. A sense of academic responsibility has died and there is no clearer example of this than the ISIS/Planned Parenthood CO shooting connection.

That a college professor believes ISIS and the pro-life movement use rhetoric that produces similar results should not be shocking. Many who view the pro-life movement in a negative light probably hold this belief.

But a college professor presenting this opinion as fact to a classroom of college students is astonishing, and deeply telling of the academic integrity of professors. It is academically irresponsible for the educators of our nation to ignore the fact that ideas have consequences.

The attacks in Paris were carried out by ideological extremists with close personal ties to ISIS. The Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado was committed by a lunatic with no affiliation with the pro-life movement. The events are in no way comparable. And if academia could put aside their bias for just a moment, maybe this idea would be clear to students, the media, and ultimately  those in charge of running our country.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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About Author

Kate, a native of Philadelphia, is a university student in South Carolina and summer intern at CV. She enjoys travel, photography, and wine.

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