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Ed Driscoll

Interview: Greg Lukianoff of FIRE on Unlearning Liberty

March 26th, 2013 - 12:06 am

It’s relatively easy for college students to avoid getting into trouble via political correctness, campus speech codes and the stifling of free speech. “Talk to the students you already agree with, join the groups that are ideologically similar to you. Don’t disagree with professors who have strong opinions because they might punish you either in grading or just punish you…if you follow these simple rules, you can really avoid a lot of the trouble that we see at FIRE,” Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, tells me in my interview today.

“But there’s a problem with that,” he’s quick to add. “Talking to the people we already agree with is exactly what’s wrong with our entire society.  And the one institution that could be helping make this problem better is higher education.  But it can’t even come close to working towards that goal if you can get in trouble for having the wrong point of view.”

And these days, as Lukianoff explains during our interview focusing on his new book Unlearning Liberty:  Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, “having the wrong point of view” is determined almost entirely by students and faculty with a hair-trigger sense of aggrievement. Lukianoff explains that each of the following incidents have led students to FIRE:

● Wearing a t-shirt with an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote.

● Being judged by the cover of the books you read. (In this case, the history book, Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan.)

● Having a bible studies meeting in your dorm.

● Campus officials asking “When did you discover your sexual identity?”

And much more. click here to listen:

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(18:35 minutes long; 17MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this segment to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.30MB lo-fi edition.)

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Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

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ari w, In Germany and some other European nations, marriages MUST be officially performed in city council halls first, and any religious rites are secondary and not official. Secondly, Germany maintains churches and religious-linked institutions with government money by levying a tax for this specific purpose. On tax forms you denote whether you are Catholic or Protestant to direct your tax, or I think you can opt out, though you pay the same amount to somewhere else. There is a lot of conformity because of the need to keep up appearances and traditional thinking. So authorities have numbers of nominal religious adherents. In Switzerland my Swiss relative could only use the nice local church for his wedding because he was registered in this way. Hope that helps.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hey, this is off-topic. You linked to Iowahawk, who mentioned that the state doesn't legally keep track of baptisms. First off, some nations do- how do they know they've got X million non-practicing Catholics in Germany, for example?

And, second, the church records function as a parallel organizational paper-trail. The Domesday Book is famous. The church register in each parish in England is used to track baptisms, marriages and deaths. This is useful for tracking inheritance.

Also, when the nazi state began 'disappearing' mental patients- the state got rid of the records- they 'disappeared'- while the parish kept track of baptisms- they had valid records that these people had existed. It's how they discovered the secret state policy- baptized people were being 'disappeared' by the state.

And, also, when the state withers, like the Roman West, the men in charge were usually the bishops- they had reading, writing, paperwork, people skills.St Martin was a Roman who got Bishoped, whether or not he wanted it, b/c that's who ran things- bishops, not romans.

It's a big, huge, giant deal when the state decides to abrogate church paperwork- registering marriages, for instance- or enforcing its own paperwork on the church- requiring gay marriages, against canon law.

America is the longest continuously running government in the world today. It's a little over 200 years old. Even a relative baby, the Lutheran Church, is over twice as old as it. The Lutheran Church has records for the entire time. The Anglican church has watched how many??? English governments die. The church remains. I won't even get into the Catholic or Orthodox or Coptic Church.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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