6 Ways Christians Can Fight the 'Cultural Marxism' on College Campuses
Is there any place more hostile to Christianity than the modern college campus? Two Christian college professors explained why, and how believers can fight for their faith in the intellectual hub of the modern world.
"The university is the single most influential tool of Western Civilization," Corey Miller, adjunct professor of philosophy and comparative religions at Indiana University-Kokomo and president of the outreach group Ratio Christi, told PJ Media. "We need to reclaim the voice of Christ at the university."
Ratio Christi (Latin for "The Reason of Christ") is a non-profit organization seeking to do exactly that — to strengthen the faith of Christian students and professors while preaching the Gospel in an intellectually sophisticated way befitting elite institutions.
"I think the church doesn't realize what they're up against when they're sending our kids to the secular baptismal font," Miller declared. He argued that the modern college campus has been overtaken by the ideas of "cultural Marxism," an ideology particularly opposed to faith in Jesus Christ. He laid out six different ways Christians can fight back — not just to keep Christian students from converting to secularism, but to reclaim higher education for the Christian principles which founded it.
1. Understanding the threat: Cultural Marxism.
"Stalin once said ideas are more powerful than weapons: we don't allow our enemies to have weapons, so we shouldn't allow them to have ideas," Miller told PJ Media. He argued that the anti-free speech culture of "safe spaces" where students can go to avoid challenging ideas, "microaggressions" when usual speech can be interpreted as offensive, and "trigger warnings" where any idea which might offend people must be preceded by a warning, comes from the Marxist tactic of shaming any potential dissent.
"The general Marxist approach is to shame or eventually stop any ideas beyond what is politically correct at the time," the professor argued. "When we think of Marxism, we think economics, but that was his third concern. His second was politics and the first was religion. America's had its strength in Christianity in the past, and I think Marxism is a philosophy about the state owning everything and it's got to compete in all the institutions with a Christian presence."
Miller said Marxism must "marginalize the dominant ideology in opposition to it — I think you're seeing that take place in a lot of different institutions."
Carol M. Swain, professor of law at Vanderbilt University, agreed. "The failed ideas of Karl Marx led to the rise of the cultural Marxists who believed that the way you could bring about utopia was to change the culture," she told PJ Media in an interview. Cultural Marxists came from Europe to American universities in the 1920s and 1930s, but their struggle for power flared up in the 1960s.
"The attempt to suppress other viewpoints started back then, but they didn't have the power and positions to enforce it broadly," Swain explained. But over the last 50 years, "they gradually went into universities and started to impose their worldview which involves suppressing anyone who would dissent." She explicitly referenced "microaggressions" as a tactic of silencing dissent.
Now that these people are in power, they no longer call themselves Marxists. "They have imposed a dangerous space and totally antithetical to the idea of what a university is supposed to be about," namely the free inquiry into truth and the fundamental questions of the mind.
"When you hear them describe what's important, it's in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation," Swain noted. These divisions create interest groups which clamp down on dissent, claiming the ideas which undergird Western Civilization are racist, sexist, and homophobic. This ideology unravels the long, hard work of reform Christianity has wrought in the West, and threatens to undo the social good Christians have done across history.
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