Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why is Santorum so afraid of young people getting a college education?

Here's what Santorum said this week:

On the president’s efforts to boost college attendance, Santorum said, “I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely … The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”

He claimed that “62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it,” but declined to cite a source for the figure. And he floated the idea of requiring that universities that receive public funds have “intellectual diversity” on campus.

I'd like to address that one from my own personal experience.

Santorum might put me in that "62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment and leave without it." But there are 2 catches: First of all, I still considered myself a christian when I graduated from college, but the seeds of doubt had been sown. And secondly, I actually went to a private christian fundamentalist college. So whassup?

A friend of mine who graduated from the same college said something very profound about our common experience there are few years ago. He said, "The problem with _______ College (a liberal arts school) was that they were trying to do two mutually exclusive things at the same time...teach dogma and teach you how to think." Nothing I've heard before or since has captured my experience so perfectly. When I left there the questions were beginning to outweigh the power of the dogma. In other words I was beginning to learn how to think for myself.

That's what Santorum is so afraid of when it comes to higher education...that it will teach young people how to think - for themselves.

10 comments:

  1. Thinking for yourself is one of the reasons more educated people tend to be more liberal.

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    1. I agree totally Jerry.

      But I always need to add this caveat. I've also run into my fair share of left-wing dogmatists. So its not the exclusive domain of the right.

      Delete
  2. Hi Everyone,
    I find that growing up in an ultra-religious household has the same impact. The religious dogma of speech, dress, mandatory attendance and fear are drilled into one soul. But parental teaching is think for yourself, dont do foolish things, dont let other people tell you what to think!

    You go out into the world and begin to challenge the religiosity and BAM! Your parents are profoundly "disappointed" in you!

    So I set my kids completely free! Virtually no religious "training" of any kind not even baptismal. They have soared! No drugs, jail, truancy, unkindness, etc. Whoda thunk it?

    Rick might consider that is what his kids will do and there is nothing he can do about it. The Romney kids, on the other hand, are still very much coccooned in both the family faith and the family business! I am saddened and do not hold out much hope for them...just look at their father!

    Just look at President Obama! Which would you rather be?

    Smilingl8dy

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  3. In my experience, college does make you lose your faith. I was a Baptist Lay Minister prior to going to College (Ole Miss). I had a crisis of faith about 4 months later about the treatment of a gospel singing group in a church I was preaching at. If God exists, he wouldn't play favorites with hypocrites. I am currently an atheist believing in re-incarnation.

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    Replies
    1. That's okay! At least you are thinking for yourself and using it to define your own behaviors and beliefs.

      I think that lots of time a precipitating event is better than just getting weary and tired of it all.
      Smilingl8dy

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  4. Santorum fears the loss of power. That's all that is. It's much easier to manipulate people when they believe that someone like John Hagee is an honest person. Liberal Arts classes are meant to challenge a person's given assumptions. Talking points don't work on people that are educated. Santorum would rather live in a country where he doesn't sound like he lives in a padded cell.

    Wait until an atheist runs for president. This person will definitely be a democrat.

    Vic78

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  5. People like Santorum always make me wonder how grounded they are in Christianity. I tend to believe that they are harboring some serious doubts in the backs of their minds, and that this is what compels them to immerse themselves in it to an extreme point. I was a Christian when I entered college, and a Christian after I graduated, but my form of Christianity bears no resemblance to that of the charlatans that are competing against each other for the position of #1 Christian on the Planet. I think the difference between myself and them is that I actually read/study my Bible and work to put the teachings of Jesus into practice.

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  6. The funny thing is, when I was growing up people thought I was going to be either a doctor or a minister. Neither career interested me in the least, but somehow everyone thought that was where I was going to go.

    I don't recall college as taking me away from formal religion. It was more due to being able to think, and also a good deal of study of various religious books and the history of religion. I probably know the Bible better than many of those who claim to be "true believers." I have nothing against religion, or against Christianity in particular. I do, however, have a great deal against those who seem to be focusing on the "punitive" sections and ignoring the parts that require you to look after others.

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  7. Can we also talk about how insulting Santorum's statements are to students who are dreaming of bettering their prospects by getting an education? And how does that sound coming from someone who has a masters degree and a law degree himself? Not to mention, as I discovered on TPM this morning, that only a few years ago Santorum was bragging on his own Senate campaign website, about how much he supported the dream of making college more affordable for all who want it. But when President Obama supports something like making college more accessible for all, it becomes anathema to Republicans candidates.

    http://www.hopeandchange.net/2012/02/indoctrination.html

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  8. Right-Wingers always hate education. Once people learn to think for themselves they reject the meanness and insular ignorance of conservatism. Education turns people away from the things Santorum holds dear and it weakens the Patriarchy which is where Santorum has spent his whole life and through which he has achieved all his success.

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