So just to set the record straight, I don’t find college students or their recent campus demonstrations offensive. I find them slightly frustrating, but that is not the definition of offensive and this distinction is very important.
A television show depicting an abortion to the tune of Silent Night a month before a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of their Savior is offensive. Having people disagree with you or encountering a group of people with whom you disagree is not offensive, it’s part of life.
With this clarification made, let’s proceed.
After writing the article I miss debate I read another really great article from a man who also misses debate and went a bit deeper than I did in discussing American political life as a whole with special attention to what is happening on college campuses. And I wanted to look past the raw emotionalism and narratives of oppression and talk about the implications of this recent social shift.
Everywhere I turn I see the trend of demonizing dissent. The idea that it is dissent and disagreement alone that are responsible for the violence in the world, that the problem is not the behavior of the individual or a collective group, but the freedom of thought in the first place. In other words, now it is not enough to respect opinions that differ from your own. Now you have to conform, you have to agree with the larger narrative put forth by the media, the state, and the cultural elite who encompass the public sphere. In fact, the mob style justice and puritanical call for discipleship to these worldly dogmas of tolerance, equality, moral relativism, and a secular social code rather like the manual used at the beginning of the Lego Movie really get to me because, not only are these protests waged by college students around the country, they stifle true democracy. What they are instead promoting is a tyranny disguised as a democracy that is nonetheless audacious enough to claim it is a better version of that which it seeks to imitate.
And not a single student raised their voice to question the sweeping entrance of this imposter. Perhaps that is truly the problem of Yale, that rather than declare this movement an enemy of liberty and reason they believed the movement to be part of a cause so infallible that they deemed reason no longer necessary in the first place, rendering debate a moot point. They substituted reason with representations of their movement and because the representations were pleasing to them they looked no further, coaxed into believing the lie that because there is no truth there is virtue in passionate commitment to whatever is true for them. They welcomed this new train of “thought” with open arms and diminished the light of liberty with the hostility of a passionate mob inflamed against all those dare defy the mighty cause they have taken upon themselves to join in representing.
And this is progress? This is the visionary and sweeping change we’ve all been longing for? What exactly are we progressing towards?
I’m not sure I want to be around to see it because freedom is unwelcome in this new environment that seeks not a Christian love of God and truth, but a conformity to a new secular authority represented by the state. And if this is allowed to happen the first to be targeted will be anything deemed as opposition to this movement, which will include one of the things I love most, the thing that gives me both the tools of reason and the mercy required for love, the freedom of religion. And I cannot ignore my firm belief that whatever good this progressive agenda promises as the end result of their efforts there will be no true victory for anyone.