Printer Friendly

Majoring in discrimination.

Parents sending queer children off to college for the first time, beware: Your child's education could be guided by the agenda of the Christian right. Far-right activists are working to reshape the academic landscape of colleges and universities from a democratizing force in our society into a tool of conservative indoctrination--to give religious Republican political influences sway in classrooms and on campuses.

Comprising several student-focused organizations such as Young America's Foundation, Accuracy in Academia, and the Institute for Educational Affairs, the college conservative movement recruits and grooms campus activists. Their goal? To twist higher education into a machine to create a far-right intelligentsia--future leaders who will influence, if not control, public policy debates.

These activists blame the current crisis in education on the erosion of so-called traditional education in favor of giving unmerited advantage to underrepresented groups--including queers. This far-right college movement's influence is already strong and has begun to affect LGBT students' social organizations, support services, courses, admissions, and even the employment of queer staff and faculty.

One stated mission--already successful on some campuses--is to defund gay organizations. Student fees, they argue, should not be used to support groups with which some students ideologically disagree.

Activists on scattered campuses nationwide have a unified communication strategy funded and crafted by the rightwing Collegiate Network, which operates or supports more than 80 student publications. Its antigay rhetoric reaches over 2.5 million students a year.

Meanwhile the National Association of Scholars, a conservative network of college educators, has received millions of dollars to squelch liberalism on college campuses. Its attacks on queer studies have been vociferous and unrelenting, distorting the validity of the field's research and questioning the academic credibility of openly queer instructors. The group defines queer studies not as an academic discipline but as a politicized, identity-focused movement legitimizing LGBT people's sexual promiscuity.

Discrimination against queer students on college and university campuses by forces supported by the Bush administration is nothing new. The Solomon Amendment already strips federal funding from schools that bar discriminatory military recruiters. Now that quest to legitimize anti-gay discrimination is also putting at risk scholarship by and about queer Americans.

This academic censorship is antithetical to a well-rounded education, which is a marketplace of ideas, not judgments, that makes all our children--straight and queer--better professionals, better neighbors, better human beings. That bettor world is now under siege at a campus near you.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Liberation Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:FAITH MATTERS
Author:Monroe, Irene
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Nov 7, 2006
Previous Article:Overstated.
Next Article:Opinions.

Related Articles
Faith-based Fiat: unable to win approval in Congress, Bush forges ahead on controversial religion initiative through executive action.
Evangelical group backs `faith-based' aid, but opposes government regs. (People & Events).
Faith-based victory! Senate approves scaled-back CARE Act without controversial church-state provisions--but other fights remain.
'Faith-based' initiative undercuts constitution, Lynn tells house panel.
NZNO submission ideologically driven.
Battling bias: Americans United challenges 'faith-based' job discrimination at federally funded program in Pennsylvania.
Fair housing v. The Easter Bunny: if decorating for the holiday season caused you legal conflict, this year don't let fair housing violations rain on...
Liberal bias at the UO prevalent, underhanded.
Veterans Department must respect diversity, says AU.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters