Archive for May, 2010

Stating the Facts

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Do I have an opinion, you ask, as to whether the professoriate is truly skewed to the left, as David Horowitz and other conservative activists have charged?

I’m minded to quote William Kirkpatrick, “the Great Knock”, who—as you may recall—was the young C. S. Lewis’s tutor. In his autobiography, Surprised by Joy, Lewis records this master in elenchos as saying that he had no opinions on any subject whatsoever, but simply stated the facts and exhibited their implications.

I can’t say that I’ve never opined, but on this subject I’m prepared to emulate “Kirk” and just state the facts—the facts, at least, as I have come to know them within my own discipline of religious studies and, more broadly, among humanities professors and social scientists. With only the very rarest exception, I can tell you unequivocally that they’re liberals to a man, or (as they would doubtless prefer) to a “person”.

It may be an illusion of perspective—after all the tree we’re standing next to always looks bigger than the tree on the horizon—but I’m prepared to speculate, if not asseverate, that religionists are even further to the left than their fellow humanists. Take a look at this bit of satire. It would be even funnier if it didn’t ring so true!