WARNING: This blog post contains profanities and vulgarities. I am warning you up front. No, I have not joined the emergent movement. I am quoting a professor directly, from a digital audio recording this time, and it is important to know what is being said in classrooms today by those who detest Christianity and who behave in simply outrageous fashion.
Back on September 20th of this year Dr. Lee Carter of Arizona State University and Glendale Community College accused me of lying to my daughter about the authorship of the gospels in his philosophy class. I wrote an open letter to him about the situation here, and a follow up here. He chose not to respond to these letters. It is clear that Dr. Carter does not believe that anyone who believes as I is a rational person worthy of discourse or even the courtesy of response, let alone common respect.
Yesterday my daughter texted me a quote from Carter’s class that left me staring at my Blackberry in disbelief. I texted back, “Too bad that’s not on mp3.” She replied, “It is.” I listened to the entirety of the class this morning while riding, as I did not want anyone to be able to accuse me of isolating things from context. Dr. Carter was going over “Sufi stories,” parable-like stories common in Sufism. He errantly indicated that Jesus told parables to help his listeners understand his message (according to the text, the exact opposite is the case), but in any case, he was going over these stories for some reason or another. As normal, Dr. Carter could not avoid going off on various trails, promoting socialism, decrying capitalism, blasting the United States, etc. At one point he paralleled Ronald Reagan to Hitler and somehow made a connection to the killing of Jews. Later he preached loudly about how people do not think rationally, and as evidence he pointed to the election of…George Bush. Evidently, to be rational is to be a leftist socialist. Every time I listen to this man I am left aghast. But never so much as today.
He came to a Sufi story that had something to do with power temptations. At one point (47 minutes into the lecture) he opines, regarding followers of Jesus when he returns, “We don’t give a crap about your ideas, don’t give us this idea stuff, we can’t understand that shit anyway! It’s the power we want, man, and you’ve got miracles…good enough for me!” Then he speaks about how people would not recognize Jesus were he to come back. “They wouldn’t know who the hell he was.” He speaks of how you might marry someone when you are young and then one day wake up and say, “Son of a bitch! Who is that person I married?” “You were looking through a lot of illusions.” In this context then he made the following statement that became the main element of the text my daughter sent to me after class:
And in fact, if Jesus did come back, the most likely people to put him back on the cross would be Christians, and the most likely people to nail him to the cross would be fundamentalist Christians. They would be the ones who would be nailing that son of a bitch back to the cross, because he’d be the one who’d be refuting what they believe, and they wouldn’t want that. Fair enough? So the most likely guys to be hammering in the nails, they are the guys who elected George Bush, and believe in the literal truth of the Bible, and don’t believe in evolution, because they don’t want to use reason, and they don’t want to think, they’d rather stick to their illusions that hopefully may convince them that they don’t have to be afraid at night when they are all alone, and the devil may whisper in their ears.
This quotation comes 49:40 into the lecture.
Later in the lecture Carter referred to someone who was a “shithead” and asked who that might be like, but stopped himself before stating the obvious: he was referring to the President.
I am not writing this post about how grossly unprofessional and offensive a man Dr. Lee Carter is. That really is not even a question, as I cannot possibly imagine any professional acting the way he does during his lectures.
I am not writing this post about the fact that Dr. Carter gives new meaning to the very properly styled psychological problem “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” I do find his connection of Bush and conservative Christianity shallow, fallacious, and just plain silly, but again, that’s not why I’m writing.
I am not writing this post about Carter’s obvious, deep, imbalanced hatred of Christianity. He is surely not alone in that malady in the academy either.
I am not writing this post as a complaint that my daughter’s ears have been sullied by Carter’s salty language. My daughter works out in the world. She takes drive-thru orders at Starbucks. You would be absolutely amazed at how people talk to her.
I am not writing this post about the language, per se, either. I think it is grossly unprofessional and indicative of a teacher completely out of control, but sadly, things have changed a lot since I was in school, and though I would be summarily dismissed were I to ever use such language, evidently, this is par for the course for Carter. Customer beware. Of course, I have always said, and will always say, “Profanity is for those who lack the intelligence to express themselves in any other manner.”
I am writing this post about the prejudiced, bigoted mistreatment and, yes, I will use the term, persecution, of Christians in a public institution in the United States. It is painfully obvious to everyone that this kind of outrageous rhetoric would never, ever be allowed were the object to be Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, homosexuals, or any particular ethnic group. Carter would have been dismissed long ago but for the fact that his vitriol, his prejudice, his bigotry, is aimed at the sole “allowable” object of such things in decaying Western culture today: conservative, truth-believing, life-changing Christianity. No, Carter knows little about Christianity. He creates a straw man caricature of it in ever single lecture I’ve heard. But the above outrageous, offensive, ridiculous statement, combined with his willingness to accuse Christian parents of lying to their children about the authorship of the gospels without the slightest evidence and in fact against the facts themselves, demonstrates once again the truth of words written long ago, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19).
The world wants Christians to believe that if you will just avoid being “radical” (i.e., if you will live like the world rather than being transformed into the image of Christ) then some sort of peace can exist. But the fact is, it is the world that is radical. Think of it: pots in rebellion against the Potter. Creatures denying their Creator. Those who know God exists, recognize Him when looking outward upon the creation, or looking inward as well, and yet unwilling to confess Him, worship Him, or obey Him. That is radical. That is suppression of the truth. And when the world encounters those of us who have given up our rebellion and bow the knee to the Creator they are so intent upon denying, their anger toward us for reminding them of what they are so desperate to forget knows no bounds.
Just a note for those who will respond to this with, “Just have your daughter go elsewhere!” This is the only class where this kind of thing is taking place. As she has pointed out, she has learned more about philosophy in her modern fiction class than in her philosophy class, and is involved with honors classes, and so she is not complaining. If anything, just as I grew from being the only special creationist in the biology department in college (and that in a Christian school!) and from taking an ethics class in seminary from a pro-abortionist (at least back then he let me debate him in front of the other students—and guess who won?), so too Summer has seen the inherent contradictions in the anti-Christian worldview of Dr. Carter, and has grown as a result. In fact, it has made her appreciate the professionalism of her other professors.