I was given the chance to teach about the history of the science-religion contact in American life at a Dallas community college that is very politically blue and ethnically a minority campus, surrounded as Dallas is by an ocean of red counties.
Given white evangelicals voted for Trump at a 4:1 ratio, and given the Chronicle of Higher Education documents the growing difficulty of bringing conservatives to campuses to speak, I was faced with an opportunity and a problem.
The Institute for Creation Research is right here, and its influence reaches millions of Americans including many students I have right now. Why not invite a staff member to class to dialogue with students?
I tell them ahead of time I am not trying to tell them what to think about science and religion, but to simply give them historical context for the interface over time.
I asked my dean and he looked at me as if to say, “Do you want to bring the Nazis to campus?”
Free speech has become a huge problem at public colleges. With Trump, even more huge.
So here are the homeschooled students and Christian school students in my classes, interacting with their non-Christian peers for the rest of their lives.
Can a creationist be heard in this political fracas we live in, or are we all doomed to live in silos?
If you have any suggestions here is what the dean said.
“You must collaborate with your colleagues and collectively appeal to the president.”
So my options are…
Be a controversial loose cannon and sneak the ICR staff into class without telling anyone, and get labeled as a right-wing wacko for the rest of my teaching career.
Cancel the event for now—I was planning on November 15, and the ICR staff teaches at a church in the immediate neighborhood of the college—and negotiate for a year or more to see if a collaboration is possible.