Opinion: College does not indoctrinate students

Hank Venetta

Hank Venetta

Hank Venetta is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.Contact him at [email protected].

When I want my mind to heal, I’ll read useless news tidbits on sites like Daily Beast and The Huffington Post.

Occasionally, I’ll stumble across something unbelievably stupid that a politician says. Sometimes it is overwhelming, so I’ll either forget the remark or convince myself it was a dream and that everything’s going to be OK.

Instead of letting the following gem escape into a vacuum of online journalism, I figured, why not preserve it so we can remember that Americans support total idiots.

GOP candidate Rick Santorum recently said some wacky stuff at a campaign event in Naples, Florida. Coincidentally, it took place at a First Baptist Church with an evangelical audience.

“It’s no wonder President Obama wants every kid to go to college,” he thundered. “The indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys to the left holding and maintaining power in America.”

Yikes. Santorum is not only suggesting that universities instruct students to vote Democrat, but that Obama’s fixation on affordable higher education is a ploy for reelection. Oh boy.

My parents warned me about a liberal bias in college. While I see it at times, I say it’s harmless. After all, colleges emphasize the skills to analyze and interpret information. To what extent can facts, numbers, research and critical thinking be biased?

In addition, thinking for yourself is a clear incentive at college, so when professors spill their slanted perspectives, feel free to challenge them.

Here’s a thought: If education and learning, as they’re called, have a mysterious correlation with leftist thought, then that might suggest something about the other side. Cough, excuse me.

“If they taught Judeo-Christian principles in those colleges and universities, they would be stripped of every dollar,” he continued. “If they teach radical secular ideology, they get all the government support that they can possibly give them.”

This is when I get mad and address Rick personally.

Well, Rick, if I want to embrace non-secularism I’ll be in the pews. Nice abuse of the word, “secular,” which you rhetorically group alongside Obamacare, socialism and other misunderstood, hollowed-out words for manipulating your crowd.

Maybe you don’t know the definition of secular, which is the emphasis on bodies of knowledge that do not demand any religious basis. Anyone who thinks outside the box of religion is categorically a secularist.

I don’t think learning would take place if secularism were eradicated or toned-down in education.

Educational institutions should never become non-secular; otherwise, they would amalgamate into religious institutions. The First Amendment is early on the list for politicians who don’t read far, Rick.

What an interesting statement at the end of your speech: “…62 percent of children who enter college with a faith conviction leave without it.”

Nice wordplay, Rick. Adults go to college. As for children, I suspect a lack of choice and church attendance go hand in hand. You know what’s also indoctrination, Rick? Making a state theocratic before anyone gets the chance to question its foundations.

Thank God for college and secularism!