As I meet and speak with other students, as I notice which groups are setting up where and how often, I am struck by how great a presence religion has on campus. To be sure, it is always Christians evangelizing, but my concern stretches to any faith-based tradition.
Religion does not belong on campus.
We are here to learn. Importantly, we are here to sophisticate our knowledge.
When learning, it is crucial to be receptive and to recognize and resist barriers and biases. Given the culture that we have, most of us grow up knowing some version of a religious thinking well before being able to properly understand mathematical, scientific, historical, poetic or artistic concepts.
Religious values are deeply ingrained and easy to understand. Is this not the largest, most robust barrier that could exist? Is it not true that, even now, Christians impulsively reject essential scientific truths, like evolution?
In fact, the Bible, key to the Christian worldview, is wrong or silent about every major discovery and innovation we’ve made. The Bible is wrong about the shape of the Earth (Genesis 1:6-8, Revelation 7:1), wrong about the moon’s light (Genesis 1:15), wrong about the rotation of the Earth (Ecclesiastes 1:5), wrong about the age of Earth.
It is wrong about women’s role in society, wrong about homosexuality, wrong about slavery. It is likely wrong about free will. The Bible tells us nothing about germs, genes, cells, anatomy, computers, medicine, physics. If someone holds a belief which deeply informs them on any given topic, and if that belief does not permit for regular updates, then that belief system is directly opposed to the work of being a student. Many of the things that Christianity has been wrong about are ignored or discarded. Few people think the Earth is 6,000 years old. People wear mixed textiles. Churches make a show of their acceptance of LGBT+ folks instead of murdering them.
What drives this sort of progress that allows people to ignore supposedly divine and factual claims of a Bronze Age text? It is the unrelenting pressure of mounting evidence. It is a commitment to secularism. It is a dedication to the separation of one’s personal beliefs and the functioning of a society as a whole — it is the active prevention of priests and pastors dictating to us what the best way to live is. It is a stance which tries to determine what is best for humans, and not what is best for Christianity.
The religious student must be equally dedicated to keeping their personal faith as personal as possible, so they can learn about and understand the world accurately. The continued existence of societies in general totally depends on secularism because otherwise the scientific illiteracy prevalent now will doom us all. That is why I think that churches like Wake, Sagebrush, Copper Pointe and Calvary Chapel should not advertise here, have no place on campus and should be actively rejected by the student body.