By now, readers of the philosophy blogosphere will know that Leslie Green, Professor of Law and Fellow of Balliol College at Oxford University, recently published a piece on his blog, “Why it is hard to be a campus conservative,” and again published as a guest post at Daily Nous and linked at Leiter Reports. Green’s comments occasioned extensive criticism here at this blog, and also over in a guest post at Daily Nous by Philippe Lemoine, in which Lemoine takes issue with much of what Green had to say.
In his post, Green offered six examples of items political conservatives see as evidence of liberal bias in the modern university. These are, says Green, things that liberals hold to be true, and which it is (or at least should be) impossible to question in a university context:
- Species arose through natural selection.
- No author of any gospel ever met Jesus.
- Homosexuality is a normal variant in human behaviour.
- The United States lost a war against Vietnam.
- Human activity is a significant cause of climate change.
- The United States has worse public health than do countries with nationalized health care
Green takes these beliefs (and no doubt others) to be so evidently true that anyone suggesting otherwise isn’t to be taken seriously. In fact, he goes so far as to say that such people deserve to be excluded from the university altogether: “A university must tolerate, and even welcome, those who follow evidence and argument to conclusions that are false or unpalatable; but it may reject those who seek a platform for hatred or deception.” In other words, there are some ideas the university has the right to reject.
In a way, Green’s very selection of unquestionable truths is itself quite revealing. Anyone half-awake will see that Green was careful not to draw any attention to beliefs that, if discussed, have the potential to be even more devastating to the system he is invested in protecting than the ones he mentions. How about 9/11? Or chemtrails and geo-engineering? Or weather modification with HAARP? Or (gasp) flat-earth? These are things the professorial class will never touch, because if you do, you sure won’t be winning grants, and, more than likely, you simply won’t be on campus for very long.
But setting all that to the side, it is still worth trying to engage Green on his own establishment-leftist level of discourse, if only to show how, even when taken on its own terms, it still falls apart. It is, we will see, internally inconsistent in every conceivable way.
Green’s de facto call for censorship is a very dangerous idea because it is anything but theoretical. He himself has already been directly involved in implementing it at Oxford. There, as is so often the case elsewhere too, the issue centers on the question of homophobia.
In the first week of this September, Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor at Oxford, came under fire from LGBTQ activists. At a Times Higher Education summit, she had said that it was not her job “to make [students] feel comfortable.” “I’ve had many conversations with students,” she went on to say, “who say they don’t feel comfortable because their professor has expressed views against homosexuality. They don’t feel comfortable being in class with someone with those views. And I say, ‘I’m sorry, but my job isn’t to make you feel comfortable. Education is not about being comfortable. I’m interested in making you uncomfortable.’ If you don’t like his views, you challenge them, engage with them, and figure how a smart person can have views like that.”
Her comments caused an uproar. An apology was demanded. A retraction was requested. The Oxford Student Union issued calls for “peer support.” An open letter condemning her remarks was drafted. Initially, it appeared that Richardson perhaps would hold fast. But within a week, she issued an apology and clarified her original remarks, bringing them right in line with the LGBTQ community’s demands.
At the time, it went without notice that Green himself commented on the Richardson imbroglio. See here.
His remarks there go to the heart of his later comments concerning political conservatism that stirred up controversy; recall that the third item on his list of reputed self-evident truths is the normality of homosexual behavior in humans.
In his earlier post on Richardson, he observes that homophobia is prohibited under UK law. That is true. But there is the open question as to what homophobia precisely is. Until very recently anyway, that remained far from clear. Sadly, as recent events are beginning to testify, it appears that anything less than total acceptance and approval of homosexuality is now considered grounds for the charge of homophobia.
But that is ludicrous for many reasons.
To begin with, it is no less true that there is also supposed to be a right to free speech. And not only that, the very same Equality Act prohibiting homophobia also forbids any discrimination on the basis of religion. And therein is the problem. The law is internally inconsistent when it is twisted in the way Green desires it to be. On the one hand, LGBTQ agitators are creating an atmosphere whereby simply expressing any disagreement (for whatever reason) with homosexuality is taken to be illegal as a matter of civil law and university regulation. On the other hand, they disregard the fact that, in maintaining so, they essentially imply that it is permissible to violate the legal rights of others. How so? By contending that anyone disagreeing with homosexuality is guilty of homophobia and thereby subject to university discipline, does not that violate the free speech rights of those who disagree with homosexuality? And more importantly, does it not discriminate on the basis of religion, since, in the case of the biblical Christian, homosexuality is seen to be sin as a straightforward matter of faith?
Does, then, the Equality Act 2010 give universities the authority to effectively outlaw Christianity from the space of reasons? Green and others are behaving as though they think it does, and as yet, no one has expressly come out to correct them. That is what makes the Richardson row so disheartening. Here was a genuine opportunity to uphold the importance of freedom of expression by protecting the freedom of religion, but instead the LGBTQ terrorists successfully bullied their way into getting precisely what they want. As it stands, the unstated but obvious implication is that expressing traditional views of biblical morality is now, at least in the case of homosexuality, grounds for punishment. And yet, is that not itself a violation of UK discrimination law? Hardly anyone raises the question, much less attempts to answer it.
As some have been saying for some time, there are bloody days ahead for anyone who even dares to disagree with the brooding darkness that is spreading over our society. The day is fast approaching when, under the auspices of forbidding discrimination against homosexuals, the state is going to outlaw biblical Christianity. And the university is the first piece of the puzzle that must be put in place to do so.
We are witnessing the systematic erasure of 2,000 years of western civilization. Reality is being swept into the trash heap of history, replaced by a manufactured reality, an illusion crafted in the minds of impure imaginations, marketed with mantras, enforced by intimidation, blackmail, and fear, and celebrated as truth by a browbeaten and propagandized public that knows deep down it is a lie. The next time you are out in public, notice the faces of dread and despair all around you. This is what happens to a society forced to humiliate itself by embracing in the name of love what everyone deep down knows is really only shame.
Still, there is always hope. What we are seeing unfold before our eyes is prophesied. It is the way of the world, and those who know the truth know that the world is passing away.
In the Kingdom, the righteous shall shine like the sun. It would be a happy day if, instead of defending his iniquities and terrorizing anyone who won’t support him in the decision to destroy himself, Prof Green (and, for that matter, everyone who thinks and lives like him) would come to himself, and climb out of the pigsty.
- At the Heart of Progressivism - October 10, 2017
- Do not as we say, lest you be like us - September 23, 2017
- The Lie System: How the University Manufactures a False Reality - September 20, 2017
- First They Came… - April 19, 2017
- “Fake news” and the strong delusion: who’s deluded? - December 1, 2016
- Clinton, Wikileaks, and Spirit Cooking - November 8, 2016
- “Anyone but Trump”? No, no thank you, not when a vote for Clinton is a vote for Satan - November 2, 2016