Another institution of higher learning attempting to “reprogram” students and educators of their Christian faith has been called out by one of its own. An Arizona State University (ASU) professor has taken his fight public, urging the Valley of the Sun clergy to discourage the faithful from sending their children to state schools that shun the belief in Jesus Christ as savior.
Professor Owen Anderson, who teaches philosophy and religious studies on the ASU West campus, has been vocal before about the alleged lack of free speech and bullying of students at the institution. “We can let professors and administrators know that we will not send students into classes or universities where their Christian faith is attacked and belittled,” said Anderson. “We can let them know that we will no longer hold our noses and put up with radical philosophies controlling the curriculum.”
Radicalization From the Root
The college campus has been a powerful mechanism for undoing 18 years of parenting. Some students thrive on controversy, and some stay true to their upbringing. The 1960s popularized dope smoking Hippies, and Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor, urged the world to try the psychedelic LSD. “Turn on, tune in, and drop out” became the mantra. But what they didn’t do was stifle free speech. Christians, Hari Krishna, Jews, and Black Panthers—all had a platform.
In 2023, that freedom is gone.
As Anderson describes, “In your day-to-day classroom — in the kind of classroom that teaches decolonizing, anti-racism, infinite genders — that’s the philosophy that I think pastors will be interested to know about and need to know about,” he said.
It’s an environment some people see as steering into the radical left skid. A recent onboarding course, “Fighting the Gender Bias” for academics and support staff, begs the question posited by the professor: “Can Christians work at ASU without facing discrimination? Will Christian employees be forced to agree that there are infinite genders?” asked Anderson.
In 2007, the Acton Institute warned parents and students traditional colleges would not welcome the Christian seeker of knowledge. Ray Nothstine, editor at the Civitas Institute in Raleigh, NC, discussed the data accumulated:
“The findings about attitudes toward Evangelicals actually turned up in a study designed to gauge anti-Semitism. The analysis was conducted by Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research. In the survey of 1,262 faculty members across 712 public colleges and universities, Evangelical Christians scored the highest unfavorable rating from faculty with a 53 percent, while Mormons placed second with 33 percent. Jews scored the lowest unfavorable score with 3 percent.”
Sixteen years later, we can unfortunately recalculate Jewish popularity with undergraduates, grad students, and faculty who openly support Hamas.
A Christian Crusade Against Bullying
Past classes at ASU have come under fire for student shaming. Dr. Christofer Bang taught a Biology 100 level (mostly first-year students) and was heading a discussion about evolution versus creation – a common argument debated in college classrooms. Regardless of the belief system of students and lecturers, Christian kids were offended out of the gate with the first slide in the presentation. On the left side was a depiction of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. On the right was a picture of Jesus Christ throwing lightning bolts, creating man with a thought bubble proclaiming “Magic!”
The instances of anti-Christian offenses built up for Anderson, and he is taking his message and his mission to those who congregate in Faith—whether he can get through or not. But his warning is worth consideration by parents and clergy alike: “Pastors, the radical philosophies that are normalized in many ASU classes are direct attacks on Christian belief. They teach that Christianity is merely a system of social control,” he posits.
“We can let professors and administrators know that we will not send students into classes or universities where their Christian faith is attacked and belittled,” said Anderson. “We can let them know that we will no longer hold our noses and put up with radical philosophies controlling the curriculum.”
Perhaps the lone professor will expand his audience and spread the word. But more likely, he will be turned off, turned down, and tossed out of academia itself.