Conservative Correctness Run Amok
Williams Prof Marc Taylor has a very interesting piece
in the NYTimes. While Taylor's view is obviously more focused on religion than on the broad notion of culture, I have long maintained
that the modern Conservative Movement is far more dogmatic in regarding what is socially acceptable and proper to say or do when compared to the supposed political correctness of the left. It seems odd that I even feel the need to point this out.
I don't agree with Taylor that this religious "push back" is a mirror image of the left's political correctness. Rather I think Conservative Correctness is indicative of an emboldening of the cultural right which likes to play the victim for political gain while misinterpreting and/or abusing the First Amendment, either through stupidity or intentional obtuseness. In my mind, when the indoctrinated, such as the college student that Taylor mentions below, get uppity, it is just the natural next step of the David Horowitz/Rush Limbaugh, thumb-in-the-eye, "liberals need to be marginalized" school of thought.
It's a good piece. Click on the link and register (it's free) to read the whole thing:
At first glance, the flourishing of religion on campuses seems to reverse trends long criticized by conservatives under the rubric of political correctness. But, in truth, something else is occurring. Once again, right and left have become mirror images of each other; religious correctness is simply the latest version of political correctness. Indeed, it seems the more religious students become, the less willing they are to engage in critical reflection about faith.
The chilling effect of these attitudes was brought home to me two years ago when an administrator at a university where I was then teaching called me into his office. A student had claimed that I had attacked his faith because I had urged him to consider whether Nietzsche's analysis of religion undermines belief in absolutes. The administrator insisted that I apologize to the student. (I refused.)
My experience was not unique. Today, professors invite harassment or worse by including unacceptable books on their syllabuses or by studying religious ideas and practices in ways deemed improper by religiously correct students.