Being a Christian in Academia Can Be Costly
What happened to a Christian on his journey to a PhD is shocking and shameful, but his situation was far from unique.
Corey Miller finally decided to tell his story. On his path to a PhD in philosophy, he was blocked, persecuted, censored and shamed repeatedly. Why? Because he couldn’t fulfill the academic requirements? No. He titles his article in The College Fix, “I was forced out of my PhD program because of my open faith in Jesus Christ. Here’s my story.” Proceeding from undergrad to PhD as a Christian was a continual battle. Here are some of types of censorship and persecution he endured:
- Told to shut up from sharing his Christian views in a freshman class, and given an F.
- Received prank calls at 3 in the morning from classmates mocking his faith.
- Called schizophrenic and delusional by his psychology professor.
- Dropped by an atheist grad advisor and forbidden to proceed in his PhD studies.
- As an adjunct professor, was threatened by professors and students.*
- Forced to go overseas to complete his PhD.
“Following these experiences as an undergrad, grad, and professor, I realized how hostile universities can be at all layers of strata if you don’t believe the right doctrines. Higher education has become so thoroughly secularized that an alternate viewpoint is foreign, unwelcome, attacked and pushed out. Ultimately I finished my PhD in philosophical theology from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in 2014.”
*He was exonerated from accusations by students and professors with help from the ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom), but the persecution continued.
The censors were relentless. When Miller was outspoken about his faith, he was censored. When he was secretive about his faith, he was outed and censored. When he tried the Trojan Horse approach (enter academia and become one of them), he was outed and censored. It had nothing to do with his qualifications. The reason was the intolerant, profoundly anti-Christian bias in academia:
Surveys often show the ratio of liberal to conservative professors for those over age 65 preparing to retire is 12:1. For the new scholars coming in under age 36 it is 23:1. In some departments it is literally 70:1. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is an oncoming train.
Marxists, LGBT activists, and leftists get a free pass to say anything they want on most college campuses. Christians, however, face harassment, persecution and censorship. Given his experience, Miller decided to do something about it.
Instead of a Trojan Horse approach, today I fight with a full frontal assault. Shortly after earning my PhD I became president and CEO of Ratio Christi: Campus Apologetics Alliance.
Miller sees the situation as a fight, not just for freedom to speak up for Christian faith on college campuses, but to preserve the very existence of a Christian voice there. It’s a fight for our culture and civilization as well, he warns.
We believe not only in defending the faith, but also in defending the ability to defend the faith, whether it is speech codes, speech zones, denial of campus funds, or variant all-comers policies where we cannot get clubs approved if we insist on our leaders being Christians.
We’ve been involved in at least 17 cases of legal proceedings, won a federal victory at one university and recently won another this month.
Slaughtering, Silencing, and Censoring the Darwin Skeptics
One of our contributing writers, Jerry Bergman, alerted the editor of CEH about Miller’s story that was published May 22. Dr Bergman knows a lot about persecution of Christians and creationists in academia. For 30 years, he has gathered case studies similar to Miller’s, and has published them in books and articles. His first major book on this subject, Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters (2008, 475 pages), with 45 five-star reviews on Amazon, shocked readers with accounts of more than ten famous persons who suffered the unfairness and censure of Darwinists in academia and the press.
As the university goes, so goes the culture. The university is the most influential institution in western civilization. From it come our doctors, lawyers, political leaders, journalists, artists, k-12 educators and even future professors. Stalin once said “ideas are more powerful than weapons. We don’t allow our enemies to have weapons. Why should we let them have ideas?” And Abraham Lincoln said, “the philosophy in the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” —Corey Miller
Bergman’s second book, Silencing the Darwin Skeptics: The War Against Theists (2012, 385 pages) added five more lengthy accounts of additional victims, plus short accounts of 15 more. In addition, this book called out specific institutions for persistent violations of rights of “Darwin skeptics”— a term broader than just Christians, creationists or theists. Darwin skeptics include anyone who doubts the secular consensus that Darwinian evolution is capable of explaining the world and the universe. Bergman also shows why appeals to the typical legal organizations that are supposed to protect our rights (ACLU, NEA, and AAUP) usually fail, because those organizations are just as hostile as the Darwinists in academia, as are the courts. Most interesting in this book are discussions of the tactics these totalitarians use to ridicule and silence those who refuse to bow the knee to St. Darwin. Bergman compares these tactics to those used by the Nazis.
“Christians largely founded the university as a prominent feature of western civilization. But today we fight for our right to exist on the campus. The powers of secularism don’t lose any sleep over Christian marginalization. But Christians who sleep rather than fight for our right sacrifice not only our voice, but that of western civilization.” —Corey Miller
The third book in the series, Censoring the Darwin Skeptics: How Belief in Evolution Is Enforced by Eliminating Dissidents (2018, 495 pages), contains all new material, providing a strong capstone to the whole trilogy. Eight new case studies are presented in detail, but before them, Bergman reveals the tactics of the censors. For ten chapters, he describes pervasive censorship against Darwin doubters in our society and how the perpetrators do it everywhere, using tactics both subtle and blatant. For instance, bookstores and libraries hide intelligent design books written by PhD scientists in the religion section, but showcase Darwinist books by atheists like Richard Dawkins in the science section. Reporters grab boilerplate pro-Darwin, anti-creationist text for their stories, and rely on Darwinist talking points whenever discussing views skeptical of Darwinism. Schools give failing grades and even oust students who try to present non-Darwinian material in class. Universities deny grants, research results and internet access to Darwin skeptics. State legislatures deny accreditation to institutions wanting to teach creation or ID. Peer reviewers refuse to publish results critical of Darwin (that tactic and pre-censorship of textbooks ensures that students and researchers never even get exposed to alternate ideas). With all this disturbing documentation, Bergman also asks, “Is theistic evolution a solution?” The answer, surprisingly, is “No.” The Darwin-only dogmatists are just as hostile to compromisers!
The author of the New Testament letter to the Hebrews said, “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4). Could it come to that? One of the suspects in the Colorado school shooting May 8 hated Christians and President Trump, WND reported but praised Obama. His accomplice was transitioning from female to male, says the NY Times. This is not the first deadly attack in America motivated by anti-Christian hate, nor will it likely be the last.
The wealth of referenced documentation Dr Bergman has provided in these three large volumes should be a call to arms. Our society prides itself on free speech, free expression, and freedom of conscience. Any student or employee who meets the requirements and passes the tests should be respected, but when it comes to evolution, only one view is allowed. Darwinists are rigid totalitarians. Students are not allowed to question Darwinism and the scientific materialism it entails, and if they do, the consequences to their careers and reputations can be dire. Bergman describes how David Coppedge was accused of “harassment” at JPL for merely sharing material on intelligent design with friendly co-workers. For that infraction, he was demoted, threatened and eventually fired despite a 14-year good work record. Defending himself in court, even with ADF’s help, cost him tens of thousands of dollars of his own money, and close to a million dollars in lost income he would have earned before his planned retirement. A liberal judge ruled against him with no explanation, and then ordered Coppedge to pay JPL’s court costs of $51,000. Out of work and facing cancer surgery, he had no choice but to drop his right of appeal in exchange for not having to pay the court costs (as if JPL’s well-paid lawyers and international legal team needed the money). “The Coppedge case illustrates with gut-wrenching clarity,” Bergman writes, “the behind-the-scenes deceit and plotting we have similarly observed while reviewing many of the cases presented in this trilogy” (p. 371).
Get these books, especially the most recent one, Censoring the Darwin Skeptics. Know what the Darwin doubters are up against. The same tactics continue today against Darwin skeptics and against our entire cultural history, founded as it was on the self-evident principle that we are “created equal,” and “endowed by our Creator” with unalienable rights. But like the censors in 1984, Darwinians rewrite history in their own terms, blotting out the memory of great scientists opposing Darwinism, and using every shenanigan they can to prevent impressionable students from hearing alternatives. Empowered by unions, lawyers, courts, the press, journals, professors and even the government sometimes, the totalitarian Darwinist empire seems impregnable. The task of speaking out seems daunting. While we have some avenues remaining to fight (like the internet, with CEH as an example), we must take advantage of them. Would that more had Corey Miller’s spirit that this is no longer time for a Trojan Horse approach; it is time for a full frontal assault. Go into it well armed, because knowledge is power.