Just get on I35 and head north to Iowa, and pop into Southwestern Community College. Have a little conversation with Dr. Linda Wild, Vice President of Instruction. Mention the name Steve Bitterman. Bitterman was teaching a course in western civilization, one in which he uses the Old Testament, and here’s what he taught them:
“I put the Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other religion. Their god wasn’t given any more credibility than any other god,” Bitterman said. “I told them it was an extremely meaningful story, but you had to see it in a poetic, metaphoric or symbolic sense, that if you took it literally, that you were going to miss a whole lot of meaning there.”
Students afterwards said that was “denigrating their religion,” and some students threatened to see an attorney. (Some students need to grow a thicker skin. They should have a little conversation with me: Steve Bitterman will seem like a saint of the church afterwards.)
So here’s a professor stating a simple and obvious truth; dogmatic, ignorant students start bawling that he hasn’t affirmed their superstitions; the students go crying to lawyers and college administrators; and what do you think happens? Do you think maybe the administration supported their faculty’s secular mission and need to teach the facts?
No. Bitterman was fired.
Now there’s a story for Mark Mathis and Ben Stein. Do you think they’ll follow up? It’s perfect for their movie!
I’m not so keen on it myself. If we have to teach all of our courses as if the bible were literally true, after all, we might as well shut down the universities and send all the students off to a bible college. But then, that’s what the creationists want, isn’t it?