Presentation on theme: "Christian Faculty in a Secular Education Workplace"— Presentation transcript:
1Christian Faculty in a Secular Education Workplace EDU 746-D01:Conflict Resolution ProjectDeborah DavisLiberty University
2What to expect Introduction Research Summary Problem Summary Conflict SummaryConclusion“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you” (Jer 29:11, KJV)Note that this project deals with Public Colleges and Universities, and the Christian faculty therein. What some references infer for students can be garnered to institutional mores that apply to faculty as well.
3Introduction Educational Roles Diversity, Tolerance, Options ChristianityHistorical requirementCurrent denigrationConflictSpiritual battle“In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33, KJV)In the world of education, participants have a multitude of roles. However, all these professional roles do not usurp the role of simply being the person the educator is. With emphasis on diversity in the workplace, and sensitivity to others, there has been a trend to be more tolerant of minority religiosity – paganism, Wiccan, Islam, and others are to be recognized and tolerated. What, one may ask, of Christianity. For those who are practicing Christians in the public school workplace, the tolerance toward practicing their faith has been dissolving, even denigrated – a far cry from the days when attendance at a Church was mandatory for teaching contracts.This discord creates conflict in the workplace, and within the individual, as Christian warriors address the very real spiritual battle taking place every day in our schools.
4Research the IssueHow are school requirements defined, and where do Christians fit?“(1) establish learning standards for a “no- frills” curriculum,(2) administer assessments to measure their achievement, and(3) impose sanctions if the standards were not met”(Murray, 2012, p. 53)“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14, KJV)It is critical to note the purpose of an accredited school as accreditation is a unifying factor in most institutes of higher education.The purpose of an accredited school is: “(1) establish learning standards for a “no- frills” curriculum, (2) administer assessments to measure their achievement, and (3) impose sanctions if the standards were not met” (Murray, 2012, p. 53)
5Schooling at the Collegiate Level three overarching faiths or ‘comprehensive beliefs’ coexist in uneasy union,RelativismMaterialismIdeological Indoctrination of Change(Holden, 2009, p. 579).“. . . override whatever affirmative discourses of devotion, honour, praise, and joy” (Lathangue, 2012, p. 69).These quotes focus on what happens to students upon entrance to the collegiate atmosphere. I posit that the experience of the students is shared by incoming faculty. The Polinska (2011) reference, in particular, is focused on the academician trying to engage the student.Holden notes, the pursuit of education leads to the indoctrination of ideological change – this culture of relativism and materialism is of the world, and the Christian education must be a light within this darkness, though she be merely the smallest candle, she must let her light shine, that it will “glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, KJV).“In today’s academy, three overarching faiths or ‘comprehensive beliefs’ coexist in uneasy union, so deeply embedded that their authority has become hegemonic” (Holden, 2009, p. 579).“. . . new social identities effectively override whatever affirmative discourses of devotion, honour, praise, and joy they may have imported when they were admitted” (Lathangue, 2012, p. 69).“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, KJV)“. . . a pedagogy of mindful contemplation” (Polinska, 2011, p. 160)
6The Constitution in the Classroom “The amendment was merely intended to ensure the freedom of the states to order the relationship between faith and government” (Holden, 2009, 578).“There is an important difference between restrictions on religious discrimination and restrictions on sexual orientation discrimination” (Affolter, 2013, p. 236).The first Amendment was to prohibit the implementation of a governmental religion. It was never intended to dictate a society that would not be based on Judeo-Christian values and expressions. Sexuality has pushed the limits of privacy and allowed restrictions to personal actions to become moot. However, this is not true of the belief systems and their expression in the secular workplace.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech (U.S. Constitution)
7Summarize the ProblemWhat challenges to students and faculty face when faith comes into conflict with their collegiate presence?“religious employer"(1) have the primary purpose of inculcating religious values,(2) primarily employ only those who share its beliefs,(3) primarily serve individuals of the same faith, and(4) qualify as a nonprofit organization under Sections 6033(a)(l) and 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Internal Revenue Code” (Rudary, 2013, p. 355).“In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33, KJV)Rudary points out the requirements for being a “religious employer” and by negative reasoning, any not meeting these requirements are secular employers.Everything is secular unless it meets the requirements of “religious employer" (1) have the primary purpose of inculcating religious values, (2) primarily employ only those who share its beliefs, (3) primarily serve individuals of the same faith, and (4) qualify as a nonprofit organization under Sections 6033(a)(l) and 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Internal Revenue Code” (Rudary, 2013, p. 355).
8The Secular Workplace for Education “. . .reformulations of secularization theory now taking place, . . .decoupling of higher education and religion”(Gross and Simmons, 2009, p. 102).“Research on the religiosity of American professors has been limited”(Gross and Simmons, 2009, p. 103).“. . .Christianity’s record gives reason to fear that its adherents may fail to treat other positions fairly”(MacKenzie, 2011, p. 688).Gross and Simmons (2009) point out the limited resources specifically on point with the issue at hand. However, they continue to reference the issue for current affect. Throughout history, there have been times when Christianity was oppressively restrictive toward any who would harbor a differing view. Those historical examples seem to be, today, singularly focused on the Christians.“In light of the reformulations of secularization theory now taking place, scholars have begun to reexamine the decoupling of higher education and religion” (Gross and Simmons, 2009, p. 102).“It may be that the secularists are quite willing to explain why—that Christianity’s record gives reason to fear that its adherents may fail to treat other positions fairly” (MacKenzie, 2011, p. 688).“And be ye kind one to another . . .” (Ephesians 4:32, KJV).
9The Constitution in the Classroom “The French exclude all religion from political life. They demand a secular state”(Benson. 2012, p. 180).“Confessional education, with institutional statements of faith, and sometimes also codes of conduct, to be in principle a violation of such unqualified academic freedom”(Heibert, 2014), p. 423).“It may seem, following the various court decisions separating church and state and, more specifically, religion and education, that the relationship between religion and education has long been settled and that religion is indeed absent from the halls of public education and its discourses”(Burke and Segall, 2011, p. 631).The multiculturalism of today’s public school campus is a blend of secularism and the varying influx of religions brought to campus by students, faculty, visitors, and research. While, Burke and Segall (2011) point out a seeming truth, my personal experience shows just how wrong they are. The Bishop case, as depicted in the next slide, illuminates a professor of good standing and tenure, who is chastised, denigrated and censored in his endeavor to show something besides the approved atheistic/agnostic view of the University. Despite prior cases supporting academic freedom as the purview of the academic, the Bishop case shifted academic freedom from the classroom to the institution, effectively silencing the personal or differing perspective of any professor.
10“The Challenge of Academic Freedom” The Bishop Caserestricting Bishop's speech was a part of the university's right,reprimanded for his expressions solely because of the religious viewpoint presented in it“ students have a right to be exposed to all points of view, and that the academic freedom for educators to express various points of view is an important constitutional right”academic freedom is universally regarded as a central requirement of a free society and a prerequisite for social and scientific advancement“ open discussion of religious issues in the classroom is imperative”Bergman (2011) reviewed several cases in his article. Most on-point for this issue is the Bishop case, wherein a tenured professor was denigrated and censored for occasional mention of his personal Christian perspective. It was never a test-able issue, never prominent nor required information, and yet he was denied the ability to speak of his views. “The university blocked Bishop, and only Bishop, from mentioning, even briefly, his personal worldview in the classroom, which he voiced to "help students in understanding and evaluating" his classroom presentations (Bishop V. Delchamps 1991:7 as quoted in Bergman, 2011, p. 143).(Bergman, 2011)
11Address the ConflictHow can educators deal with conflict in the workplace and religious discrimination?“Interpersonal conflicts by their very nature make up one of the most difficult types of human relationships with which to deal”(Stevens, Williamson, and Tiger, 2012, p. 130).“Speak to the world those things which I have heard of him” (John 8:26, KJV)“The university attempts to fulﬁll its obligation to ﬁght harmful discrimination by adopting a policy that forbids several forms of discrimination”(Affolther, 2013, p. 236).Claiming a conflict doesn’t exist will not preclude conflict from existence. Forbidding discrimination does not eliminate discrimination.
12Conflict Resolution Systems Build a culture of CRSelf-determinationLoop-backsProactive CRInformal CRFormal collaborative CRFormal adjudicative processesSeparate power-based actionPeacebuildingEthical IssuesFeedback“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (James, 3:2, KJV)Claiming a conflict doesn’t exist will not preclude conflict from existence. Forbidding discrimination does not eliminate discrimination. As Christians, we are commanded to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, KJV). To censor our Christian speech in the name of academic freedom is a violation of the Constitutional rights under the First Amendment, and more importantly, a violation of our Christian duty.(Barsky, 2007)
13ConclusionAs Christians, we are commanded to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, KJV).To censor our Christian speech in the name of academic freedom is a violation of the Constitutional rights under the First Amendment, and more importantly, a violation of our Christian duty.Claiming a conflict doesn’t exist will not preclude conflict from existence. Forbidding discrimination does not eliminate discrimination. As Christians, we are commanded to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, KJV). To censor our Christian speech in the name of academic freedom is a violation of the Constitutional rights under the First Amendment, and more importantly, a violation of our Christian duty.
15ReferencesAffolter, J. (2013). Fighting discrimination with discrimination:Public universities and the rights of dissenting students. Ratio Juris, 26(2), doi: /raju.12012Baker, J. O. (2013). Acceptance of evolution and support for teachingcreationism in public schools: The conditional impact of educational attainment. Journal for The Scientific Study Of Religion, 52(1), doi: /jssr.12007Benson, J. (2012). Religion into politics?. Dialog: A Journal OfTheology, 51(3), doi: /j xBergman, J. (2011). The challenge of academic freedom. Journal OfInterdisciplinary Studies, 23(1/2),Burke, K. J., & Segall, A. (2011). Christianity and its legacy ineducation. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(5), doi: /Callahan, D. (2012). Out of step: God & me at Harvard & Yale.Commonweal, (19), 14.
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