The morning of January 24th, 2018 did not begin happily for the students of LBCC. Sitting in my early morning ethics class, I was expecting (per the syllabus) to learn about subject material related to ‘ethical relativism’ and ‘natural law theory’. Instead, my classmates and myself were greeted by our instructor, forced to read aloud a dictated piece of linguistic garbage sent from high above the classroom before we were even allowed to start our biweekly pursuit of philosophical enlightenment. The subject matter of this bureaucratically forced address was the topic of religious sensitivity; specifically, that some individuals on this campus feel as though their religious ideals are more valuable than the other members of the LBCC student body who wish to pursue knowledge, freedom, and truth without theological restraint. If an ethics class is too challenging, perhaps your place is in the pews, not behind a desk, which could be provided to a student interested in academic pursuit; not mysticism and fantasy.
Religious students have a place to study, speak, and think within the boundaries of their individual theology; it’s called church. You are guaranteed this right by the first amendment of the Constitution. You do not have the right to dictate classroom material in a state-funded institution like Linn-Benton Community College. As there is no official religion for the United States, there can be no official religion imposed or supported by any institution of the Federal, State, or Local government of this country.
I hope those responsible for this absurd intrusion into the academic process are made to answer for their actions. I pay tuition out of my own pocket; if I am further robbed of an opportunity to pursue my education because a religious student’s “feelings might get hurt”, I will be enrolling in another college. There is no place for academic censorship in a public institution of higher learning. Unless, I am somehow mistaken as to the meaning of our college’s mission statement:
To engage in an education that enables all of us to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the cultural richness and economic vitality of our communities.