Wednesday, June 08, 2005

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

Based on the account in Professor Who Belittled Believers Drops Bid To Head Up a Department - June 8, 2005 - The New York Sun it seems that Brooklyn College associate professor of sociology, Timothy Shortell cannot stand the heat, so he is getting out of the kitchen. After his election as department head, some of his writings were brought to light.
The ones that caused the heat to be turned up were comments like these:
On a personal level, religiosity is merely annoying - like bad taste... This immaturity represents a significant social problem, however, because religious adherents fail to recognize their limitations. So, in the name of their faith, these moral retards are running around pointing fingers and doing real harm to others. One only has to read the newspaper to see the results of their handiwork. They discriminate, exclude, and belittle. They make a virtue of closed-mindedness and virulent ignorance. They are an ugly, violent lot

His supporters claim that comments like that are taken out of context. Will somebody please show me a "context" where such phrases like "moral retards" can be construed as anything short of bias against people of faith. That does not wash any better then his claim that his academic freedom was some how abridged. Mr. Shortell, academic freedom is not a garantee that your opinions will be embraced without reaction. Such inflamatory comments are quite sufficient to raise questions about your possiple bias regarding students and faculty members who might be people of faith.
I am also not impressed with the defense that there have been no complaints of bias against him. Does that nobody has complained, or that the faculty has sided with Shortell and rejected the complaint. The "union rep" never made that clear and until he does I will question the veracity of the statement. Along with the Sun and Robert Kaiser of the American Association of University Professors I question if academic freedom is even an issue with regards to what is an administrative post. What he chooses to present in his lectures is one thing. The question, however, remains; can he leave his very public bias in the classroom and not have it taint his administrative duties? Judging from his whining, no.

HT: Michelle Malkin

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