26 October 2010

What has happened to our educational system?

A.M.D.G.

It's official. The more educated and more wealthy people in America are less moral! This is according to statistics stemming from a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. American society has been slowly becoming more and more permissive since the 1940s (see a book on the subject here). Modern secular psychology has been taking over as the dominant guide rather than Christian morality. These things rarely happen overnight. It should come as no surprise that it was a gradual process, slowly eroding our society's morality. What is most sad, though, is that financial success (having or earning more money) and education (going to college) are now associated with lower morality. No longer, it seems, is a permissive attitude limited to the stereotypical "liberal East Coast academic," but rather is a national epidemic. Perhaps now I see why someone once told me that no one with a brain could or should become a catholic. In fact, he told me I was too smart to be a catholic.

As a point of statistics, education and income are generally highly correlated, so we can simplify matters here by just focusing on education. So what is it about our educational system that breeds such liberals?

Let's look at some of the numbers by category....

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Abortion

If you graduate college you are 33.3% less likely to oppose abortion, and you are more than twice as likely to view the murder of unborn children as morally acceptable. College graduates are also almost twice as likely to view abortion as not a moral issue. Higher income also reduces your probability of opposing abortion.

Homosexuality

If you graduate college, you are almost 50% less likely to view homosexuality as morally wrong, about twice as likely to think it is not a moral issue, and almost three times as likely to view it as morally acceptable. Income followed the same trend, though the differences between the income categories in terms of their moral view on this issue were less dramatic than for education.

Alcohol Abuse

If you graduate college, you are a little less than 50% less likely to view alcohol abuse as morally wrong, and well over twice as likely to view it as not a moral issue. What was particularly interesting was that the percentage of people who believed alcohol abuse to be morally acceptable was the same for high school graduates and college graduates, but twice as high for those with some college. Income followed the same trend, though the differences between the income categories in terms of their moral view on this issue were less dramatic than for education.

Fornication

If you graduate college, you are a little less than 50% less likely to view fornication as morally wrong, around 33.3% more likely to view it as not a moral issue, and about 20% more likely to view it as morally acceptable. As expected, income followed in the same trend, but was less dramatic in magnitude. 

Marijuana Use

If you graduate college, you are a little less than 50% less likely to view smoking pot as morally wrong and more than twice as likely to view it as not a moral issue. What was a little surprising was that college graduates were slightly less likely to view smoking pot as morally wrong. So, they either refuse to say it is wrong (the same thing as saying it is right) or say it isn't even a moral issue. Income followed the same trends with about the same proportional changes.

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These statistics make me wonder just what is being taught in colleges these days! They certainly aren't getting any of these notions from my classes! Of course, if I think back to what I witnessed during my college days and time in graduate school, I'm not overly surprised by any of this. My alma mater, despite being a conservative university in the South, still put on a production of The Vagina Monologues, complete with a wall advertisement in the student center about the size of Raphael's mural The Deliverance of Saint Peter. So, I suppose I just shouldn't be shocked that the survey showed that college graduates are less likely to profess Christian morals. 
As I sit here listening to Bach's organ chorale Wachet auf (Sleepers wake), I can't help but think that it is time for America to wake up. What we need is an overhaul of the university system, but the likelihood  of that anytime soon is probably as high as that of getting struck by lightening twice while in a cave. It's not all that bad, though. There are some things we can do.

Christians have got to continue preserving and promoting morality and increase the efforts to do so. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. Yet, if we adopt a permissive, "anything goes" attitude, then morals and society necessarily degenerate. As for universities, we can promote ethics and morality within them, and especially give assistance to Christian universities and colleges, no matter the denomination, in their most valuable mission of educating our youth to be good citizens and good Christians, allowing Christian morality, principles, and faith to guide them in all aspects of their lives. We can promote Christian morals around our communities and in whom we elect to office. We no longer should remain silent.