I’ve been following with interest the discussion in the Corner between Stanley Kurtz and Mark Krikorian (this is the latest post in the series) regarding the collapse of belief in the former Soviet Union — and Europe for that matter — and its impact on birth rates, death rates, and upon general European resolve in the face of the radical Islamic threat.
It strikes me that many of these same dynamics explain the behavior of our own universities — especially their continued and persistent negative reaction to the Christian groups in their midst. Collectively, our nation’s universities represent perhaps the first first truly distinct “post-Christian” subculture within the United States — with the universities’ enduring professional classes of administrators and professors almost European in their intellectual and spiritual outlook. The problem of course is that this post-Christian subculture exists within the most religious developed country on the planet, with millions of religious students entering the university system every year.
Because our universities often do not tolerate dissent (again mimicking their European soulmates) and because religious students by and large refuse to self-censor, the stage is set for an enduring clash. The academic professional class encourages hedonism, withers in the face of Islamic terror, and demonstrates only real resolve and courage when facing down religious and social conservatives.