Jewish Journal


July 12, 2008

More moderate voices replace liberal academics


War protest at UCLA from 1972

My decision eight years ago to leave northern San Diego for UCLA was highly unusual. In my church youth group of about 50, only a few people in the previous decade had enrolled in a big, public, liberal, hedonistic university; most of my peers either took classes at the local junior college or moved to Nowheresville, Texas to attend Abilene Christian University. My parents’ friends were proud of me, yes, but I sensed that they sensed that I might never return, physically or religiously. They were likely right on the first count, but not the latter.

Despite unfounded fears of the secularizing university, worries my parents never shared, I found UCLA to be a fire that refined my mind and helped me to better formulate what I believed in and, when necessary, do what Fitzgerald said was the test of “real-intelligence.”

I had friends who complained of ultra-liberal professors teaching them to hate George Bush, Christianity and Israel. I never experienced this and often thought my friends were playing the victim card too often.

Last week, The New York Times affirmed my feelings that professors on once-liberal campuses have really become quite moderate.

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