I am a big fan of movie previews. In fact, I consider it to be one of the best parts of the picture show experience. They are entertaining and provide an idea of what is coming next. Some people do not understand it, but I like to get to the movie early to see them. When I see people arrive after they have started, I wonder how they could do that. They might as well not even bought a ticket.
I write all of that to write this. Recently, there was a movie preview that ruined the whole thing. I could not enjoy the movie because the preview stayed on my mind. It was infuriating.
The preview started with a voice that I recognized but could not quite place. Turns out, it was the guy who played the judge on Night Court. When he appeared on the screen, I knew what was coming next.
In A Matter of Faith, he plays a Biology professor who is explaining the theory of evolution. A coed becomes enamored with his teaching ability and his ideas. Her father is not amused because she is hearing something other than the Biblical creation. A struggle between the father and the university follows.
This follows a movie called God’s Not Dead where a college professor tells a class that God does not exist. Then, a student fights for God’s existence.
This is not a post about religion and religious beliefs. I do not care what people think about God, evolution, creation or anything else. However, I care about another central aspect of both films. I am tired of college professors being shown as the bad guys. It is an attack on education, knowledge, critical thinking and my profession.
I have taken a ton of college courses. This has included histories of different religions, philosophy and biology. At no time has a professor stood up and announced that God does not exist.
On top of that, I have worked with many professors, and I have not heard about any of them saying that God does not exist.
Are students exposed to different ideas in college? Yes. That is the whole point of college. While most people may think that it is a training school to get a job, it is actually a place to get a wider view of the world. It is a place designed to broaden the minds and horizons of young adults and prepare them to be well-rounded. For that to happen, they are introduced to concepts that mommy and daddy may not have told them.
This whole notion that college professors are godless intellectuals who are trying to drive religion from the minds of youth is getting old.
When I talk to my students about the Scopes Trial, I explain to them that education prepares them to think for themselves. It provides them with the ability to make up their minds about all sorts of issues. They can believe what they want, but they cannot fully comprehend or defend their beliefs if they do not know and understand the other side.
It is ignorant to continue the line that college professors are evil. However, it is more ignorant to believe something at face value without exploring it and other ways of thinking.