Teaching truth or not | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

[TBC: This short essay from the beginning of the 1900s touches upon something which afflicts us today. Liberals frequently cry out "censorship" when a professor is disciplined for teaching something contrary to biblical principles in a BibleSchool. These same advocates for freedom show no restraint when they are in the ascendancy.]

When was the discovery made that men and women of means have no right to found colleges and universities for the impartation to the young of great truth to which they are devoted, and to guard them against the intrusion of professors who teach the opposite? Let this right be generally denied, and it will be found that neither rich men nor poor men will any longer invest their money in such institutions. Men may, if they choose, endow universities free for the teaching of anything and everything that may enter into the cranky brain of any professor who may obtain a position in it, and they may make it unlawful to remove a professor on account of anything under the sun which he may choose to teach; but I believe that no man who has enough sense to make money will ever commit such a folly as to do this. I suppose that even in the University of Chicago, in which it is commonly reported that in the selection of professors no question is asked about their religion, if one of them should begin to teach the divine origin of the Book of Mormon and propagate the innocence of polygamy and free love, his seat would soon be made too warm for him. Or if he should openly teach heathenism, should set up a Chinese joss in his classroom, and induce his classes to offer morning prayers to it, some way would be found to get rid of him; and the only reason why a great clamor would not arise against the tyranny of money in suppressing free inquiry, would be that the fool would have no outside sympathizers this side of China. And right here is the secret of all this clamor. Men who have fallen into errors condemned by the sensible rulers of colleges, newspapers, pulpits, etc., see some of their kind ousted from good places, and by imagination they feel their own corns trodden upon, and they cry out against tyranny and bigotry. This has been the cry of ambitious infidels for ages past; but it has not and it will not deter college authorities who know their own rights from exercising them freely. A nice set of colleges, newspapers and pulpits we should have, if every fellow who could once get into a snug place in one of them should be granted the inalienable right to stay there and do according to his own pernicious pleasure ("Freedom in Teaching," J. W. McGarvey, Short Essays in Biblical Criticism - 1910).