UTC avoids offense, kills prayers, soothes society with queer studies

UTC this week caved to cajolings of the Freedom From Religion foundation and banned the free exercise of Christian prayer before football games.

“We need to make sure there is never anybody that goes away from our campus, our stadium, our arena or classroom or work, that feels like they have been excluded or feel uncomfortable in any way,” Chancellor Roger Brown said.

“This is becoming a very diverse city, and there are faiths from all around the world who live on this campus and live in this community,” he explained. “I don’t think a public university should be a place where anyone feels uncomfortable to be. I want this place to be a meeting of minds and scholarship, as well as activity and joy. And anyone who comes here and feels excluded, it’s a bad thing.”

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is run by state government and subsidized by tax revenues. While some professors may have intellects and coursework compatible to the claims of Christianity (the fall, sin, God’s law, Christ’s atoning sacrifice for His people, creation of a universe), the institution has become rigorous in imposing an alternate theory.

The vanguard of the culturally dominant framework is perhaps best highlighted in the university’s gender studies department.

Dr. Heather Palmer “is dedicated to feminism, not just as a movement for the liberation for women, but as a broad social movement for the equality of individuals,” the department says (2010 department newsletter). “Dr. Palmer believes that feminism is thus structurally linked to the larger ethical project of human rights in this era of globalization and is a movement critical to the lives of both women and men.” In her 2009 Queer Theory course, she explored homosexuality. In culture there are “more representations of homosexuality than ever before, however stereotypical they may be; and on the other hand, a distinct and pronounced anti-gay agenda, manifesting itself, for example, in the preponderance of anti-gay marriage rhetorics … ”

In 2009 lecturer Michael Jaynes, an “animal rights” activist, taught a course, Activist Ecofeminism. Ecofeminism is a “social and political movement that searches for connections between the domination of women and the domination of nature by the patriarchal dominant mindset and status quo.” Ecofeminism “examines these connections and the methods of empowerment for women, animals, the Earth, and all of nature.”

The students in the elective course were “to read widely in the ecofeminist literature; to understand the link between women’s liberation and animal liberation as well as [androcentrism] and speciesism; to develop feminist ecocritical approaches to works of literature and art; and to actively engage the public’s consciousness regarding the destruction of nature and women.”

Coursework includes a hearty evangelization for the concepts taught, including an activist project to “engage the greater Chattanooga area,” including phone calls to media, organizing public space, artwork “or grabbing signs and taking to the streets.”

Mr. Jaynes’ goal in the class were modest — and tentative: “ *** [M]aybe even changing the world.”

See my earlier text regarding public prayer at Ridgeland High School. The attack on prayer in extracurricular activities indicates how far public schooling has gone into the service of the state, with the latest action at the high school a mere mopping-up. Christians, refusing to commit to Christian education, are being squeezed to nothing as the system seeks self-consistency and a humanism and secularism approximating total.


Women’s Studies Newsletter, spring 2009, fall 2010
Rachel Bunn, “Diversity leads to UTC moment of silence instead of prayer at football games,”
Chattanooga Times Free Press website, Sept. 11, 2012