The point is that people learn from reading. And sometimes, reading things with which you disagree can be instructive. At a minimum, you'll get some insight into the other side's arguments, sometimes you'll see why they object to your arguments, and occasionally, you might even grow as a person.
Education. Noun. "The act or process of educating or being educated; The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process."
So, of course I felt strongly about Marc Fisher's recent blog post -- and the subsequent WaPo article -- about the assault on academic freedom on a local conservative college campus:
But now, at Patrick Henry College in Loudoun County, five professors have quit--and one of them was summarily dismissed before he could leave of his own accord--because they concluded that the college was not interested in free-ranging inquiry. The last straw for the professors came after they expressed their view that the Christian students who attend Patrick Henry need nourishment not only from the Bible, but from great thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli, and Marx--and the college responded that Scripture is the "ultimate standard."
An article in Leesburg Today spells out the professors' basis for their decision to leave a school where, as they knew from the start, "our Christian faith precedes and informs all that we at Patrick Henry College study, teach and learn." Not only have there been instances in which texts were banned, but "Students are afraid to raise questions or criticize the school," the article quotes classics Professor David Noe. Some students have quit Patrick Henry because of the constricted academic environment as well, the paper reports.
Yeah, fine, you should teach Scripture at a Christian School, since that's what the students are paying for. But don't ignore other philosophy -- whether it's from Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, or Marx -- just because you consider it too leftist or liberal. (And honestly, if anyone thinks of Hobbes as leftist, they probably ought to re-read it.) If the point is to give students an education, then do that. Don't limit their ability to learn because it conflicts with conservative values. In the end, you're just hurting the students.