To teach, or to sway? That is the question.
Are teachers expressing their religion in the classroom of Morgan State?
“The more intelligent you are, the less religious you are.”
It is a common phrase that many use to characterize the academic community. Many believe that those who traverse in the field of academia have reached a level of knowledge that renders religion unimportant and unnecessary. After all, when one has conducted decades of research and proven time after time the reality of evolution, what good is religion?
While the merits of a professor’s religion may be brought into question, an area that leads to some concern is the professor bringing their position into the classroom.
Laws have generally given university professors more leniency than their secondary school counterparts in their ability to express their beliefs in the class setting. The reason is because college students are believed to be better prepared to handle the level of discussion, without confusing the teacher’s views for what are expected of students.
However, they still must be careful. As college professors at public universities are representatives of the state, they must ensure that they do not express their religious views as those of the institution that they represent.
This is not to be confused as meaning the professor does not have their First Amendment right to express their freedom of religion because of the location where they work. However, because of the Establishment Cause of the First Amendment, caution must be used, as the clause reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”
However, the question remains, are there a large amount of teachers expressing their views in college classrooms at Morgan State University?
“My teachers talked about religion, but none of them tried to sway their religious beliefs on us students or [their] non-beliefs,” says Marieme Seye, a junior nursing major.
Seye says that she does not have a problem with teachers expressing their religion, as long as they do not try to impose it on the students.
For Jay Wilson, he has only seen college professors show their way of life.
“I’ve only seen teachers display their culture more than religion,” the junior psychology major says.
But according to some connected to members in high levels of political office, this is not the case in all aspects of college. In October of last year, speaking at Faulkner University, Donald Trump Jr. said that college culture teaches young Americans to “hate their country” and “hate their religion.”
The bottom line is that religion and the classroom are a difficult mix. When the two come together, lines can be blurred, and caution should be exercised. As with so many laws in the United States today, more and more decisions may need to be made, as the blurred line becomes more difficult to see.