Satan is coming for you (if you’re an academic)

You may not have been aware of this, but one of the key dangers facing higher education, at least in America, is that it has come to the attention of Satan, and may indeed have already been taken over by him. You see, Satan understands the ‘pride of smart people’, and their dangerous desire to ‘pursue new truths’ (thereby destroying old ones).

Who is saying all this heady stuff? Well, it’s Rick Santorum, would-be President of the United States. He explained all this in an address to Ave Maria University in 2008. That of course is a few years ago, but there are few signs that his perspective on such matters has changed since then. Of course it is one of the genuine strengths of the American political system that it can provide a forum for really diverse points of view, but his remarks suggest that a Santorum presidency could produce some attacks on academic freedom and the freedom of campus expression. And that is something to watch.

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6 Comments on “Satan is coming for you (if you’re an academic)”

  1. Vincent Says:

    One cannot help but feel that this is an election for Obama to lose.

    And four years in and the spell-check is still flagging his name as an error while Osama is grand ta very much.
    Before you reach for the conspiracy in the social sphere check for idiocy first. Never underestimate the roll of simple stupidity.
    That’s a corollary to Ockham’s razor. 😀

  2. I don’t see anything in Santorum’s remarls to justify the view that Satan is only coming for the academics. Although no doubt they have a lot of pride, they aren’t the only proud people in the academy.

    Or are you taking it for granted that he already had the managers and administrators?

  3. We tend to underestimate the number of people in the “centre” in America. Although the loony right wingers have great influence in the Republican party, choosing one to run for president (or even as a running mate) seems to make them unelectable. It must be awful being normal in the republican party.

  4. Don ta Says:

    Santorum is right to inject a bit of lateral thinking here – it gets people thinking about other dimensions of existence. Look, Satan is out to get everybody. His nemesis is in the same business. You choose who to follow. Aha..!but you can’t have both…

  5. Anna Notaro Says:

    Santorum is getting a taste of his own medicine with his surname = sexual neologism on any Google search
    The Satan of the web must be having a laugh!

  6. Wendymr Says:

    It’s not just academic freedom that would be under threat in a hypothetical Santorum presidency; far from it. If he had his way, the causes of equality, reproductive rights, immigration and undocumented workers, the low paid, the uninsured and so on would be adversely affected in a significant manner. Though that would require a cooperative House and Senate – but still.

    Having said that, even if Santorum is the party’s nominee (which I doubt), polls show pretty clearly that he’d never beat Obama. He is too conservative for moderate Republicans, let alone centrists and independent voters.

    All that said, this year’s primary season is very entertaining viewing. Even with the warm-up acts of Cain, Rick (Oops!) Perry and Bachman off the stage, we still have the delights of Gingrich and his houseful of baggage as well as Santorum and Romney, who has to be the most uninspiring leading candidate in years.

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