An astonishing 53 percent of American college faculty members hold unfavorable views of evangelical Christians, says a survey released by a Jewish organization – and the media have almost completely ignored the story.
Washington Post religion writer Alan Cooperman reported the story on May 5. The Post is the only major media outlet to report the results of this survey.
Gary A. Tobin, director of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, told the Post, “When we ask questions like this, we're asking the respondent to say how they feel about an entire group of people, and whatever image they have of that entire group comes through….There is no question this is revealing bias and prejudice.”
Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors and an English professor at the
According to Nelson, this “resistance” results from “the particular kind of Republican Party activism that some evangelicals have engaged in over the years, as well as what faculty perceive as the opposition to scientific objectivity among some evangelicals.”
Tobin rejected this argument, telling Cooperman “If a majority of faculty said they did not feel warmly about Muslims or Jews or Latinos or African Americans, there would be an outcry. No one would attempt to justify or explain those feelings. No one would say, 'The reason they feel this way is because they don't like the politics of blacks or the politics of Jews.' That would be unthinkable.”
Cooperman wrote that Tobin “said the levels of disapproval are high enough to raise questions about how evangelical Christians are treated.” In his article, Cooperman applied the survey to an ongoing instance of faculty bias against an evangelical Christian student.
According to the Post, in 2005 a social work instructor at
Brooker sued the university, and the case led to an uproar in
An independent investigation of
The charge was ultimately removed from Brooker's record, and the university reportedly settled her lawsuit by paying for her graduate education.