George Will on Vanderbilt U. and "Conformity for Diversity's Sake"


George Will comments on a situation we've mentioned before at Vanderbilt University:

Illustrating an intellectual confusion common on campuses, Vanderbilt University says: To ensure “diversity of thought and opinion” we require certain student groups, including five religious ones, to conform to the university’s policy that forbids the groups from protecting their characteristics that contribute to diversity.

... The question, at Vanderbilt and elsewhere, should not be whether a particular viewpoint is right but whether an expressive association has a right to espouse it. Unfortunately, in the name of tolerance, what is tolerable is being defined ever more narrowly.

Although Vanderbilt is a private institution, its policy is congruent with “progressive” public policy, under which society shall be made to progress up from a multiplicity of viewpoints to a government-supervised harmony. Vanderbilt’s policy, formulated in the name of enlarging rights, is another skirmish in the progressives’ struggle to deny more and more social entities the right to deviate from government-promoted homogeneity of belief. Such compulsory conformity is, of course, enforced in the name of diversity.


  1. Daughter of Eve
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    "Progressive" institutions certainly are reflective of "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Human nature never changes, when built on the sandy foundation of secularism.

  2. Pat
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    This is how government establishes religion. It takes over education from the tender years through high school and finances higher educational institutions. Having brainwashed students and educators with government-established morality (social welfare, diversity) the educational institutions then create a policy that snuffs out the morality of religious teaching that conflicts with the government's new morality.

    This policy should be challenged under the Establishment Clause. Government needs to get out of the education business, give the taxpayers their money back and let them use it to educate their children in institutions consistent with their own moral beliefs.

  3. Bryce K.
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Great conspiracy theory, Pat.

  4. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    In a nutshell this is the type of liberal non-logic we're dealing with. It starts at the top with the presidency and works its way through society. Most of us look at this story and tell ourselves they can't be serious. But, yes, they are serious. They're wired wrong, to put it mildly.

  5. Randy E King
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Only in the world of the socialist left would they consider failed regressive policies from antiquity progressive.

  6. P. Edward Murray
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    My Freshman year I went to a private college and transferred to a Jesuit University that I graduated from in 1980. Back in those days, no one was discriminated against for their religion. Today I guess it's different.

  7. Pat
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I notice a lack of description of what the actual policy is.

    It's not "Play nice with others," by any chance?

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