James Buchanan Middle students explore STEM

MONT ALTO, Pa. — James Buchanan Middle School eighth-grader Kirstyn Atherton could not imagine using the words fun and mathematics in the same sentence. But Kira Hamman, assistant teaching professor in mathematics at Penn State Mont Alto, changed that …

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BSA SCOUTS OUT NEW CONDOM POLICY

What kind of fire are the Boy Scouts teaching kids to start? Angry parents want to know now that the organization is making condoms an official part of its World Jamboree. Almost five years to the day that it threw open doors to homosexuality, BSA leaders are making their leftward lurch complete with the announcement that birth control would be provided at their next 12-day jamboree where 12- to 17-year-olds will convene

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NC School Safety Bill Would Arm Volunteer Teachers

While the airwaves and social media have had plenty of teachers saying that they sure don’t want to be armed, they don’t speak for all teachers. Not by a long shot. They’re trying to do just that, mind you, but they don’t.

You see, there are plenty of teachers who would gladly carry a firearm so they could defend not just their own lives, but the lives of their students.

North Carolina is considering a bill that will allow them to do just that.

Republican lawmakers have a new plan to address school safety in North Carolina.

The School Security Act of 2018 would allow teachers to apply to become undercover School Resource Officers.

Participants would be required to undergo basic police training and would be sworn officers with guns in the classroom.

The position would also come with a 5 percent pay increase.

“The two problems that the bill tries to address is, one, we really don’t have enough money to put enough School Resource Officers into schools if we just pay them for a separate position,” said Senator Warren Daniel (R-46). “And two, even if you had the funding, we wouldn’t have enough applicants to fill those positions. It would provide a cost effective way to get School Resource Officers into the school.”

Senator Warren Daniel is one of the bill’s sponsors, along with Senator Ralph Hise and Senator Dan Bishop.

“Hopefully their skills and services would never be needed as a resource officer and they would be able to focus on their teaching 99.99 percent of the time. But there’s just that small fraction of a possibility that something tragic could happen and that they would be ready,” Senator Daniel explained.

Of course, not all teachers are onboard. In particular, one is quoted prattling on like anyone is considering making this mandatory, which is typical for anti-gun zealots.

You see, in almost every aspect of life, those who oppose guns also tend to believe that anything not forbidden should be mandatory. With that mindset, they see a bill like this and automatically jump into the idea that this is somehow going to require teachers to be armed, which it isn’t. They don’t want the facts. More importantly, though, they don’t want the voters of North Carolina to have the facts.

Instead, they want to pretend that the apocalypse is upon us because a handful of teachers who want to will be armed.

I’m not crazy about requiring specialized training since a concealed carry permit should be all that is needed, but that’s a compromise I’m willing to make so that there will be more responsible adults armed in our schools.

With this law in place, don’t expect to see another Parkland or Santa Fe happen in North Carolina.

And to those teachers who think the idea of carrying a gun is a disaster, all I can say is, “Then don’t.” No one will make you carry a firearm. Frankly, if you’re stupid enough to think a bill that will allow someone to carry will require someone to carry, then I don’t want you to have a gun anyway.

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Master International Shooting Safety Instructors Association Seminar Held in France

Master International Shooting Safety Instructors Association Seminar Held in France
Master International Shooting Safety Instructors Association Seminar Held in France

France-(Ammoland.com)- The Second Master International Shooting Safety Instructors Association (MISSIA) Training Seminar took place in Châteauroux, France on Friday, May 25. The one-day session was led by Vitaly Kryuchin, the IPSC President.

The Seminar, developed under the auspices of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), was aimed at teaching and implementing international standards for safe gun handling and IPSC coaching skills to the Regional Instructors. At the end of the event, the certification of Instructors took place.

The MISSIA structure, sequence of training topics, safe groups teaching methods, removal of the main mistakes made by shooters and the testing system for competitors and Instructors were the main topics of the theoretical and practical parts of the Seminar.

The one-day session was led by Vitaly Kryuchin, the IPSC President.
The one-day session was led by Vitaly Kryuchin, the IPSC President.
IPSC also emphasizes procedures for safe gun handling and strict adherence to the rules governing the sport.
IPSC also emphasizes procedures for safe gun handling and strict adherence to the rules governing the sport.

“We discussed the sequence of educational topics in the training of a beginner shooter with some special tips, the main drills that instil safety skill, methods of getting rid of jerking/flinch, some special training methods for high-level competitors, the future of MISSIA and IPSC” said the IPSC President, Vitaly Kryuchin.

There were 9 participants from Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Indonesia and Spain. All participants except one successfully passed the handgun shooting tests. Four people successfully passed the shotgun tests. Everybody get the MISSIA Certificates.

Participants, who successfully passed the Shooting Tests will get the MISSIA Instructors ID card. All who did not pass the Shooting Test have the chance to pass it one more time at any official MISSIA event during the 2018 year.

Participants, who successfully passed the Shooting Tests will get the MISSIA Instructors ID card.
Participants, who successfully passed the Shooting Tests will get the MISSIA Instructors ID card.

The Seminar’s participants noted the importance of MISSIA creation and its further development, liked the learning process and some secrets that were given during the training session, and that the shooting tests did show their level of skills as shooters. Some of the participants noted that one-day session was not enough and asked to expand the classes to two days.

The next MISSIA Seminar is going to take place on June 20, 2018 in Hodonice, Czech Republic.


About MISSIA

The Master International Shooting Safety Instructors Association (MISSIA) was created within the IPSC structure for the accreditation, recognition and maintenance of International Shooting Safety Instructors and to establish international standards for safe gun handling classes and IPSC coaching skills. One International Instructor, called a Master International Instructor, will be appointed in every IPSC Region. The Master Instructor will then pass on to the other Instructors and Coaches in his Region the minimum IPSC international training standards.

About IPSC

The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was founded in 1976 as a shooting sport and today recognizes all the main shooting disciplines – Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and Action Air. The Latin words Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (DVC) meaning accuracy, power, and speed are IPSC’s motto and form the foundation for competition.

IPSC also emphasizes procedures for safe gun handling and strict adherence to the rules governing the sport. In IPSC courses of fire the results are calculated by dividing the competitor’s target score by the time taken to complete the course of fire. The shooter must be the most accurate and fastest to win.

Courses of fire utilize many aspects not found in the more traditional shooting disciplines such as movement by the shooter, moving targets, multiple targets, and the freedom for the shooter to solve the shooting challenges presented in the courses of fire. Therefore, competitions are very exciting for competitors and interesting for spectators.

105 countries (IPSC Regions) are members of the Confederation and actively organize IPSC Matches. The number of active IPSC competitors worldwide exceeded 200,000 in 2017 with 351 IPSC national and international sanctioned matches held.

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An International Christian Confederation

The best news in ages came this afternoon, thanks to reader Bonifatius, who sent news of a new, Munich-based lay Catholic organization: the Bund Sankt-Michael (Confederation of St. Michael). It’s a Catholic organization — but one that reaches out to all Christians — dedicated to shoring up the Christian faith in post-Christian Germany. Its strategy page says that The Benedict Option is a “major inspiration,” but not the only one. If your browser is Google Chrome, you can have everything on the site translated easily, on the page. Otherwise, use translate.google.com.

I’m going to post some of the Bund’s strategy page in English below. The English translation is via Google’s bot. If it sounds inelegant, that’s because it wasn’t done by a human being. I welcome any corrections from German speakers:

2.2 Strategic assumptions

The Bund’s strategic draft is based on the following strategic assumptions about the future development of the environment in which Christianity moves in Europe, as well as the associated requirements for its own actions.

  • Christians will become a minority in Europe. Due to demographic trends, migration and diminishing strength of religious ties among Christians, they will become a minority in the coming decades which will initially shrink steadily.
  • The environment for Christianity will become more difficult in Europe: as a religious minority, Christians will live alongside other religious and philosophical groups who are not always friendly to Christians and the heritage of Christianity. In the perception of a growing number of Christianity, Christianity will appear alien, incomprehensible or backward. This perception will be marked by misrepresentations about Christianity as well as aberrant developments within Christianity.
  • The general crisis potential in Europe is increasing : Increasing decay and dissolution phenomena in all areas of social life will lead to a steady increase in the general instability and the crisis potential in Europe. The remaining cultural substance in Europe has become too weak to avert such developments. Even political actors and political action can no longer avert this development, which has cultural causes at its core, but at best delay it. In the medium term, this will be linked to a series of converging crises that will further worsen the environment for Christians in Europe, and possibly over a very long period of time.
  • Above all, it will depend on the creation of freedom for Christian life: under future conditions, a major political task will be the creation and maintenance of open spaces that enable Christians to lead a Christian life. Moreover, in largely Christianized societies, Christian elements in the state order will become increasingly difficult to sustain, and such attempts will increasingly be negatively answered by non-Christians and will be fruitless.
  • Non-binding forms of Christianity will not be able to survive in the future environment: in an environment that is increasingly difficult for Christianity, non-binding forms of Christianity will be unable to resist social pressure and dissolve, assimilate, or, at most, seemingly Christian-looking extensions of secular ideologies transform. The remaining Christians will increasingly be those who can withstand the pressure of the increasingly difficult environment, because they can practice more binding forms, have strong religious ties and can rely on robust solidarity structures.
  • Europe needs the ministry of Christianity: Under the conditions of imminent upheaval, more and more people in Europe will be ready to acknowledge that the cause of Europe’s crisis is the separation from its Christian roots, and that overcoming this crisis requires reconnecting to those roots. Under these conditions, the Church will need to be able to provide the necessary service to Europe, offering more convincing explanations of what’s going on, as well as better solutions and approaches to tackle the challenges that its decay-and-dissolution environment may be.
  • Long-term thinking is needed: both the assurance of the continuity of Christianity in Europe and the renewal of Europe in the spirit of Christianity are long-term oriented tasks that must be carried out over many generations. To fulfill them presupposes to think in long periods of time and to be prepared to no longer see the effects of one’s own actions.
  • Elites are the bearers of cultural development: cultural change always starts with elites. Because addressing the challenges to Christianity’s continuity in Europe in the long term requires above all a change in the cultural environment, Christians must be part of the cultural and other elites to work and win over these elites. In this context, positive change can also be achieved by small, but highly capable and service-ready groups.

2.3 Risks

  • Exclusive thinking:  projects based on strong religious ties tend to be exclusive, unnecessarily excluding potential supporters and allies. In communication, for example, such projects tend to use a language that is only understood by their own members. In addition, there is a tendency in such projects to isolate themselves from the environment rather than following the Christian mission and acting in it.

  • Internal divisions: In such projects, there is an increased risk of internal divisions, for example, when different currents accuse each other of lack of faithfulness.

  • External Conspiracy Theories: Strategically oriented religious intentions are reported to be met with great distrust by parts of their environment that often form the basis for irrational conspiracy theories. A transparent presentation of one’s own goals and one’s own actions can counteract this.

  • Intolerance and hostility: Actors who fundamentally reject Christianity will also reject attempts to facilitate Christian life in a post-Christian Europe. As in the past, in the past, for example, in the realm of totalitarian ideologies, they are generally practiced and will react with attempts at reputational damage, social isolation and attacks on professional existence.

More:

5.1 Creating spaces of Christian life
The physical and cultural spaces of Christian life enable Christians in Europe’s culturally increasingly heterogeneous societies to cultivate their culture and pass it on to future generations. The creation and consolidation of such spaces is the prerequisite for Christians to act as creative minorities in these societies and thus to serve them.

The greater the balance between Christian life and the surrounding society, the greater will be the pressure on Christians to assimilate into non-Christian culture. Spaces of Christian life can reduce this pressure and thereby support Christians in their Christian way of life and strengthen their ministry. These spaces should be designed so that they could perform this task even under the most difficult conditions.

These spaces should not be places of retreat, but nuclei of renewal radiating to their environment.

Creating physical spaces of Christian life

In spaces of Christian life, this life can grow in such a way that it can affect the world. This requires certain conditions, such as an intact environment in which uncertainty or other signs of disintegration and deterioration are minimized.

Such spaces require physical infrastructure, such as churches and schools. Around this infrastructure Christian families can settle, who support each other in their lives as Christians.

Creation of Christian solidarity structures

Solidarity structures help Christian families lead a Christian life in the midst of the surrounding society and raise their children in the spirit of Christianity. Such structures are based on reciprocity and trust. Because of their independence from government infrastructure, they are also reliably available if it is temporary or permanent or people are excluded from their claim for political reasons.

Creating cultural spaces of Christian life

It is in the nature of Christianity not to consider a difficult environment as an adversary, but to work for its well-being and renewal. However, in order to do this, Christians need to be kept away from the corrupt cultural trends that shape this environment, that is, they must live in the world but not be molded by their minds (Jn 17, 11-19).

This requires the creation of cultural spaces that are delimited from the world around them, and within whose protective borders Christian life can grow.

Cultural spaces of Christian life include their own educational system as well as media and communication platforms as well as arts and cultural studies.

Care and mediation of the Christian heritage

Many present-day Christians are poorly acquainted with their heritage, or feel it out of ignorance as a burden. Christians, however, must be convinced that their inheritance is of the highest value before they can convince other people credibly.

This heritage also includes practical solutions for a successful life.

The care of the inheritance involves its development, its mediation and its further development in the sense of the demand to examine everything and to keep the good (1 Thess 5:21).

For this purpose, compendia should be created and maintained, which open up this legacy in all its aspects in such a way that people can reapply individually and in community. This practice has been successfully used in building nations, such as the US, where the “McGuffey Readers” helped to assimilate the country’s cultural identity.

5.2 Strengthening interdenominational and interreligious cooperation

Conservative actors in the various Christian denominations, but also in Judaism, who are committed to the preservation of the respective teaching and tradition, face the same challenges in Western societies and usually have similar positions in the field of social teaching. In the face of increasing challenges, this leads to increased cooperation between these denominations and religions.

Pope Francis spoke of an “ecumenism of the blood” and the convergence of denominations in the face of increasing persecution of Christians in many regions of the world.

The Russian Orthodox Bishop Tikhon is, among other things, head of the Council for Cultural Affairs of the Patriarch of Moscow and is considered a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said in 2018 that there was close contact with the Vatican Cultural Council . The common main task is to preserve the Christian identity of Europe. The Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, who is currently head of the Foreign Office of the Moscow Patriarchate, advocates a strategic alliance between the Catholic Church and Orthodoxy and calls the Catholic Church an “ally”. The increasing challenges facing Christianity in Western Europe would require such cooperation .

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), the most important association of evangelical Christians, has been holding talks with the Catholic Church for some time , during which the participants confirmed that there is more in common than separation between them.

In 2017, several organizations of Jewish Orthodox rabbis in a letter addressed to Pope Francis called for a strategic partnership between Judaism and the Catholic Church in countering the threat of political Islam and radical secular ideologies. The Jewish Orthodox rabbi Jonathan Sacks had described corresponding common challenges and interests .

In the case of rapprochement between the Catholic Church and Orthodox Judaism, it is crucial that the common interests clearly outweigh the effects of the existing contradictions. In contrast to most Islamic actors, however, the conflicts predominate, which is why there is no relevant cooperation and will probably not exist in the long term. The recent ongoing dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Islamic World League is not a collaboration to achieve common goals, but an attempt to use diplomatic means to deal with the conflicts that are coming from Islamic actors.

In principle, however, it would be possible to cooperate with liberal minority currents in Islam, which, unlike the majority currents, forego confrontational positions in relation to Christianity. There are common interests here, such as the defense against radical currents in Islam, which pose a threat to both Christians and non-Muslim Muslims.

Read the whole thing.

Y’all, this thing is happening. And European Christians are leading the way. Americans, pay attention!

I would like to propose a big conference sometime in 2019 of Christians eager to talk seriously about this initiative, and to pioneer concrete ways to collaborate across international borders. We should hold it in Europe — perhaps at a large Benedictine monastery — because that’s where the Benedict Option is taking root now. We should include clergy and laity from Catholic, Protestant (Evangelical and otherwise), and Orthodox traditions. It should include North Americans and Russians, and perhaps even Middle Eastern Christians.

We do not need to include Christians who don’t see a need for a Benedict Option strategy. We will only waste time trying to convince those who don’t want to see what’s right in front of them. We need instead to be working hard on building these structures and networks, and getting to know each other.

I’ve not been in touch with anybody from the Bund, incidentally. I am no kind of organizer. But if any one reading this blog is in a position to organize this kind of international conference, and is eager to meet others interested in planning and funding it, please know that you can count on me to help in any way possible.

It seems like almost every day I see evidence that European Christians get the Benedict Option concept much better than we American believers do. This is surely because they have been living in a post-Christian civilization for generations now. They know what’s at stake. And they know what’s coming to us Americans. Meanwhile, we are wasting the headstart we have been given by history. How much are we traditional American Christians prepared to lose before we wake up one day and realize that the traditional European Christians were right all along?

 

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First Black Out Loud Conference set for August in Baton Rouge

The first Black Out Loud Conference – a three-day event designed to celebrate Black visibility in the arts, media and activism – is coming to Baton Rouge Aug. 10-12, Donney Rose has announced. Local poet, activist and teaching artist Rose will host the conference, which is being sponsored by the Urban Congress on African American Males in Baton Rouge, Design Baton Rouge, The Bluest Ink LLC, and Healthcare Gallery & Wellness Spa.

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YouTuber convicted of hate crime after teaching pug Nazi salute raises money for appeal on GoFundMe

Mark Meechan, better known as Count Dankula, was fined $1,100 (£800) on Monday after he was found guilty under the Communications Act after posting a video showing his girlfriend’s dog reacting to phrases such as “Sieg Heil” and “Gas the Jews” with …

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PCS names Teacher of the Year –

Provided photo Stacy Patton, a 25-year member of the Piqua City Schools teaching staff, has been named Teacher of the Year. Patton, who currently teaches fourth grade social studies at Piqua Central Intermediate, is shown above with PCS Superintendent Dwayne Thompson, left, and Board of Education President Andy Hite.

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Story of gunned-down teacher caught with teen in inappropriate incident takes another turn

Pennsylvania teacher Rachael DelTondo’s murder investigation has only gotten more dramatic and complicated over the last 24 hours.

DelTondo was gunned down in her mother’s driveway on Sunday in what investigators are calling a “crime of passion,” and she died at the scene.

An as-yet unknown assailant shot DelTondo no fewer than 10 times in the torso.

What’s the background?

Six months prior to her murder, DelTondo was the victim of a classified police report leak.

The police report contained information on a 2016 late-night police stop, which found DelTondo in a steamy vehicle with a 17-year-old boy — a juvenile later said to be in an on-again, off-again relationship with DelTondo.

An unidentified person leaked the report to her employer in an anonymous email in October. DelTondo was suspended from her teaching position a month later.

During the stop, DelTondo reportedly told cops that “she didn’t want her fiancé to know that she was here parked because he would get mad.” She was not charged in the incident, according to the report.

The wedding was called off several months after the incident with the teen, and local police launched an investigation into the information leak. DelTondo reportedly cooperated with the investigation.

Her ex-fiancé, Frank Catroppa, spoke out this week to clear his name.

“We wanted to be very, very clear publicly that Frank Catroppa has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what happened,” attorney Stephen Colafella told KDKA-TV. “And it’s important to him, and it’s important to his family that the public knows that.”

“[Police] appeared very satisfied about what we told them,” Colafella added. “We provided alibi information that they were able to verify, so that’s all we can really do.”

What are the new developments?

According to new reports, DelTondo had both a “friendly” and “romantic” relationship with the teen at the time she was engaged to be married.

On Thursday, Aliquippa police filed a search warrant to access cellphone records of the youth involved with DelTondo, who is now being identified as 20-year-old Sheldon Jeter Jr.

WTAE-TV reported that investigators are requesting this information in order to “further include or exclude Sheldon Jeter Jr. as the actor or conspirator in the criminal homicide of Rachael DelTondo.”

According to WTAE, police have not named Jeter as a suspect in DelTondo’s murder, and an attorney for Jeter denied any involvement in the murder on his client’s behalf.

“Somebody had a reason, a motive to kill this poor girl in such a violent way, and to us, it looks like somebody had something to hide,” attorney Michael Santicola said, according to WTAE.

The police’s search warrant also included khaki pants, shoes, a windbreaker, and a hat, which were marked with a note that said the items had been collected from Sheldon “by consent.”

On Friday, the Daily Mail reported that Jeter showed “no emotion” when officers told him that DelTondo had been brutally murdered.

Do police have a timeline of the night’s events?

Law enforcement did reveal a timeline of events leading up to DelTondo’s execution on Thursday.

According to investigators’ timeline, DelTondo and a female friend, Lauren Watkins, visited a convenience store and another friend, and later went to DelTondo’s mother’s house so DelTondo could change her clothes.

Watkins is a minor, according to the Daily Mail, and her father is Aliquippa Police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins, who has been placed on administrative leave because his daughter has been named as a witness in the case.

After DelTondo changed her clothes, she and Watkins left and picked up Sheldon’s brother Tyrie, and drove to a New Brighton, Pennsylvania, ice cream shop.

About an hour later, Watkins and Tyrie dropped DelTondo off at her mother’s home, and Watkins and Tyrie left the scene.

According to police, officers were dispatched about four minutes after Watkins and Tyrie dropped DelTondo off at her mother’s home.

What else?

Jeter’s attorney said that DelTondo told his client that she was an “informant in an ongoing investigation of the Aliquippa Police Department,” according to WTAE.

The attorney also said that DelTondo was preparing to testify before a grand jury “within days.”

According to WTAE, neither law enforcement nor prosecutors had a comment about DelTondos’ alleged testimony as of Thursday.

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2 in 5 Top-Ranking Liberal Arts Schools Have No Full-Time Republican Professors

In late April, Mitchell Langbert, an associate professor at Brooklyn College, published a study on ideological homogeneity at liberal arts colleges in the journal Academic Questions. His findings confirm what many right-wingers have been whispering—and shouting—about for a while now: nearly 39 percent of the colleges sampled are Republican-free, in terms of faculty ideological makeup.

Langbert sampled 8,688 tenure track Ph.D.-holding professors from the top 51 liberal arts schools, according to the 2017 U.S. News and World Report list. He used only full-time, tenure track faculty (full, associate, or assistant professors) and excluded all part-time professors (adjunct, visiting, and emeritus). Langbert then matched these names with voter registration records, using only colleges in states where voter registration information is public.

He also excluded 101 professors—a little more than one percent of the total sample—from the analysis, because they were registered as members of minor parties (cue big-L libertarian weeping).

He found “a D:R ratio of 10.4:1 across all liberal arts departments if the military colleges are included and 12.7:1 if the military colleges are excluded.” Unsurprisingly, the hard sciences—engineering, chemistry, physics, and mathematics—had more even ratios of Democrats to Republicans than fields like sociology, english, religion, and anthropology. Communications ranked highest in terms of ideological homogeneity skewed toward the left.

Langbert could not find a single Republican with an “exclusive appointment” to gender studies, Africana studies, or peace studies. In total, he found more than 800 departments that did not employ a single Republican, and only 225 that did—so around 78 percent of departments did not contain a single full-time professor who identifies as Republican.

Of course, some schools are outliers: Thomas Aquinas, a Roman Catholic college with under 400 students, has an impressive 33 full-time faculty who identify as Republican. West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy, two military schools, also have high percentages of Republican-leaning faculty; and Claremont McKenna College and Kenyon College are also outliers in terms of their relatively high amount of ideological diversity.

This issue isn’t something that’s popped up recently; the trend has looked this way over time, and studies done in the U.K. show similar trends. Langbert writes, “More than a decade ago, Stanley Rothman and colleagues provided evidence that while 39 percent of the professoriate on average described itself as Left in 1984, 72 percent did so in 1999.”

All of this is not to say that professors should convert to Republicanism, or that the world would be made better with political homogeneity in the other direction (quite the contrary). But liberal bias seeping more deeply into the institutions that control credible scholarship, and into the institutions tasked with churning out the next generation of thinkers, is cause for concern.

“Political homogeneity is problematic because it biases research and teaching and reduces academic credibility,” writes Langbert. “Even though more Americans are conservative than liberal, academic psychologists’ biases [for example] cause them to believe that conservatism is deviant.”

This should be cause for concern for anyone who cares about fostering intellectually rigorous environments where young people can test out their most wild, contrarian, and (sometimes) abrasive beliefs, all while being fiercely challenged by their intellectual opponents and course material. It’s difficult to create that ecosystem when faculty seemingly agree on everything.

Read more from Reason.com…