Oppressive Naturalism in Public Universities

People who believe in a naturalistic worldview don’t live by objective principles. That is not to say they don’t have principles or that they don’t live by the ones they believe in. It is just that the principles they hold are not based on any objective foundation – they decide them for themselves based on their own personal preferences.

The problem with that approach is that there is no way to evaluate whether or not the principles they choose are good or worthy. Beyond that, other people believe in different ones, so what makes one person’s better than another’s? Without an objectively true set of beliefs to draw from, there is simply no way to make that determination.

In 2019, Jack Denton was elected Senate President of the Student Government Association at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. However, after only eight months in office, the members of the Association voted to remove him from his position. So just what did he do that was so egregious that he had to be removed?

Well, Jack is a Roman Catholic and believes in the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. One day, a group who were members of the Catholic Student Union were having a private chat about a police shooting that caused the death of Tony McDade – a 38-year-old African-American transgender man who was fatally shot by an officer of the Tallahassee Police Department. One of the people on the chat encouraged the others to watch a video that asked people to support certain organizations that represent beliefs that go against Catholic teachings – such as abortion and transgenderism. It seems Jack had the audacity to point that out and expressed the opinion that it was not right.

With that, some of the others on the chat took offense that he believed such things (even though all on the chat were members of the Catholic Student Union), and leaked the chat comments to another student senator. From there things began to get ugly. How dare he hold a non politically correct opinion! That other senator then took Jack’s words out of context and claimed that having him as president of the senate made other students feel unsafe.

At that point, a meeting was called to decide whether or not to remove him from office. That vote failed to get the two-thirds majority necessary for his removal. But the intolerant ones were not satisfied. They began a pressure campaign to coerce the ones who didn’t vote against him to change their minds. With that, another vote was taken and he was voted out.

If that were not bad enough, the student government then proceeded to elect a new senate president who was later discovered to have a record of putting overtly racist and anti-Semitic posts on social media. Jack was supposedly voted out because his comments showed that he was not able to represent all students, yet when the new president’s racist posts were discovered, those same student senators defended the new guy.

Of course, the hypocrisy is palpable, but in some ways not really surprising. You see, the people behind Jack’s ouster hold a naturalistic worldview. Their outrage at Jack’s “sin” was not based on anything objective, only on their own personal beliefs about what is moral and what is not. They said their objection was to his bigotry, but that was really not the case. If bigotry was their standard they would not have voted in the new guy. No, their standard was their own personal beliefs about abortion and transgenderism.

And that’s the way it is when it comes to naturalistic morality. People make up their own morality and consider that it is okay to enforce it if they have the political power to do so. Those who use this approach, however, better be careful going down that road. That is because it won’t be long before someone else gains power and they get kicked to the curb. As of this writing, this case is headed to court, and I have no doubt that, in the end, the real hypocrites will get their comeuppance.

Biblical morality is not like what the atheistic Naturalist’s believe. Biblical moral beliefs are based on God’s revelation about what is objectively real and true. It is only when there is an objective basis for morality that truth and fairness are even possible.




Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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