Dr. Tony Beam Christian Blog and Commentary

UC Berkeley Puts Posmodern Thinking on Display

  • Tony Beam Dr. Tony Beam's Weblog
  • Published May 14, 2005

The University of California at Berkeley is the west coast distributor of extreme leftist ideas and polarized thinking.  Most historians credit Berkeley as the birth place of the free speech movement.  A quick perusal of Berkeley's website reveals an anti-American mindset which, in a nutshell states that the best thing that could happen for the world would be the end of the United States. 

What Ward Churchill gets in trouble for saying at the University of Colorado is pretty tame stuff compared to what passes for standard speech at Berkeley.  But for all its academic chest pounding about freedom and the right of everyone and anyone to do anything they feel like doing, Berkeley is now a restrictive campus when it comes to alcohol consumption.

It seems a majority of the student body likes to party....so much so that recently police has to be called to break up an alcohol induced riot that started on a charter boat in San Francisco Bay.  In another unrelated incident a fraternity was supended when a pledge was shot 30 times with pellets during a hazing.

UC Berkeley Dean of Students Karen Kenney said, "This campus has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hazing and alcohol abuse.  Fraternities and sororities need to take these issues much more seriously."  Amazing....Berekely, the leftist bastion of tolerance for everything from drugs, to open homosexuality, to anti-American sentiment, to you name it, is now officially intolerant of alcohol abuse and hazing.  I thought the only time the word intolerant was used at Berkeley was to describe evangelical Christians or conservative Republicans.

You see, postmodern thinking works well on paper and in the sacred halls of academia. The problem is it fails miserably in the world.  Why?  Because people are not good at heart and therefore simply in need of more information in order to behave better.  People are sinful at heart and therefore always prone to sink to the lowest common denominator if left completely unrestrained.  When a college administration applies an open policy to student life where students are allowed "complete freedom" with no value judgments being taught or even implied, the result is complete chaos.  We could reduce it down ti a simple mathematic equation:  complete freedom minus personal responsibility and administrative accountability equals complete social breakdown.

In South Carolina, two communities and a college (the towns of Clemson and Central and Clemson University) recently came together to sign a joint pledge to reduce illegal underage drinking.  One emphasis of the program is to hold seminars where students are informed about the finer points of the law against drinking if you are under the age of 21.  Commenting on that part of the law, Central Police Chief Joe Gibbs said, "If we educate we won't have to enforce."  While I am sure Joe Gibbs is a good man and he does a good job as Police Chief, that is a classic postmodern statement.  It is based on the fales assumption that if we just have the right information we will all make the right choices.  Cigarette pack warnings which basically say "if you some these you will die an early and terrible death" (my paraphrase), have done little to hobble the smokers habit. 

My point is this....simply telling students at Berkeley they shouldn't drink themselves into a stupor that leads to violence is never going to cut it.  The Administration at Berkeley knows this but they just don't want to admit their postmodern, anything goes tolerance policy is a failure because of human depravity.  In fact, they are so reluctant to admit it at the same time they announced the new zero tolerance policy, they announced they had no intention of "actively checking for possible violations." 

What a great way to crack down on a serious problem!  Announce a total ban of alcohol, then wink and say, "but we aren't going to actively check for violations."  Why not just go ahead and say, "Hey, this drinking thing is wrong but only if we stumble over you after you have passed out somewhere on campus."  Campus Officials said, presumably with a straight face (can you say the word "straight" without being homophobic?) that students should take the ban seriously even without the threat of enforcement. 

According to a story by Patrick Hoge and Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle campus officials were quoted as saying if a fraternity or sorority violates the order, the university's Student Judicial Affairs office "will move to revoke its recognition by the campus."  Not to impugn the power or authority of the Student Judicial Affairs office but how will they know if the order has been violated when they have no intention of checking for violations?  This more than just postmodern thinking....it is postmodern insanity!

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council says any idea or philosophical construct must pass three critical tests to be taken seriously as a worldview that works.  Those tests are the morality test, the reality test, and the practicality test.  The problem of rampant alcohol abuse at Berkeley proves they have a morality problem.  They have discovered the reality of human sinful behavior but their totally postmodern solution fails the practicality test because it refuses to recognize the need for enforced institutional restraint where there is no shared understanding of morality.