A senior’s op-ed in the YDN yesterday (“Keeping (out) the faith“) caught my attention for its frank dismay at the place religion occupies on Yale’s campus. Most notably, Kyle Tramonte pointed out a weird disconnect among students: There are many religious or faith-based organizations on campus, there are many religious and spiritual students involved in those organization, and yet there seems to be an unspoken campus-wide agreement, in and out of the classroom, that one’s faith is not a respectable justification for much of anything.
Furthermore, it is usually taken as a given here that such a worldview does not even deserve consideration because it is so obviously false to everyone. Tramonte cites an “unhealthy balance”—where faith is associated only with the Right—to explain the unwillingness to allow faith-based justifications for political ideologies to enter campus dialogue. This is probably true, and while it hurts both religious and political organizations, it particularly deprives the Left of a demographic that supports extensive social policies on religious grounds.
As such, Yale’s intellectual diversity has suffered on two ends, dismissing not just conservative but also religious discourse. Our inability to respectfully discuss religion is astounding in an institution that boasts of tolerance and diversity.