I’ve heard right-wingers say that college is a bastion of secularism — come in as a Christian, leave as an atheist. Here’s Dennis Prager explaining the “problem”:
… increasingly large numbers of men and women attend university, and Western universities have become essentially secular (and leftist) seminaries. Just as the agenda of traditional Christian and Jewish seminaries is to produce religious Christians and religious Jews, the agenda of Western universities is to produce (left-wing) secularists. The difference is that Christian and Jewish seminaries are honest about their agenda, while the universities still claim they have neither a secularist nor a political agenda.
That’s a conspiracy theory, of course. No university is out to indoctrinate students in atheism or make them left-wingers.
But it’s true that there are more supporters of Democrats than Republicans teaching at schools.
The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf, who for some reason believes Prager is “as thoughtful a voice as you’ll find on talk radio,” manages to offer an alternative explanation:
To me, there are better explanations for the fact that “the more university education a person receives, the more likely he is to hold secular and left-wing views.” One is that people who attend college leave home. That is to say, they leave their church, the community incentives to attend it, and the watchful eye of parents who get angry or make them feel guilty when they don’t go to services or stray in their faith. Suddenly they’re surrounded by dorm mates of different faiths or no faith at all. For many of these students, it turns out that their religious behavior was driven more by desire for community, or social and parental pressure, than by deeply held beliefs. Another reason education correlates with secularism is that secularists are more likely to seek advanced degrees, partly because they’re more focused than their religious counterparts on career.
There’s also the possibility that when you realize how much we really know about biology and zoology and anthropology and chemistry and genetics and astrophysics, the stories in the Bible just become silly and antiquated.
You can’t take religious myths seriously after you’re forced to think critically for a few years.