Professor Charles Negy challenges America's 'religious bigotry'
In his first class of the fall semester, UCF professor Charles Negy suggested to his cross-cultural psychology students that they might want to read his email to last semester's class that went viral on the Internet — twice.
In the email that created a sensation at the time and again just weeks before the fall term began, Negy chastised the devout Christian student who told the rest of the class to ignore the professor questioning their religious beliefs.
"Students in my class who openly proclaimed that Christianity is the most valid religion, as some of you did last class, portrayed precisely what religious bigotry is. Bigots — racial bigot [sic] or religious bigots — never question their prejudices and bigotry. They are convinced their beliefs are correct," Negy wrote.
The confrontation between the agnostic professor and the Christian student is, in miniature, a re-enactment of the ongoing clash in American society between strident true believers and increasingly vocal non-believers.
"I think the tension you are seeing now is the more non-believers there are, the less willing we are to accept that arrogant assumption" that Christianity is the only true religion, Negy said in an interview. "We are not going away any time soon, and the more of us there are, the more confident we feel."