When You Teach Narcissism and Self-Absorption, You Get Narcissists and Self-Absorbed Students Protesting on Campus

Monday on radio, Glenn talked with Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and long-time friend.

Glenn came to know Piper after reading his take on a student who felt victimized and voiced his discomfort at the university’s sermon regarding 1 Corinthians 13.

Piper wrote, “You want the Chaplin to tell you you're a victim rather than you need virtue, this may not be the university you're looking for.”

Glenn spoke with Piper about the danger of ideological fascism and how universities are teaching students to play the victim if they ever feel convicted, attacked or uncomfortable.

“When you teach narcissism and self-absorption, you shouldn't be surprised to find narcissists and self-absorbed students protesting on the campus,” says Piper.

GLENN: I am about to reintroduce you to a friend of ours and a guy who I absolutely love. I love his intellect, and I love his bravery. It was two years ago on Thanksgiving that he wrote these words:

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service because he felt victimized on the sermon on the topic of I Corinthians 13. It appears this young scholar felt offended because of homily on love that made him feel bad font showing love. In his mind, the speaker was the wrong for making him and his peers feel uncomfortable. I'm not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are victims. Anyone who dares to challenge them and thus make them feel bad about themselves is a hater, bigot, oppressor, victimizer. I have a message for this young man and all others. That feeling of discomfort you have after hearing a sermon is called a conscious. It's supposed to make you feel bad. It's supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of a good sermon is to make you confess your sins, not caudle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the church and the Christian faith.

So here's my advice. You want the Chaplin to tell you you're a victim rather than you need virtue, this may not be the university you're looking for. And he goes on.

His name is Dr. Everett Piper. He is the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan university and our guest. Welcome, sir.

EVERETT: Well, first of all, I owe you a thanks. Thank you for posting that article. It was Thanksgiving morning two years ago, someone gave that to you. I don't know who it was to this day.

GLENN: I wonder who it was.

EVERETT: And it caught your attention, and you posted it. And as a result of that, 3.5 million people viewed it within the course of about a week or two. The response was interesting. 97 percent of the comments were positive. 3 percent were negative when we did our internal statistical analysis of that.

It was interesting. The secular world was more interested and complementary than the Christian world, the church. Here's a poster child, for example. I receive a hard copied letter from a full bright scholar of a university in the south. And he essentially said I read your day care piece. I went to your website and read more about you. I'm an atheist, and I disagree with your religion, and I disagree with your politics. But on this issue, thank you. Kudos to you. Carry on. It needed to be said. Signed full bright scholar University of X, Y, Z.

So the reaction has been quite interesting. And I do believe what this says is that the secularist, the humanist, if you will, the average college and university faculty member out there is recognizing that this monster he's created is turning around to bite him. And he's frightened.

GLENN: Yes, they are. By the way, the name of the book is not a day -- not a day care. The original op-ed pretty much relentlessly pounded that. This university is not a day care. You're here for a reason. I was just out in L.A. I was with people who do not have my political bent by any stretch of the imagination. We had great conversations. Several of them told me they were concerned about what was happening in universities and the way dissent is being shut down. They said that is absolutely anti everything, you know? The left is supposed to stand for. They said two of them in this meeting openly said they are more concerned about what's happening on the left than they are that's happening on the right because they don't think the people on the left have really woken up to the monster that they -- that they're sleeping with.

EVERETT: And they should be frightened. I would call it idea logical fascism. Is this intellectual freedom or idea logical fascism. Do we believe in a free, robust, open exchange of ideas? The idea of the classical liberal arts academy. If you want to go back 1,000 years to the founding of Oxford, what was it established to do? It was established to educate a free man, a free people, a free culture to educate people and what it meant to be liberated. It was an education in liberty and thus the classical definition of liberal.

Ironically today, it's the conservative such as myself who is more classically liberal than my left of Center-Counter part because I believe in a debate. I believe in a robust exchange of ideas because I can trust the truth to judge the debate. Not politics and power and people, not the pundit. But the principles of truth. GK Chesterton told us when you got rid of the big laws of god, you don't get liberty but rather thousands upon thousands of little laws that rush in to from the vacuum. We have a situation where we actually have been teaching students for decades that it doesn't matter what you believe, as long as it works for you. And that vacuum is being filled by fascism, ideological fascism rather than intellectual freedom.

GLENN: So you are writing this. The devastating consequences of abandoning the truth, the book is not a day care. What are the consequences?

EVERETT: The consequences are ultimately the loss of human dignity, human identity, and human freedom. If you can't even define the human beings any longer, if we don't know the definition of simple words, such as male and female, if we can't define what it means to be human, we're going to dumb down the definition of the human being to the imago dog. What do I mean by that? I am the imago dei. I have moral capability, moral understanding, I can engage in a debate. I care about the answer. When you drive through the cattle rancher in Oklahoma, you don't see the cows arguing with one another. There's a reason for that. They don't care. They're not the imago dei. They're the imago dog, if you will. They follow their base inclinations and appetites and instincts, and that's how they're defined. Today, we've dumbed down the human being to nothing but the sum total of his or her inclinations, that's their identity. And therefore, we have insulted the imago dei by suggesting he's the imago dog. The result of that is the total collapse of freedom and liberty within a culture because there's no longer any boundaries as Chesterton said in which we can live freely.

GLENN: So I read -- have you read the ten-page memo from the Google software guy? I'm trying to remember what his job was. He wrote -- this was just released last week. He won't put his name on it. But it was about the lies of Google diversity. And he's, like, you're telling us that there is no difference between a man and a woman, and you want to get more women into, you know, software design, et cetera, et cetera. But that is a job that mainly men are interested in because of X, Y, and Z. It has nothing to do with sexism. And he goes through ten pages. He just takes apart everything that they're talking about.

Google finally responded to this unnamed memo with their head of -- I can't even remember what it is. It's not the head of diversity. It's some ridiculous clown title, and she writes "I won't even dignify that -- what was being said by requoting it here because it has nothing to do with reality and who we are as Google."

While at the same time saying that we have to have a vigorous debate on the Google campus. They're shutting all debate down. How does this society -- in the old world, it doesn't survive. But in a society where Google is working on AI and teaching computers, you know, artificial intelligence, the difference between right and wrong. When we can't define it, what happens to that society?

EVERETT: Your question goes back to what's going on in the academy right now. What's taught today in the classroom is going to be practiced tomorrow in our culture and our courtrooms and our living rooms. What's taught today in the classroom will be practiced tomorrow. Ideas have consequences. If you go back to Richard weaver 1948, his seminal work title, what was his point? Ideas of consequences. You hardly even need to read the book to understand his point. Bad ideas will breed bad culture, bad people, bad community, bad government. And good ideas will bring the opposite. Good culture, good community, good kids, good behavior, and good government.

Ideas have consequences. What's -- why is the timing of his book, 1948 important? Because he was writing it as a response to World War II. And he was looking backward just a few short years to Hitler who said let me control the textbooks, and I will control the state. And at the same time, we've got or we will and Huxley writing dystopias total power and total control. Ideas have consequences, and we have to attend to what we're teaching our students today because it will bear itself out tomorrow. And when you teach narcissism and self absorption, you shouldn't be surprised to find narcissists and self-absorbed students protesting in the campus.

GLENN: So Tonya and I have this conversation a lot. My kids are 11 and 13. My older kids are already out of college, and I keep saying I don't want to send them to college, honey. First of all, I don't know if college is going to be all that because, you know, show me the teacher that is as smart as Google on the facts. I can just look up the facts. I want to find somebody who is more of a guide that will help me apply these things that I can find. And I said, you know, but even if we're not even at that place yet, I don't want my kids going and being indoctrinated.

What is going to happen to the university? What is going to happen in the next five years, ten years as these things are getting worse and worse? And people know it.

>> I think you should let your pocketbook speak. Okay? If moms and dads, if parents will actually start recognizing that they're paying the bill, you're going to drop 30 grand, 35 grand, 40 grand for your kid to go to an institution. You spend 18 years of your life training your kid the way they should go. And then the first 18 minutes they take pride and start taking his soul and his mind and ridiculing everything you've tried to instill in him. Why would you want to pay for that? Ask yourself is education about integrity or is it about information? Is education just to learn how to make more money, or is it about how to learn to be a moral person? Is education about character, or is it about just getting a career? There was a day when education was about the big ideas, the first things. Not the small ideas and the second things. I'm a student of Chuck Colson, and he was found of telling us over and over again that if you get the big ideas, the first question wrong, everything thereafter will suffer. You have to provide an education to your kids that focuses on the big ideas.

GLENN: What's the push back on you from academia? You must not be very popular.

>> Well, it all depends on who you're talking to. Interesting, this is the right answer. I've had lots of people peers, other presidents and whatnot pull me aside privately and say I agree with what you're saying, but I can't say it publicly for fear of losing my job. And that's the reaction. That's sad, but it is true.

PAT: Let's out them now. Who are these?

GLENN: You know, it's funny because I think there's a lot of that. And not just in universities. There's a lot, and we're dealing with a situation now in Oregon where the CPS I think has gone way over the edge and out of control because of one particular person. I think this is what's happening. And we have people now starting to come out saying. Okay. If you guys think you can actually expose it and win, I have some information for you. But I'm not in, unless you can win. I mean, it's valkyrie. You don't win. A society doesn't survive if people stand on the sidelines.

EVERETT: Well, I know you're a fan of Bonhoeffer, as am I, and one of the famous quotes is "not to speak as to speak, not to act as act, silence in the face of evil as evil itself." That's worth the price of admission. Not to speak as to speak, not to act as act, silence in the face of evil as evil itself. God will not hold us guilt willingness.

Do we believe in our trues. Do we believe those things are right and true and revealing, those self-evident trues. Do we believe in them enough to speak and to act? Because if we don't, we're actually acting and speaking for the opposite. We have to have courage and some conviction. The academy, presidents and professors need to get a spine and start teaching truth rather than just opinions.

GLENN: Is it hard -- I've got to take a quick break. But is it hard to find those professors and teachers that still will?

EVERETT: Yes. But you can. There are a handful. And if parents who are paying the money do the research necessary, you can find those institutions that actually say we believe that truth is revelation as opposed to a construction. That's the answer you need to hear. Is truth self-evident? Is it given by someone bigger and better than you and me? Or is it just constructed by the populous. If it's constructed by the populous, it's dangerous. If it's given by God, if it's given by revelation, then it's enduring, immutable, and true.

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