Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Money well spent?

From the University of Minnesota, a public institution supported by lots of tax dollars (and money from hard-working parents):
UMN News (April 2008) MINNESOTA PHOTOGRAPHER CRAIG BLACKLOCK has been named senior fellow by the U's Center for Spirituality and Healing. As a fellow, he will support the center's ongoing research and education in optimal healing environments (the use of nature and art to promote healing in health care facilities). Blacklock's work, inspired by the north shore, is now featured throughout the center and the Medical Center's Transitional Care Unit, UMTC.
What? We have a "Center for Spirituality and Healing" while many professors are quick to judge various Christian believers. I just wrote about my disgust with funding any religious group on campus, only to be reminded we have an entire center dedicated to what seems like New Age nonsense.

I don't understand how people so opposed to Christianity and Judaism tend to embrace New Age nonsense, defend Islam, and think anything "Native American" is by default wonderful. Yes, we all know that "dreamcatchers" (tourist catchers?) are much more logical than crosses, the Wailing Wall, or prayer beads. It's all superstition, in some way, and no belief is scientific fact.

Public universities should have much better things to study. Yeah, I know, faith helps healing. Meditation is healthy. Fine. Study these things in psychology departments. I'm all for understanding how faith affects or is affected by the brain. What I don't want is a "center" or a "department" dedicated to New Age beliefs on a public campus.