Darrow Miller and Friends

Professor Meriwether vs. Shawnee State: REALITY WINS OVER ILLUSION

The United States and much of the globe is being rocked by an ascending ideology. This ideology is being manifested through policies, politics and turmoil on the streets. As I write we are seeing renewed violence in Minneapolis and Portland. What is the division driving this mayhem?

It’s not merely a political fight between Democrats and Republicans, right and left, or liberals and conservatives. The division is deeper, at a level rarely mentioned. This fight is at the level of worldview, the division is between reality and illusion! The postmodern worldview is driving the political discourse, pushing laws for gender identity, men competing in women’s sports, inventing an entire new vocabulary around the subject of gender.

How can such folly happen? Because postmodernism, aka Cultural Marxism or Critical Theory, has decided reality and reason do not exist.

French philosopher Michael Foucault plowed the ground with his eradication of the old categories.Meriwether was opposed by the legacy of Michael Foucault

All my analyses are against the idea of universal necessities in human existence. Such necessities must be swept aside as baggage from the past: It is meaningless to speak in the name of—or against—Reason, Truth, or Knowledge.

In his book Explaining Postmodernism, Stephen Hicks writes about the postmodern abandonment of reality.

Metaphysically, postmodernism is anti-realist, holding that it is impossible to speak meaningfully about an independently existing reality. Postmodernism substitutes instead a social-linguistic, constructionist account of reality.

Postmoderns are also committed to a denial of reason.

Epistemologically, having rejected the notion of an independently existing reality, postmodernism denies that reason or any other method is a means of acquiring objective knowledge of that reality.

Which side will win?

Thus our world is turned upside down, seen on a political level in the halls of government and on the streets with the tearing down of statues, the riots and burning of buildings, seen in the hospitals using drugs and surgery to mutilate perfectly functioning human bodies.

But the root of the division is at the worldview level where we answer questions like, What is the nature of reality? What can we know? Can we know anything? The divide is between reality and delusion, reason and feelings.

But it takes time for ideas to manifest their consequences; the tide will turn with small victories for reason and reality. Historians may tell the story of Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Ohio’s Shawnee State University.

Meriwether free to refute the lie of transgenderismMeriwether, a Christian, believing that physical reality takes precedence over linguistic and sociological construction, refused to use the preferred pronouns of a transgender student. Instead of seeking an equitable solution to the problem, a path forward that protected Meriwether’s rights of conscience and free speech, the board of trustees took him to court.

Dr. Meriwether did not surrender or allow himself to be cancelled, but pushed back. Alliance Defending Freedom took up his case and won at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The opening paragraph of the verdict affirms the confirmation of reason and reality.

Traditionally, American universities have been beacons of intellectual diversity and academic freedom. They have prided themselves on being forums where controversial ideas are discussed and debated. And they have tried not to stifle debate by picking sides. But Shawnee State chose a different route: It punished a professor for his speech on a hotly contested issue. And it did so despite the constitutional protections afforded by the First Amendment. The district court dismissed the professor’s free-speech and free-exercise claims. We see things differently and reverse.

Time will tell

Only time will tell if this verdict for reason and reality will be the turning point in the pivotal issue of our time. Will we affirm what is real, or will we descend into illusion? Will we maintain reason, or feelings, as the final arbiter of truth?

For more on this read: “A Victory for Reality” and “The truth about my stand against a university’s enforced orthodox.”

May we, like Nicholas Meriwether, simply be ordinary people who change the world.

  • Darrow Miller



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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).