I already know what you thought when you read the headline for this post: Satan worship is not a religion and has no business being in a college curriculum. Of course, you’re wrong again.
The problem is that you have completely misunderstood what the college curriculum is all about. Here at the University of Professors’ Arcane Interests, anything goes! Our professors have redefined the term “religion” to encompass all sorts of practices that have traditionally been excluded from that designation. Allowing Satan worship into the fold is only fair; who are we to judge what counts as a religion and what doesn’t? It even fits perfectly with what other departments are doing; the English department considers Harry Potter to be just as literary as Shakespeare and the music department rakes in the dough by filling auditoriums with its “Rock for Jocks” course. If nothing else, learning about Satan worship will give students valuable insights on what they are learning in their other classes.
But that’s not the only benefit! A Satan worship course could be fun for students. Carving pentagrams into their wrists could be the most exciting lab experience they’ve ever had. How can we not take this opportunity to get students engaged with science? And think of all the educational movies they could watch during class. This would free the professor from having to create lesson plans, allowing more time to publish research that no one will ever read. And because students will end the course with a thorough knowledge of Satan worship, they will be well equipped to use that knowledge to make money in the entertainment industry. So even though you might have moral qualms about students learning about Satan worship, never forget that there are useful practical applications for all knowledge. There is no such thing as useless knowledge.
Caveat: if your child plans to join the clergy, this is not an appropriate course selection. We are here to proclaim the equality of all religions and the clergy aren’t into that kind of thing. We will not be teaching our students that human sacrifice and bodily mutilation are bad. Sorry.
Colleges these days like to put forth a curriculum that speaks to the interests students already have. It is something they tout constantly, as long as those interests fit into the college’s preferred political frameworks.
Therefore, I would like to suggest a new course to the local university, which I am tentatively entitling “The Aesthetics of Sarah Palin’s Bra.” Now you may ask yourself how on earth the campus feminists would ever let something like this pass. Surely they would object to an educator taking such a prominent female political figure and reducing her stature in this way. But no, you would be wrong. According to feminists, it only counts as demeaning to women if the woman being demeaned is not a conservative. In fairness to the feminists, Sarah Palin has more brain cells in her breasts than she has in her head, so the feminsists’ reluctance to protest would be justified here.
I further believe that a course on Sarah Palin’s bra would help increase course enrollment figures. Conservative students would be elated to be able to study something that has no connection to liberal politics and male students will take an interest in anything involving Palin’s boobs. And since humanities programs insist that the study of seemingly insignificant material goods is just as valuable as studying works by authors such as Aristotle and Kant, this course should have no problem making its way past the curriculum committee.
And what might the reading list look like? I suggest that we pass over those old fashioned things called “books” and focus on “cultural texts.” According to the lit. crit. folks, everything is a cultural text and can be “read.” So instead of books, students could spend their evenings staring at pictures of Palin’s boobs, analyzing the precise angle at which she wears them. From there, students could discuss the cultural significance of her bra selections and how those bras fit into the Tea Party political platform. Since inviting unclothed guests worked so well for that professor at Northwestern, maybe we could sponsor a model to come in and display some of the bra styles that create Palin’s distinctive look. Students always favor hands-on education and I seek to please.
For the tuition money they spend, students deserve nothing but the best.