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Ben Stein-Actor, Economist, Creationist...Martyr?

Ben Stein probably thought he could do his work on the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and not himself endure the kind of personal attacks that, in the film, he defended Darwin critics against. In fact, what he found was that Darwinism is at the root of the worldview of the materialist Left and even the materialist Right. You can't say or do anything to offend them. You can't even advocate academic freedom.

The people who demanded free speech in the 60s and shouted down figures of authority are now the tenured faculty and newsroom editors of the Establishment. And now they are disallowing any criticism at all.

So, unlikely as it seems, Ben Stein became a martyr. Richard Dawkins intervened at the University of Vermont last spring to deny Stein a gig as Commencement Speaker. Now Ben has been disingenously trashed by The New York Times. Typically, when firing Stein as a business columnist the Times couldn't give the actual reason--which is ideological--and instead had to insinuate that he had a "conflict of interest." That is a joke as well as an insult.

Actually, I think Ben may come to enjoy the role of martyr. Like many of us, he never really suffered much discrimination in his life and may find it an interesting experience. As middle age creeps into Medicare Age, he may even find the sting of the lash will stimulate his muse--his comic muse, I hope. It is notable that his American Spectator column on the firing has generated hundreds of comments, almost all favorable, the others sublimely ignorant and smug.

Think of the new material you've been handed, Ben. Maybe the Intelligent Designer is priming you for a book!


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