and Man at College
By Hans Zeiger
William F. Buckley exposed Yale University's declining spirituality in his
best-selling book "God and Man at Yale." Buckley wrote that his
university derives its "moral and financial support from Christian
individualists and then addresses itself to the task of persuading the sons of
these supporters to be atheistic socialists."
the spiritual atmosphere on American campuses has worsened considerably. Buckley
may have exaggerated the conditions on campus half a century ago, but today's
mainstream colleges and universities preach nothing less than atheistic
socialism. God, faith and religious tradition have been banished from the
classroom and confined to the small corners of campus life.
a new study by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of
California at Los Angeles, most college and university students consider
themselves spiritual, but find that their campuses do little to encourage their
researchers surveyed 3,680 students at 46 institutions to discover that 73
percent of American college students find religion and spirituality to have
helped in the development of their identity. But 62 percent report that their
professors never encourage discussion of religion or spirituality.
found that "students have deeply felt values and interests in spirituality
and religion, but their academic work and campus programs seem to be divorced
students acquire beliefs and religious understandings from their parents, and
those beliefs tend to be catalysts for self-control and character. But when they
get to college, students are indoctrinated with all strains of moral relativism,
and without warning, the human spirit is cast out of the classroom as a
meaningless abstraction of antiquity.
But what are
the head and mind worth if the soul is not endowed with dignity by a higher
power? What is knowledge without the faith that it is worth something in
eternity? And what is higher education if it cannot operate on the basis of some
great fundamental truths?
colleges and universities were founded as religious institutions dedicated to
classical liberal-arts training for Christian ministry and statesmanship.
original mission statement for its students was "to be plainly instructed
and consider well that the main end of your life and studies is to know God and
Jesus Christ." When Yale was founded in 1701, it required: "Seeing
that God is the giver of all wisdom, every student, besides his private and
secret prayer, will be present morning and evening for public prayer." And
Princeton University's founding statement was, "Cursed is all learning that
is contrary to the Cross of Christ."
beginning in the early 20th century, progressivism spewed its poison about
economics and politics and religion into higher education.
And in the
1960s, student radicals took over America's campuses and have occupied them
since as the professors of such dogmas as Marxism, multiculturalism and atheism
neglected their former role, universities and colleges of higher learning have
largely become institutions of lower living, hostile to traditional religious
beliefs and moral constraints.
cannot expect to grow spiritually by virtue of their enrollment in a mainstream
college or university. Instead, they must go to school armed and ready to do
Hans Zeiger is president of the Scout Honor Coalition and a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan where he edits the Hillsdale New Conservative.
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