THOMAS/Harvard president symptom not cause

THOMAS/Harvard president symptom not cause


The resignation of Harvard president Claudine Gay after “facing national backlash for her administration’s response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack and allegations of plagiarism in her scholarly work” does not solve the problem at America’s oldest college and other elite schools. She and many other university presidents are only a symptom of what’s wrong with our system of education, from bottom to top.

Education, like a building or a life, must have a firm foundation or whatever is built on it will collapse when storms or other challenges come.

Ivy League schools, especially, were established on a foundation of biblical principles. From its founding in 1636, Harvard’s motto has been “Veritas,” or Truth. It was meant to demonstrate not only that objective truth exists, but where to find it. A proper education was thought to require attention to body, mind and spirit. Today, the body is cared for at the gym, the mind has been poisoned by propaganda forged from a secular-progressive worldview, and the spirit is more likely to be found in a bottle of beer than in anything holy.

Yale traveled the same path as Harvard. Founded in 1701, the New Haven school has as its motto “ Lux et veritas,” or “light and truth.” It was believed by Yale’s founders that the essentials of proper learning should include the light of a liberal education (liberal meant something different then) and the truth could be found in New England’s religious tradition.

It was the same for Princeton and Dartmouth. Princeton, founded in 1746, subscribed to this motto: DEI SUB NUMINE VIGET, which means “Under God’s power she flourishes.” Princeton seminary, built on a foundation of biblical truth, went liberal (in the bad sense of the word) with professors questioning the authority of Scripture.

Dartmouth, founded in 1769, had as its motto “ Vox clamantis in deserto,” which means “a voice crying in the wilderness.” It is a biblical reference to John the Baptist who introduced Jesus Christ to the world. While the school was originally established to educate Native Americans in Christian theology and what was called the English way of life, the university primarily trained congregationalist ministers during its early history before it gradually secularized like so many others, following the spirit of the age.

These and many other once great universities have departed from their founding principles and what once defined a well-rounded education. For this and other reasons, college degrees are seemingly not worth what they once were and that is why – along with increasing costs – many young people are pursuing other avenues, including trade schools.

Forbes magazine reported: “Nationwide, undergraduate college enrollment dropped 8% from 2019 to 2022, with declines even after returning to in-person classes, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The slide in the college-going rate since 2018 is the steepest on record, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

American public schools have followed the path of these universities, incorporating subjects that have little to do with a proper education, and in too many instances indoctrinating young people with a secular progressive worldview that produces votes for Democrats.

Need proof to support that assertion? According to Pew Research Center,“ In 2022, voters with a college degree or more education favored Democratic candidates while those with no college degree preferred Republicans – continuing a long-standing trend in polarization among American voters by education.”

If you are a conservative parent, you would be wise not to send your child to one of these colleges and expect them to return with the values and beliefs you taught them. If you’re a liberal, sending your kids to these schools will simply reinforce what you and they already believe, which is not a real education.

Gay’s resignation will make no difference without a fundamental restructuring of what is taught. The same goes for other institutions of “higher learning.”

Reach Cal Thomas at Look for his latest book “A Watchman in the Night: What I've Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America" (HumanixBooks).

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