Accuracy in Media

It is sign of the times that when people are told that Harvard was founded by a Puritan minister and dedicated to Christ and His Church, most react by wondering if this can actually be true. The reaction is evidence that Cultural Marxism has almost succeeded in eradicating the facts about the Christian roots of American education.

During her 2016 commencement address, however, Harvard President Drew Faust referred to gathering near Harvard’s Memorial Church, one of those “enduring symbols of Harvard’s larger identity and purposes, testaments to what universities do and believe at a time when we have never needed them more.” She added, “And much is at stake, for us and for the world.”

This was an extraordinary statement of historical accuracy. What’s more, she went on to tell the graduates that values should be a major influence in their daily lives.

She said, “For this morning’s ceremony I wore the traditional Harvard presidential robe—styled on the garment of a Puritan minister and reminding us of Harvard’s origins. Values were an integral part of the defining purpose of the early years of Harvard College, created to educate a learned ministry.”

It’s rarely mentioned these days, but the official website declares that “Memorial Church of Harvard University is a space of grace in the center of the Yard, rooted in the good news of Jesus Christ.” In fact, Harvard itself was rooted in that good news.

The real history of Harvard and other colleges is seldom mentioned in the new, modern, and secular America that we have today. But I went to my bookshelf for a copy of Vaughn Shatzer’s 1999 book, History of American Education, which tells the almost forgotten story of how Harvard and other colleges, including Princeton, Yale, William and Mary, Rutgers, and even Columbia, were based on a Christian worldview.

The facts in this small, 127-page book are not only important but politically relevant today, as Shatzer devotes a section to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s involvement in the federal takeover of America’s schools. That effort today is known as Common Core.

Going back in history, Shatzer writes, “Many of our Founding Fathers such as John Adams, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Fisher Ames attended Harvard. Amazingly, Fisher Ames, who proposed wording for the First Amendment, entered Harvard at age twelve.”

“Of the first 126 colleges formed in America,” he notes, “all but three were formed on Christian principles. Up until 1900 it was very rare to find a university president who was not an ordained clergyman.”

Is the pendulum now swinging away from Cultural Marxism and back toward America’s founding principles?

Referring to Widener Library and Memorial Church, Harvard President Faust said, “we need the qualities that both represent, because I believe that reason and knowledge must be inflected with values, and that those of us who are privileged to be part of this community of learning bear consequent responsibilities.”

She continued, “Up until the end of the 1800s, most American college presidents taught a course on moral philosophy to graduating students. But with the rise of the research university in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, moral and ethical purposes came to be seen as at odds with the scientific thinking transforming higher education.”

She added, “But in today’s world, I believe it is dangerous for universities not to fully acknowledge and embrace their responsibilities to values and to service as well as to reason and discovery. There is no value-free science. There is no algorithm that writes itself. The questions we choose to ask and the research we decide to support; the standards of integrity we expect of our colleagues and students; the community we build and the model we offer: All of this is central to who we are.”

The issue of “who we are” has to consider the Founding Fathers and who they were, and why America was so successful for so long.

Shatzer’s book looks at many of the Founding Fathers. However, one of them, Thomas Jefferson, is particularly fascinating because today he is regarded as having been a proponent of the “separation of church and state.” In fact, while president he was chairman of the school board of the District of Columbia. One of the principal textbooks was the Bible. Jefferson hired clergy to teach classes.

He founded the University of Virginia in 1817 and its official motto was a Bible verse, John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The scripture was also inscribed on the walls inside the Rotunda.

It may not be Harvard President Faust’s intention to return the American educational system back to its original Christian values. But in order to truly make America great again, the “values” she talks about have to be given their true meaning within the context of American society at large.

She concluded her address by saying, “Reason and responsibility. Widener and Memorial Church. Harvard and the world. We have a very special obligation in a very difficult time. May we and the students we send forth today embrace it.”

Her speech is a good first step, but can these brick and mortar colleges and universities be saved?  Or have they been so corrupted that the real solution lies in an educational revolution that transfers learning to less expensive and mostly online institutions such as Amberton University, a nondenominational Christian institution? That university proclaims that its Christian commitment “does recognize its unique role in education and believes that the principles of Christianity and academic excellence run parallel, not perpendicular.”

Isn’t that what the Founders had in mind?




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Comments

  • RMThoughts

    Making America great again and returning to Christian roots of our culture depends whether the “old” (paleo-conservative) US patriots can finally kick the “crazies in the basement” (as Bush senior used to refer to the Neocons) out of the White House.

    The Neocon has provided the ideological basis for U.S. foreign orientating U.S. as a development from Wilsonian global liberal-democracy to what has become America’s exceptional “world revolutionary mission.” From Ledeen to Reagan and Bush the ideology has not been repudiated
    but rather continued by Obama.

    Cliff Kincaid’s much admired Michael Leaden,“Washington’s neoconservative guru,”s described the neoconservative agenda American policy at home and abroad in the Jerusalem Post as:

    “Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies
    have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission

    Ironicly we can quote Putin against Kincaid’s political heros. “If New World Order Agents and Satan worshipers want a challenge, then they can count me in.”

  • Steven Barrett

    While it’s admirable for Harvard’s President Faust to point to the higher values the university was founded on during its earliest days by John Harvard, a Puritan; let’s not also forget that the Puritans had a horrible record of living up to Godly principles when it came to their treatment of Catholics in Ireland and elsewhere in English occupied lands, especially in Harvard’s own new backyard of New England where the first wars of racial genocide were instituted against the Native American tribes of southern New England. I, for one, have a difficult time reconciling Harvard’s own long history of repeated displays of exclusionism. Nor can I even manage to separate such a high degree of fondness shown for laissez faire economics in this website when I think about how it was deliberately applied to Ireland by Westminster during the Great Famine of the 1840’s. Deliberately thanks to Peel, Russell and Trevelyan — who incredibly enough was knighted for his contributions to the purposefully unmitigated mass murder and expulsion of Her Majesty Victoria’s Irish [Catholic] subjects! We all depend on God’s Grace to help us forgive the unforgiveable acts of others, but I don’t recall any Biblical or Canonical instructions to forget them. If that was the case, then we might as well say we didn’t mean it when we joined with the rest of the world in promising to never forget the lessons of and from the Holocaust that occured roughly a century afterwards.
    Where did John Harvard and his fellow Puritans get the knowledge and instructions on how to help lift the lot of mankind up to the Christian ideal he sought to increase throughout the New World. Did they spring forth from the educated minds of the Puritans, or even the more non-liturgical Reformed branch of the Church of England, or even the Elizabethan and early Stuart era Anglican Church, which was formed in a violent ripping asunder of England from its thousand year old religious foundation provided by the Catholic Church, the only religious institution founded directly by God (admittedly in the Second Person, Jesus, of the Trinity.) Despite what a lot of present-day Protestants might have been taught otherwise, I think it’s a case of what I just described with John Harvard standing on the shoulders of a mighty leader and His first 12 Apostles/Bishops, particularly Peter, the first pope, with the spiritual assistance provided by Paul, who got it directly from Jesus as what he admitted in Scripture. When you hear “the Bible tells us so,” think of the long history packed in those words.
    We don’t seem as willing nowadays to reach back deep into our history, even when it comes to using American history in order to justify who we intend to vote for as president in November, much less deciding whether or not it’s worth the effort. Ponder that the next time you pass by a cemetery and catch a glimpse of fluttering American flags. You might despise one candidate or another, but at least you have the right that was paid for in millions of gallons worth of Patriots’ blood so you at least have this choice. And though it galls me to admit such, yes, they (quite inadvertently) paid dearly in terms of time, hard work, bravery under fire, loss of blood, limbs and the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, you also have the right to sit on your rears at home and bitch instead of at least making the effort to write in a protest candidate. Had we really taken the time to read up on our history, dig in to what events provoked our founders into taking the steps they did in order to provide a government for a self-governing nation of persons not subject to the whims of any crown. Remember, we are citizens, not subjects. But the moment we refuse to stay on top of our game as (continually) better informed voters, we will gradually give up what makes us full citizens instead of willing subjects to the whims of the latest demogogue and his packagers who are becoming more adept by the minute, never mind the next campaign, but by the minute, in their skills of mind and crowd manipulation. In case there are still some people who don’t believe the Separation of Church and State’s such a good idea, just think of how some of our most vitriolic campaigns have been made even worse no thanks to crafty wordsmiths on both sides of this issue during one election cycle to the next. Trust me folks, our religious liberties are not so rapidly fashioned and threatened by an exclusive elitist cabal floating between the law courts and academia, never mind their pulpits in our local churches, synagogues and mosques; there’s always the idiot box, too. We give up our rights to be fully free-thinking individuals when we so slavishly nod our heads and say, “Yep, if Reverend, Rabbi or Iman so and so says such and such and he or she’s got the Book to give us the riot act from, then we’d better toe the line and if necessary give a little more to make sure the (right) people keep getting elected or the right cause still stays alive. (Notwithstanding the fact that it might only be DC or statehouse lawyers and lobbyists keeping some of these ever so-sacrosanct causes alive out of one of the oldest natural fears outside of fire or drowning: …. job insecurity, keeping them going and going and going.
    It’s bad enough reading where if Candidate X gets in, he or she will appoint enough justices to the Supreme Court to yank the Second Amendment out of the Bill of Rights. Really now. See, if more people read up on even recent efforts to enact the Equal Rights Amendment, which was very close to becoming part of the Bill of Rights, only to be stopped by one state almost 40 years ago, what on earth would make an otherwise well-informed citizen (whose reading material isn’t down there with political pulp or the National Enquirer level) buy into any notion that law abiding citizens would lose their rights to own firearms for self-protection, and hunting game. All fifty states have a slew of motor vehicle registration laws primarily to make sure only sensible not mentally and too-physically ill or handicapped people are behind the wheel of a potential 2,000 lbs weapon. Hold on to your wallets, folks the next time some ideologue tries to mess with what should be your better informed judgment and temperamental attitude when it comes to the Second Amendment and of course, the First. The demogogues favorite two money making amendments, bar none.
    How many readers have been to Nuremberg, especially where the Nazis held their mass party rallies. How many of you ever had a chance to watch Leni Reifenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will,” which highlighted the first real big show after the Nazis took total power, (and also during which they rammed through the infamous Nuremberg Party Rally laws legalizing the criminalization of Judaism in Germany, not to mention other targets Hitler’s goons had their sights set on wiping out. For those who haven’t, there’s nothing like the sight of so many banner waving jack-booted Brownshirts marching in unison; and the banners all said the same thing, “Deutschland Erwache.” Or “Germany Reawakes.” Well now my friends, doesn’t this remind us of another very powerful voice of a more contemporary demagogue with all his bombast, hate-filled rhetoric and promises to “Make America Great Again”?
    America is great. We just don’t need to cheapen her by turning our backs on the hardest fought lessons and bloodiest sacrifices our men and women in uniform gave to ensure we have an even greater country and society live in. We don’t need to cheapen it by voting for a serial draft[-dodging prep-school wannabe soldier with a big mouth and an even bigger appetite for taking whatever he can out of the nation he shouts so loudly about how much he wants to make even greater. If we don’t want to be subjects to the whims of foreign powers, why on earth would we allow ourselves to succomb to this man’s never-ending quest to dominate and destroy whatever stands in his way to achieve what he really wants: total power for himself and his (hopefully) smaller crowd of sychopants.
    Remember, this is a man who seems willing to make “America great again” at the cost of everybody else. This serial draft dodger even dragged his own feet when it came to honoring what should have been an instinctive honor-bound impulse to make sure all those Veterans and their various organizations he promised to fund, were indeed funded, and not on his terms. They already gave what their country asked of them and more . . . and the very least this man who wants and promises, no less, to make this nation “great again,” can do is to fulfill his promise that he can well afford with the same level of committment that our brave men and women who deserve so much more than another con job pulled off by one of America’s greatest serial con artists.

  • John Cunningham

    “How to make America great again!” Well, you start with Barack Obama the undisputed, worse president in US History. Then you take Americans fed up with the Politicians that help bring on a Barack Obama. Now you bring on the PT Barnum of the Western World in the name of Donald Trump.

    Only because Americans are fed up with the Politicians does a Donald Trump have a chance to beat a Hillary Clinton. It seems like Liberals still like the chain that bind. What needs to be asked if you want to see all the bad thing Barack Obama did while President you will have to elect Donald Trump. If you still have blinders along with those chains, you vote for Hillary.

  • RMThoughts

    Trump, by discussing real issues like open borders and manufacturing jobs the billionaire has galvanized pissed off blue collar whites. We’re pissed off because we’re losing our birthright to third world imbeciles.

    We are not only in a culture war but also a race war that is being prosecuted relentlessly by our media and our politicians. White America is slated for destruction and Obama has probably done more than anyone else to wake people up to this fact. Trump didn’t create this situation. The Trump phenomenon is called a “backlash.” The people intent on third worlding us better get used to it.

  • gbyrneg50

    I think that academia has to become independent of government and raise its standards and be in a positon to criticise politicians and interest groups without its funding being threatened.

  • John Cunningham

    Excellent reply! Donald Trump is not your typical Conservative champion, far from it. He is a protest against all politicians who have squandered the Peoples trust. Democrats would vote for Hitler if he was on the ballot.

    I remember when Obama was first elected and Liberal pundits dared Conservatives to say anything about Obama’s race. Well guess what, they didn’t so, Obama was the first.

    When Democrats seen what a looser Obama was, they started using the race card in there explanation for Obama’s ineptness. Obama then started attacking white people as the problem.

  • 2011RedSox

    …and “backlash” can not be trusted to have a true moral compass in and of itself. Be quite sure what you choose with trump, there are very good indicators he is decidedly evil nature…

  • 2011RedSox

    Protest on the left have been disastrous… but visceral protest on the right (and I have doubt trump is even truly ‘right’) WITHOUT PRINCIPAL should not be trusted either. We do not need the result that any ‘mob’ mentality spawns, but more thoughtful conscripts used by our Founders in an Age of Reason with awareness of absolute and transcendent values exceeding the lust for temporary answers and/or fleeting pleasure..

  • John Cunningham

    Trump is not my choice either. Back in the 60’s People voted for Mickie Mouse or Donald Duck to show their displeasure. Donald Trump is now the product of our times.

    The last eight years, Liberals have dared Conservatives to try and impeach him. Of course, a very good chance a racial war would break out. Donald Trump, if elected, will not have that luxury. He will have to do a good job looking to his right and left.

  • terry1956

    Which is why we need total separation of school and state.
    schoolandstate.org

  • PORCH MONKEY

    Get rid of the criminal savage N I G G E R S

  • Steven Barrett

    It’s about time to separate church, or the fantasies some people mistake for good ol’ American (read: WASP) values and predominance in the halls of government before we can even think of becoming a better American instead of this so-called “great” stuff that Trump is trying to repackage for his own personal ambitions.
    Some of you want to go back to the good old days of powdered wigs, horse drawn carriages, long frock coats, men wearing frilly shirts … try picturing Arnold or his other macho-man cinematic war heroes all decked out in that garb as they head off to Philly to create a government or social order they’d make a mockery out of on their first night on the town.
    Should we go back to when Blacks were legally designated as sub-humans, fit only for manual laborers and somebody else’s property, no higher than a horse or today’s sit-down mowers? Should we go back to when Catholics were routinely discriminated across the colonial landscape before, during and for some states, a good half century after the phony Jefferson wrote that all men were “created equal”? Should I continue?

  • StupidConservativeValues

    Overall, it appears that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is completely imploding. From his temper tantrums to his inexcusable racism, the past week has been devastating for the presumptive nominee. His doubling down will only make it worse.
    Can he recover? Certainly. For the good of the country, let’s hope he doesn’t.

  • StupidConservativeValues

    Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is completely imploding. From his temper tantrums to his inexcusable racism, the past week has been devastating for the presumptive nominee. His doubling down will only make it worse.

  • StupidConservativeValues

    Wrong, you project. Now, get him outta here!

  • StupidConservativeValues

    Do you have a preferred way of doing it?

  • John Cunningham

    Its a conundrum! Like jumping out of the fry pan into the fire. I almost wish the Military would take over and call for seine elections. This one isn’t. Hillary may be the first President to serve from Leavenworth Kansas.

    It is truly the blackest day in American History. I see no clear way out of this mess. The Democrats had no one and the Republicans had to many. In the end the People made really bad choices. Now our Grandchildren will have to pay for it.

  • John Cunningham

    Now don’t blow it. Trying too have a rational conversation with a Liberal. I know they said it couldn’t be done but, I will give a good one for the Gipper.

  • LFRD

    Thank You for this piece. America needs more Americans who will stand up & lead, especially our youth, but all of America.

  • LFRD

    You WISH

  • LFRD

    OMG!

  • Steven Barrett

    We don’t have “criminal ….” — Hell’s bells, I won’t repeat it, we have African American C I T I Z E N S, just like we have citizens of all other walks of life who come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some, not most, Americans who are African Americans can claim to have ancestors whose lives were violently uprooted, forced to endure the horrific Middle Passage, only to be sold or resold several times over after they arrived and forced to work on white owned slave plantations (located mostly throughout the South.) Later some of their ancestors were resold or focibly marched off to newer expanded mega-cotton or rice plantations after the Cherokee and other Native American tribes were forcibly evicted and marched off under the watchful eyes of rifle toting Federal soldiers to Oklahoma … all no thanks to one of the South’s biggest slavers who became our 7th president, Andrew Jackson, a man who’s infamy speaks for itself.
    Perhaps my little history lesson will provide a clue through a glimpse into past “preferred” means of removing … should we call ’em in today’s very cold bureaucratic parlance, “illegal aliens” as if they were deposited by invisible Martian space crafts. Laugh, but just remember how many people watch those shows on the idiot boxes about “ancient aliens” and of course, sightings of “Elvis.” Before Elvis’ self-caused death by a pathetic decline into permanent deterioration, the big thing was “Hitler sightings.”
    For all of Trump’s Mussolini-like chest beating bloviations about building a huge berm, then rounding up all those illegals and of course, his favorite targed, illegal Mexicans, and handing them over to the Mexican border authorities, I have a better idea of how to save American jobs from heading SOB. First, rip up any tax agreements allowing companies to write off any expenses they incur as a result of pulling up factory roots and relocating them anywhere outside the country. Even to far off territories which if they’re deprived of enough oversight labor law enforcers, could turn into new slave-factory buildings, or remain that way till hell freezes over, even in the American Samoas, or Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, take your pick. Just cut the juice provided by Ma & Pa Taxpayer, and their pols whose campaigns for election and (practically guaranteed ) reelection are paid for by companies that are more concerned about profits than their duties as American companies and citizens.
    Permanently rip up the passports of any company officials, their immediate loved ones, mistresses and boy toys, too … make ’em all hostage, (just like they put our job security hostage to their greedy scheming) and that at least should prevent all but the most shameless parasites from leaving not only for warmer and more “pro-business environments” transl. tax havens for the cheapest of cheapest skinflints, these Benedict Arnolds in pin stripes, er now shorts and tropical shirts and appropriately enough, “Plantation hats.” Ohhhh, will they howl esp. if there’s a coup going on outside their gates communities and they can’t visit the nearby yacht club or play a round and you’ll hear ’em from thousands of miles away, “Where’s the aircraft carriers.”
    Rest assured, if I was the president, the ships would get their steamin’ orders alright, to head in the opposite direction. No tribute for brigands and no damn blood of our noblest for traitors, esp. economic traitors who squeezed other American taxpayers they left on the hoof so they could bolt for easier “lifestyles” abroad in tax cheater havens.
    There are all sorts ot other ways and means to prevent what Trump and his backing pals, who dare not ever let on to who they are and why they’re still backing this boorish dolt, except he’s a good business bet. For them. Not the rest of us. They’re willing to let The Donald round up all the illegals they can afford to round up for any given period, plunk ’em behind his wall of shame he proposes to show he’s “serious” about stopping those rapacious, ravenous and crime-happy Mexicans he so happily tarbrushed during his first “presidential announcement.” What they want to do is keep their cheap tax-dodging, labor laws dodging, safety laws dodging, environmental laws dodging, you name it dodging companies that’ll be located just yards from behind Der Trump Mauer. Gotta keep the labor pool up, and of course, costs down. Yep, that’s it. Basically, that’s normal business thinking for even small crafts shops. THis ilk of The Donald and his most rabid believers in a dog eat dog level of capitalism on roids, the Mexican berm fits all too neatly into their plans. Of course, because this bunch never gives a damn for anybody but their own.
    Small wonder why there are so many millennial evangelicals backing this fraud who once said he never asks for God’s forgiveness. If you believe in the mere acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior, that’s it, you’ve got your lucky lotto tix and you’re just years away from that ultimiate gated lifestyle awaiting you beyond St. Peter’s Pearly Gates. Why bother with the guilt of forcing people out of work, cutting social safety net programs to ease the painful transistion from fear to absolute and total fear of life actually lived out in shelters and street corners. After all, if you “misconstrue” God’s word, no problem if you’re The Donald or just like him. You don’t have to apologize because your ticket’s already punched!
    If it ever comes to this, hell’s bells, the Feds under Der Trumper might as well “get rid” of me and others like me in their “guilt-free” consciences and mindsets … straight to hell and let me get it over with. After all, what difference could there be in life in hell above the earth’s crust while we’re “alive” during a four-to-eight year tenure of Trumpism and Satan’s version itself?
    Oh, I’ve got it, Trump’s version will likely be published by his “university” and called “Hell, The Trailer.”

  • StupidConservativeValues

    Hell’s Bells, wasn’t that an Ozzie album or something?

  • StupidConservativeValues

    You took the words right outta my mouth!