Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Religion in the Ivy League

Betcha didn’t know that the influx of Asian-American students into the Ivy league has reinvigorated student religious groups. So I learned from this article, which offers an account of evangelicalism at Dartmouth, Harvard, and elsewhere. But don’t call it evangelicalism, if you please!

According to Ivy League campus ministers, politics has become a stumbling block in evangelism. Craig Parker, staff leader for Navigators at Dartmouth, says his ministry does not use the term evangelical, due to its "political and moralistic connotations." Jimmy Quach says Harvard students loathe the Religious Right. He said, "One student told me, ’I love everything I’ve learned about Christianity. I love the community. I love what I’ve learned about Jesus. But if I were to become a Christian, I’d have to consider those in the Religious Right in my family. And I can’t stand that idea.’"

Seems some of those folks have a long way to go to achieve the generosity of spirit of a
Stephen L. Carter.

Discussions - 6 Comments

But if I were to become a Christian, I’d have to consider those in the Religious Right in my family. And I can’t stand that idea.

Really? It seems to me that this student has actually learned very little about Christianity.


It may be someone who wants the comforts of religion without its
rather challenging demands.

Much as some liberals like to call themselves "libertarians," when in fact, they support only the cool, fun, easy parts of the libertarian philosophy: drug legalization,
"pro-choice," anti-war, etc.

Here is my favorite quote from a Cornell alum who contributed to this terrific article:

""I was the worst kind of agnostic back then, an obnoxious one and thinking I knew all the answers."

Given the definition of agnostic, I guess that IS the worst kind!

Note to David Frisk: "the cool, fun, easy parts of the libertarian philosophy: drug legalization, "pro-choice," anti-war, etc.".

David, I’m not a Libertarian, but I am a Liberal. Aren’t you a little bit embarrassed by your comment? Do you imagine libertarians sitting around, smoking joints, thinking, "it’s so fun, and easy, and cool (maybe even groovy?) being pro-choice and anti-war!"????

Note to Ohio Voter: Don’t Christians assume that it is a Christian guarding the gates of Heaven, keeping the nonbelievers out? Seems to me, evangelicals are at least as exclusive as the next fundamentalist guy....

"You have heard that it was said, ’You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies ...."

This is one of the most well-known teachings of Gospels. I assumed this would be something the person quoted above would have "learned about Jesus." But that person seems unable to reconcile even minor political differences that most people don’t even worry about. Sounds like a poseur to me.

"Fung," I never implied that libertarians are potheads. And I hope I don’t have to waste words by acknowledging the obvious, that one CAN be a libertarian and against legalized drugs, "pro-life," and pro-war. The point is that liberals are attracted by some of the beliefs that libertarians tend to hold, while ignoring the more difficult libertarian disbelief in a free lunch, among other things, when they call themselves "libertarians."

Seriously, Fung. It seemed pretty obvious to me what he was talking about. And yes, I do imagine liberals sitting around, smoking joints, thinking, "it’s so fun, and easy, and cool being pro-choice and anti-war." In fact, I need not imagine it at all. I see it all the time.

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