Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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More Patrick Henry College

NPR’s Terry Gross interviews Michael Farris and fails to get him to say anything outrageous, though I suspect that more than a few regular NPR listeners might find him oddly chilling or chillingly odd. That isn’t to say that you’ll agree with everything you hear.

I mentioned before that the incoming Dean, Gene Edward Veith, blogs. He has posted his thoughts on his new job here and here.

Discussions - 5 Comments

I listened to the interview, and I am an NPR regular. I didn’t hear Terry Gross try to get Farris to say anything outrageous. Nor did I come away thinking that Farris has a liberal arts and sciences college in mind. He seems to want a training school for Christian political operatives. It’s a free country, as we know.

"He seems to want a training school for Christian political operatives"

This is not what he said, since you obviously mean "operative" as opposed to a classically liberal education. His point, as most conservative commentators on the academy today would say, is that classical education in this country is almost no more. It is been replaced by militant secular left ideology. To cite the existence of the occasional conservative or even "classical" scholar is just the exception that proves the rule. I certainly don’t agree with the theological trends at this school (being Eastern Orthodox) but I appreciate the overall effort.

Also, Terry Gross-me-out questioning was crude and openly hostile at times. I laughed out loud when referring to the schools honor code she said "is that not old fashioned?" Terry was being disingenuous or is profoundly ignorant - either way the fact that a small portion of my taxes funds her silly program reminds me just how ridiculous our current political climate is...

But an honor code IS old fashioned. (Who’s making progressive assumptions? Gross? Christopher?) Indeed, much of what Christopher and I favor (I’m guessing) is old fashioned, and a good thing too. I’m not sure what Christoper means by classical. I assume he means philosophy and theology, literature, languages, history, etc. - a "core" curriculum in the humanities. Three cheers and more for that. What is the "overall effort" at PHC that he favors? There seems to be a false dichotomy here: a "militant secular left ideology" versus PHC’s "overall effort."

"But an honor code IS old fashioned" lol, too true. Still, I don’t think Terry meant it such a way. Hers was a loaded insinuation, as in "this honor code business oppresses women, speech, and the right to instant sexual gratification - did you copy this from Hitler or what?". I suppose I grant PHC the benefit of the doubt and take them at their word that they want a classical ("core") curriculum, and not mere foot soldiers for some crusade in current politics. These graduates would be soldiers in the classical Christian sense (think of St. Paul’s letters). This of course means they will stick out in current cultural/political wars, but this is not the sole purpose of PHC (the broader Christian sense is)...

Mr. Knippenberg, I’m curious what Mr. Farris says during the interview that you disagree with.

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