For 14 years I have tasted the rewards of spending time home schooling my children. However, I began to see on the horizon the need for something above and beyond the home schooling I was providing. I was dismayed at the prospects that were ahead of me. So much so, that my son mistakenly understood me to be against higher education in general rather than higher education as it currently exists in our modern culture. It was apparent to me that by the time he reached "college age," there weren't going to be any good choices that would also allow him to live at home and enter into manhood with the support and supervision of his parents.
He began taking courses at the local junior college in the summer. In a previous article, ("Living Lab," Chalcedon Report, December, 1996) I outlined some of the assaults on his faith that he had to endure during his first quarter. Since that time he has continued at this college only to experience a whole new set of unpleasant situations.
Some Cases in Point
Physics class began with the professor asking how many of the 100 students in the class believed that a god created the universe. About 20 or so raised their hands and he systematically pointed to each one of them as he asserted aloud, "Ignorant!" "Ignorant!" "Ignorant." About fifty percent of the classes that followed had more to do with the "ridiculousness of religion over the truth of science" than general physics, and before long it became obvious this was an anti-religion class as much as anything else. During a class well into the quarter, he instructed any students who still maintained their belief in a god to make their way to the campus library and look up "religions of the world" to discover how all of them claimed to be true. He didn't specify what they were to do upon completion; however, they were missing a class lecture and the mid-term was two days away. My son dropped the class because he was convinced that a failing grade awaited him. Discussions with the administration proved unfruitful.
His history class (taken the next quarter) continued the assault on Christianity and things Christian. The Crusades were reduced to the National Football League of its day. The beliefs and teachings of Wycliffe, Luther, and Calvin were held responsible for the American Indian "holocaust," and the Puritans' motivations for settling in America were categorized as merely capitalistic. The professor claimed that racism ranked as the major problem in American culture, but began his classes with racist and ethnic jokes (presumably to show their negative impact). One class involved his bringing up ten "white" students and two "black" students, instructing the white students to circle around the black ones. He then asked the following question in front of the 400 or so students in attendance: "How many here think these two black people are the product of bestiality?" Now that he had gotten everyone's attention, he went on to say that early America was very influenced by the myth that blacks were the products of humans and apes and this was an underpinning for slavery. So much for our schools trying to lessen racial tensions!
My son's speech class (the stated purpose of which is to help students learn to express themselves better), seemed to do little more than polarize the students. In one class, when called upon, my son expressed his opinion that abortion was wrong. He never said anything beyond that although he could have and was met after class with a punch in the face from another male student who found the opinion that a woman doesn't have the right to choose abortion offensive.
During a phone conversation with Dr. Rushdoony I discussed these examples with him and he asked me to write this article. He felt people really weren't aware of what goes on in state colleges and universities. I agreed reluctantly; I told him I wasn't happy with the fact that we still have our son attending such a school. His answer was, "What choices do you have? There aren't any real choices available for someone who wants to pursue a career that requires a degree. What he's doing is getting his `union card' and that's how you should look at it."
I can only pray that the prospects for higher education get brighter for the Christian young people of our country in the future.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].