Jul 30 2009

The Left At Christian Universities, Part 13: Infiltrating, or enabling?

Category: abortion,Catholic,church,higher education,left,religion,societyharmonicminer @ 8:24 am

The previous post in this series is here.

From the Cardinal Newman Society

A national Catholic higher education organization has identified 10 Catholic colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations whose missions or activities are directly opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, including on fundamental issues such as abortion and marriage.

“This discovery validates the concerns of so many thousands of faithful Catholic parents and students, that public scandals at Catholic colleges are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?”

Last week, CNS wrote to the presidents of these colleges and universities to inform them of the problems with their internship programs. None have yet indicated that they will take steps to remedy the problems.

The internship programs—along with concerns about theological dissent, weakening academic standards and declining campus culture at many Catholic colleges and universities—help explain why most students and recent graduates of Catholic institutions believe that abortion and gay marriage should be legal, despite the Church’s clear teachings to the contrary. That was one of the disturbing findings of a November 2008 study published by the CNS Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education and titled “Behaviors and Beliefs of Current and Recent Students at U.S. Catholic Colleges.”

This is not only a Catholic problem, of course.  Many evangelical colleges and universities bring speakers to their campuses who undermine the central missions of the institutions, as well as encouraging student participation in organizations that support pro-abortion and anti-family public policy.   Certainly, there will be times when a “professional internship” may require a student to participate in or with an organization whose ethos is questionable in these matters.  (Student teaching comes to mind.  The NEA is pro-abortion and anti-family through and through, and indirectly controls a great deal of American public education.)  But there seems to be an unfortunate pattern at some Christian colleges and universities of encouraging student participation in essentially leftist organizations promoting socialism, abortion-on-demand, leftist public and foreign policy, etc., such as CLUE, Progressive Christians Uniting, NAACP, Faith Voices for the Common Good, etc.  Such organizations may even be invited to campus to recruit students with week-long workshops.

Some of these organizations take moral stances at odds with Christian tradition, but may nevertheless do some good work.  Even Hamas hands out food and clothing in Gaza.  Not that these are “terrorist organizations” (although Progressive Christians Uniting seems quite fond of CAIR, which is a HAMAS supporter), but the point is that “doing good” is not a sufficient cause to place students with organizations that support evils like abortion and the destruction of the traditional family, or simply deafeningly bad ideas like socialism and pacifism, which generally lead to evil down the road.

At a minimum, if Christian universities/colleges are going to place students in internships with left-wing groups such as these, part of the “critical thinking and evaluation” exercises surrounding the intership should involve challenging the underlying assumptions and associations of the groups where students are placed.

Christianity is not distilled essence of leftism with scripture quotations.  The book of Luke is not a license for the government to play the role of Robin Hood, even if “red-letter-Christians” might wish otherwise.  And our failure as a society to protect the unborn remains the single biggest moral divide in our nation, much as slavery was 200 years ago, even if “enlightened evangelicals” are embarrassed to stand up against abortion-on-demand, when the cost is the good regard of the secular world with which they want to be friends.

If an organization passes out food to the hungry, and then supports politicians and policies that promote easy access to abortion, exactly what is that organization’s moral status?

Before we place our students with organizations whose values are divergent from Christian tradition (regardless of the religious clothing these organizations may wear), we’d better seriously consider what other options we have, and we’d better be certain we have prepared those students with sufficient intellectual and spiritual armor to resist the values-bending pressures they’ll have to endure.

There is a followup to this post here, about CLUE and the agenda they pursue.

H/T:  Christiansagainstleftistheresy

The next post in this series is here.

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