Several years ago, sociologist Peter Berger argued that secularization has been most pervasive in two social locations—Western Europe and the American college and university campus. The campuses of elite educational institutions are among the most thoroughly secularized places on our planet. This should concern anyone with an interest in higher education, of course. But it really matters to every American—or at least it should.
A wonderful and concise explanation of why this is so was provided in the pages of The Weekly Standard this week by David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale University. In the course of making a proposal for the “reclamation” of higher education, Professor Gelernter wrote this very important paragraph:
Since the cultural revolution culminating in the 1970s, the left has run nearly all of the nation’s most influential, prestigious universities. Their alumni, in turn, run American culture—the broadcast networks, newspapers, the legal and many other professions, Hollywood, book publishing, and, most important, the massive, insensate, crush-everything-in-your-path mega-glacier known as the U.S. federal bureaucracy—and even more important than that, the education establishment charged with indoctrinating our children from kindergarten up.
That’s why it matters to you. And that’s how the future direction of the culture is set by the current culture of the elite colleges and universities. Many parents are unaware of how this happens. Their children may or may not attend one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation. But in almost any other institution they will study under professors who want to be associated with (or eventually hired by) one of those elite institutions. Exceptions to this pattern are rare, and the influence of these elite schools extends throughout the culture at large.
David Gelernter is in a position to know. After all, he is a professor at Yale. As he makes clear, what happens at Yale doesn’t stay at Yale.
David Genernter, “Back to School: A Reclamation Project for Higher Ed.,” The Weekly Standard, September 30, 2013. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/back-school_756489.html
I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbertMohler.
In the beginning was the Word. Christians rightly cherish the declaration that our Savior, the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, is first known as…
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take…
This is an edited transcript of The Briefing podcast from early Thursday morning, January 8, 2015. The war on terror took on a savage new face…
The vision of sexuality glorified by Playboy is no longer on the cutting edge of moral change. Playboy won the battle and can now leave the battlefield commercially wounded but culturally victorious.