Since the Supreme Court decision on marriage, the government has put many religious universities on the “shame list” if they seek waivers that allow them to teach traditional values of marriage and sexuality without being stripped of grants or funding.
“It is sad to think how far things have come where religious institutions are now being targeted for disfavor from the government because of their views on marriage,” religious liberty attorney Roger Severino said at the Heritage Foundation on April 13, 2016.
Dr. Derek Halvorson, the President of Covenant College, on the panel with Severino, said “Christian colleges and universities maintain a commitment to the cultivation of virtue that other educational institutions have abandoned.”
Halverson noted that Former Harvard dean Harry Lewis has said “the fundamental job of undergraduate education is to help [students] grow up, to learn who they are, to search for a larger purpose for their lives, and to leave college as better human beings.”
Interestingly enough, the original Harvard shield contained two books faced up and one book faced down. The book faced down symbolized the limits of reason and the need to attain knowledge through God’s revelation. Today, all three books face up.
According to Severino, Harvard gradually changed over time to celebrate knowledge rather than celebrate morals. He said, “Right living and right knowing became disconnected.”
Unfortunately, the goal to help students grow up and leave college as better human beings has been forgotten in today’s world. Former Harvard President Derek Bok has lamented “professors are trained to transmit knowledge and skills within their chosen discipline, not to help students become more mature, morally perceptive human beings.”
Stripping the identity of religious institutions would contribute to the loss of fundamental American values. Dr. Halvorson concluded, “Our country needs institutions that can serve as exemplars of an old-fashioned model of learning that cultivates in young men and women the virtue so vital to the maintenance of a republic.”