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Morality Losing Ground at Secular Universities

April 14th, 2009

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 338-8727
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

Dr. Keith Pavlischek

Preoccupied with outlawing what God decrees while institutionalizing what God detests, some institutes of higher education are going insane, says one long-time ally of Patrick Henry College.  Dr. Keith Pavlischek recently illustrated the point on the blog First Things, by juxtaposing two startling news stories from the University of Maryland. The first article describes a free-speech protest by students railing against a legislator’s attempts to prohibit the showing of a pornographic movie on campus. The second—published on the same page of the Washington Post—explains how the University’s senate simultaneously voted to eliminate prayer from commencement exercises. Their reasoning? “Many people on the large and diverse Maryland campus ‘felt excluded or marginalized’ by having any prayer . . . which they considered essentially Christian in form and motivation.”

Pavlischek, Senior Fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center and occasional guest lecturer at Patrick Henry College, observed in his blog post: “We’re not told whether any University of Maryland students felt ‘excluded or marginalized’ by having a porn flick showing ‘close-ups of sweaty pirates having orgies’ in their student union or whether the taxpayers of Maryland feel ‘excluded or marginalized’ by having their tax money go to an institution that promotes such things in the name of ‘free speech.’”

In contrast, at Patrick Henry College prayer is encouraged, while pornography is strictly prohibited. Both principles, firmly ingrained within the College’s institutional bylaws, are not only favored but publicly encouraged and policed by the students themselves. Given that free speech is valued on both the PHC and U-MD campuses, Pavlischek explains that the practice thereof is susceptible to radically different notions about freedom. At the University of Maryland, he says, “They proclaim loudly that they are so free, but [if the university senate resolution passes] they are not free to have an invocation prayer.”

PHC President Dr. Graham Walker contrasts the student culture at the University of Maryland with the goals of Patrick Henry College, stating that U-MD’s subjective flip-flopping of good and evil illustrates precisely why PHC was created.

“There is so much confusion in higher education,” he says. “The universities are so compromised by distorted ideals. We need an institution that can set an example and practice truth—that can call good ‘good’ and evil ‘evil.’”

Read Dr. Pavlischek’s full blog post and other columns on First Things.