Harvard Students Fear of

With all the anti-Christian, anti-conservative propaganda disseminated by professors in the classroom and through other aspects of campus life, not to mention the media and the dominant culture, many college students develop a pronounced aversion to Christianity and traditional values. Thus molded, they follow the example of their teachers and become fully capable of waging war on their own against any of their peers who have the audacity not to submit to the status quo.

Consider some students at Harvard University, which, as we've seen, was the first college established in America and was Christian in origin. In October 1998, Harvard student Christopher King decided to run for president of the Harvard student government to counter the cynicism pervading the campus atmosphere. King and his running mate Fentrice Driskell campaigned on a theme of building a "healthier Harvard community." The duo consciously tried to recruit individuals from diverse backgrounds to join their effort. King said, "We looked like the United Nations."

When the campaign was barely underway, a woman serving on the Undergraduate Council Election Commission asked her friends in an e-mail to pray for the candidates, and in particular for King and Driskell. Though King had not sought the endorsement, word never theless circulated that King was Christian, which brought out the anti-Christians in full force. They circulated posters seeking to paint King's candidacy as a glorified evangelical crusade. Earlier, King had sought advice from various "community-building" groups off campus, including Global Youth Connect, a secular organization.

On the posters, King's opponents falsely attributed a proselytizing quote to Global Youth Connect that had actually originated from a website for "Connect," a Bible study group in Ohio with which King had no contact. At the bottom of every anti-King poster appeared the following bogus quote: "Our youth ministry exists to bring non believers to Christ." Then, as if auditioning for positions on the New York Times editorial page, the Harvard Crimson's editors followed up with a hand-wringing opinion piece endorsing one of King's opponents, in which they reinforced the credibility of the poster's quotation. Referring to the King-Driskell ticket, the editors wrote, "Their promise of 'values-driven leadership' is vague and worrisome; though King and Driskell say they want to unify the campus, their ties to religious groups have raised concerns among many students. "

King and Driskell lost by one hundred votes, and the anti-Christian smear may well have cost them the election. "Christianity is ... an important part of who I am," King said. "But they were the ones who made it an issue I have struggled with the fact that in 1999 at Harvard you could be so persecuted for being a Christian."

Naomi Schaefer reported in the Wall Street Journal that King's experience was symptomatic of a greater problem. Schaefer quoted former student and Undergraduate Council president Beth Stewart as saying, "There is a large community of Harvard students who are extremely suspicious of and feel threatened by organized religion. Certainly, there is a prejudice against Christianity here more than against any other religion." According to Schaefer's report, school newspaper president Matt Granade flatly denied that the Crimson had engaged in religious discrimination. "That's an unequivocal no," he said. What troubled the editors was "the religious language used in the e-mails and the woman's connections to the election commission."

As Schaefer noted in her story, "The theory seems to be: How can you embrace a community of diverse individuals if you are narrow-minded enough to believe in God?" But the discrimination is even worse than Schaefer described, for the e-mail was neither written nor solicited by King. Rather, Christianity and prayer requests are viewed as so obnoxious to students attending this school, founded primarily to promote the Gospel of Christ, that Christians dare not even profess their beliefs in these enlightened times. Moreover, so imbued with secularism are these elite students that the perpetrators of this bigotry seem completely oblivious to their infractions. When Christians are the targeted group, "diversity" is out the door and different rules apply. Today's "tolerance" unabashedly excludes them from equal dignity, respect, and treatment.

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