Christianity Today (CT) has posted an article about increasing government intrusion into higher education. The Federal Department of Education aims to impose new regulations that, as CT says, “could provide a back-door threat to the ability of Christian colleges to control curriculum, admissions, and hiring standards.” In other words, the government will force Christian Colleges and relevant seminaries to teach what the government wants, admit whom the government wants, and hire as professors whom the government says.
Imagine at Christian College being sued and required to hire a lesbian sociology professor to teach tolerance of homosexuality, and forced to allow homosexuals, feminists, and atheists to their Christian Education programs.
Of course, there is a way to prevent ALL of this from happening in ANY Christian school, even if the new regulations do go into effect. How?
Simple: quit accepting government aid for student loans, grants, etc. Why Christians schools ever bought into this trap to begin with defies everything holy. The State should not be involved in education; and when we foolishly accept the State’s dollar, don’t be surprised when the State starts running the show. He who pays the piper….
Sadly, nowhere in its two page article does CT even address this part of the topic. To them, the State is merely overstepping its bounds. But they don’t even mention the State-funding angle: Caesar image is on the tuition payment; he is merely coming to claim what is his.
It’s one reason the influence of Christianity has so waned in society: the liberals and statists designed the “land grant” State University system consciously as a secular competition to Christian education. Then they designed a “hook” by which to snag control of Christian colleges and seminaries: federal loan and federal aid programs.
In order to “qualify” for federal aid, schools have to meet federal regulations, and receive “third party” accreditation. Of course, they never discuss the question, “Who accredits the accreditors?” Accreditation has been from day one an avenue by which to exercise control over school curricula and professors. But, if you want your students to be able to use federal loans and federal aid in order to pay tuition at your school, you MUST have accreditation by the accrediting goons.
As Hank Brown, former president of the University of Colorado, and Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University, wrote in a recent op-ed in The Denver Post, “Who can doubt that various interest groups will soon begin to clamor for ideas to be mandated by law as requirements for college classrooms?”
Right on Hank. So why take the money? If you refuse to accept federal aid to begin with, they can have no jurisdiction or influence over you without absolute tyranny. So why take the carrot?
Christians live in oblivion to the power government exercises over education, not simply because it is the government, but because we accept its bribes. The view of aTennessee Senator in this matter is almost laughable:
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee expressed concern that “increase[d] state government supervision” would reduce the “independence and autonomy” that undergird the strength of the U.S. education system.
What Alice-in-wonderland has he been living in? No school–primary, secondary, or higher–in this country that is accredited and receives federal aid has anything near “independence and autonomy.” If they take State money, they are tied by State strings, period.
The Christian student need to be more savvy than CT and its oblivious, state-loving audience. Bill Anderson at LewRockwell.com has commented wisely on this in a blog post. He writes,
Unfortunately, I think that people are going to draw the wrong conclusion: they will claim that this is yet another example of the “Godless Democrats/Obamaites” attacking evangelical Christianity. While I have no doubt that lots of Democrats would love to launch a full frontal attack on Christian organizations, nonetheless there is a much bigger issue here: This is what happens when these colleges accept government aid for students.
Grove City College more than 20 years ago lost a case on federal control, but hardly any Christian colleges followed GCC’s example of getting out of the federal money business altogether. This means that places like Wheaton College, Covenant College, and others are going to have to face head-on the federal train that has been barreling down the tracks at them for years. However, leaders of these colleges ignored the obvious or claimed that the government never would try to do this.
The Christian student needs to be avoid using federal aid themselves, and if possible, go to a school that refuses to accept it. This will be difficult to find, but not impossible. And if schools wish to preserve their “autonomy and independence” for real, they should stop accepting aid and stop prostituting themselves out the secular accrediting organizations.