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TFVNews: How I found God at Columbia

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  • Damian J. Anderson
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/dp20031202.shtml How I found God at Columbia Dennis Prager December 2, 2003 Very few people can say that
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2003
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      http://www.townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/dp20031202.shtml

      How I found God at Columbia
      Dennis Prager

      December 2, 2003

      Very few people can say that they found God or religion at college or
      graduate school. The university, after all, is a radically secular
      institution that either ignores or disparages religious belief in God.

      Yet, one day, when I was a graduate student in international affairs at
      Columbia University, I had what can honestly be called an epiphany.

      I remember it very clearly. Since entering graduate school, I was
      preoccupied with this question: Why did so many learned and intelligent
      professors believe so many foolish things?
      Why did so many people at my university believe nonsense such as Marxism? I
      was a fellow at the Russian Institute where I specialized in Soviet affairs
      and Marxism, and so I encountered professor after professor and student
      after student who truly believed in some variation on Marxism.

      Why did so many professors believe and teach the even more foolish notion
      that men and women are basically the same? At college, it was a given that
      the differing conduct of boys and girls and of men and women is a result of
      different, i.e., sexist, upbringings. The feminist absurdity that girls do
      girl things because they are given dolls and tea sets, and boys do boy
      things because they are given trucks and toy guns, was actually believed in
      the mind-numbing world of academic intellectuals.

      And why were so many professors morally confused? How could people so
      learned in contemporary history morally equate the Soviet Union and the
      United States, regard America as responsible for the Cold War, or regard
      Israel as the Middle East's villain?

      One day, I received an answer to these questions. Seemingly out of nowhere,
      a biblical verse -- one that I had recited every day in kindergarten at the
      Jewish religious school I attended as a child -- entered my mind. It was a
      verse from Psalm 111: "Wisdom begins with fear of God."

      The verse meant almost nothing to me as a child -- both because I recited
      it in the original Hebrew, which at the time I barely understood, and
      because the concept was way beyond a child's mind to comprehend. But 15
      years later, a verse I had rarely thought about answered my puzzle about my
      university and put me on a philosophical course from which I have never
      wavered.

      It could not be a coincidence that the most morally confused of society's
      mainstream institutions and the one possessing the least wisdom -- the
      university -- was also society's most secular institution. The Psalmist was
      right -- no God, no wisdom.

      Most people come to believe in God through what I call the front door of
      faith. Something leads them to believe in God. Since that day at Columbia,
      however, I regularly renew my faith through the back door -- I see the
      confusion and nihilism that godless ideas produce and my faith is restored.
      The consequences of secularism have been at least as powerful a force for
      faith in my life as religion.

      If our universities produced wise men and women, curricula of moral
      clarity, and professors who loved liberty and truth, not to mention loved
      America -- there is no question that my religious faith would be
      challenged. I would look at the temple of secularism, the university, and
      see so much goodness and wisdom that I would have to wonder just how
      important God and religion were.

      But I look at the university and see truth deconstructed, beauty reviled,
      America loathed, good and evil inverted, elementary truths about life
      denied, and I realize that one very powerful argument for God is that
      society cannot function successfully without reference to Him.

      So as much as I shudder almost every time I read of another academic taking
      an absurd position, I also feel my faith renewed.

      Ironically, the worse the universities get, the greater their tribute to
      God.

      --
      Damian J. Anderson damian@... http://www.unification.net
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