Volume 9, Issue 2 University of Houston
Harvard rejects plan for required religion course
by ZACH LEE
People over at those Ivy League schools may have brains, but they don’t have spines.
Harvard has scrapped a plan to become the only Ivy League school to require a course in religion, Reuters reported Thursday.
And it did it quietly, after many schools -- including UH -- finished administering finals, even though the announcement to include the class came in the middle of the semester.
The people at Harvard should be ashamed of themselves for caving to political correctness and ignoring religion’s significance in the modern world.
One professor who attacked the proposal claimed that “nationalism” and “race” were important issues as well, and if religion deserved to be a required course, so did those subjects.
There are two problems with that reasoning. First, Harvard was founded as a place to train Puritan ministers nearly four centuries ago, so the university has a history of being intimately involved with religious education. More importantly, however, to put religion on the same level as nationalism and race is to willfully ignore the current global climate. The United States is currently involved in a war on terrorism that specifically targets Islamic extremists, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting out of that war soon, regardless of who takes over at the White House in 2009.
Institutions of higher learning have a duty to prepare their students for the reality of the world, and it looked like Harvard was ready to lead the way. But administrators were too afraid of the battles they would have to fight in defense of their decision.
So afraid that they waited until almost everyone was too busy partying to realize what was going on.
Not only did they not have the courage to go through with their initial decision, they also couldn’t bear to face the academic community. So they waited until no one was looking.
That doesn’t look too much like a proud tradition.
Lee, an English/Spanish senior,
can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.