By Larry P. Arnn, President, Hillsdale College:
The following is adapted from a speech delivered on December 6, 2019, during a Christmas Open House at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.
This Fall at Hillsdale College, we did something strange, stranger than if we had found a unicorn and built a zoo to show it off. We celebrated, with a whole heart, the founding of our College 175 years ago. Yes, most of our founders were white. Yes, most of them were male. All of them are now dead. What can we be thinking, to celebrate people like that in this day and age?
There are two reasons, one particular and one general.
The particular one has to do with these founders themselves. They were human, sure enough, but they were very good humans. The earliest of them were classically educated New England preachers. They thought liberal education was the road to good living, good citizenship, and good statesmanship. They thought to get this liberal education it is better to read the classic books in the classic languages, Greek and Latin, and those were prerequisites for admission to the College.
These founders were patriots. The first line of the College’s Articles of Association of 1844 commits the College to perpetuating the “inestimable blessings” of “civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety.” We obscure the fact these days that the Americans who founded our country were mostly Christians, and they were devoted to both civil and religious liberty with the same intensity that they held their faith. They thought that the Christian religion, the first universal religion not to provide government to the faithful, would therefore have to be practiced in many countries — and that those countries should provide for the right to do so, or else be wrong. Claiming that right for themselves, they also respected it for others. “Do as you would be done by.”
Read more: Patriot Post