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Monday, May 14, 2007

A Response to the The Hatemongers Quartely's Criticism of My School

(See Every College Kid Left Behind)

As a student at Hillsdale College, I would like to take a moment to address the "appeal" of Hillsdale that you find so difficult to understand.

First, the supposed lack of "intellectual diversity" on campus is a farce. While the campus is solidly conservative, there is a strong libertarian element, many anti-war Catholics (following the direction of the pope), and even a very active (though small) College Democrats Club.

Second, intellectual diversity means more than just democrat-republican or conservative-liberal. Those philosophies have more fundamental principles which we debate all the time. I can tell you that I personally have stayed up till three in the morning arguing whether absolute truth is ascertainable with several of my friends, not only because it's college and I'm a dork, but because we understood the implications involved. If someone is looking for intellectual, rigorous debate, there certainly is enough of that here at Hillsdale.

Third, Hillsdale is proof that it is possible to educate students without politicizing that education. When Hillsdale students read Virgil, Dante, or Camus, we discuss the ideas contained within the books themselves, and not whatever feel-good nonsense the professor might make up. The course of study presented here would enrich the mind of any student regardless of his political affiliation. And, also regardless of his politics, that student will be graded fairly according to the quality of his work. Being conservative allows us to recognize the value of a true education, and Hillsdale College students are free to receive one without the "niggling ephemeralities" of a PC-driven public school.

Fourth, every conservative living in the world today is so bombarded by the liberal establishment that there is virtually no risk that he will not be "exposed" to what pass for liberal "ideas." Nearly every TV show, every movie, every popular song blasted into our ears from every radio, expresses a message contrary to our values and to our beliefs. This is especially true for students at public schools. My high school violated my rights so flagrantly that law firms offered to represent me free of charge. It is nice to be at a school where I don't have to defend my principles every living moment of every day, where I don't have to wonder whether the "B" on my research paper was deserved or whether it was given because of my beliefs, where I don't have to numb my ears to a constant hum of profanities, and where my parents don't ask me to avoid the crowded hallways for fear of retribution.

Finally, as those who visit Hillsdale College know, the quality of the students here-- intelligent, diligent, principled, virtuous, chivalrous, kind, compassionate, self-sacrificing and overwhelmingly Christian-- is so great that it inspires a feeling of camaraderie unlike that which I have ever known. There is a bond so firm that it lead a higher percentage of Hillsdale men to fight and die beside their brothers in the Civil War—under the direction of their classics professor!—than any other non-military school in the nation. There is a Hillsdale College alumni retirement community under construction: think about what that says of our college! I am only a sophomore here, but already I love my school and my fellow students. And that, I suppose, is what has driven me to write this response. Because when someone criticizes the people I love, they had better know what they're talking about. So please, before you toss off your reproach from the comfort of your arm-chair, make very certain that you do.

Daniel Christianson


Blogger Dakota said...

That's pretty much why I am coming to Hillsdale.

And their poetry was so bad as to be funny. ;-)

May 14, 2007 10:58 PM  
Blogger Daniel Christianson said...

Yes, our Towerlight is pretty bad :P.

I'm excited to know you're coming to Hillsdale next year. We'll have to find a way to meet up sometime; I'd like to talk to you about Generation Joshua for a few reasons I can't talk about on the open ne I'd really encourage you to get as involved on campus as you can. You seem like a great Christian.

Thanks for reading my blog, and God Bless.


May 14, 2007 11:09 PM  

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