Wednesday, March 22, 2006

LRC pick
More on the great college swindle
Paul Fussell’s right: in the States it’s mostly a rite of passage for middle- and upper-middle-class kids, social promotion, and a ripoff for working-class and other people who can’t get into real universities. Only about 14 per cent of kids really go to university, just like around 1940, and they’re the ones who still benefit from it.

Going for the reason Pieter Friedrich describes — job training, not education in the classical sense — is legitimate but don’t call it college. It is, as Fr George Rutler (a proponent of great-books classical liberal education) calls it, trade school. In some parts of Europe that track gets the support and respect it deserves: Swiss bankers don’t come from uni but specialised schools for their business.
This history course was intended to cover American history from the discovery to the beginning of the War Between the States.

From the beginning, our white professor, Andrew Raposa, clearly had an agenda, which was to convince us that African slavery was the single defining issue of American history.
A look here can disabuse one of the popular notion of the cause of that war.
Professor Raposa's secondary agenda was to undermine Christianity, particularly Reformed Christianity.
Calvinism deserves a bad rap. If you buy its premises (five points, TULIP) it’s a brilliant, logical system but if you’re deemed not one of the elect abandon all hope; an evil system really. Its followers invented apartheid (‘the whites are prosperous as a sign of God’s favour so obviously they’re among the elect’); the Catholic-minded in South Africa started the anti- movement.
One problem was that although he obviously despised it, Raposa was completely uninformed about Christianity.
Sounds like.
Our brief contextual discussion of the Reformation included the professor's contention that the major difference between John Calvin and Martin Luther was that Luther rejected the idea of predestination. Not exactly. Martin Luther said, "All things whatever arise from, and depend on, the divine appointment; whereby it was foreordained who should receive the word of life, and who should disbelieve it; who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them; and who should be justified and who should be condemned." Now that's an affirmation of predestination if I ever saw one.
There’s predestination (God who is above time knows what will happen to all of us) that is Catholic (and retained by Luther) and then there’s the double predestination of the Calvinists (you have no choice in the matter: God may well hate you from the start).
Additionally, Raposa taught that Calvin and Luther believed in "works salvation," where if you lived a good life you could earn your salvation. My suggestion that the Reformation was actually primarily motivated by Sola Fide and rejected the Romanist notion of earned salvation elicited a blank stare from the professor.
Mr Friedrich’s Protestant kind of ignorance is showing. This isn’t the Catholic position either.

Fact: as a truncheon with which to beat Christianity, the real Salem witch-trials aren’t that useful. Only 19 people were killed.

And to be fair to 1600s English Calvinists, I understand they weren’t necessarily puritanical in the modern colloquial sense. They were only theologically strange.

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