Mike Cope's blog

Friday, April 08, 2005

Thanks to James Wiser for providing this blog on Harding's recognition as one of the ten most politically conservative schools in America. It was written in a kind spirit with recognition of the many wonderful people at my alma mater. Thoughts?


  • Thanks for the link.

    I found out about College of the Ozarks my senior year of undergrad, and thought the whole idea of having a place on campus to work to help with one's education was tremendous. If I had only found out about that 4 years earlier. It is one of the aspects I wish were a part of the ACU Grad program here, since I think that one-on-one mentoring is severely lacking (at least in my life right now). I also wish the local congregations (hint, hint) would provide more opportunities to minister to Grad students, one-on-one, instead of often times creating more for them to do on the weekends. Sorry if that sounded like a rant, it is not intended to be.

    Thanks again Mike.

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 4/08/2005 03:14:00 PM  

  • Abilene and other Christian private schools are probably not too far behind Harding. Especially those schools which are theologically conservative. Hopefully, Harding is still a place of grace and truth.

    Just think, when we were there Wilbur Mills spoke in chapel. I remember that a young attorney general named Bill Clinton was often admired for his ambition. By the way, I find it interesting that on the list is Thomas Aquinas College. I was surprised since they have a "bushwacker" group on campus.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 4/08/2005 03:20:00 PM  

  • I wish that Harding wasn't known for political conservatism. (Nor would I want it to be known for political liberalism.) Political parties come and go, as do nations. That's not particularly threatening to us as Christ-followers. Our citizenship is in heaven. We are part of a counter-cultural movement that is spawned by the gospel. We invest in those little outposts of the kingdom, knowing that God will do his work through them.

    And the truth is -- there is always that focus at Harding. One of the great mission programs I know is the one Monte Cox is leading there. There are young missionaries all over Africa who were trained there. That is what I'm proud of.

    My hope isn't in free enterprise, American business, politics of right or left -- but in the in-breaking kingdom of God.

    By Blogger Mike, at 4/08/2005 03:31:00 PM  

  • Amen!

    By Blogger David Michael, at 4/08/2005 03:35:00 PM  

  • As

    By Blogger Sara, at 4/08/2005 07:37:00 PM  

  • When we visited College of the Ozarks we were impressed with:

    Hotel at the entrance that looks like the Bass Pro in Springfield

    All students have jobs ranging from the restaurant to the dairy

    The beauty of looking off the cliff and watching the fishing boats drifting down the river

    Bronze statue of our founding fathers on their knees in prayer

    Some of the students decorating their historic church for a wedding.

    Everybody was friendly

    Students smiled

    I have grown to really enjoy SW Missouri when we visit my family

    By Blogger Larry, at 4/09/2005 07:28:00 AM  

  • Any college or university that teaches or adheres to principles of absolute truth are going to be considered conservative. And considering the fact that 72 percent of college educators describe themselves as liberal, (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8427-2005Mar28.html) that still may put Harding squarely in the mainstream.

    By Blogger Old Pybus, at 4/09/2005 06:48:00 PM  

  • Right on mike! Remember me in prayer as I attend opening day at the ballpark this afternoon!!! PEACE!

    By Blogger D.J. Bulls, at 4/11/2005 07:10:00 AM  

  • Mike, I made the comment on James' blog several weeks ago, with my thoughtful and erudite response regarding how it may not be a bad idea for Harding to announce the award. Turns out I was wrong.

    I was in e-mail contact with James after the post, (off-blog), and told him this, as well. After posting, I did a little research into the announcement of the award, speaking with the folks in PR, who said the response to the announcement (this is hard to judge, according to them) was probably more negative than positive, so my analysis wasn't worth much, apparently. (However, this IS hard to judge, and the people I was speaking about, who may be favorably impressed with the award, are not ones who would have responded negatively, so who knows?)

    I do think it is more a matter of perception than anything else, and the point made in that post regarding the Young America's Foundation and THEIR aims in making the list is valid. James' recognition that this is mostly directed (favorably or unfavorably) at the American Studies Institute is also correct. I don't think you can separate the ASI from the sponsoring organization (HU) in the minds of those off-campus, however.

    On another note, you mentioned the other day that this blog thing is way out of hand, after the encounter on the elevator with the reader who criticized your NCAA picks. I have made contact with a bunch of folks simply through reading and commenting (James was one), and this is fun stuff. Thanks for inviting us to be community, and for keeping the focus where it needs to be.

    By Blogger don, at 4/11/2005 07:43:00 AM  

  • While i never went to Harding (I did my undergrad studies at OC will be doing graduate work at the GST at ACU next fall), I find this news to be one of the deep ironies of Stone-Campbell heritage. A school that is named after a man with such a counter-cultural, otherworldly, and I think deeply apolitical worldview being indentified with certain political ideology that is anything but. We may have George Benson to thank for that. Although, in some ways I have George Benson to thank my education as well.

    It's like when I heard of a pro Iraq-war rally on the Lipscomb campus a few years ago. I could help but laugh and cry as I think, "What would David Lipscomb or James Harding think if they heard such news?"


    By Blogger Gabe, at 4/11/2005 09:44:00 PM  

  • I think it should be noted that the article does not rank the ten most politically conservative schools in America. Rather it lists the ten best schools that happen to be politically conservative. It doesn't seem that the schools are being ranked on their conservatism but rather being conservative is the baseline criteria. The schools were then ranked based on the merits as a scholarly institution. That is not to say that Harding isn't a very conservative school. It is. Ironically though my 4 years at Harding are when I learned to become a liberal. I had some wonderful professors that taught me to see that God's love is more often seen in the liberal viewpoint rather than the liberal viewpoint.

    By Blogger Kile, at 4/12/2005 01:18:00 PM  

  • HU is not a conservative school, any more than other evangelical, Protestant schools of its size and geography, but Pres. Benson undertook a mission to stablize HU's finances with a turn toward the Republican establishment and powerbrokers. I fear this action, while shoring HU's endowment for years, has sold the soul (or at least the public face of the school) for generations. The American Studies Institute, as someone noted, is HU's political wing, the source of much money and ballyhoo, and is the most public face of the university but, strangely, not at all representative of the faculty or students. Notably though, Geo. Benson sought out the GOP when the GOP was interested almost wholly in economic and diplomatic issues and almost wholly blind and disinterested in the moral and social issues of the day, then and now. HU is not conservative; HU is Republican. These are mutually exclusive notions.

    I know professors who are Democrats, members of Amnesty International, who are pacifists, who will not vote or say the pledge of allegiance, who are desparate for social justice and passionate for the poor. These are the teachers who taught and molded me and are the prime reason, besides the Lord Himself, that I am a Christian, liberal, Democrat, teacher, political observer, teacher, writer and lawyer.

    What bothers me most is that HU is posting this on the front page, in an effort to brand and promote the ideology, as a fundraising, recruiting and PR tool. By broadcasting and highlighting this accolade from a political organization, does HU not alienate more than reconcile? Is HU interested in the Kingdom or the Party, in education or propaganda, in reconciliation or dominance?

    I'm not sure I know anymore.

    By Blogger JRB, at 4/12/2005 02:03:00 PM  

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