Make Like Duck Dynasty, and Defund the Humanities: An Eric Metaxas Show Twofer
For the last two segments I recorded as a guest host on The Eric Metaxas Show, I spoke with authors who bring a clear Christian vision to the formation of young people.
Christopher (C.R.) Wiley is a pastor in Connecticut. He has written several popular books for young adults. But his latest book is for grown-ups. It’s called Man of the House. (See The Stream’s interview with him back in May.) It’s a title that’s dear to my heart. I was the first editor who worked on the manuscript. Its message is intriguing and counter-intuitive. Boiled down to a few talking points, Wiley argues that:
- Christian families need to be households, on the model of Abraham and Sarah’s.
- Households should be productive, cooperative, and non-democratic.
- The domestic economy should include productive, real labor on the part of every member, including the children.
- Working together, ideally on a family business, develops key character virtues in young people. Wiley points to the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame as an example of this kind of family enterprise.
- Men should see themselves and act as patriarchs, both on the Old Testament model of Abraham, and according to St. Paul’s advice in Ephesians. They should serve and sacrifice as the head and high priest of their homes.
Big Government Loves Small, Splintered Families
Wiley argues that we have shorn the family and household of most of its natural functions. Husbands work in one place, wives in another. Children don’t work at all, and strangers educate them. Then we’re shocked when they all drift apart. Big government steps in to offer massive programs to solve social problems which families once solved together. Young people drift away from the creeds and codes of their parents — who have played an ever diminishing role in their lives as years went on.
If you want a strong family, work at — and work as it. Involve your kids in your trade. Find real, productive work for them. Make economic plans as a family, and try to make of your household a strong, loving, biblical refuge from the storms of our crackpot culture. To learn more, listen to my interview with Pastor Wiley:
Apostasy on Campus
My next guest is an occasional writer for The Stream. (We’re pestering him to submit more often!) Robert Oscar Lopez teaches at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Dallas. There he teaches as part of an integrated humanities program, which is enriching the curriculum for undergraduates. It’s a happy landing place. Especially for someone who suffered real persecution for his Christian faith. Raised in a household by his lesbian mom and her partner, Lopez grew up confused. As a student at Yale he was misled by loudly Christian LGBT faculty. He wandered in the wasteland. But he discovered Christ. He brought his faith with him to a prestigious teaching job at California State University-Northridge. There he earned tenure, which is meant to protect academic freedom.
Because a four-year degree is seen as a “green card” allowing young people to work in many fields, the left has power. It can use those four years to indoctrinate, intimidate, and seduce young people.
But as Lopez explained on the air — and in his new book, Wackos, Thugs & Perverts — anti-Christian academics and administrators can find ways to get rid of people. Especially people of faith. Once his colleagues found out about Lopez’s views on sexual morality and his orthodox Christian faith, it was open war. They used every administrative trick, tool of harassment, and bureaucratic weapon to make his life miserable. Few allies came to his aid. In the end, Lopez resigned his lifelong tenure position. He isn’t the first Christian academic to suffer that fate, and he won’t be the last. 2017 saw Anthony Esolen driven out of his tenured position at the putatively Catholic Providence College.
Defund the Maniacs
Lopez explained to listeners how the cultural left became not just an overwhelming majority, but almost a unanimous mob of intolerant enforcers. He pointed up the massive amount of taxpayer and parent money, and funds borrowed by students, that sloshes around universities. Because a four-year degree is seen as a “green card” allowing young people to work in many fields, the left has power. It can use those four years to indoctrinate, intimidate and seduce young people. That’s why so many college graduates come back to visit their parents with unrecognizable worldviews.
Lopez says that it’s far too late to reform universities, to protect free speech and honest discourse. We need instead to pop the higher education bubble. It’s time to decouple productive employment from the long and often wasteful four-year bachelor’s degree model. We should defund humanities and social science faculties, and discourage students from pursuing such degrees — except at the small, brave number of schools that buck academic trends, and stay true to the mission of liberal arts education.
Listen to Lopez’s powerful testimony and sharp analysis here: