Tag Archives: University

Tad Hopp accumulated $100,000 of college debt, now he wants a taxpayer bailout

Brain vs Heart, from: theawkwardyeti.com
Brain vs Heart, from: theawkwardyeti.com

Here’s an interesting editorial from a “Christian” left blog. (H/T Acton Institute)

The author, Tad Hopp is graduating a PCUSA seminary – an extremely liberal, left-wing denomination.

He writes:

I graduated college in 2007.

[…] I majored in English, not exactly what most people consider a ‘marketable’ or ‘practical’ degree…

[…]I went to a somewhat expensive private school…

[…]I did what many students in their last year of high school do: I went to the school where I felt I was being called…

[…]I do not regret my four years at my undergraduate institution one bit.

[….]When I graduated college, I owed nearly $50,000 in student loan debt and was unemployed for almost six months before I finally found a low-paying office job.

[…]“Can’t find a job? Well, you should have majored in something more ‘practical’, like economics or business or medicine.” Yeah, that would be great…if those were the subjects where my skills and passions lie. They’re not.

[…]I felt called to go to seminary.

[…]I will graduate seminary with close to six figures worth of student loan debt.

Let’s take stock of what he’s said so far:

  • he studied English, a language that he already spoke, which has one of the lowest employment rates
  • he was warned by people who knew something about earning and saving money not to study English
  • he went to a school he couldn’t afford to go to, and he graduated with $50,000 in debt
  • he went to seminary, another subject that doesn’t pay, and added another $50,000 or so of debt
  • he says that he doesn’t have to study subjects that lead to a career because he isn’t “passionate” about them
  • he “followed his heart” by going to the school that he had mystical, emotional, intuitions about = “calling”

My advice to Tad at this point would be for him to take the Bible seriously when it says this:

2 Thessalonians 3:10:

10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

And 1 Timothy 5:8:

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The Bible is giving us the goal of working. So what should we do to be able to reach that goal? Why should anyone hire us? What is working really about? It’s those kinds of questions that should guide what we study in school, and what jobs we pursue.

We know what careers have the highest starting salaries and mid-career salaries:

Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)
Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)

(Source)

Why do some people get paid more than others? The answer is supply and demand. Prices are a way of determining what is most valued by your fellow man. Business owners pay more to people who offer their customers more value. If you really want to serve your neighbor, you have to learn something they really want, but can’t easily obtain. And then you will be paid more. You can’t do what makes you happy. You have to do what makes customers happy. That’s how the free market works – you make money when you provide something of value to others. You make money when you serve others. This is something that is very hard for self-centered, feelings-driven young progressives to grasp. But it’s something older Americans all know.

More Tad:

Is the PCUSA doing anything to address this crisis?

[…]What has our government done to address this issue?

[…]I, like so many in my generation, voted for Obama…

[…]It seems to me that we’ve bought into the lie that student loan debt is brought on by the individual person…

[…]You know what I think might stimulate the economy? Automatically cancelling every single outstanding student loan!

He insists that the results of his own choices aren’t his fault. But didn’t he make the choices about what to study? Didn’t he make the choice to follow his heart? Didn’t he disregard the advice of people who urged him to be practical? Who is to blame, if not he, himself?

Tad needs to push away all his friends who told him to “follow his heart” and stick close by his friends who told him to focus on providing value to others. Don’t look for advice from dreamers, look for advice from doers. Dreamers talk. But doers have demonstrated the ability to create plans that work to achieve results.

By the way, some of you might be wondering how serious this person was about his Christianity. Well, in another post, he comes out as gay. So clearly the Bible is being interpreted in a way where feelings are overturning the plain meanings of words. People who read the Bible closely never come away with the message that they should follow their hearts.

Should Christians be motivated by the fear of missing out (FOMO)?

Bible study that hits the spot
Bible study that hits the spot

My best friend Dina and I recently spent some time talking over some articles that we found on the culture. We specifically talked about what is motivating young people, so I wanted to write something about that.

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

Here’s a leftist New York Times article explaining where FOMO comes from:

It’s known as FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” and refers to the blend of anxiety, inadequacy and irritation that can flare up while skimming social media like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram. Billions of Twitter messages, status updates and photographs provide thrilling glimpses of the daily lives and activities of friends, “frenemies,” co-workers and peers.

[…]When we scroll through pictures and status updates, the worry that tugs at the corners of our minds is set off by the fear of regret, according to Dan Ariely, author of “Predictably Irrational” and a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He says we become afraid that we’ve made the wrong decision about how to spend our time.

[…]A friend who works in advertising told me that she felt fine about her life — until she opened Facebook. “Then I’m thinking, ‘I am 28, with three roommates, and oh, it looks like you have a precious baby and a mortgage,’ ” she said. “And then I wanna die.”

It’s like they want to run a race to do fun and exotic things with their peers, and not finish last.

Anyway, I want to begin this post with examples of FOMO behavior I have personally encountered.

FOMO Travel

Dina and I read and discussed this article by Alain de Botton in The European – notice the emphasis on travel and having fun, sophisticated experiences:

We’re continually being bombarded with suggestions about what we might do (go jet skiing, study in Colorado, visit the Maldives or see the Pyramids). We’re always hearing of the amazing things friends have done or are going to do: ‘there was this great bar we all went to …’; ‘she’s getting married in a little country church, then we’re having a picnic…’; ‘the sun was glinting on Sydney Harbour…’ There are endless hints of the allure of life in other places: an article about family-friendly restaurants in Brooklyn, a crime novel set in Trieste, the departure board at the airport with its list of places only a plane trip away: Moscow, Bangkok, Addis Ababa… The modern world makes sure we know at all times just how much we’re missing. It is a culture in which intense and painful doses of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) are almost inevitable.

What’s interesting is this – how does FOMO travel affect young, unmarried Christians?

Travel through missions work seems to be the FOMO activity of choice for at least a few young, unmarried Christians. One of my best friends who is married to another of my best friends told me about her missions trip to a European country. I asked her why she did it, since it meant lost savings, lost earnings, lost work experience, etc. (She gave up a year of earnings, and she had a great job in engineering). Her answer was that she did it for the adventure. I have a hard time hearing Jesus say that he was going to do something because he was bored and wanted an adventure. Especially when it’s $30,000 in costs, $60,000 of lost income, and lost work experience – per year. This was before the time of the Internet, though, when missionary work actually made sense. I just don’t think it’s worth spending that kind of money for the impact you make. The people I know who went on missionary trips just wanted to feel spiritual, look spiritual, and have a fun “life experience” vacation. One missionary told me that she was desperate to get away from her boring mid-Western roots.

If you really want to share Christ effectively with people in other countries, then you can start a blog and pay the tiny costs for it out of your earnings from your day job – that’s what I do. I get more people from Europe reading my blog than I could contact in a year of missionary work. I Skype with the people who are interested in Christianity from these countries (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Canada, etc.), as well. Meanwhile, I keep working my not-exciting job, so my savings increase, and my resume remains gap-less. This is good stewardship of finances, and self-denial prepares your character for the hard work of marriage and parenting. The Bible says that those who do not work should not eat. And Paul says that he built tents so that no one could accuse him of taking on missionary work for financial gain.

You can tell whether a person is sincere in their missionary intentions by looking at how responsible they’ve been in their decision-making. If a person has gone into debt paying for fun, thrilling activities like skydiving, ziplining, surfing, etc., then it’s FOMO travel. We must look past the spiritual smokescreen, and tell young people to grow up.

After all, if defending God’s honor was the missionary’s main goal, then the real battlefield would be the university.

Bill Craig puts it best:

If serving God is your goal, look to the university
If serving God is your goal, look to the university

There is already a perfectly fine university right next door – no need to fly to Europe to find one! Remember, the university that took your faith away, or maybe the faith of someone you cared about? Yeah, it’s still sitting there in your home town! And it’s still ruining the lives of thousands of young people, by peer-pressuring them into secular, liberal views – and behaviors. It seems to me that it’s better stewardship to stay here and work, then give money to groups like Reasonable Faith. And you can start a blog, teach in church and invite scholars to the local university, too. That costs almost nothing, and it produces better results.

What about Jesus?

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to look beyond the words of the Bible and reflect on the overall message of it at a higher level. When I look in the Bible, I see that Jesus went through a lot of suffering in obedience to God in order to secure the salvation of people who did not even like him. And it’s from this sacrifice on our behalf that his claim on our obedience comes. There are things that I don’t like to do that I do anyway because they work to serve God. Jesus life’s ambition was not to do things that were easy, or that made him happy. Experienced Christians do things that are not fun, because these things are right and because they solve the real problem.

Pro-life student Nathan Apodaca wins case against California State University

House Republican leader tweets about Nathan's case
House Republican leader tweets about Nathan’s case

I have some good news! Last week, a pro-life student who attends California State University San Marcos was able to sue for discrimination, and he won. The case has implications for the entire CSU system, and every university in America. What’s more, the plaintiff in the case is a friend of the Wintery Knight blog! Let’s take a look at the details of the case and the judge’s decision.

Nathan told me that this story from The College Fix had the most details, and here it is:

Six months after a federal judge ruled that California State University officials could be held personally liable for funding policies that disfavor pro-life students, the largest four-year university system in the country has agreed to revise policies across its 23 campuses.

CSU’s board of trustees and the student government at CSU-San Marcos entered into a settlement agreement with the campus chapter of Students for Life and its former president Nathan Apodaca.

[…]The lawsuit challenged CSUSM funding policies that overwhelmingly favored two pro-choice campus organizations: the Gender Equity Center and LGBTQA Pride Center. They receive nearly $300,000 from Associated Students, Inc. each year with no strings attached.

Alliance Defending Freedom are the masters of defending religious liberty, and as they usually do, they made a video of their client explaining the facts of the case:

And here are the details of the decisions:

CSU is paying $240,000 in legal fees to the students’ lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom and $3,000 in damages to the club. The student government is giving Apodaca a $300 refund of his mandatory student fees, which he paid into a funding system that favored pro-choice viewpoints and disfavored his own pro-life views.

[…]Lorenz ordered CSUSM to revise the $500 application process to require “specific and detailed standards guiding decision making” on funding requests. They can no longer judge “the content of the speech” seeking funding by asking questions about its “purpose” and the “student benefit” of clubs’ events.

[…]The student government will adopt viewpoint-neutral standards for the allocation of mandatory student fees to any registered student organization “that involves viewpoint expression.” They must comply with the Supreme Court’s 2000 ruling in a similar case, known as Southworth.

The process must “not discriminate against any funding request based on the viewpoint to be expressed by the RSO or proposed event.” Funding applications that are “denied or reduced” must be accompanied by “the reasons” for the decision and a “right of prompt appeal” to an official or administrator.

All 23 campuses are getting a policy makeover as well. The agreement directs Chancellor White’s office to issue a “policy directive” across the system that imposes viewpoint-neutral criteria and procedures on student association funding requests for “student speech events.” It lays out five specific policies getting revisions.

This is the part that made me say “WOW!”:

In a major setback for the feminist and LGBTQ centers, the agreement bars them from funding via mandatory student fees, retroactive to July 1. The student government’s Board of Directors and Campus Activity Board will also not use those fees “unless and until” the student government adopts viewpoint-neutral criteria.

[…]In a statement on the settlement, the [ADF] emphasized that the two CSUSM centers received “57 times more than” the 100-plus recognized student organizations combined.

[…]Lorenz had rejected the defendants’ arguments that White and Haynes had a “reasonable belief” that forcing pro-life students to fund pro-choice speech, while denying them funding for their own speech, “was lawful.” The judge said “the development and state of the law” on compelled speech made clear to both officials that the funding mechanisms they oversaw were unconstitutional.

Things were really bad before Nathan and the ADF got the win.

I know that after he finishes his undergraduate degree, Nathan has plans to apply to law school in the future, so this may not be the last you hear about him. If you want to hear more from him before he argues for the reversal of Roe v Wade at the Supreme Court in 2035, then you can check out his articles at Human Defense Initiative.

My job right now with Nathan is to collaborate with him about what books to read, and annoy him about not doing a degree in computer science. (This is my job with all the young adults I advise) We exchange book suggestions in order to develop our worldviews. He also bullies me to watch movies in the theater like 1917 and to care about Star Wars, which I most certainly do not. I feel that if Nathan had one piece of advice to give my readers, he would say that you need to read books and watch movies about great people, which is what you can see on his Amazon wishlist. One of his favorite recent books was a book about Churchill, which he also bullied me into buying. It’s enormous, I will never finish it. He also likes to make fun of the way youth pastors offer young Christians pizza and movies instead of apologetics and bioethics training.

I think it’s important for old Christians to have a hand in what is going on in the minds of our Christian college students, and in their battles on campus. If you are looking for a good person to partner with, look up your local university’s pro-life club or Ratio Christi club. (I’m told by Carla that Nathan not only started a pro-life campus group, but also was part of a Ratio Christi campus group). At the local university, you’ll find lots of action going on that you can get involved with or financially support. Every older Christian should be in contact with a younger Christian who is making a difference. People think that older Christians need to care about the nonsense that young people are interested, like Tide pods and their weird music (I don’t know what their names are). That’s false. My job is to tell the young people about what I have learned about being a Christian. Not every young Christian will care about making a difference for the Kingdom of God, which is why you should focus on the ones who do.

College professors donate to Democrats over Republicans 95 to 1

Where do college professors send their political donations?
Where do college professors send their political donations?

Why is it that college students, including Christian college students, are becoming so progressive? It’s because their professors are all progressive. This isn’t just my opinion. You can look at the breakdown of political donations made by college professors to see how many of them donate to Republicans vs Democrats.

Here is the latest from Campus Reform:

A recent study found that U.S. college professors donate exclusively to Democrats over Republicans by a 95:1 ratio.

Two researchers, Heterodox Academy Director of Research Sean Stevens and Brooklyn College Professor Mitchell Langbert conducted the study, published by the National Association of Scholars. They looked at the political donations of 12,372 college professors at universities in 31 states and the District of Columbia during the past two election cycles in 2015-16 and 2017-18.

Stevens and Langbert conducted their study by looking at political donation data available from the Federal Election Commission.

Of those professors, 2,112 made political donations, 2,081 of which were donated to Democrats. Just 22 of those 2,112 professors donated to Republicans. Nine professors donated to both Republicans and Democrats, according to the study.

The findings indicate that professors donated to Democrats more than Republicans by a 95:1 ratio. In addition to the number of professors who donated to Democrats versus Republicans, the study also revealed how many professors are registered to vote as Democrats compared with professors who are registered as Republicans. Nearly half of the 12,372 professors — 48.5 percent — are registered Democrats while just 5.7 percent are registered Republicans.

Given that, it’s not hard to see why Democrats like Elizabeth Warren want to provide those college professors with $1.3 trillion of taxpayer money – which is what the student loan bailout does.

What explains all of this?

Consider this essay by secular libertarian professor Robert Nozick who explains why university professors are liberal.

Excerpt:

What factor produced feelings of superior value on the part of intellectuals? I want to focus on one institution in particular: schools. As book knowledge became increasingly important, schooling–the education together in classes of young people in reading and book knowledge–spread. Schools became the major institution outside of the family to shape the attitudes of young people, and almost all those who later became intellectuals went through schools. There they were successful. They were judged against others and deemed superior. They were praised and rewarded, the teacher’s favorites. How could they fail to see themselves as superior? Daily, they experienced differences in facility with ideas, in quick-wittedness. The schools told them, and showed them, they were better.

The schools, too, exhibited and thereby taught the principle of reward in accordance with (intellectual) merit. To the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher’s smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class. Though not part of the official curricula, in the schools the intellectuals learned the lessons of their own greater value in comparison with the others, and of how this greater value entitled them to greater rewards.

The wider market society, however, taught a different lesson. There the greatest rewards did not go to the verbally brightest. There the intellectual skills were not most highly valued. Schooled in the lesson that they were most valuable, the most deserving of reward, the most entitled to reward, how could the intellectuals, by and large, fail to resent the capitalist society which deprived them of the just deserts to which their superiority “entitled” them? Is it surprising that what the schooled intellectuals felt for capitalist society was a deep and sullen animus that, although clothed with various publicly appropriate reasons, continued even when those particular reasons were shown to be inadequate?

It’s very important to understand what is motivating university professors, especially ones who are in departments divorced from reality, like English and victim studies of various sorts. They are literally teaching classes in topic that have no accountability to reality. It’s just indoctrination in what the professor believes. These professors think they are smart, but they don’t earn anything like productive people in the private sector, e.g. – software engineers. It creates a deep sense of inferiority that makes them hostile to the capitalist system. Their only hope is a powerful government that redirects money from those who serve customers (private sector companies) to “wordsmiths” like themselves.

Jennifer Roback Morse lectures on sex and sexuality at Harvard University

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Morse delivers a talk based on her book “Smart Sex” at Harvard University.

The MP3 file is here. (21 Mb) (Link in case that doesn’t work)

Topics:

  • the hook-up culture and its effects on men and women
  • cohabitation and its effect on marriage stability
  • balancing marriage, family and career
  • single motherhood by choice and IVF
  • donor-conceived children
  • modern sex: a sterile, recreation activity
  • the real purposes of sex: procreation and spousal unity
  • the hormone oxytocin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the hormone vassopressin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the sexual revolution and the commoditization of sex
  • the consumer view of sex vs the organic view of sex
  • fatherlessness and multi-partner fertility
  • how the “sex-without-relationship” view harms children

52 minutes of lecture, 33 minutes of Q&A from the Harvard students. The Q&A is worth listening to – the first question is from a gay student, and Dr. Morse pulls a William Lane Craig to defeat her objection. It was awesome! I never get tired of listening to her talk, and especially on the topics of marriage and family.