Some Hard Truths About Secular Colleges
R. Reno made waves a few months ago, because of his frank rejection of “elite” secular universities. Let’s hope Catholic educators were paying attention.
Reno is editor of First Things magazine, which caters to a generally highbrow readership. Before teaching at Jesuit, but largely secularized, Creighton University, he graduated from the prestigious Haverford College and earned his Ph.D. at Yale.
Still, Reno no longer recruits Ivy League graduates for his staff.
“I don’t want to hire someone who makes inflammatory accusations at the drop of a hat,” he writes, responding to the increasingly hostile “cancel culture” at Ivy League universities and most other secular colleges. He also doesn’t want to hire graduates who have become “well-practiced in remaining silent when it costs something to speak up” against prevailing campus ideologies.
“I have no doubt that Ivy League universities attract smart, talented, and ambitious kids,” Reno acknowledges. “But do these institutions add value? My answer is increasingly negative. Dysfunctional kids are coddled and encouraged to nurture grievances, while normal kids are attacked and educationally abused.”
Most Catholic college students attend secular colleges or largely secularized Catholic colleges, where the anti-reason “cancel culture” threatens anyone who espouses Catholic teaching or celebrates Western culture. Shouldn’t the Church be doing something about these dangers?