Daniel Oliver

Whom Does Harvard Thank at Thanksgiving?

With its atheist chaplain, Harvard is engaged in killing the culture—the culture that midwifed to us this civilization, including Harvard.

When Americans gather together on Thanksgiving Day to ask the Lord’s blessing, what will they do at Harvard?

In a body blow aimed at Western civilization, Harvard University has appointed an atheist to be its chaplain. The mind reels.

Harvard faced obvious self-imposed constraints in making the selection of Greg Epstein. The person had to be a Democrat (check: during the 2020 election Epstein served as the national chair of the organization “Humanists for Biden”); had to have written a book (check: Good Without God); and had to (how to put it delicately) fit in: a Harvard professor faced a serious backlash recently for refusing to use the term “pregnant people” and insisting on using the terms “male” and “female.” Harvard has no truck with that kind of obstinacy—though what the head of Harvard’s biology department thinks about the ability of men to have babies is information not readily available. So, Epstein seems to check the boxes.

But an atheist?

Apparently, Epstein is a humanist. Humanism is a philosophy, reports the Harvard Crimson, “that centers around the goodness of humanity.” How the Taliban and the Nazis fit into that thinking is not clear.

According to the Crimson, Epstein said [deep breath]:

There’s just so much great work that goes on in any given year with all these different religious and spiritual and ethical communities, where each of the communities is very much independent and does not rely on any other community or on any official like myself.

A Crimson survey showed that 21 percent of the class of 2019 were agnostics and 17 percent called themselves atheists. Those numbers appear to be somewhat higher than the national numbers. A Pew Research Center poll found that 20 percent of Americans identify as atheist, agnostic, or nonreligious.

The same Crimson poll found that two-thirds of surveyed freshmen identified as “somewhat or very liberal”; only 12 percent said they were “somewhat conservative.” Where’s the diversity officer when Harvard needs . . . him? How long before Harvard starts discriminating against Catholics? We know Harvard currently discriminates against Asians and used to discriminate against Jews.

Epstein apparently sees his role as a coordinator or facilitator—or something like that. Perhaps just an interfaith “facilitatorer,” not exactly in charge of, but responsible for administering—or is it administrating, or perhaps “administratoring” and coordinating, or “coordinatering” da-dah, da-dah, da-dah . . . .

Perhaps that’s the good news in this otherwise depressing story: he’s just a bureaucrat.

But what if he isn’t?

How do you define good without (reference to) God? And whose god, anyway? Yours? Mine? The Taliban’s?

Joe Biden favors mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19. He approves of abortions. How far is it from approving of abortions to requiring them? Less than 100 years ago, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. approved requiring forced sterilizations. If, in Holmes’s memorable formulation, “three generations of imbeciles are enough,” how many generations of welfare-sponging, illegitimate children (70 percent of black babies are illegitimate) might be viewed by today’s vaccine-enforcing Democrats as enough to justify forced abortions? Racism anyone?

Democrats love abortion. Today’s Democrats have returned to the thrilling racial segregation days of yesteryear, with “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and critical race theory justified by the New Woke Times’ own “1619 Project.” The modern racist Democrats are simply following Woodrow Wilson, the father of the modern bureaucratic state, who brought segregation back to Washington. Is that a good? Is that a good without God?

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” William F. Buckley Jr. said, “The Beatitudes remain the essential statement of the Western code.

God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. But a member of the Harvard class of 1961 recently wrote: “Having one less child, especially in the developed world, does far more to reduce an individual’s impact on the rate of climate change, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and extinctions than reducing our direct consumption.”

We all know, because our public solons have told us, incessantly and relentlessly, that climate change is the “existential” threat of our time—more threatening, obviously, than the Wuhan Flu. If government officials can lock us out of our offices and public spaces, ruining our businesses and depriving our children of an education because of the relatively minor threat posed by the flu, think what they will claim they can do to avoid the “existential threat” of climate change. Limiting couples to one child is a no-brainer. To Hell with God and his fruitful multiplying nonsense. He just didn’t understand the danger of carbon emissions.

Harvard is engaged, and surely knowingly, in killing the culture, the culture that midwifed to us this civilization, including Harvard. Harvard is engaged in culturecide of the West. But if Harvard and its followers can be talked into following the one-child policy, they will disappear . . . eventually. Call it suicide of the woke. And pray, to God, that it happens soon.

Then will the wicked oppressing us cease from distressing us, and the name of the Lord be ever praised.

O Lord, make us free!


November 24, 2021
American Greatness

Conservative Vibes for Our Time

That’s what Nat Con II was all about: getting inside the vibrations of modern life.

What do we mean by “conservatism” these days, anyway? That was one of the questions always present (stated or unstated) at the National Conservatism Conference put on by the Edmund Burke Foundation in Orlando, Florida, late last month. It was the second such conference, NatCon II, the first one having been held in the summer of 2019. How is this new conservatism different from what has gone before? Is it different? About 750 people, many of them young, went to Orlando to find out.

William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of National Review, wrote years ago that he knew, if not what conservatism was, at least who conservatives were—confessing at the same time that it was easier to know who a liberal was: “Spin me about like a top, and I will walk up to the single liberal in the room without a zig or a zag and find him even if he is hiding behind the flowerpot.”

Some of the “conservatism” of the Orlando crowd is a reaction, and rebuke, to the Republican establishment, especially some (maybe many) of the Republican office holders in Washington—e.g., the 13 Republican members of the House of Representatives who voted for Joe Biden’s trillion dollar “infrastructure” bill (and who should spend the rest of their time in Washington behind —in?—flowerpots). They are “Chamber of Commerce” Republicans, people who care only about business and the bottom line, not about how we get to that line, or how many people have to get stepped on, or fired, or replaced by Chinese workers (or slaves), to get to that line. National Conservatism is something different—something more proudly American, “Trumpist,” the liberals might claim, accusingly, though it has little to do with Trump, and his name was mentioned only occasionally at the conference.

And “National Conservatism” is not exactly Reaganesque either, as a number of speakers pointed out. But that’s not surprising: Reagan took office more than 40 years ago, and there is no reason to suppose he would have proposed, as the solutions for today’s problems, the solutions he proposed then.

Even Buckley was criticized by one speaker, who said his famous cry for “standing athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!’” was simply not sufficient. But Buckley never said it was. That iconic phrase appeared in the first issue of National Review in 1955. But there was a whole lot more.

Buckley wrote: “[National Review] is out of place because, in its maturity, literate America rejected conservatism in favor of radical social experimentation [Doesn’t this remind us of open borders? Critical race theory for kids? Gender optionality?]. Instead of covetously consolidating its premises, the United States seems tormented by its tradition of fixed postulates having to do with the meaning of existence, [Justice Kennedy’s infamous “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” anyone?] with the relationship of the state to the individual [you vill vear your mask und vhere are your vaccinations papers?], of the individual to his neighbor, so clearly enunciated in the enabling documents of our Republic.”

And Buckley continued: “Conservatives in this country—at least those who have not made their peace with the New Deal, and there is a serious question of whether there are others—are non-licensed nonconformists; and this is a dangerous business in a Liberal world, as every editor of this magazine can readily show by pointing to his scars. Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by Liberals [mind you, this was decades before Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook], they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right [Hmm: Republicans In Name Only?], whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.”

“Not made their peace with the New Deal”! Holy smoke! Of course, the New Deal was younger then, dating from about 1933 to 1939, less than two decades before the founding of National Review. But who these days is calling for the repeal of anything?

Christopher DeMuth, the chairman of the conference, said in his speech that three of the critical foundations of nationhood are religion, locality, and family. Exactly. The dedication in Buckley’s first book, God and Man at Yale (1951), reads: “For God, For Country, and for Yale . . . in that order.”

DeMuth’s speech illustrated a point Buckley made in an address to the Conservative Party of New York State in 1964. Buckley said: “Modern formulations are necessary even in defense of very ancient truths. Not because of any alleged anachronism in the old ideas—the Beatitudes remain the essential statement of the Western code—but because the idiom of life is always changing, and we need to say things in such a way as to get inside the vibrations of modern life.”

That’s what Nat Con II was all about: getting inside the vibrations of modern life.


November 11, 2021
American Greatness