As we recently concluded the spring semester’s first week of classes here at CCU, it dawned on me that in all of my Political Science classes we were, in some respect or another, talking about the troubles of our country and the decline of our government and culture.
We have exceeded $16 trillion in debt, our education numbers are severely lacking across the board internationally, and millions of gun owners’ Second Amendment rights are increasingly being infringed upon.
Not only do we have these mounting problems, but the younger generation seems to want to live a politically apathetic life where they believe the government will give them everything they want for nothing in return.
So with all the negative realities I just mentioned, I can see how it would be easy for one to become severely depressed and tremble every morning in fear of what freedoms the government may have trampled over in the wee hours of the night.
I am here to personally reassure you that, although the moral foundation of our country seems to be eroding beneath our feet, there are many young Americans like myself who have strong conservative principles and believe that this country will make it to the 300-year anniversary, and beyond.
Thanks to John Andrews’ and President Bill Armstrong’s recommendation, this past summer I was blessed to intern in Washington D.C. at the Heritage Foundation in President Ed Feulner’s office. To say it was an unbelievable experience would surely be an understatement.
Shortly after my return to Denver from Washington, I ventured to Tampa Bay, Florida for the Republican National Convention along with classmate and co-worker Erin Shumaker. As official RNC pages from Colorado, we were on the floor performing a variety of tasks the entire time. Again, unbelievable would be an understatement.
These experiences are just a snapshot of the many opportunities I’ve been blessed to have while studying here at CCU. With mentoring by faculty and administrators, I have met and worked for prominent political and business professionals. The Lord has placed my peers and me in outstanding classes with spectacular professors and real-world lessons that we can confidently take into the public square and defend.
So, be not troubled by what news the headlines bring, I have met many other strong young conservatives at Heritage, the Republican National Convention and CCU who have not lost this great Nation’s spirit, but instead look to carry it on with vigor and passion.
Jonathan Finer is a CCU senior from Denver, Colorado. He has a major in business, a minor in political science, works in the Centennial Institute office, and runs varsity cross-country.
It's the holidays, college and university students are mostly back at home, and here's a thought. There's a great movie out about Abraham Lincoln, and with no classes to interfere, they ought to go to it and learn some American history. — Many students, you may not realize, don't know beans about their own country's past. Back some years ago, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni commissioned a study of how much seniors at 55 elite universities knew about fundamental, high school-level historical matters, and guess what. A startling 81 percent got either a "D" or an "F" on a test.
This year, the group commissioned another study, this one of college graduates, and found just a sliver knew James Madison was the father of the Constitution or George Washington the victorious general at Yorktown. Only 17 percent could identify the source of the phrase "government of the people, by the people and for the people."
The issue is not one of student stupidity, but of institutional neglect. The council has conducted another study showing you can get out of most institutions of higher learning without taking the kinds of courses that turn on the lights for you as a human being and a citizen, giving you a broad understanding of this world. By the reckoning of the council, schools ought to be requiring courses in U.S. history or government, science, math, literature, economics a foreign language and composition, and most are sloppy about it.
Only 2 percent of 1,070 surveyed schools get an "A" for mandating study in at least six of these knowledge areas, and I am proud to say I have taught at one of them, Colorado Christian University. By contrast, one university that received a "D" is supposedly one of the best in America, a place that is unbelievably tough to get into and proffers a degree that opens career doors hither, yon and in between. I mean Harvard, whose failings are the subject of "Privilege," a splendidly written 2005 book by Ross Gregory Douthat.
Douthat, a conservative columnist at the ultra-liberal New York Times, says being a student at Harvard is more nearly about success than learning, even though, yes, there are lots of brilliant people around, including professors who inflate your grades even as too few offer up terrific classes. One problem is that there's no guidance about what to take, and the choices available in core curriculum subject areas can be leaps and bounds from anything central and substantive.
All of which brings us to the "Lincoln" movie. Let's first get the criticism out of the way, namely that there are some false moments lessening instead of focusing the drama. But the movie as a whole is an intense experience of a great man pulling off the great accomplishment of winning a House of Representatives vote furthering the 13th Amendment that ended slavery in the United States. I am a fan of Lincoln and books about him and found the depiction of him incredibly convincing, as did some historians who have also commented that the movie is basically sound in its wondrously moving portrayal of events.
The short of it is that someone could go to this movie and learn more about a crucial episode in American history than during a four-year stay at one of hundreds of colleges, including the fact that Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was the source of the phrase about government of, by and for all of us. They would not have to spend a ton on tuition, either, or end up owing enough to the federal government's ultra-inflationary student loan program to be in debt for years.
Our universities need reform, serious, tuition-reducing, curriculum-improving reform that also sees professors putting teaching above publishing as the way to keep from perishing. Here and there are hints of steps in hopeful directions, such as Texas and Florida developing online degree programs costing a total of $10,000. Minus some experiments that work, the hurt will be grievous to a whole slew of people, and to something else as well: our American future.
Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is now a columnist living in Colorado and a Centennial Institute Fellow.
At the conclusion of the Washington Week trip I am left physically exhausted though intellectually and civically energized! Led by Professor Schaller, Dr. Krannawitter, and Dean Saxby, students visited think tanks, memorials, monuments, historical battlefields, renowned authors, museums, both chambers of Congress, the Becket Fund, and other influential D.C. individuals. We learned about foreign policy, education, our founding, the civil war and the ideas that led to the conflict, political persuasion, and many more issues facing our generation. [More]
As part of his 20-day book tour to promote No They Can't. John Stossel, Fox Business Network host and commentator, spoke to attendees of the Values-Aligned Leadership Summit on Wednesday, April 18th put on by Colorado Christian University. John marveled the audience of over five hundred attendees with his gift for entertaining while saying something profound.Stossel’s just released book titled, “No They Can’t: Why the Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed,” is his latest book in defense of free markets and economic freedom. He thoughtfully addresses a myriad of issues all surrounding his premise that government intervention does not in fact make the world safer or better. Government intervention has failed to make schools, the food police, health care, or the whole economy work better, yet we simply sit back and allow our elected officials to forge ahead with their efforts at growing government.In Stossel’s book, one of the most intriguing issues included public schools and why costs have gone way up, while reading and math scores, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, have been essentially flat since the 1970’s. His remarks ran the gamut, from the war on drugs (because alcohol prohibition worked so well), the assault on food, gun control, tax breaks, free trade, fixing health care and why America’s defense budget should be downsized. Through every argument or issue approached, Stossel eloquently weaves the idea that Government policies often backfire and have unintended consequences, in an easy to understand, conservational tone.Stossel’s presentation at the Denver Marriot Tech Center used his patented gift for presenting issues in a simple, refreshing and straightforward manner that is not only easy to understand and appealing, but also logical. Stossel has clearly spent a great deal of time observing studying and analyzing things through, and then explained his opinion in a manner that not only appeal to the mind, but also to the heart.During his presentation he briefly touched on issues he spends an entire chapter on in his book. Two of the best pieces of content he presented were charts. One shows the decline in workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers between 1933 and 2005. The chart shows that "before regulation, deaths dropped just as fast." Or, as Mr. Stossel puts it, the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration "made no difference" in workplace fatalities.During Stossel presentation, he explained why he believes Government often makes the problems it intends to solve worse because individuals do a better job at determining how they want to live, rather than politicians. An apt example was his discussion of the TSA. While the costs of the TSA have gone up ten times since 2001, San Francisco Airport, one of the first airports to adopt private screeners, has enjoyed a high level of security that is balanced by the most passenger-friendly service possible. Consumers report that going through San Francisco airport is unlike going through any other airport in the United States. Much of this positive praise is due to the fact that their screeners are friendlier, lines are quicker, the screeners are more thorough in identifying contraband and do an overall better job at keeping flying safe out of San Francisco. The reason is due to the fact that a private company can be held directly accountable for security and customer satisfaction, while a Government agency can’t. If they don’t outperform the Government, they risk the loss of a huge Government contract. Stossel spoke of how other airports, namely Glacier Park International Airport, has tried unsuccessfully to opt out of using the TSA for airport security. The federal Government has denied their request because it would not be advantageous to the federal Government. So far, no airport that has opted out and hired private screeners, has chosen to come back into the federal screening program. Stossel also provided a cogent argument as to why people accept central planning so easily. “As kids, mom and dad planned our lives. Our ancestors followed tribal leaders and people have been programmed to follow the recommendations of ‘experts’, he said. They are told, “Parents don’t know what curriculum their kids should be taught in school.” But if left to their own devices, people follow their own self-interest and find ways to get the most bang for their buck. He added that public officials do not know how to "centrally plan a society", no one can- the world is too complex. Yet privatization and competition work in subtle ways that benefit everyone unequally, rather than equally sharing misery.“Freedom protects even the ignorant.” Said Stossel. “In places like India, British rulers set up complex systems of red tape, that are directly responsible in keeping places like India poor, due to socialism.” He continued. “People left alone become prosperous.” Hong Kong is the exact opposite, where their open business environment has helped millions of people and small businesses pop up and thrive due to their lack of red tape in the last fifty years. Stossel was the keynote speaker for the Values-Aligned Leadership Summit, in its tenth year. The conference was hosted by Colorado Christian University’s School of Business and Leadership, which encourages attendees to "Do the Right Thing". The theme of this years summit was ethical failures and the overregulation of business. Stossel addressed this central theme throughout his talk and concluded that we in America have too many regulations..."The Code of Federal Regulations, which contains all the final regulatory rules under which we live, is now 160,000 pages long", and well-intentioned rules in fact backfire more often than not. Stossel held an intimate book signing earlier in the day and posed for photos. He is perhaps best known for his career at ABC as a co-host of “20/20” and consumer reporter on “Good Morning America.” He says his controversial libertarian views led him to depart the network. He now hosts “Stossel,” his own weekly, one-hour show on the Fox Business Network. He has won 19 Emmy awards and written two other books.
Monday, 19 March 2012 14:31 by Admin
Colorado Christian University has been named one of the Top Conservative Colleges in America in 2012 by Young America’s Foundation. The annual list noted CCU’s commitment to conservative values in a variety of strategic and academic contexts.
Academically, CCU’s core curriculum earned accolades, as every student in the university takes a course in western civilization, along with study in either theology or American history. This curriculum points to a larger strategic objective—which sets CCU apart from “practically all other colleges,” according to Young America’s Foundation. This objective, a dedication to “traditional family values, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, Biblical view of human nature, limited government, personal freedom, free markets, natural law, original intent of the Constitution and Western civilization,” continually informs the flavor and academic rigor of the school.
Young America’s Foundation also commented on Centennial Institute, CCU’s think tank that works to promote faith, family, and freedom. As part of such an endeavor, the institute hosts events and discussions, inviting students to take an active role in public affairs. Speakers such as Governor Sarah Palin, Cal Thomas, and Rick Santorum visited the community within the last year.
President Bill Armstrong, in response to CCU’s selection as a Top Conservative College, remarked, “Colorado Christian University is honored by the selection and delighted to be a part of the same cause that motivates both Young America’s Foundation and Colorado Christian University.”
Young America's Foundation is committed to fostering a generation of American leaders who understand the importance of freedom and America's founding principles. Their Top Conservative Colleges list features institutions that "proclaim, through their mission and programs, a dedication to discovering, maintaining, and strengthening the conservative values of their students."
CCU is one of only 15 schools to be recognized by the foundation in their 2012 list. Young America's Foundation's 2012 list, originally reported by Fox News, is available online.
Friday, 10 February 2012 09:03 by Admin
(Editor: Here is today's press release from the attorneys for Colorado Christian University in its suit against Obamacare's infringement of religious freedom.)
Washington, Feb. 10 - Facing a political firestorm, the administration today announced its intent to make partial changes to a controversial rule that would require religious institutions, in violation of their conscience, to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs. But the changes still leave out hundreds, if not thousands of religious organizations, businesses, and individuals that would still be forced to violate their religious beliefs.
The rule is currently subject to three lawsuits filed by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty—one on behalf of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, one on behalf of Colorado Christian University, and one on behalf of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic media organization that self insures.
“This is a false ‘compromise’ designed to protect the President’s re-election chances, not to protect the right of conscience,” says Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for The Becket Fund. “Hundreds, if not thousands, of religious institutions are still left out in the cold and will be forced to violate their religious convictions.”
According to a White House statement, some religious employers will no longer be required to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs; coverage for those services will instead be provided for free directly by insurance companies. However, at least three problems remain.
** First, hundreds if not thousands of religious organizations self insure, meaning that they will still be forced to pay for these services in violation of their religious beliefs.
** Second, it is unclear which religious organizations are permitted to claim the new exemption, and whether it will extend to for-profit organizations, individuals, or non-denominational organizations.
** Third, money is fungible, and many religious organizations may still object to being forced to pay money to an insurance company which will turn around and provide contraception to its employees for free.
“It is especially telling that the details of this supposed ‘compromise’ will likely not be announced until after the election,” said Smith. “Religious freedom is not a political football to be kicked around in an election-year. Rather than providing full protection for the right of conscience, the administration has made a cynical political play that is the antithesis of ‘hope and change.’”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty<http://www.becketfund.org/> is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 17-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.349.7224.
('76 Contributor) "Have the media failed America?" That was the question at an all-day conference in Colorado Christian University's Beckman Center on December 2. Media experts gathered to discuss the changing face of news and journalism's role in a free society. It was part of a project called News in the 21st Century, sponsored by CCU through its think tank, the Centennial Institute.
Through the means of classroom instruction and civic engagement the News in the 21st Century Project seeks to equip both CCU students and the public to be critical consumers of media, as well as objective producers. "To be self-governing citizens, we all need reliable information about our world," said Centennial Institute director John Andrews. "The News21 project addresses that need."
Funded by a grant from the Smith Foundation in New York, the project is fulfilled in part by Persuasion and News in the 21st Century, a required general education course. Dr. Chris Leland, the professor of record, taught the first two-thirds of the class on basic persuasive theory. Then, students got their hands dirty: under the tutelage of veteran journalists Stephen Keating and Jay Ambrose, they examined firsthand the persuasive messages, bias and tactics that media sometimes uses. Starting with Keating's first question, "Is Facebook news?" students considered how they got news, what they called news, and how they can trust news.
Bringing media notables onto campus was an appropriate climax, as students heard from men and women that they can read in the paper, watch on television, or see on the computer screen. Exhibiting both conservative and liberal views, the panels discussed the effectiveness of the media, as well as the role for consumers today. Students were continually reminded that media is changing, and the divide between consumer and producer is breaking down. Referring to an individual's role, Patti Dennis of 9News reminded all: "Your job is to enlighten yourself." With the rise of the internet and the democratization of news, there is ample opportunity.
Building on this idea, Brent Bozell, who founded the Media Research Center, exhorted students to become storytellers. "If you learn how to become storytellers, you're going to change the world."
Indeed, that was the goal of the class, and remains the ongoing goal of the project -- which will continue in the spring. According to Dr. Leland, students, "gained interpretive skills and interests they didn't have before. They could see how the theory of persuasion works in the real world. And, they saw the clash of ideas in culture."
Still, this class is a beginning for students: with the tools to add to the cultural dialogue, they now have the confidence to do so from a Christian perspective. "Karl Barth said that every Christian should get up in the morning and read the newspaper and the Bible," explained Leland. "They need to know what's going on and how God wants them to react." The News in the 21st Century project aims for exactly that.
"We invite everyone to keep up with the project through our website at www.news21ccu.com," said John Andrews. "That includes suggesting topics for our blog on media bias, and attending future conferences."
The next conference is set for Friday, March 2, 2012, again at the CCU Beckman Center. It will take up the issue of how fair and accurate is the media's treatment of religion and faith.
Sunday, 16 October 2011 15:22 by Admin
The CCU Symposium, two days of all-campus lectures and workshops on a topic of urgent concern, held annually in the fall since 2009, addressed "Compassion for the Poor" in this year's sessions on Oct. 11-12.
Major speakers included Robert Woodson, Andrew Romanoff, Lawrence Reed, and Paul Cleveland. CCU alumni working overseas in areas of extreme poverty reported by Skype. A showing of the documentary film "Waiting for Superman" pointed up the lack of educational opportunity as a critical factor in America's poorest neighborhoods. A program review is here.
CCU President Bill Armstrong, an experienced business executive, longtime evangelist, and former US Senator, opened the Symposium on Tuesday morning with a survey of the human face of poverty around the world - including over a billion people who live on $1 a day- and a review of the biblical commands to help the poor, climaxing with Jesus' promise and warning in Matthew 25.
Armstrong closed the Symposium at noon Wednesday with his own personal 10-point commitment for more active engagement with this burning issue. The points, on which he pledged to report again next Feb. 7, include: 1- Pray regularly myself for the poor 2- Urge others to pray for the poor3- Devote time at weekly CCU Cabinet meeting to prayers for the poor4- Open every CCU class for the next 7 days with prayers for the poor5- Engage CCU more fully with programs of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise6- Place CCU students in CNE Alabama internships7- Engage CCU students with the Mercy Ships ministry8- Form a CCU administration working group on serving the poor9- Double my financial support of charities that serve the poor10- Travel soon to Africa and Latin America to see extreme poverty firsthand
Could it be the past is prologue in terms of a political price to pay for letting the national debt grow endlessly? With high stakes electorally as fiscally in the upcoming battle over raising the debt ceiling, hop in my time machine and travel back a third of a century to 1978.
Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University today and a young congressman back then, warned in his underdog campaign against Sen. Floyd Haskell that the incumbent was reckless and wrong in having voted to let America's borrowing go north of $700 billion. (Whoa, it's now 20 times that much!)
See Armstrong on the attack, and Haskell glumly wishing he was somewhere else, in a priceless debate video from the '78 race that Bill came from 30 points down to win. It leads off an 8-minute tribute to Colorado's Mr. Conservative, presented to him by surprise at a Boulder County Republican dinner on May 21. Watch it here.
(CCU Student) The nuclear crisis in Japan is a tragedy on top of a tragedy. It has not caused major damage, but the Japanese officials have finally decided to tell the truth as it is instead of trying to fluff it up in order to make the people feel better. This is actually how many wish to speak for the entire disaster in general. One reason may be the technological access that has recently caused rebellion in the Middle East. If anyone within the danger zone (or any family member in contact with them) has the ability to access world news they can get the full story from sources other than Japan to find out the truth. With their new way of handling this disaster in hand they finally disclosed that reactor 2 unit 4 of the Fukushima plant has likely been damaged and is leaking harmful radiation. –Prime Minister Naoto Kan gave a brief address to the nation saying, "The level [of radiation] seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out." (WSJ)— Now an eighteen mile radius has been evacuated in preparation for more damage, though it is unlikely that this will turn into another Chernobyl despite everything, and this would not be happening at all if they had had the ability to maintain normal safety measures to circumvent the dangers that are happening today. However, not many nations will go through a 9.0 earthquake that moves it, by a considerable margin, towards the United States, nor will they be struck by a 10 meter wave (about 30 feet) shortly afterwards. When dealing with this it is safe to say that the ability of the workers to react within normal parameters had been stolen from them. The fact that this reactor has not obliterated Fukushima like Chernobyl can be attributed to the efforts the Japanese plant workers.
Are they out of danger? By no means no, but I do know that this will not be like Chernobyl at all. Chernobyl made it possible to have the safety measures in place at every plant world-wide that are precautions against similar accidents. Though, no matter the outcome, naysayers will take this disaster and run with the idea that nuclear power is never a good source of energy despite evidence to disprove them. It is safer, cleaner, and cheaper than many methods in use today which is why Japan uses it in the first place. Approximately 2/3 of the country relies on nuclear energy as their primary source of power.
What needs to be taken into consideration is it is not an everyday occurrence for two major natural disasters to hit the same area in the same day. Also, since Chernobyl, nuclear plants have not been taken lightly. They are handled as one would handle a wild beast: with a great measure of respect. Since 1986 there have been no major disasters because of the standards set in place. These standards are being used in Japan, and the only reason this malfunction is because of the two-for-one natural disaster. All the affected plants were near the epicenter of the earthquake in near the shoreline hit by the tsunami, and if they had not been prepared for either event in any capacity the plants would not be there and that entire region would be a nuclear wasteland by now.
So instead of massive media induced hysteria, we should listen to those with more knowledge on the subject and discover ways that we can be of assistance (besides monetarily) of the Japanese community. We will not know what happens until after everything settles, but the need over there is great whether or not a nuclear disaster is added to the mix.