Recently the comedian Bill Maher decided to spend an expensive five minutes of air time attempting to attack my alma mater, Liberty University.
Ignorance is not bliss, it’s just ignorance.
Judging from the polite golf claps of his normally rabid audience, I believe a fair argument can be made that the piece itself simply wasn’t considered to be very funny.
In addition to failing on funny, Maher gets an “F” on his facts.
Toward the end of the piece Maher demonstrates his own ignorance in his compare/contrast of Liberty University with “real” colleges that our founding fathers attended. Maher’s liberal brain washing has left him with little to no understanding of the irony in his attempt at humor.
Here’s the real humor: Every college cited as a ‘real’ college was founded by and for the purpose of delivering a distinctively Christian education, the same principle upon which Liberty University was founded in 1971. This is also the same principle that has caused it to grow into one of America’s largest universities with over 90,000 enrolled students. With a poor attempt at humor, the joke is actually on Maher. A simple search of each school’s own website easily proves my point.
At the 3:55 mark of his argument against Liberty he says:
“Sorry, but our Constitution wasn’t divinely inspired. It’s just that the guys who wrote it were smart because they went to real colleges. Thomas Jefferson went to William and Mary, Madison went to Princeton and Alexander Hamilton went to Columbia.”
Let’s take a look at each of those institutions in their own words. What were they teaching when the founders attended?
“Thomas Jefferson went to William and Mary”
The Royal charter of W&M “Forasmuch as our well-beloved and faithful subjects, con- stituting the General Assembly of our Colony of Virginia, have had it in their minds, and have proposed to themselves, to the end that the Church of Virginia may be furnished with a seminary of ministers of the gospel, and that the youth may be piously educated in good letters and manners, and that the Christian faith may be propagated amongst the Western Indians, to the glory of Almighty God;“ (http://www.wm.edu/about/history/index.php)
“Madison went to Princeton”
The principles on which Princeton University was founded may be traced to the Log College in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, founded by William Tennent in 1726. Tennent was a Presbyterian minister who, along with fellow evangelists Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen, Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Davies, and George Whitefield of England, preached and taught an approach to religion and life that was the very essence of the Great Awakening period. The seven founders of the College of New Jersey were all Presbyterians, with Ebenezer Pemberton, a minister and a graduate of Harvard, the only one of the seven who did not graduate from Yale. The remaining six included Jonathan Dickinson, Aaron Burr Sr., and John Pierson, who were ministers; William Smith, a lawyer; Peter Van Brugh Livingston, a merchant; and William Peartree Smith. (http://www.princeton.edu/mudd/news/faq/topics/founders.shtml)
“Alexander Hamilton went to Columbia”
Actually, Hamilton went to “Kings College” between 1774 and 1776. Kings was later renamed Columbia. The following timeline from Columbia’s own website shows who founded the University and for what purposes.
May 14 — Trinity Church conditions its offer of land on assurances that college president would always be an Anglican and that official religious services use Anglican liturgy
May 16 — Lottery Commission accepted Trinity Church conditions on land
November 22 — Lottery Commission appointed Samuel Johnson as president of new college; a Massachusetts Congregationalist minister, Chauncey Whittesley, appointed as second master; Assembly withholding lottery funds for what its critics calling an “Anglican seminary”
May 31 — Advertisement for the College of New York published in the New York Gazette by President Johnson; stressed that college welcoming all Protestant Christians
July 17 — Classes began in rectory of school attached to Trinity Church on Rector Street; eight matriculants; Samuel Johnson did all the teaching (http://beatl.barnard.columbia.edu/learn/timelines/cutime.htm)
“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
— Edmond Burke