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Letters to a Young Progressive

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Some say the third time is a charm. So I've tried to be a little more charming in my third book than I was in my first two. Make no mistake about it, though: I'm glad to have written two hard-hitting books on life in the academy. The first was needed to expose the intellectual shallowness of the campus diversity movement. Another book was needed to chronicle the absurdity of campus feminism. But my latest book is written from the heart.


I see kids going off to college and losing their faith every year. I also see them adopting radical political positions soon after enrolling in college. I understand what they are going through because I went through the same thing thirty years ago. I abandoned my faith my very first semester in college. Later on, I embraced left wing politics that only made sense in conjunction with a secular worldview. But circumstances and, ultimately, Providence turned that all around.

In 1993, an unarmed fraternity brother of mine was shot and killed execution-style by the side of a highway near Starkville, Mississippi. I immediately abandoned my support for a full federal ban on handguns. In fact, I went out and bought my first revolver.

In 1994, I sat on my first university hiring committee and learned how race-based affirmative action really worked. I immediately abandoned my support of affirmative action.

In 1996, I abandoned atheism in a prison near Quito, Ecuador. I saw some human rights abuses in that prison but had no moral standard by which to judge them. I learned that day that there was a Moral Law that transcended cultural norms. I realized that it meant there must be a moral lawgiver.

I eventually made my way back into the church. It was largely an intellectual journey and it served me well when I got the call to enter the campus cultural wars shortly after 911. The details on how I got drawn into those wars are less important than the lessons I learned fighting them. First and foremost, I learned that the main problem in higher education is not that we don't teach religion at the university. The problem is that we teach false religion.


We teach kids that they may define the unborn as property if it will facilitate their sexual lifestyle or their economic well-being.

We teach kids that both their conduct and idea of right and wrong are determine by society and culture respectively.

We teach kids that man has the capacity to construct a utopian society so long as he is freed from the constraining idea that he is broken by sin and separation from God.

All of this is dangerous because it amounts to self-worship. That is dangerous because it requires a rejection of God, not just a rejection of tradition. Somewhere in the process, the idea of inalienable rights gets lost. Rights suddenly come from man. And that means man can take them away. These ideas have consequences.

Because the secular progressive worldview is so pervasive and because I was once led astray by it, I decided to write Letters to a Young Progressive: How to Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don’t Understand. It all began when a young man had an angry outburst in one of my classes. He was angry over something he learned in college that simply wasn't true. After I wrote to him asking him to consider a different point of view, I realized it was wrong to only write to him. So I started writing to an entire generation. I published the final collection of thirty five letters as a book. Today is the official release date. (You can pick it up in any major book store, or just order here.)


I could have called it Letters from a Former Progressive. Because that's what my third book really is. I hope you read it and enjoy it. But I also hope you share it with a young progressive who is inclined to protest things he really doesn't understand.

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