A New Generation of Moral Leadership

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 23, 2005 | Go to article overview

A New Generation of Moral Leadership


Byline: Michael Smith, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Can the culture survive? Is there hope that a new generation will restore a moral framework and return America to its founding principles? Fortunately, there is a growing generation that holds firmly to a Christian worldview and desires that freedom and liberty flourish in America.

On May 14, 50 students graduated from Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va. PHC is a four-year undergraduate Christian college that opened its doors in 2000. The new graduates join 61 PHC alumni.

Why open another private college? Even among the growing numbers of religiously based colleges, PHC is unique. The focus on academic excellence and the large number of home-school students set PHC apart.

The idea for a new college emerged at a board meeting of the Home School Legal Defense Association in 1997. HSLDA was founded in 1983 and has fought an essentially defensive campaign to protect the right of parents to home-school. Only a few states allowed home-schooling in 1983, but through many court cases and legislative hearings, all 50 states had legalized home-schooling by 1993.

It is one thing to defend the right to home-school in the courts and legislatures; it is another to change the culture to ensure that government action never threatens home-schooling again.

This is where PHC comes in. The HSLDA board recognized that simply reacting defensively would not be sufficient to maintain the rights of home-schoolers over the long term - one adverse decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, has the potential to jeopardize home-school freedoms.

In an attempt to ensure that America remains free, most PHC students have expressed a desire to enter the public or nonprofit sector with a mission to steer institutions toward a moral understanding of the founding principles of the country.

Protecting freedom is an ongoing project and the essential work of each generation. Ronald Reagan recognized this dynamic when he made this statement: "Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. …

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