The essence of ministry: 8-28-09
Are we all Hindus? 8-31-09

Colleges' religious roots: 8-29/30-09

All over America there used to be (and in many places still are) colleges and universities that have religious roots.


This weekend is a good time to think about that because it was on Aug. 30, 1856, that the Methodist Episcopal Church founded Wilberforce College (now Wilberforce University) in western Ohio. It was just the second institution of higher education in the U.S. created for African-Americans. Click here for some Wilberforce history.

Although nearly all religious communities in America support the idea of public education, paid for with dollars from taxpayers, many also have offered private, or parochial, alternatives. This has been good for America. I say this as someone profoundly dedicated to public education.

It took American society time to adopt the idea that higher education should be publically supported, so most of the early colleges and universities in the U.S. were private, and often they had religious sponsors.

In its early years, even Harvard, founded in 1636, was essentially in the business of training clergy for Puritan congregations, though, as this history says, it never had a formal affiliation with any denomination.

My own denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), long has been a leader in education, creating colleges all over the country. Many still are affiliated in some way with the denomination, though the church now provides precious little funding for them.

And certainly the Catholic Church in this country has created some of our best colleges and universities -- from smaller schools, such as Rockhurst University in Kansas City, to Notre Dame and Catholic University.

Well, no doubt you can name Baptist, Lutheran, Jewish, Mormon, Methodist and other colleges and universities with religious roots and connections. And I say our faith communities deserve thanks for adding much richness to our educational traditions.

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The Vatican secretary of state says Pope Benedict XVI has no intention of reversing reforms adopted by Vatican II. It would be intriguing to read a thorough study of how Catholics around the world now view the changes that came out of the second Vatican council in the 1960s. There indeed still is division, with what I think is a small but dedicated and vocal minority who think Vatican II was a major error, heretical and invalid, while by far most others are on board with most, if not all, of the reforms that emerged. But that's just my guess.

* * *

P.S.: If you missed the lovely eulogy of his father by Ted Kennedy Jr., whom I met a few years ago when he came to Kansas City to give a speech, here's the text of it. Just to clarify, this text misspells the name of author Shelby Foote.

* * *

P.S.: For information about the health care forum I'll be moderating Sunday starting at 3 p.m. at Community Christian Church in Kansas City, click here, then scroll down a bit.


Susan and I talked about a project I am working on. I am raising money for a young lady to attend college in Zambia Africa. It is a joint effort with my daughters’ church and whomever else would like to help us.

I met her father, about my age, last week. Interesting man, from a very trying country. I learned a lot about him and his country the three hours we talked…My son-in- law prepared a wonderful breakfast for all of us.

My Daughters and ex-wife have known Benson for several years. He comes here to America once a year.

Benson’s daughter’s dream is to be a nurse so she can help her country. It is very difficult for a man to go to college, much less a women.

It will happen. I believe some ‘people’ will make this happen.

Right now we have $500. We put this together in two days. We need $2100 more for the first year of college. We can do a loan if anyone is willing. My daughters’ church and my outreach can pay this back within one year. This is a three year college. Of course we also will have to raise the money the next two years.

If we don’t get the money within three weeks, she will have to wait another year. I know this is short notice.

I think Benson is apprehensive about asking for so much, he puts it off. And also he thinks, I believe, Americans are rich. I wonder where he gets this idea.

If it were not for people here in America already helping his family, some, it not all of his family, would be dead. We must not hasten our journey to heaven.

I will have more info in a few days.

Oh, well, if we don’t try, NOTHING happens…,huh, Red.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Will Graham

Susan, you say, "With Iggy there is not hate-just (I think) a sort of desire to shock people into seeing his version of reality."

You THINK there is not hate!?!

So, you don't know.

Then how are the rest of us supposed to? If he doesn't think people should die, he should not say it.

And its to SHOCK people into seeing his verion of reality?


And trying to do it by SHOCKING people. EXACTLY!

Not by reason or discussion, but by insult and ridicule. By a form of FORCE. Middle school kids would call it bullying...others would call it something else.

Such methods failed in his homeland, and they will fail here as well. A friend of ours has expressed the opinion to me that I should ENCOURAGE him! You know, let the people see a atheist in action.

Dolores Lear

Yesterday, at Ted Kennedy's Funeral, one of his family read from the Book of Wisdom during the sermon.

I did not find Wisdom listed in the Catholic Bible.

What were Scripture and Myth used for in the Past? The same as we use them today? To build Temples with Human Hands, while our Society is Killing Each Other, and our Planet's Eco System with High Tech Science?

Why are there so many different views about Religion and Myth? What is Wisdom today? High Tech Science?

These comments on Bill's Blog show how Humans are Divided on what is the Lifestyle of the Human Species. Did God Create Defective Killer Humans, or did they Evolve as Killers?

Comments from this weekend.

"Perhaps the god concept was just a lot of wishing based on how we are…how we think, how we survive."

"Those who present evolution as holding that our ancestors grew limbs or underwent any other evolutionary change for any "purpose" whatsoever do not understand current mainstream evolutionary theory."

"Over past couple of days, some great chats ensued - especially from "righteous" Xians about "non righteous" Lutherans."

"adamh, thanks for the clarification; yes, I do realize that when I talk about our fish ancestors' "purpose" for growing limbs, what I'm really talking about is the reason WHY limbs gave fish an advantage in the conditions with which they were dealing at that time. Science really is the coolest detective story ever."



Correction from last night: Cherith Brook's clarification meeting is this FRIDAY, not tomorrow. They hold them the first Friday evening of every month.

Cole, that is so exciting, the way people are mobilizing to help this young Zambian woman go to college. Please keep us all posted!

Will, I said "I think" because Iggy and I don't inhabit the same brain. And I am not a mind-reader, though I do feel I have a high degree of intuition. My "feeling" about Iggy is that he is at heart a very kind person.

My "intuition" says that he's not really wanting your death or suffering, or anyone else's death or suffering. But of course I really can't speak for another person. And even though it would bug me for people to think I wanted them dead, I honestly think it kind of gives Iggy a kick for you guys to say things like, "I know what you'd do to me if you had the chance," so he plays along and talks about wanting to gaze into your delusional eyes and pray for Hannibal Lector to clone you a new brain.

But I guess you're going to take your friend's advice and keep encouraging him, huh? So then what are you whining about?!

Dolores Lear


"As to the Lutherans, I don't care what you do at the Lutheran study and am not interested. I am not a Martin Luther fan."

Red Biddy:
"Richard Dawkins has a good argument for atheists joining with the nicer aspects of religion in his essay "Atheists for Jesus"."

"Red Biddy, you must know there is seriously no comparison between what Cole and Iggy are doing, and what Fred Phelps and his followers are doing! - With Iggy there is not hate -- just (I think) a sort of desire to shock people into seeing his version of reality."

"How about we stop hanging onto superstition. Do we follow old religion or new? Which one is more fair? Follow that one. But it would be best if we put more time in the promotion of sciences."

Religion? Myth? Science?

Secular Religious and Atheists Humans with High Tech, do Know How to Colonize a Planet and Reproduce a Human Fetus in the lab, and Cloning Animals? Was this Evolution in Action?

The Results: Toxic Pollution, Atomic and Nuclear Waste, Nuclear Bombs on land and sea, and the Destruction of our Ozone Canopy?

What has Today's Wisdom with High Tech Bombs and Spaceships, have to do with Religion and Myth?

Killer High Tech Gods today that fly in the air, are like the Past Religious Killer High Tech Gods that flew in the air?

Eternal Physical Human Life After Birth is possible, on a High Tech Human Peace Planet, and in Spaceships.

Genesis God/Us proves this, with a High Tech Translation.

Dolores Lear

All the back and forth about Creation Science and Evolution. Which came first on Earth?

Since the 1800s when Evolution was brought into focus, the two Theories are getting nowhere with our High Tech Science for the past 100 years.

In the mid 1900s, Scientists projected Colonizing a Planet. Why was it ignored? With High Tech Spaceships, Human could Colonize other Planets like Earth.

Creation Science and Intelligent Design both involve High Tech Science. So why not just call it High Tech Colonization, and try to prove if that 'was' how Life on Earth was Created?

The Challenge between Evolution and High Tech Colonization could come to terms with Evolution happening on another Planet, and those High Tech Humans, God/Us in Genesis, Colonizing Earth.

Without High Tech, How the Elements came into Being, by Human Beings made from the Elements would be Impossible.

Who or What made the Universe and Planets would probably be beyond anything Humans could Solve, since they are made from the Elements of Visible and Invisible Life, in Space and on Planet Earth.

It is past time, to call this a God and a Holy Spirit like Religion has. GOD has nothing to do with God/Us in Genesis that Created Life on Earth and Reproduced Male and Female Humans in their Human Image, recorded as supernatural by Humans without High Tech.

Humans today, do make a Human Fetus in the Lab in our Image, and Clone Animals today. This was impossible for Humans without High Tech Science 100 years ago.

The Religious Eternal Human Life, is for the Living High Tech Humans after Birth, on Planets and in Spaceships, like God/Us in Genesis, in our Image that came to Earth.

It is past time for Humans to add Colonization to the mix, as to how Life began on our Earth Home, 'in the beginning'.


Our Christian trolls are at work on Kansas City's Stars "Faithwalk" -
Since you don't truly identify with faith, why do you want to write for the faith walk? Its almost as if you have an agenda to weaken faith in others, the way you dismiss the presence of diveine intervention. Further, you assertion that the things you have experienced always have a defined cause and effect is very arrogant; there is no way you could have such total knowledge. Are you actually an atheist who sought a place in the Faith Column?

I was "impressed" by the troll's "there is no way you could have such total knowledge." - wow! Nice!

At least we are getting somewhere with "total knowledge/truth" - this Christian troll "denies" "truth" of this person, does he claim that "truth" can be even "evaluated" and "ascertained?" - based on what objective criteria? Are there any? What "version of total knowlege" is he proposing? Is there one?

"What is Truth?" - it's in the Bible, apparently, the Christian trolls are struggling with "defining" it in their own "intelligent design" terms and "Christianity is just a cover for ID" - the only cover they can find that "approximates" the truth - but "do they themselves (these trolls) know the truth?"

We can only wonder about their "theologicalicity" if one can invent the word like this. It is hardly a "Christian based" version of belief - the Christian trolls are devloping their "truth" as they go.

Perhpas, this is why they NEVER SHOW UP FOR ANY FREETHINKING EVENTS IN KANSAS CITY - they know they will be told this sraight "in the face".

And it is scary to "lose face" and also 'faith" - FAITH IS BELIEF IN THIGNS NEVER SEEN :) - so it's not really a loss - just moving on to "reality". I recommend starting with crawling under the rock - this is a good beginning. You can save face this way - at least before your god.

Will Graham

Igor is lying in his 1:38 p.m. post, but what else is new?

We have been to a number of "freethinking events" in Kansas City in the past couple of years; the Community of Reason, debates, a lecture by the VP of American Atheists (Igor, you weren't there!) and others.

And YOU know for a FACT that Jim Christensen has been going to Community of Reason Meetings off and on for SEVERAL years and is known by many of the people there and at Heartland Humanists.

He has also been to kept following him around an auditorium as he was trying to talk to people with your little camera but you wouldn't really discuss...and book discussions.

Like I said, you KNOW this for a fact.

And yet when you had a chance to talk to him you said you weren't really interested in talking to him about anything.

Of course not, you just want to make remarks on the internet and play James Bond.


Will Graham

I am of course not suprised that Susan jumps to defend anything the Cole/Iggy squad dish out.

Anything that attacks believers, that is.

And it was charming that she and her husband took their kids with them to a meeting.

Bud was very accomodating to watch the kids while Cole and Susan could have a little talk. What a great dad!

Say, maybe the atheists could tell the kids scary stories to amuse them? You know, like "once upon a time Hannibal Lector found some Christian brains! And they were delicious! They tasted like chicken, yum, yum, yum."

Bet the little tykes would get a kick out em!


Will, so far my children haven't experienced anything frightening at any freethinking events (thus far they've been to 3 -- Darwin Day, a movie night, and a just hangin' out night). But my oldest had quite a phobia for a while after having a Sunday School teacher tell the class they could go to hell for lying.

The weird thing is, my oldest has always been naturally honest -- but after this she started worrying that maybe she'd told lies without realizing it. I kept reassuring her that this would not send her to hell, and of course now I reassure her that since I love her too much to send her to hell, God is totally-loving and would never send her either. It's been a few years now, and she seems to be growing out of this worry. But every now and then still talks about it.

We've been having a lot of fun with the Evolution videos Iggy linked to. We just finished watching the "Ape to Man" series today.

And yes, Will, my husband IS accommodating to recognize my enjoyment of conversation, and to play with our girls to give me a chance to have some. Just as I understand his need for some times to just take off and do something on his own, like a movie ... sometimes he takes our oldest if it's kid-suitable, but sometimes he wants to see one of those gory shoot-em-ups, so then of course the girls are with me.

Give and take is a wonderful thing -- maybe someday you will have a family and will get a chance to experience this firsthand. For your wife's sake, I hope you won't still have what seems to me to be a rather sarcastic attitude regarding a husband playing with his kids so his wife can visit with friends.

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