Part of our vision at SAIS (Strategic & Intelligence Studies Program) is the development of “virtuous and disinterested servant leaders”—otherwise known as Christian Statesmen (again, I absolutely refuse to bow to the socialist politically correct crowd’s meaningless dribble that passes for English today…an educated person knows when “man” or “men” is used in a generic sense). What do the terms virtuous, disinterested, and Statesmen mean?
Virtuous means: “doing right because it’s right to do right regardless of the circumstances.”
Disinterested means: “making the right decision regardless of cost or benefit to the decision-maker.”
Statesman means: “one who serves his country with unselfish motives.”
The eighteenth-century gentlemen, our “Founding Fathers,” as we are wont to call them, were men of such character and integrity as indicated in the above definitions, despite the common historical revisionists recasting them as self-serving enviroterrorists and other such derogatory depictions which only prove that such non-educated and non-scholarly authors are totally and willfully ignorant of readily available historical facts, because such facts do not fit their philosophy and agenda of revisionism. Of the fifty-five who gathered in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation, twenty-one had fought in the War for Independence (which was not a revolution), forty-six had served in colonial assemblies or State legislatures, twenty-four had been members of the Continental Congress, thirty-nine had served in the Congress under the Articles, ten had taken part in drafting State constitutions, six had signed the Declaration of Independence, four had signed the Articles of Confederation, twenty had been, were then, or would later be, governors of States and twenty were at one time or another United States Senators.
They were gentlemen in their upbringing, education, and personal deportment. They were Christian gentlemen in their religious profession and in their conduct in social and civil encounters with each other and with all men in general. Fifty of them would have subscribed to the Apostles’ Creed: twenty-three were Episcopalians, ten were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Catholics, two were Lutherans, two were Quakers, one was Methodist and two professed belief in God but did not at that time belong to any particular church or sect. In short, they were orthodox Christians who took their religious lives very seriously as indicated in their writings and personal letters to friends, colleagues, and families (again, all such documents are readily available for the true scholar to peruse at will).
They were gentlemen in their manners and debate with each other. Some of the debates got rather heated, but their deportment to each other remained gentlemanly—believing that ideas are to be challenged, debated, argued with passion and fervor, but personalities are to be held in sacred honor. They were well educated gentlemen, many of them studied at American colleges, at Oxford or Cambridge, or at the Scottish and Irish universities. What sort of education did they receive? Look at the first four requirements which had to be met before one could even apply to Harvard in 1646:
- “When any Scholar is able to read Tully or such like classical author ex tempore, and decline perfectly the paradigms of nouns and verbs in the Greek tongue, then may he be admitted into the College, nor shall any claim admission before such qualifications.”
- “Every one shall consider the main end of his life and studies to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life.”
- “Seeing the Lord giveth wisdom, every one shall seriously by prayer in secret seek wisdom of him.”
- “Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that they may be ready to give an account of their proficiency therein both in theoretical observations of language and logic, and in practical and spiritual truths…”
[NOTE BENE: do not try to impress me with your degree(s) from Harvard until you can pass this entrance requirement from 1646 or for Yale from 1745]
The entrance requirements for Yale in 1745 reflect the same principles: “That none may Expect to be admitted into this College unless upon Examination of the President and Tutors, They shall be found able Extempore to Read, Construe, and Parce Tully, Virgil and the Greek Testament: and to write True Latin Prose and to Understand the Rules of Prosodia, and Common Arithmetic, and shall bring Sufficient Testamony of his Blameless and inoffensive life….All Scholars Shall Live Religious, Godly and Blameless Lives according to the Rules of God[‘]s Word, diligently Reading the holy Scriptures the Fountain of Light and Truth; and constan[t]ly attend upon all the Duties of Religion both in Publick and Secret.” The rules go on to require such holiness of life and speech that one cannot doubt the moral quality expected from the president of the college down to the lowest scholar.
In addition to the moral quality required at all American colleges, Yale also required the “knowledge of the Three Learned Languages…In the first Year They Shall principally Study the Tongues & Logic, and…in the Second Year They Shall Recite Rhetoric, Geometry and Geography, In the Third Year natural Philosophy, Astronomy and Other Parts of Mathematicks. In the Fourth Year Metaphysics and Ethics. And the respective Classes Shall Recite Such Books, and in Such a manner as has been accustomed…”
In other words, they received a classical education in which they studied formal logic, rhetoric, and literature–learning to speak with care and with eloquence both of which are marks of the true gentleman.
If one desires to know the extent of their gentlemanliness all one has to do is refer to Thomas Fuller’s The Holy State and the Profane State, in which one finds such requirements as being a man of honor, valor, respect, charity, and duty. I grew up in southwestern Oklahoma by etiquette rules known amusingly as “the Code of the West,” which embodied many of those admonitions, and I am saddened by the complete lack of proper etiquette among Christians today—especially in Christian institutions of higher education—a condition we will correct among the select few who will put out the effort to be accepted into the Strategic & Intelligence Studies Program at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. If you are interested on knowing how embarrassingly poor your college experience has been, I invite you to read Maj. Gen. Josiah Bunting’s book, An Education for our Time.
Truth Never Fears a Challenge
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