2.1.11

THE ORIGINAL THINKERS CAN BE STRONGER. A recent Colman McCarthy column in the Washington Post arguing that ROTC has no place on university campuses got a number of the leading lights of the Rightosphere angry, with Vodkapundit identifying it as a self-fisking column. The constraints of the printed page might have compelled an earlier generation of writers to offer pithier rebuttals. Consider this passage from the column.

When I suggested that Notre Dame's hosting of ROTC was a large negative among the school's many positives, [university president Theodore] Hesburgh disagreed. Notre Dame was a model of patriotism, he said, by training future officers who were churchgoers, who had taken courses in ethics, and who loved God and country. Notre Dame's ROTC program was a way to "Christianize the military," he stated firmly.

I asked if he actually believed there could be a Christian method of slaughtering people in combat, or a Christian way of firebombing cities, or a way to kill civilians in the name of Jesus. Did he think that if enough Notre Dame graduates became soldiers that the military would eventually embrace Christ's teaching of loving one's enemies?

Good going, pick a theological fight with a priest. The simplest rebuttal, however, comes from William F. Buckley. At page 55 of the paperback edition of Quotations from Chairman Bill is a reflection on military-sponsored research in academic departments that applies as well to military science.
Would we really be better off breeding a class of government-scientists unexposed to the leavening influence of the humanities, such as them as survive in the nation's colleges and universities? Do they really believe we would then be better off? Because that is exactly what is going to happen if the militants have their way.
It's from Mr Buckley's 15 February 1969 "On the Right" column. The decline of the humanities has been going on for a long time.

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