August 28, 2021

USA: Harvard University Chooses Atheist Who Teaches About Progressive Movement As Head ‘Chaplain’. Epstein Says, "We Don’t Look To A God For Answers. We Are Each )ther’s Answers.”

Breitbart News
written by Dr. Susan Berry
Friday August 27, 2021

Harvard University’s more than 40 chaplains have unanimously elected an atheist to be the new president of its chaplains’ organization.

Greg Epstein, 44, a humanist who was raised in a Jewish household, will begin as president of the Harvard chaplains this week.
“We don’t look to a god for answers,” he said. “We are each other’s answers.”

Epstein, who also serves as humanist chaplain at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has served as Harvard’s humanist chaplain since 2005 and, according to the Times, has been “teaching students about the progressive movement that centers people’s relationships with one another instead of with God.”
Margit Hammerstrom, Harvard’s Christian Science chaplain, told the Times electing an atheist “works” at the school.

“Greg is known for wanting to keep lines of communication open between different faiths,” she said.

The Times reported Epstein mentors “dozens of students” who “have found a source of meaning in the school’s organization of humanists, atheists and agnostics,” as young people in America have grown increasingly secular.

“Greg’s leadership isn’t about theology,” Charlotte Nickerson, 20, an electrical engineering student, said. “It’s about cooperation between people of different faiths and bringing together people who wouldn’t normally consider themselves religious.”

A recent survey from the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University found young Americans are reshaping the country with a philosophy of life that rejects faith in God and organized worship.

The American Worldview Inventory (AWVI) 2021, an annual survey that examines the perspectives of adults aged 18 and over in the United States, found that while 57 percent of Millennials (born 1984-2002) consider themselves to be Christian, 43 percent “don’t know, care, or believe that God exists.”

These young people define success and morality in terms of personal happiness and economic social justice, the survey found, observing only 48 percent of Millennials say one should “treat others as you want them to treat you.”

Epstein, reported the Times, often counsels students who are struggling with both personal and theological issues, helping them cope with anxiety about everyday issues, such as job-hunting, family arguments, and the pressures of dealing with social media.

Some of the students who are attracted to Epstein’s humanist group have left their traditional faiths.

Adelle Goldenberg, 22, the Times observed, was raised in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn but found herself drawn to Epstein’s humanist group. She described being mentored by Epstein as almost like having a secular rabbi.

“When the pandemic hit I was like, ‘Greg, do you have time to talk about the meaning of life,’” Goldenberg said. “He showed me that it’s possible to find community outside a traditional religious context, that you can have the value-add religion has provided for centuries, which is that it’s there when things seem chaotic.”

Fox News reported, however, that the election of an atheist as head chaplain at Harvard has drawn some criticism.

One Twitter user said, “Completely missing the point of the role of a chaplain,” adding as well the election makes the Harvard label “less prestigious”:
Nevertheless, Pew also found in February 2019, that actively religious people are much more likely than those who are less religious to describe themselves as “very happy.”

In America, 36 percent of those who identify as actively religious describe themselves as “very happy,” while only 25 percent of the inactively religious and 25 percent of the unaffiliated self-identify in this way, Pew observed.
The Daily Signal
written by Mary Margaret Olohan
Thursday August 26, 2021

Harvard University has selected a man who does not believe in God to be the school’s chief chaplain.

Chief Chaplain Greg Epstein is the author of “Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe.” He also serves as Harvard’s humanist chaplain, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s humanist chaplain, and as convener for ethical life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life.

“We don’t look to a god for answers,” 44-year-old Epstein told The New York Times. “We are each other’s answers.”

Epstein will lead the university’s community of more than 30 chaplains who represent “many of the world’s religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions” and “who share a collective commitment to serving the spiritual needs of the students, faculty, and staff of Harvard University.” These chaplains work closely with students both in groups and individually, acting as mentors and counselors.

Harvard University was established by Puritan colonists to educate American clergymen under the motto “Truth for Christ and the Church,” The New York Times reported. The university, named after Pastor John Harvard, chose clergymen to lead Harvard for over 70 years.

“There is a rising group of people who no longer identify with any religious tradition but still experience a real need for conversation and support around what it means to be a good human and live an ethical life,” Epstein told The New York Times.

A Harvard Crimson survey of the university’s 2019 class found that students were two times more likely to identify as agnostic or as atheist than average 18-year-olds, The New York Times reported. About 21.3% of the class said they were agnostic and 16.6% said they were atheist. About equal shares of the students said they were Protestant (17%) or Catholic (17.1%), 10.1% said they were Jewish, 2.5% said they were Muslim, 3% said they were Hindu, and 12% said they were “other.”

Neither Epstein nor Harvard University immediately responded to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

UPDATE 8/28/21 at 3:44pm: Added info below.
ASTONISHING! I didn't know this. Wow. 👇

Christian Heritage Fellowship
written by Dr. Stephen Flick
September 6, 2020

Only eighteen years after the Pilgrims landed in the New World, Harvard College, the first of the Ivy League schools, was established for the sake of educating the clergy and raising up a Christian academic institution to meet the needs of perpetuating the Christian faith. All of the Ivy League schools were established by Christians for the sake of advancing Christianity and meeting the academic needs of the New World. No better summary of this effort can be offered than the one provided by the founders themselves:
After God had carried us safely to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and settled the civil government; one of the next things we longed for, and looked after was to advance learning, and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.”[1]
A study of the first American educational institutions will reveal a commitment to spread of the Gospel via Christian academics. One-hundred-six of the first one-hundred-eight colleges formed in America were formed by Christians and built upon Christian principles. Before the Civil War (1861-1865), scarcely half a dozen colleges were established without a commitment to biblical and Christian principles, and most of the presidents of Christian colleges were clergymen.

The deep evangelical convictions of the Christian founders of American education have been etched in various and numerous places, but perhaps none speak more eloquently of their piety and spiritual zeal than the spiritual expectations Harvard had for its young scholars—known as the Rules and Precepts of Harvard.

Rules and Precepts of Harvard

1 When any scholar is able to understand Tully, or such like classical Latin author extempore, and make and speak true Latin in verse and prose, And decline perfectly the paradigms of nouns and verbs in the Greek tongue: Let him then and not before be capable of admission into the college. 2. Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him Prov. 2, 3. 3. Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of the language, and logic, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple, Psalm. 119. 130. 4. That they eschewing all profanation of God’s name, attributes, word, ordinance, and times of worship, do study with good conscience, carefully to retain God, and the love of his truth in their minds else let them know, that (notwithstanding their learning) God may give them up to strong delusions, and in the end to a reprobate mind, 2 Thes. 2. 11, 12. Rom. 1. 28. 5. That they studiously redeem the time; observe the general hours appointed for all the students, and the special hours for their own classes: and then diligently attend the lectures without any disturbance by word or gesture. And if in any thing they doubt, they shall inquire as of their fellows, so, (in case of non satisfaction) modestly of their tutors. 6. None shall under any pretense whatsoever, frequent the company and society of such men as lead an unfit, and desolate life. Nor shall any without his tutor’s leave, or (in his absence) the call of parents or guardians, go abroad to other towns. 7. Every scholar shall be present in his tutor’s chamber at the seventh hour in the morning, immediately after the sound of the bell, at his opening the Scripture and prayer, so also at the fifth hour at night, and then give account of his own private reading, as aforesaid in particular the third, and constantly attend lectures in the hall at the hours appointed. But if any (without necessary impediment) shall absent himself from prayer or lectures, he shall be liable to admonition, if he offend above once a week. 8. If any scholar shall be found to transgress any of the laws of God, or the school, after twice admonition, he shall be liable, if not adultus, to correction, if adultus, his name shall be given up to the overseers of the college, that he may be admonished at the public monthly act. . . .[2]

No comments: