Columbia, then and now

By The Rev. Mel McGinnis

In America, since October 7th when Israel had its “9/11”, demands for cease-fire in Gaza and aid for the Gazans have turned to chants of “We are Hamas” and “Death to America.” A new epicenter for anti-semitism foments from protesters squatting on Columbia University. Classes must go hybrid. The Orthodox rabbi on campus advises Jewish students to leave campus for their own safety.

The rotten fruit of Critical Race Theory yielded from its Marxist tree planted in Columbia in 1935 infects all aspects of culture and judges everyone to be either an oppressor or the oppressed. Playing into the hands of “oppressed” Hamas, cultural Marxism is academia’s ideological Molotov cocktail exploding on campuses, canceling a graduation and blocking traffic-goers from their destinations.

Conceived over 250 years ago, Columbia’s biblically-derived motto, “In thy Light shall we see light,” was evident after the Revolutionary War in a commencement address to its graduates given by its president, William Samuel Johnson, signer of the US Constitution.

Then, Johnson said, “You this day… have…received a public education, the purpose whereof hath been to qualify you… to serve your Creator and your country.” Does education slam or serve our Creator and our country now?

Johnson said, “Thus you assume the character of scholars, of men, and of citizens.” Today, Columbia looks like a propagandized university of indoctrinated social justice warriors assisted by Soros-funded rent-a-mobs dumbfounded over what “from the river to the sea” means.

Johnson said, “Your first great duties…are those you owe to Heaven, to your Creator and Redeemer.” Today, there’s a religious-like duty to the dictates of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and a 101 “isms.”

Johnson said, “Imprint deep upon your minds the principles of piety towards God, and a reverence and fear of His holy name.”

Today, protesting students imbibe the words of Khaled Baraket who lectured at Columbia’s Resistance 101 event and defended Hamas’ terrorism of October 7.

Johnson said, “Remember, too, that you are the redeemed of the Lord, that you are bought with a price, even the inestimable price of the precious blood of the Son of God.” Today, tainted money from China and Saudi Arabia buys off Columbia which graduates students whose loans we have to pay off.

Johnson said, “Adore Jehovah, therefore, as your God and your Judge.” Today, is God’s existence even acknowledged, let alone adored?

Johnson said, “Acquaint yourselves with Him in His word and holy ordinances.” Today, they’re gaining acquaintance with ideology consistent with preferred pronouns, gender confusion and justification for mutilating children’s bodies.

Johnson said, “Finally, . . . whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” – and do them…” Today, “whatsoever” at Columbia includes rage, intimidation, demands, belligerence, Jew-bashing and “Death to America.”

Superbly satirizing the nonsense, a headline from the Babylon Bee reads, “Columbia Protesters Clarify They Only Want Death To America After America Is Done Paying Their Student Loans.”

If Johnson was here, his heart would ache and break over the direction the school leads the students. If he were here, he would weep and grieve over students being led like sheep without a shepherd or even worse, false ones.

Recognizing the reckless course taken by poisoned Ivy League schools, University of Penn scholar-in-residence Brian Rosenwald said, “Our profession may be on a suicide mission.” Will the rest of America follow or return by way of Columbia under William Samuel Johnson?

The Rev. Mel McGinnis is a Frewsburg resident.


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