To be well-educated, students need to know and understand the underlying foundations of Western civilization. They also need to know the noteworthy contributions it has made to their nation and to much of the world. Here are a few key examples:
- From the Bible's portrayal of a rational God, Western thinkers concluded that human beings - the crown of creation - also were rational beings, capable of critical thinking, of discovering objective knowledge and truth, deductively and inductively. Without these premises, the world would still be in the pre-Industrial Age.- In the Middle Ages, the monasteries of the Christian church created universities. Here, knowledge was discovered and disseminated, giving rise to the seven liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. All enriched human life.
- The brilliant Greek philosophers theorized, but because of their low view of manual labor, they never tested their theories. With Christianity dignifying manual work, the West linked theory to practice, making it possible for modern science to appear.
- The Greco-Romans had no hospitals for their people. Hospitals were first built in the fourth century as Christians, moved by Christ's compassion, cared for the sick.
- The Athenians introduced a limited democracy. But England's Magna Carta and America's Declaration of Independence and Constitution made government by the people a reality. These documents often inspire nascent democracies today.
- At times, the West mimicked some of the evil practices of other cultures, such as their treatment of women and slavery. But the West was the first to repent of these sins. It has elevated the rights of women, whereas in some non-Western societies, women still have very few rights. Inspired by Christian leaders, the British were the first to outlaw slavery in the 1830s. Thirty years later, America followed suit. In India, slavery existed until 1976, and African Sudan still has slavery.
We cannot afford to dilute or cut the lifeline of a liberal arts education - the study of Western civilization - because of a self-imposed guilt complex, prompted by the propaganda of anti-Western multiculturalists. Students have the right to see and understand how the knowledge, insights and contributions of Western civilization, unlike those of any other civilization, have benefited billions of people.