Better Angels

"...all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." ---Abraham Lincoln, First Innaugural Address

Friday, May 21, 2004

Six Degrees of Obfuscation

Calvin College, a small Christian college in Michigan, offers an ongoing series of "Seminars in Christian Scholarship" established in 1996 with grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1999, Pew gave another million to Calvin to continue the seminars over 4 years.

Jean Bethke Elshtain, co-chair of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, is listed as an Advisor to the Seminars.

Calvin's Provost is Joel Carpenter, former Director of the Pew Trust's Religion Program. (precursor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life) Carpenter is also former Director and current Advisor to the Institute for the Study of Amercian Evangelicals, also a recipient of Pew funds.

Last summer, the Fieldstead Company, run by Howard Ahmanson and his wife, Calvin Alumnus Roberta Green Ahmanson, sponsored one of the seminars: "Written on the Heart: The Tradition of Natural Law."

This seminar was directed by J. Budziszewski, a fellow at the Ahmanson funded Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. (Ahmanson is also on the board of directors.) Budziszewski is also a director at the Ahmanson funded Institute on Religion and Democracy along with folks like Mrs. Ahmanson, Michael Novak from the Pew funded AEI, EPPC's George Weigel and First Things editor and BBH interviewee Father Richard John Neuhaus.

With connections like that, Budziszewski is certainly the man you'd want putting together a seminar. Why just look who came to sit and chat with last summer's seminar participants for 3 hours...none other than Fat Tony.