My latest at The Huffington Post:

I get Rick Santorum’s beef with higher education. When he calls President Obama a snob for wanting to make higher education a possibility for all people or when he rants about the liberal professors who try indoctrinate students, I get where he’s coming from. I went to a Christian college for something very close to this reason.

Further, New York Times writers like Frank Bruni and Dick Cavett are right to draw a connection between Santorum’s remarks on higher education and his own decision to home school his children. I wasn’t home schooled, but I had the next closest thing: a private education at a tiny Christian school at which my parents, and the parents of many of my friends, served as the teachers. It was like a perpetual home school tupperware party.

The decision by my parents to give me this kind of education was part practical — the public schools in the city I grew up in were subpar — but also part reflective of Santorum’s desire to protect children from the corrupting influence of the secular world. So, too, was my decision to forego applying to any of Boston’s esteemed colleges and universities in favor of Gordon College, the small Christian liberal arts school 45 minutes north of the city that I ultimately attended.

And, you know, it kind of worked. Today, at 30 years old, I am still a Christian. My childhood and even teen and college years were relatively free of any of the kind of trouble that many of my peers find themselves in.

Although, come to think of it, Mr. Santorum might not see me as a success story of his educational philosophy after all.

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About The Author

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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0 Responses to Sorry, Santorum: I Am Christian College-Educated and Liberal

  1. Patrick Sawyer says:

    Jonathan,

    I am a semi-regular reader of your blog. You state “I am still a Christian.” I am genuinely curious…in your view, what is it that makes YOU a Christian? To put it another way…how do YOU define what it means to be a Christian? Also, do you regard Rick Santorum as a Christian? How about President Obama…do you regard him as a Christian?

    I apologize if in the past you have elaborated on what basis you regard yourself a Chrustian and somehow I missed it. Thanks for any response you can give.

  2. Hi Patrick, thank you for reading and commenting. I’m a bit confused by your question. The inference is that you would guess that I’m not a Christian? I wonder what would give you this impression.

    I guess what makes me a Christian is what makes any one a Christian: a professed belief in the central tenets of Christianity as expressed in the creeds.

    As for Santorum and Obama, they both similarly profess belief, and therefore they’re Christians.

    • Patrick Sawyer says:

      Thanks Jonathan for responding. There are a multitude of reasons people regard themselves as Christians, some of which have very little to do with a professed belief in the central tenets of Christianity as expressed in the creeds. It struck me that even though I read this blog semi-regularly, and even comment from time to time, I wasn’t sure exactly how you might define your connection to Christianity. I’m sure that is my oversight.

      By the way, I understand you teach college and are involved in academia in some capacity. We are kindred spirits that way. You have my email. If you find yourself in NC with a few hours of downtime, I’d love to get coffee and have a robust discussion on some of these matters.

      Again, thanks for responding. I know you have a lot on your plate so I sincerely appreciate it. Best.

  3. Dorothy Boorse says:

    so glad your college education did what it ought! This is what we all work for, regardless where you end up on the political spectrum. To have a thoughtful and nuanced view on important matters and to engage with others with whom you might disagree in a respectful and loving way- these should be the hallmarks of people with an education. I appreciated your post and am so glad you went to Gordon and got what you needed out of it.
    peace.

  4. Jessica says:

    I know I’m three weeks late, but I can SO resonate with this article. I, too, went to a small private school, and then attended a Christian liberal arts college in the midwest. I, too, graduated a liberal Christian. I’m even in full-time ministry now. My parents did everything “right” (pun intended), but I vote Democrat. And I agree with your assessment about the education colleges give students. My college taught me how to ask better questions rather than giving me all the correct answers, and for that I am so grateful.

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