Whom Does Harvard Thank at Thanksgiving?

When Americans gather together on Thanksgiving Day to ask the Lord’s blessing, what will they do at Harvard?

In a body blow aimed at Western civilization, Harvard University has appointed an atheist to be its chaplain. The mind reels. 

Harvard faced obvious self-imposed constraints in making the selection of Greg Epstein. The person had to be a Democrat (check: during the 2020 election Epstein served as the national chair of the organization “Humanists for Biden”); had to have written a book (check: Good Without God); and had to (how to put it delicately) fit in: a Harvard professor faced a serious backlash recently for refusing to use the term “pregnant people” and insisting on using the terms “male” and “female.” Harvard has no truck with that kind of obstinacy—though what the head of Harvard’s biology department thinks about the ability of men to have babies is information not readily available. So, Epstein seems to check the boxes. 

But an atheist?

Apparently, Epstein is a humanist. Humanism is a philosophy, reports the Harvard Crimson, “that centers around the goodness of humanity.” How the Taliban and the Nazis fit into that thinking is not clear.

According to the Crimson, Epstein said [deep breath]: 

There’s just so much great work that goes on in any given year with all these different religious and spiritual and ethical communities, where each of the communities is very much independent and does not rely on any other community or on any official like myself.

 A Crimson survey showed that 21 percent of the class of 2019 were agnostics and 17 percent called themselves atheists. Those numbers appear to be somewhat higher than the national numbers. A Pew Research Center poll found that 20 percent of Americans identify as atheist, agnostic, or nonreligious.

The same Crimson poll found that two-thirds of surveyed freshmen identified as “somewhat or very liberal”; only 12 percent said they were “somewhat conservative.” Where’s the diversity officer when Harvard needs . . . him? How long before Harvard starts discriminating against Catholics? We know Harvard currently discriminates against Asians and used to discriminate against Jews.

Epstein apparently sees his role as a coordinator or facilitator—or something like that. Perhaps just an interfaith “facilitatorer,” not exactly in charge of, but responsible for administering—or is it administrating, or perhaps “administratoring” and coordinating, or “coordinatering” da-dah, da-dah, da-dah . . . .

Perhaps that’s the good news in this otherwise depressing story: he’s just a bureaucrat. 

But what if he isn’t?

How do you define good without (reference to) God? And whose god, anyway? Yours? Mine? The Taliban’s?

Joe Biden favors mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19. He approves of abortions. How far is it from approving of abortions to requiring them? Less than 100 years ago, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. approved requiring forced sterilizations. If, in Holmes’s memorable formulation, “three generations of imbeciles are enough,” how many generations of welfare-sponging, illegitimate children (70 percent of black babies are illegitimate) might be viewed by today’s vaccine-enforcing Democrats as enough to justify forced abortions? Racism anyone?

Democrats love abortion. Today’s Democrats have returned to the thrilling racial segregation days of yesteryear, with “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and critical race theory justified by the New Woke Times’ own “1619 Project.” The modern racist Democrats are simply following Woodrow Wilson, the father of the modern bureaucratic state, who brought segregation back to Washington. Is that a good? Is that a good without God? 

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” William F. Buckley Jr. said, “The Beatitudes remain the essential statement of the Western code. 

God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. But a member of the Harvard class of 1961 recently wrote: “Having one less child, especially in the developed world, does far more to reduce an individual’s impact on the rate of climate change, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and extinctions than reducing our direct consumption.” 

We all know, because our public solons have told us, incessantly and relentlessly, that climate change is the “existential” threat of our time—more threatening, obviously, than the Wuhan Flu. If government officials can lock us out of our offices and public spaces, ruining our businesses and depriving our children of an education because of the relatively minor threat posed by the flu, think what they will claim they can do to avoid the “existential threat” of climate change. Limiting couples to one child is a no-brainer. To Hell with God and his fruitful multiplying nonsense. He just didn’t understand the danger of carbon emissions.

Harvard is engaged, and surely knowingly, in killing the culture, the culture that midwifed to us this civilization, including Harvard. Harvard is engaged in culturecide of the West. But if Harvard and its followers can be talked into following the one-child policy, they will disappear . . . eventually. Call it suicide of the woke. And pray, to God, that it happens soon.

Then will the wicked oppressing us cease from distressing us, and the name of the Lord be ever praised. 

O Lord, make us free!

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About Daniel Oliver

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email him at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com.

Photo: Greg Epstein, in white shirt, is the humanist chaplain at Harvard and is launching a nationwide atheist church. He greets Jason Torpy, President of Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. Suzanne Kreiter/Getty Images