Abolishing ‘man’ at Princeton

Higher Education | A once-proud Christian institution worships at the altar of secular political correctness
by Cal Thomas
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2016, at 2:16 pm

“He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them ‘Mankind’ when they were created” (Genesis 5:2).

God was so behind the times. If He had only gone to Princeton University and had His consciousness raised …

Princeton, that once great school whose purpose at its founding in 1746 was to train ministers and whose motto remains “Dei Sub Numine Viget” (“Under God’s Power She Flourishes”), has, like other schools of “higher” learning, jumped into the deep end of the pool of political correctness.

Just in time for the fall semester, Princeton has issued “Guidelines for Using Gender Inclusive Language.” The guidelines, approved by the university’s Office of Human Resources and Office of Communications and endorsed by the Orwellian-like Institutional Equity Planning Group as a preferred university practice, show you where this is headed.

“Gender-inclusive language is writing and speaking about people in a manner that does not use gender-based words,” says the guidelines. “Gender binary is the traditional view on human gender, which does not take into consideration individuals who identify as otherwise, including and not limited to transgender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, and/or intersex.”

Gone are references to men and women, male and female. It’s what’s in our heads that defines you and me.

Though Princeton insists this is not policy, merely guidelines, and no words are banned, it encourages the use of a vocabulary that is more gender neutral. So, instead of man and wife, use spouses or partners. Instead of man-made, use artificial, handmade, manufactured, synthetic. Gone is the verb to man, as in to work something, instead use to operate or to staff. Throw out workmanlike and replace it with skillful.

No more actresses, only actors. Coed? Out. Replaced by student. Forefathers? Gone. Ancestors is the preferred word. Forget freshman. It’s now first-year student or frosh.

There is something deeper occurring in culture than any university guidelines seeking to wipe out common sense and a notion of who we are. Academic liberalism, once thought to be instructive, even ennobling, is now part of a larger effort to not only destroy America’s foundations, but dilute and diminish God’s greatest creation. It is an unrelenting attack on humanness.

There is something deeper occurring in culture than any university guidelines seeking to wipe out common sense and a notion of who we are.

John Witherspoon, a founding father of the United States and president of the College of New Jersey, which would later become Princeton University, was a Scottish-born American Presbyterian minister, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence. His required course called “Moral Philosophy” was considered essential, not only for ministers, but also lawyers and people holding positions in government.

Witherspoon would be shocked to read that moral philosophy has been replaced by gender neutrality. As a Christian, he would be astounded at how the nation has moved from the notion that we are created by God—who presumably may no longer be referred to as “He” at Princeton and from Whom our rights come—and replaced by a secular progressive worldview.

C.S. Lewis put it this way in a classic quote that became the title of his book: “Man’s final conquest has proved to be the abolition of Man.”

© 2016 Tribune Content Agency LLC.

Cal Thomas

Cal, whose syndicated column appears on WORLD's website and in more than 500 newspapers, is a frequent contributor to WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Cal on Twitter @CalThomas.

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  •  austinbeartux's picture
    Posted: Thu, 08/25/2016 05:11 pm

    It seems many people still hold Ivy League schools, ones that originally were founded as Christian schools but have since lost their way, in high esteem.  As for me, they've gotten off the track and have lost their luster.  I have two kids in middle school.  If, by chance, they were to apply and get accepted, I honestly wouldn't want them to go there.  There are too many other good schools that still believe in God as their cornerstone.

    What do Christians from the northeast think?

  • cherievon
    Posted: Thu, 08/25/2016 06:58 pm

    Well, if your children are Christians by the time they go to college they probably wouldn't be accepted there anyway.

    And as to the article, surely the word MANufactured is also verboten... I guess we can stick with the generic "made."

  •  William Peck 1958's picture
    William Peck 1958
    Posted: Fri, 08/26/2016 08:44 am

    Grove City College, northwest PA ! Two daughters graduated from there (2008, 2010), it's awesome, and reasonably priced (compared to say Messiah or of course Princeton)

  • OlderMom
    Posted: Sat, 08/27/2016 11:21 pm

    Not from the Northeast, but went to an Ivy League, and the university name has been useful in getting jobs. However, the college experience was corrosive to my faith (and corroded the faith of others I knew into nonexistence). Other colleges could have had the same effect on faith, but I don't think others do quite so much complimenting one on one's amazing wisdom while one rebels against God. I try not to be proud of having gone to an Ivy League school, because though as far as money goes it was well worth the money, I can't think of much value it had toward God's kingdom. Except that at first it humbled me by surrounding me with lots of people clearly smarter than I was. But then on graduation, I was "one of them" and felt I had the right to be considered smart the rest of my life.

    I want my children to be qualified to get into an Ivy League (and I do want them to experience the challenges to their faith - where they can be helped back up by strong Christians after they are knocked down) but I don't want them to go to an Ivy League. The Ivy League is a great temptation to pride in life, and yet when I consider God's wisdom, Ivy League wisdom and knowledge looks extremely silly.

  • Sawgunner's picture
    Posted: Sun, 09/04/2016 10:30 am

    Not from the Northeast. The only sincerely unapologetic Christian college in the vast realms of yankeeland of which I am aware is Houghton college. Biblical affirming protestant universities are however faulted for their pricey tuition and scant offering of non Bible college subjects. I do however think that a young man or young woman at a Christian college will NOT be lied to and permitted to get bachelor's degrees in largely useless fields. 

    It's heartening to see solidly professing colleges and universities teaming up with industry to prepare young folks are real high-paying careers where they can be a light in the darkness.