Last May, one of the most influential conservative and religious intellectual leader in America gave a somber speech in Washington, declaring it to be “Good Friday in America for Christians.” In this exclusive two part video interview, Princeton’s Robert P. George admitted, “that was a hard speech to give.”
“Christians, and those rejecting the me-generation liberal dogma of ‘if it feels good do it,’ are no longer tolerable by the intellectual and cultural elite,” says George, 59, director of the James Madison program at Princeton University. Citing the political witch hunt that forced Brendan Eich’s departure as CEO of Mozilla for a small contribution to a conservative political cause, George said politically correct mobs “threaten us with consequences if we refuse to call what is good evil, and what is evil, good. They command us to confirm our thinking to their orthodoxy, or else say nothing at all.”
Yet instead of accepting this liberal cultural dominance, George offers a call to arms with practical advice for the embattled faithful. Encouraging conservatives to model themselves off the early civil rights leaders who clung to noble bedrock free speech principles liberals claim to embrace today, George says “our first and most effective move is to hold these elites to their principles.”
Robert George’s intellectual influence dominates our American political and faith discussions. Beyond his rigorous academic work and writings at Princeton University, he was recently named the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He founded the American Principles Project, drafted the Manhattan Declaration and is leading the non-partisan on-line petition to defeat ISIS.
Offering advice to parents with children in college right now, George discusses the weakening intellectual rigor and moral decay dominating most American campuses. In this interview, he asks parents to be vigilant and says, “no credential is worth having your child indoctrinated into some secular liberal ideology and away from the faith of his family.”
George discusses the risk of irreparably eroding the pillars that have enabled America to be, overwhelmingly, “a force for good in the world.” In this battle of ideas, he includes: limited government, self-government, market economy, respect for private property, equality before the law and others.
Countering the modern bent towards government redistribution to manage societal inequities, George says social mobility is what we need to protect. “What matters is that we have in place conditions in this country that enable people by dint of hard work, creativity, intelligence, the willingness to take risks to rise and make a better life for themselves, and for their children and for their grandchildren. That has always been the glory of America on the economic side, our social mobility.”
George credits Eugene Genovese, a former Marxist and distinguished historian who left his Marxist ideology in light of its practical human consequences, and became a Catholic. Yet, this is rare and takes being open-minded, the Princeton professor says. For what gives him hope is his brave and bold students who are willing to speak up.
For more on Robert P. George, see here and here. Having a law degree from Harvard, and his Ph.D. from Oxford, George is the oldest of five boys from Morgantown, West Virginia, the grandson of immigrant coal miners, and from a staunchly Democrat family. Robby continues to enjoy playing the guitar and banjo. His latest, of many, books is: “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense.”
WATCH PART TWO:
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