By Jay Rogers
Published April 3, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, MA (FR) – A newly formed student group, Alliance Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality, or AALARM, is causing a sensation at Harvard University.
Adam Webb and Ken DeGiorgio, Harvard roommates who founded the group, say they represent “faith, family, country and community” – traditional values which are taught by Christianity and which most Americans support. AALARM drew the ire of homosexual and lesbian student groups last fall when the group became highly vocal in relating their views on the campus.
Webb said that the Harvard community is having difficulty accepting a new group which represents religion and conservatism instead of the pervasive secularism and lock-step liberalism which dominates the school. DeGiorgio said that Harvard is simply trying to stifle an organization because it teaches religion and traditional values.
“We feel stifled. There’s just utter disdain for everything we believe in,” Webb said. “But what we’re really all about is presenting alternative viewpoints. All these people are so open-minded, but they’re not willing to accept that most of America has faith, religion and traditional values.”
“Most Americans think homosexuality is immoral and wrong,” Webb said. AALARM is opposed to the way homosexuality “is not only condoned but encouraged” at Harvard. Webb said his group opposed the ideas discussed at a weekend conference in October, including the integration of gay issues into the curriculum and the recruitment of gay and lesbian professors.
AALARM also opposes abortion and began a pro-life campaign last November. DeGiorgio formed a committee which soon held a demonstration outside of the Cambridge Kinko’s copier service protesting the company’s refusal to photocopy AALARM’s pro-life message. After notifying the national headquarters of Kinko’s in California, the national management agreed to discuss reparations.
Webb said his group also intends to fight against “negativism about religion” taught at Harvard. Ironically, Harvard was founded for the purpose of training Christian ministers and teachers. For over 200 years, Harvard’s official motto was “Christo et Ecclesia” – For Christ and the Church – indicating the college’s strong Christian foundation. The tablet found on the right-hand wall of the Johnson Gate leading into Harvard Yard attests, for all to see, the intent and purpose of Harvard’s beginnings:
“After God had carried us safe to New England and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship and settled the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after, was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.”
“New England’s first fruits,” which is the tablet’s signature, was to propagate the Christian religion for “Christ and the Church.” But things have changed since then, and a group of 47 students has sprung up in AALARM to address the issue of intolerance. “There’s a refusal to admit faith in any discussion on this campus,” Webb said.
Groups similar to AALARM have been forming on many campuses, occasionally attracting attention to themselves as a center of controversy. A growing voice of criticism complains that a liberal majority is trying to squash an alternative voice on the campuses.
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