- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No to doctorates

“Matthew Woessner and his wife, April Kelly-Woessner, both of Elizabethtown College, were asked to write on why conservatives don’t pursue doctorates. Liberals say conservatives want to make more money than professors earn while conservatives argue that they get less encouragement from professors than liberal students do. …

“The Woessners found that in a variety of ways, conservative students were less interested than liberals in subject matter that leads to doctoral degrees, and less interested in doing the kinds of things that professors spend their time doing. Liberal students reported valuing intellectual freedom, creativity and the chance to write original work and make a theoretical contribution to science. They outnumbered conservative students 2-to-1 in the humanities and the social sciences — which are the fields most likely to produce interest in doctoral study.

“Conservative students put more value on personal achievement and orderliness, and on practical professions, like accounting and computer science, that could earn them lots of money. Conservative students also put a higher priority than liberal ones on raising a family. That does not always fit well with a career in academe, where people often delay childbearing until after they earn tenure.”

Robin Wilson, writing on “Conservatives Just Aren’t Into Academe, Study Finds,” in the Feb. 22 Chronicle of Higher Education

From on high

“[Benny] Shanon … sees signs of a hallucinogenic vision in the story of the burning bush. Moses ‘looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed,’ Shanon quotes from Exodus 3:2. Time passes differently when under the influence of [a hallucinogenic] plant, he notes. ‘That’s why Moses thought the bush was not consumed. It should have been burned in the time he thought had passed. And in that time, he heard God speaking to him.’

“Well, at least he’s got a sense of humor about it: ‘[N]ot everyone who uses a plant like this brings the Torah. … For that, you have to be Moses.’ So was it God talking through the plant? Or just the plant talking? It’s hard to say what, if anything, Prof. Shanon is thinking — perhaps he just wants to put his own ‘experimentation’ in better company — but he makes for a good cautionary tale.”

Stefan Beck, writing on “Go Toke It on the Mountain,” March 7 at the New Criterion blog (https://newcriterion.com)

Inner struggles

“The dividing line between sexual lust and addiction is often hard to draw. … A widely recognized authority, Patrick Carnes, author and executive director of the Gentle Path program at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Mississippi, estimates that 8 percent of adult men and 3 percent of adult women become sexually addicted at some point in their lives. That means roughly 30 million or more Americans. …

“Christian counselors and psychologists say the extent of the sex-addiction problem and the scarcity of treatment programs means millions of churchgoing men and women remain stuck in a cycle of sexual addiction, sometimes for decades. Guilt and shame keep them suffering in silence. A church culture that provides few opportunities to address sexual sin inhibits most addicts from telling anyone else. …

“New faith-based addiction recovering organizations that understand sex addiction are beginning to emerge. There are more than 60 recovery groups around the country that include Pure Warriors, Pure Desire, Pure Life, Operation Integrity and the Samson Society. Their methods differ but all these programs share the belief that an addict is powerless to change behavior on his own.”

— John Kennedy, writing on “Help for the Sexually Desperate,” in the March issue of Christianity Today

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