A large contingent from Bryn Athyn College attended an eventful Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. in February, under the sponsorship of the Cole Foundation. The Republican primary battle attracted all the candidates (except, unfortunately, for Ron Paul) along with pundits, celebrities, and hoards of media, to an event which has grown over more than three decades into perhaps the most important political conference in American politics. Regardless of political orientation, students were treated to an unvarnished view of D.C.'s political pageant. As its name implies, CPAC represents a general conservative political bent, but within that general framework lie deep and passionate differences on foreign policy, social and economic issues. Of course, the other side of the political spectrum made a showing as well. In addition to a largely hostile media, 'Occupy D. C.' turned out a small army of government union personnel along with whomever else they could induce to join them. Conference attendees periodically took a break from the heavy schedule of presentations and the large crowd (more than 12,000 in attendance this year) inside the Wardman Marriott to catch some fresh air and watch the antics of the protesters on 'the street.'
Despite rousing talks by the likes of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingerich and Sarah Palin, the students were most impressed by non-candidates Congressman Paul Ryan, who spoke at the Thursday night banquet, and Governor Scott Walker, who spoke Friday night. Perhaps being freed up from the rhetoric of the presidential campaign allowed their words to evoke common sense and sincerity.
The purpose of sponsoring the CPAC visit is to help students engage in the political process and to appreciate both its rougher side but also the necessity and importance of self-governance. Political apathy yields policy making to the special interests and the power hungry. In many ways, Washington, D.C. is a small town where the motivated and educated individual can gain access to the halls of power. The more our young people can sense that, the more likely they will be to bring their own influence to bear, rather than sitting on their hands and assuming they are too small to make adifference.
__________________________________________________________________________________________The Role of Government in a Free Market Economy
Dr. Walter E. WilliamsDr. Walter E. Williams addressed a packed house at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center on the Bryn Athyn College campus Thursday, May 13. The balmy May evening was a far cry from the original February 11 date, postponed by two feet of snow.
Williams' message of limited government and the need for individual liberty is a timely topic, given the debate over the federal government's role in addressing the recent economic downturn.
With Congress and the Obama administration pulling every governmental lever to stimulate the econonmy, and the consequent libertarian backlash, the battle between 'Keynesians' and Free Marketeers continues to heat up, and the upcoming election in November only adds fuel to the fire.
Williams, of course, has been firmly in the free market camp since emerging as a popular economics professor in the 70's, and his arguments are familiar to several generations of students, as well as the millions who have read his columns or listened to him on the radio.
A typical Williams' maneuver, which he used frequently at Bryn Athyn College, is to make a statement designed to seem absurd to those used to accepting the politically correct arguments for Big Government. The apparent outrageous statement, while leading some to dismiss Professor Williams as insensititive and uncaring, forces some listeners to think about the issue from a different angle, and often to appreciate that the unintended negative consequences of government programs often leaves the aggrieved far worse off than before.
The World Transformed: A Two-Day Conference at Bryn Athyn CollegeIt has long been understood in the New Church that the Last Judgment is not something to look forward to, but rather a spiritual incident that has already happened, specifically in 1757. In other words, changes have occurred in the human mind that make salvation possible; no need to sit idle waiting for something to happen.
The Last Judgment may have gone unnoticed by most, who are still waiting, but that is not surprising. Swedenborg wrote that this would be an event that takes place in the human mind and translate into the natural world by means of it. Such an occurrence can explain how and why the depth of human thinking reached a new level in the 18th century. more...
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