The ‘Other’ College Scandal.

Effiin A, and A, and A

From Forbes, by Tom Lindsay, March 30, 2019: “Consider these facts: A 50-plus-year nationwide study of the history of college grading finds that, in the early 1960s, an A grade was awarded in colleges nationwide 15 percent of the time. But today, an A is the most common grade given in college; the percentage of A grades has tripled, to 45 percent nationwide. Seventy-five percent of all grades awarded now are either A’s and B’s. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported in 2013 that “66 percent of employers screen candidates by grade point average (GPA).” The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation also has studied college grading. The Foundation confirms the alarming findings recited above. It found that in 1969, only 7 percent of students at two- and four-year colleges reported that their grade point average was A-minus or higher. Yet in 2009, 41 percent of students reported as same. During the same period, the percentage of C grades given dropped from 25 to five percent.”

So, I guess students have gotten smarter, more articulate? What phenomena of modern life wrought such a miracle? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat? Or maybe something else is going on. The other recent college scandal was the kids of very wealthy parents getting into colleges that they weren’t qualified for, or would not have been selected for on the basis of actual achievements. If you haven’t been hiding under the proverbial rock, or not off the grid, preparing for the end of the world 12 years hence, you have read about the celebrity college scandal and tut tutted in all the right places, except one.

When I say some students would not have been selected on the basis of their achievements, that is not to imply that any of the colleges—Ivy League schools, Stanford, University of Southern California, UCLA, etc—were worth applying to. The Forbes article goes on to say that the Ivy League colleges are the worst offenders in grade inflation. Well, if that doesn’t answer your searching question, “how the heck do these unqualified kids graduate?”……it does kind of answer that question. Even in a community college the standards have eroded. My 24 year old daughter graduated from University of Idaho, and is taking some courses at Spokane Community College to satisfy nursing school requirements. She is studious, much more than I was. She does the work. Imagine her dismay when, after studying many hours for an exam, she gets to class to find that the teacher is having groups of four students take the test as a group instead of individuals. Three others copied her answers, admitting they didn’t study, after discussing each question. They got a group grade. When she met with the teacher and asked his rationale for the group test, his answer was quite revealing. “If I had everyone test individually, you might be the only one to get an A” (implying he would look bad).

These days, integrity seems to be measured by glibness. That daughter of the hedge fund manager—Isabelle Hernandez her name is—that got into Georgetown and participated knowingly in her parents’ end run around the requirements, said later, on her resume, that she has a “great moral compass.” Sorry Izzy, your needle is bent. As I said, glib integrity.

Speaking of glib integrity, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) “Adam Schiff is a patriot,” the Democratic congressman declared. “He has more integrity in his little finger than [Donald Trump] or any of the Republicans in Congress today will have in their lifetimes.”

Integrity? How about the following item from The Daily Wire:

“Welcoming fellow combat veterans Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Jim Baird (R-IN) to the House floor,” posted Florida lawmaker and combat veteran Brian Mast. “5 eyes. 5 arms. 4 legs. All American.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a Republican and former Navy SEAL, highlighted the absurdity of the message on Friday morning. “So, Wow. In my whole lifetime, huh?” Crenshaw mocked. After losing his eye, Crenshaw served two additional deployments. The veteran has earned two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, among many other awards. In January, the freshman congressman took a photo alongside two other Republican representatives who also suffered injuries while fighting for our country. Mast, who served in the U.S. Army for over 12 years, lost both his legs while deployed in Afghanistan in 2010 as a bomb disposal expert. “The last improvised explosive device that he found resulted in catastrophic injuries, which included the loss of both of his legs,” said Mast, according to his website. The combat vet has earned multiple awards for his service, including a Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart. Baird, a Republican representative for Indiana, was a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving in the Vietnam War from 1970-71. The Purple Heart recipient tragically lost an arm during his tenure.

Words are cheap Cicilline. Maybe you should borrow Isabelle’s moral compass!

Blessed and woe.

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.“- Luke 6:22-25

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”– Luke 6:22-31.

The words of Jesus Christ, as clear as can be. Do you think you truly belong to Him? Do you Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy when you are unpopular with the crowd, the Twitterverse, the social justice mob,  or those who hate your savior? That part has been easy for me since Jesus Christ claimed me in 1986. That’s my personality. Much harder, for me at least, is Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. In fact, no matter how much I love my savior, almost everything He commands is difficult for His followers.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” – Luke 6:46-49

But we know we should build on the Rock, not on sand, or some other shaky foundation. How do we do that?“With his stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5 “Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe of his flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep over his poor stricken body. Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon him without tears, as he stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of his own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which his stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love and grief?”

That meditation by Charles Spurgeon holds the key. If you have trouble imagining what our savior went through, gladly, for us, I recommend you watch the movie, The Passion Of Christ. I think of those images frequently, not just with horror, but with gratitude. But something else is needed. Diligence in Vigilance.

“And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.”2 Samuel 21:10.

“If the love of a woman to her slain sons could make her prolong her mournful vigil for so long a period, shall we weary of considering the sufferings of our blessed Lord? She drove away the birds of prey, and shall not we chase from our meditations those worldly and sinful thoughts which defile both our minds and the sacred themes upon which we are occupied? She bore the heats of summer, the night dews and the rains, unsheltered and alone. Sleep was chased from her weeping eyes: her heart was too full for slumber. Behold how she loved her children! Shall Rizpah thus endure, and shall we start at the first little inconvenience or trial? Are we such cowards that we cannot bear to suffer with our Lord? She chased away even the wild beasts. These her children were slain by other hands than hers, and yet she wept and watched: what ought we to do who have by our sins crucified our Lord? Our obligations are boundless, our love should be fervent and our repentance thorough. To watch with Jesus should be our business, to protect his honor our occupation, to abide by his cross our solace. Those ghastly corpses might well have frightened Rizpah, especially by night, but in our Lord, at whose cross-foot we are sitting, there is nothing revolting, but everything attractive.”

This meditation by Spurgeon is instructive. 7 sons of Saul were put to death for the sins of their father, even though they were personally innocent of the crimes. Two sons of Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, and five sons of Merab, Saul’s daughter, were hanged. Look at Rizpah’s diligence in vigilance. What about Merab? No mention is made of her vigil, she passes from history with nothing to her credit. Rizpah’s love for her sons modeled Christ’s love for His children.

Shall we be Rizpah, or Merab? Shall we court popularity with the crowd, or care only for our Savior? Shall we live for ourselves and our own pleasures, or shall we obey Christ?