It’s Valentine’s Day, so what better day to give a present to my fans (you in the balcony, I see you) and my critics.
The gift is one that will no longer keep giving in this space: After seven years of syndicating — 370 columns, every week since January 2001 — this is my last Creators piece. I feel a little sad, because it’s part of the American Dream to become either a syndicated columnist or a game-show host. But I’m mostly glad because I’ll save some time in the evenings to devote to two Christian organizations that have grabbed my heart, WORLD and The King’s College.
WORLD (now with a new electronic sister, WorldontheWeb.com) is where most of my writing has appeared for the past 15 years. The gift to my fans — you on the right, don’t sneak out the door — is that I write a column for each issue and do an author interview, plus book reviews, in almost every issue. I also write historical pieces (this month on Abraham Lincoln and George Washington) and journalistic stories, often about what I’ve seen in strange places such as Namibia, Nagoya, or New York City.
But the real reason for conservatives to check out WORLD is that in it we cover all kinds of stories, as do Time or The New Republic, but without their liberal bias. Our current issue, for example, has stories about Democratic super delegates and some not-so-super movies; articles about Israel, Kenya, and Trinidad; reporting about sports, charities, lifestyles and technology; and more. (If you’re interested, visit www.worldmag.com.)
The King’s College, New York City, is a Christian liberal arts college with classrooms and offices in the Empire State Building. I became provost there last year and am delighting in our 220 (soon to be 300) smart and gutsy students. It’s an intellectually rigorous school where students typically study politics, philosophy, and economics, and equip themselves to lead our most strategic institutions.
If you are despairing about America’s future — yes, I see you cowering down there — come visit King’s. Instead of the propaganda-laced entertainment that many colleges present, you’ll see true education that expands hearts and minds. And there’s more: Ever since the early 1900s evangelicals have tended to disparage cities, and one result has been the growth in urban culture of attitudes that disparage Christianity. Evangelical organizations that engage cities can be a blessing to their neighbors and the whole country — and King’s is. (Take a look yourself at www.tkc.edu.)
To those outlets that have run my columns — websites like Townhall, Drudge, and Human Events; newspapers like The Fayette Citizen, the Petersburg Press-Dispatch, the Conservative Chronicle, and a bunch of others — I give my thanks. To those opponents who have tried to run me out: thank you as well, because I’ve learned a lot. (As Mahalia Jackson sang, "Lord, don’t move that mountain. Give me strength to climb it.")
I also teach journalism students at the University of Texas, and explain to them that this is a golden age of American journalism, for technological advances have made it possible for a wide variety of ideas to be heard. We can see with our own eyes the truth of what Puritan poet John Milton wrote in the 1640s, "Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"
I plan to continue to have fun in these free and open encounters. I hope you’ll join me at WORLD or at King’s. Thanks for reading.