Andrew Fiala regurgitates President Obama’s “enlightenment values” in his May 21 column but ignores history, illustrating how “in politics and life, ignorance is not a virtue.” Promoting the revisionism “our republic, education system are products of enlightenment,” he neglects the origins of many universities.
The original motto of Harvard, which was founded to train Christian ministers, was “For the glory of Christ.” It then became “Veritas” (Truth). Yale’s motto, “Lux et Veritas” (Light and Truth), is a Biblical reference, as is Princeton’s motto, “Dei Sub Numine Viget,” translated as “Under the Protection of God She Flourishes.”
The locale of Obama’s latest confusion was Rutgers University, which derived its motto from the University of Utrecht: “Sol Iustitiae Et Occidentem Illustra” (“Sun of Righteousness, Enlighten also the West”) from Biblical texts Malachi 4:2 and Matthew 13:43.
Easy to reference. Rather than incoherent secular enlightenment, our education system was dedicated to God and truth, two words conspicuously missing from Mr. Fiala’s piece and without which Mr. Fiala’s solution of “more enlightenment and less stupidity” is vapid.
Stewart Hough, Madera