A private Christian college in Missouri is bucking the nationwide trend by making a class on patriotism mandatory for all incoming freshmen.
College of the Ozarks is an evangelical Christian liberal-arts college overlooking Lake Taneycomo in Point Lookout, Missouri, 40 miles south of Springfield. Founded in 1906, the college is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. With an endowment of $427.27 million in 2015, the college has an enrollment of 1,433, a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 16:1, over 30 academic majors, and degrees in Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.
College of the Ozarks has been included among U.S. News & World Report‘s “Best Colleges” every year since 1989, and is ranked 29 among Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor’s (Midwest) for 2007.
The college charges no tuition for full-time students, made possible by donations and its student work program whereby students are required to work 15 hours a week at an on-campus work station and two 40-hour work weeks during breaks. A summer work program is also available to cover room and board costs. Believing that hard work builds character, College of the Ozarks’ motto is “Hard Work U”.
The AP reports (via Yahoo! News) that the College of the Ozarks is now requiring all freshmen to take a class aimed at encouraging patriotism — a military science class called Patriotic Education and Fitness, aimed at teaching students about U.S. politics, flag protocol and procedures, modern military customs, rifle marksmanship, map reading, land navigation and rope knotting.
Freshman Talan Saylor said the required class also builds camaraderie among students: “We all go through kind of the same thing, so going through a patriotic class where we are learning about our country and fostering a love for that country together is really special.”
At an event on October 24 to introduce the new course, retired Marine Corps General Terrence Dake, a member of the college’s board of trustees, said: “I really think that if you give a person the tools of an education, the patriotic yearnings inside of themselves and the leadership tools that can be taught — they will be leaders.”
College President Jerry Davis said he believes “understanding the military now is more important than ever because we have 99% of the population being defended by 1% who are in uniform. We should be more intentional about patriotic education, and from our point of view that needs to occur from kindergarten all the way through college.”
The move comes amid a backdrop of NFL athletes protesting alleged racial injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem. The college announced last month that its teams won’t compete against other teams whose players don’t stand for the national anthem because, in President Davis’ words:
“We want to make it clear that we are not going to participate in a game where we think disrespect for the national anthem or the flag is being displayed. I don’t think it’s a partisan issue. It’s an American issue, how we feel about our country.”
A reader named George on Yahoo! News wrote this comment about College of Ozarks’ mandatory course:
“It’s a private college. It’s entitled to any stupidity it wishes.”
In order words, for the Left, patriotism — love of country — is stupid, which means that the Left’s allegiance is not to the United States of America. One wonders then to what allegiance they give — to their own selves or race or class or gender (or no gender) or sexual orientation or . . . ?