Patrick Henry College, the subject of God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America (Hanna Rosin, 2007) is no ordinary Christian college. It's designed specifically for kids from a conservative homeschool background, and its goal isn't to educate students for the pulpit and/or the wide vocational spectrum of modern life: instead, they're training culture warriors for the front lines of the religious right. The founder's stated dream is that in 30 years, the director of the Best Picture Oscar winner will receive a call from his former Patrick Henry roommate--the president of the United States. The only majors are government, history, literature, journalism, and classic liberal arts.
Rosin, a Washington Post reporter, followed a tumultuous year in the life of the still new and experimental college (it's less than a decade old). I wanted to weep for some of the students who were so bright and so ambitious being forced through a system that's ultimately so restrictive, like the brilliant girl who was groomed to be First Lady rather than President, though I also wanted to wring the kids' narrow-minded young necks for seeing the 2006 elections as a case of "evil winning." PHC is emphatically a Republican endeavor. They'd see someone like me, a Christian who votes Democrat and is supporting Barack Obama, as at best deluded and at worst willfully rebellious and evil. And...like it or not, they're here to stay. What remains to be seen is whether they'll remain influential.