Trauma response can possibly be passed to the next generation

These two articles talk about scientific investigations that have started to show that what happens in one generation can affect the genetic makeup of the next.   Specifically, the first article showed that a specific gene was altered in the children of Jewish Holocaust victims compared to children of Jews who did not experience the Holocaust.   If this kind of linkage proves out, it will be one huge reason why the Bible teaches that God is very interested that the home be preserved intact.   Breaking up a home is traumatic for children.    Our society does not think about how its actions and lifestyles affect its children.  Then we expect the children to do better and better on tests regardless of what is happening at home.   It doesn’t work that way.   A stable, loving and supportive home environment is the beginning and continuing foundation of a good education.   It may prove to also be related genetically to the mental health of the next generation.


We love Houghton College – Reflections on completing my term as trustee

JoAnne Jones with her Grandma and parents at her Houghton graduation
JoAnne Jones with her Grandma and parents at her Houghton graduation

Houghton is special

JoAnne and I returned yesterday from the fall trustee board meeting at Houghton College.   I have had the wonderful privilege of serving the Central New York District of the Wesleyan Church as district representative on that board for the last six years.   Even though the decisions to be made have occasionally been difficult, I have relished this opportunity and served with great joy.   The reason I am no longer serving is that when I semi-retired, I moved out of the district from which I was a representative.   I thank District Superintendent, Wayne Wager, and the DBA for the opportunity to serve.

As I was driving home yesterday, I was reflecting on the reasons why I have so much enjoyed serving in this capacity.  It was fulfilling, stimulating and exciting.  I will miss it greatly.   But why is Houghton so special?

Houghton has a transformative vision

Houghton has a vision, not just for education, but for the maturation and transformation of the lives of students.  This is something I strongly believe in.  So much of American higher education has abdicated its responsibility for character formation and settled only for increasing knowledge and technical prowess.   That is a badly flawed concept.   The result of it has been an atmosphere on many secular campuses that actually contributes to moral turpitude.   In contrast, the evidence of Houghton alumni shows that Houghton grads have a highly developed character for service, leadership and faith. You can check out the mission statement at

Houghton practices excellence

Houghton is a place of excellence.   From musical performances to scholarly presentations, from board business procedures to landscaping the already beautiful campus, the Houghton way is excellence.   This is why Houghton is in the top tier of liberal arts colleges in the nation and is the highest ranked Christian college in the Northeast.   Because of this, Houghton is well recognized by graduate schools.  I can be proud to be associated with Houghton.

Houghton is a place to meet leaders

It has been a stimulating opportunity personally to serve among so many great leaders.   In the course of my six years, I have come to know denominational leaders, college leaders, businessmen, prominent lawyers and doctors, persons of wealth and expertise in various fields.  Our college president, Dr. Shirley Mullen, was recently recognized on the cover of Christianity Today.   This has been growth-producing for me and a very helpful networking experience as well.   I have also gotten to know Harriet Olsen, the president of United Methodist Women, with whom I have had the distinct privilege of working on the Academic committee for these six years.  But this idea that the company we keep either strengthens us or drags us down, is a principle of life too.  When we seek out company or have opportunity to interact with people of greater experience, wisdom, expertise or character maturity than ourselves, it will raise us up.    I have experienced that in this season of service at Houghton.

We highly recommend Houghton

And, by the way, if you know a good student looking for a great college, do them a life-time favor and recommend they check out Houghton.



All private schooling endangered by the Justice Department’s arguments

I never thought I would see the sad day when the US government argued against both educational and religious freedom.  But it has just happened.  It sounds more and more like they are borrowing pages from totalitarian rulers of the 20th century.  The article below details a frightening argument advanced by the Justice dept. against the German homeschoolers who were seeking asylum.   The hidden agenda is obvious.  Use a low profile case to set a precedent against homeschoolers and religious schools in general.  If the arguments against the rights of parents to choose the education of their children that are advanced here were to become case law, it would soon endanger Catholic schools, Jewish schools, Amish schools, etc, as well as homeschooling.  This is unconscionable, un-American and even devilish as it represses religion too.   

I do not overstate the case as there are several fundamental freedoms disregarded and violated by the Justice department’s arguments.   First, the government serves and acts as an agent for the parents when it creates schools, not vice-versa.   The fundamental rights belong to the parents, not the government.   Second, if the schools created in a local area violate the religious or educational values of a family, it is the parent’s duty to seek or provide proper schooling for their children apart from the inadequate school.  If the reasons for change are religious, to force the family to attend the public school in violation of their religious principles is to violate their religious freedom.   If the reasons are educational, to force the children to attend the inadequate school is likely to suppress their achievement—their right to seek their own best welfare or happiness as the Declaration of Independence put it.   Either way, to deny the validity of such choices in America is unheard of until now.

Religious faith and a stable family are the real sources of help for poorly performing students

City schools are a perennial topic of conversation.   What can be done to help poor districts?   What helps students who are struggling?  So much talk and money is spent on things which don’t really make a difference because political correctness keeps us from endorsing what really does make a difference – religious faith and stable family structure.  This study should be labeled as a landmark study.   It should be required reading for politicians overseeing schools and for school officials.


Challenging the gay rights crusade again

These two news articles present two good reasons why gay marriage is not right for America.   This is not about them being able to secure additional rights; this is really about gay persons seeking society’s  approval for their immoral lifestyle.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo unconsciously acknowledged this when he spoke about giving gays legitimacy when he signed the bill approving gay marriage in New York State.   That is exactly the issue.   These activists are not happy unless they can force the rest of us to say their actions are okay.  As the attack on Bachman shows, it is not okay for others to believe or practice differently than they desire.    They are definitely not happy for the rest of us to simply “let them live” so to speak.  They insist that we also approve. 

But they cannot coerce our beliefs or our consciences. They cannot change the convicting words of Holy Scripture, either Old Testament or New Testament.   So they seek legitimacy through laws and education.    

As the California initiative indicates, now traditional family-values people of all faiths are the ones needing protection from their crusade to brainwash our children.   Teaching morality is the job of parents and churches first.  It is also the job of schools, but only as delegated servants of the parents.   Education divorced from morality is not education.   But when schools are forced by governmental authorities to teach something with which the majority of parents morally disagree, it is a grave injustice and it undermines the authority and legitimacy of the educational system.   No wonder the number of homeschoolers increases yearly.