Join a Student Group

If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved.

Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join.

Below is a list of some of the larger non-profit groups out there fighting for freedom on campuses across the country. These groups help students in a variety of ways, such as through training, by bringing in speakers, offering activism tools, scholarships, and more.

Click for more details:
Bureaucrash
CampusReform.org

Collegiate Network
Institute for Humane Studies
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Leadership Institute
Network of enlightened Women (NeW)
Students for Liberty (SFL)

Bureaucrash - "Bureaucrash is an international network of activists, called crashers, who share the goal of increasing individual freedom and decreasing the scope of government. Through Bureaucrash Social, crashers connect and collaborate on ways to use guerrilla marketing and new media to introduce others to the ideas of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and free markets. In short, we fight for freedom."

CampusReform.org - "CampusReform.org is designed to provide conservative activists with the resources, networking capabilities, and skills they need to revolutionize the struggle against leftist bias and abuse on college campuses.

Created to give conservatives powerful new weapons in their fight for the hearts and minds of the next generation of citizens, politicians, and members of the media, CampusReform.org facilitates the establishment of conservative student networks and supports their development as a powerful voice of activism on their campuses. It makes available new opportunities for groups’ interaction with alumni, parents, faculty, and other members of the broader community interested in taking a stand for conservative principles on America’s college campuses.

Connecting up-to-date communications technologies to a principled stand for limited government, the free market, national defense, and traditional values, CampusReform.org makes possible a new generation of student activism to identify, expose, and combat the radical left now."

Collegiate Network - "For more than 25 years, the Collegiate Network has supported independent college newspapers that serve to focus public awareness on the politicization of American college and university classrooms, curricula, student life, and the resulting decline of educational standards. Each year over 100 papers across the country enjoy the benefits of a membership with the Collegiate Network, and the number continues to grow. CN member papers have earned reputations for both in-depth reporting and witty commentary. They serve to raise the level of discourse on the campus and provide an outlet for students to keep university faculty and administrations honest. Many prominent journalists have got their start by working for a CN paper."

Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) - "Today, with a primary focus on students, the Institute continues the work begun by Baldy Harper. The mission of IHS is to support the achievement of a freer society by discovering and facilitating the development of talented, productive students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share an interest in liberty and who demonstrate the potential to help change the current climate of opinion to one more congenial to the principles and practice of freedom.

Each year IHS awards over $600,000 in scholarships to students from universities around the world. IHS also sponsors the attendance of hundreds of students at its summer seminars and provides various forms of career assistance. Through these and other programs, the Institute promotes the study of liberty across a broad range of disciplines, encouraging understanding, open inquiry, rigorous scholarship, and creative problem-solving."

Intercollegiate Studies Institute - "The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization whose purpose is to further in successive generations of college youth a better understanding of the values and institutions that sustain a free and humane society.

Founded in 1953, ISI works 'to educate for liberty' — to identify the best and the brightest college students and to nurture in these future leaders the American ideal of ordered liberty. To accomplish this goal, ISI seeks to enhance the rising generation's knowledge of our nation's founding principles — limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, market economy, and moral norms.

Leadership Institute - "The Leadership Institute’s mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this mission, the Institute identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media.

Founded in 1979 by its president, Morton C. Blackwell, the Leadership Institute (LI) teaches conservatives the nuts and bolts of how to succeed in the public policy process.

The Institute strives to produce a new generation of public policy leaders unwavering in their commitment to free enterprise, limited government, strong national defense, and traditional values. Institute graduates are equipped with practical skills and professional training to implement sound principles through effective public policy."

Network of enlightened Women (NeW) - "NeW is the nation's premier club for conservative university women. Started as a book club at the University of Virginia in 2004, NeW aims to cultivate a community of conservative women and expand intellectual diversity on university campuses through its focus on education. NeW members meet regularly to discuss issues relating to politics, gender and conservative principles. NeW has expanded to over  twenty colleges nationwide.

NeW has chapters on the following campuses: Arizona College of Law, Arizona State University, College of William and Mary, Emory College of Law, Florida State University, Indiana University, Meredith College, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Smith College, The King’s College, University of Central Florida, University of Dallas, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Tampa (MBA Program), University of Virginia, and the University of Virginia Law."

Students for Liberty (SFL) - "The philosophy of liberty is in jeopardy today. The older generations have let us down, and there seem to be few short-term solutions. Our hope for a free society lies in the future. The best investment one can make to promote liberty today is in the youth, particularly in students.

Students are in a unique position that makes them open to the ideas of liberty. Academia is an environment premised on a belief in debate and inquiry where all ideas are welcome to be presented and inspected by each individual. Students have not fully formulated their beliefs and so are interested in inquiring into different world views. But without support from their academic or peer groups, there is no hope for students to consider the ideas of liberty as viable alternatives to authoritarianism.

There are two types of students who enter college: those who are unfamiliar with the ideas of liberty and those who already believe in liberty. Many students have never read Locke’s Second Treatise, Bastiat’s The Law, or even the Declaration of Independence beyond the quote 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'. What these students need is exposure to the principles of liberty that underscore a prosperous society. The second group of students enter academia with the hope of developing a greater understanding of their beliefs, yet that they so often are beaten down to the point where they give up on their belief in liberty and never develop their potential to further the cause or support the philosophy.

The problem is significant, but the solution is clear: There is a need for an organization to counter the climate of authoritarianism on campus by directly supporting students dedicated to liberty.  

SFL provides a year-round forum of support with consulting services, networking, and various resources to students and student organizations."

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Commentary or Blog Post

"I was puzzled by Charles Larmore's review of Charles Taylor's new book, A Secular Age, in the current New Republic. The book is sprawling and often maddening, but it is very important (I've tried to do it justice in my own review in the forthcoming issue of First Things), and I give Larmore high marks for his accurate (if prickly) summaries of the...

"The most popular objection to religion is that it replaces thinking with sets of unprovable truths — and that the rules flowing out of those truths turn adherents into robots. Those who leave religion behind, we are led to understand, will begin to think for themselves and thereby exercise real freedom as responsible citizens. This is the theory. But that is not how things have turned out."...

"Aristotle himself said that 'the best is often unattainable, and therefore the true legislator and statesman ought to be acquainted not only with that which is best in the abstract but also with that which is best relative to the circumstances.' For people like us in a society like ours, this means a liberal political order, understood as a related set of pragmatic political compromises among...

"As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to relinquish his office, church leaders planning for a new pontiff are sure to deliberate over one of his longtime goals: replenishing Europe's deserted pews."

"THE proportion of people who regularly attend religious services has declined steadily throughout Europe in recent years. But habits vary widely across countries."

"Which of the 50 states has the most religious population? Since there are many ways to define 'religious,' there is no single answer to this question. But to give a sense of how the states stack up, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life used polling data to rank them on four measures: the importance of religion in people's lives, frequency of attendance at worship...

"Whatever is meant by secularization, few will dispute that in this century the public culture has become less religious. This is not, as some suggest, simply the result of the separation of church and state that first happened some two centuries earlier. Such separation did not then entail the alienation of culture from its religious roots. In America, for instance, the end of state-...

"Far from being incompatible with it, Islam will have its place in the globalizing world. Islamic revival is part of the world-wide religious resurgence that corrects the secularist bias of European modernity. Globalization is a driving force in this process."

"Like a lot of people these days, I'm a recovering secularist. Until September 11 I accepted the notion that as the world becomes richer and better educated, it becomes less religious. Extrapolating from a tiny and unrepresentative sample of humanity (in Western Europe and parts of North America), this theory holds that as history moves forward, science displaces dogma and reason replaces...

A short selection from Nietzsche's book, The Gay Science. This section tells the story of the Madman, who famously uttered the words, "God is dead."

"By secularism, or more specifically political secularism, I mean institutional arrangements such that religious authority and religious reasons for action and political authority and political reasons for action are distinguished - so, political authority does not rest on religious authority and the latter does not dominate political authority."

"The logic of social leveling applies to more than property. Indeed, socialism and secularism are closely related to one another. While socialism seeks to erase the economic distinctions between human beings by taking individual choices about property out of people's hands, secularism seeks to erase the religious differences between people by making religion irrelevant to the...

"To me secularism is both a doctrine and a set of porous practices that embody and exceed it. It is, first, challenged by some modes of thought that fit into neither a secular nor a theocratic container; and it is, second, troubled by operational practices that stretch and break its key assumptions and categories."

"One of the most startling developments of the late twentieth century has been the emergence within every major religious tradition of a militant piety popularly known as 'fundamentalism.' Its manifestations are sometimes shocking. Fundamentalists have gunned down worshippers in a mosque, have killed doctors and nurses who work in abortion clinics, have shot their presidents, and have even...

"'We haven't yet solved the problem of God,' the Russian critic Belinsky once shouted across the table at Turgenev, 'and you want to eat!'

Charles Taylor would prefer that we feast upon the 874 pages of his new book 'A Secular Age,' which offers musings and perceptions from every field of knowledge except knowledge of God, which he leaves off the menu."

"We have all heard it said that the war on terrorism pits liberal democracy against religious fanaticism. There is a measure of truth in that. Others say the conflict is between a secular understanding of society and a society defined by religiously based morality. That, I suggest, is both untrue and dangerous.

It is untrue because it ignores how, as a matter of historical fact, liberal...

"Much about the new atheism that has emerged in the past few years seems tedious and overhyped. The worst of it, however, may be the sheer amount of cultural oxygen squandered on reenactments of old debates. Evidently a segment of the Anglo-American public has a boundless appetite for heroic restagings of Inherit the Wind and fireside retellings of the war between science and religion...

"It sounds naive, but disagreement about the basic significance of 'secularism' is a recurrent problem in today's discussions. There may, however, be important reasons for the muddle that besets critical literatures on 'the secular,' 'secularity,' 'secularism' and 'secularization,' sending them around this question again and again."

Chart or Graph

"[I]t is possible to devise a typology based on a binary model of hard and soft secularism."

Age Composition of Atheist, Agnostic and No Religion.

Belief that God Performs Miracles: Identifers by Religious Tradition.

This map graphs the frequency of church attendance in the U.S. by state.

This graph shows the importance of religion by state.

"The general U.S. population is about evenly distributed among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. In contrast, a clear majority of Atheists are politically independent, as seen in Figure 3-5."

Percentage of No Faith in Each State.

This graph shows the degree of religious observance in selected countries.

"The national poll result, shown in Figure 1-3, was 10 percent secular, 6 percent somewhat secular, 38 percent somewhat religious, and 37 percent religious. This shows that a generally secular outlook is held by 16 percent of American adults, or 33 million people."

Analysis Report White Paper

"Leviathan (1651) marks an important turning point in Hobbes's thinking about religion. For the first time he becomes fully aware of what may be called the political problem of religion. Already in the De Cive (1642) Hobbes had dedicated one third of his book to that topic, the last section entitled 'Of religion.'"

In sum, and given what we know now about the religious and familial situation in Western Europe some 125 years later, Nietzsche was right to declare that the great Christian cathedrals of Europe had become tombs. But he may have been wrong about what exactly had been buried in them.

"Atheism is back—or so you might imagine from so many writers in recent months, one after another declaring a proud and militant rejection of God and all His works."

This book presents a fascinating account of the inconsistent evidence a sit valiantly struggles to chart the diversity to be found among the neglected variables of disbelief and unbelief. We have recently become familiar with the category 'spiritual but not religious' without really knowing what this means to those who identify themselves as such.

Religion survives because it answers three questions that every reflective person must ask. Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? We will always ask those three questions because homo sapiens is the meaning-seeking animal, and religion has always been our greatest heritage of meaning.

"If by 'secularism' we mean a perspective that dismisses the possibility of a transcendent realm of being, or treats the existence of such a realm as an irrelevancy, then we should have expected religious beliefs and practices to wither away by now. To be sure, one can grant that the taboos and superstitions of the great religions transmitted a useful kernel of moral teaching. But their...

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey includes reliable estimates of the size of religious groups in the United States as well as detailed information on their demographic characteristics, religious beliefs and practices, and basic social and political values.

To put together - in order to relate to one another - the terms worship and secular age, seems to presuppose that we have a clear understanding of both of them, that we know the realities they denote, and that we thus operate on solid and thoroughly explored grounds. But is this really the case?

Video/Podcast/Media

"Samuel Gregg, Director of Research at the Acton Institute and author of Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future, joins host Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio's Kresta in the Afternoon to discuss recent developments in secularism in Europe and the impact of those developments on religious liberty and social dialogue."

"Western social theory once insisted that modernization meant secularization and secularization meant the withering away of religion. But religion hasn't withered away, and this has forced a rethinking of the whole idea of the secular. IDEAS producer David Cayley talks to Craig Calhoun, Director of the London School of Economics, and Rajeev Barghava...

"A recent Pew survey found that an unprecedented one in five Americans now say they are not affiliated with any religious denomination. Or, looked at another way, nearly four out of five identify with an organized faith. Research also shows those Americans overstate how often they go to church by about half."

"This is a lecture given by Professor Alan Dershowitz on the topic of secularism. The talk was given during a 2007 conference in New York City, organized by the Center for Inquiry titled 'Secuar Society and its Enemies.'"

"One of the world's leading commentators on religious affairs, Karen Armstrong discusses the intersection of religion and secularism in contemporary life. She explores the ideas that Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common and their effect on world events."

"Political liberty and religious freedom were driving forces behind the settlement of the 'New World' and led to the founding of an exceptional nation. Throughout our American story, the role of religious principle and faith juxtaposed to the political realm of compromise and expediency has proved to be a matter for ongoing and often heated debate. It is possible, however, to bridge the divide...

Dr. Charles Taylor lectures and answers questions on secularism.

"In How the West Really Lost God, leading cultural critic Mary Eberstadt delivers a powerful new theory about the decline of religion in the Western world. The conventional wisdom is that the West first experienced religious decline, followed by the decline of the family. Eberstadt, however, marshals an array of research, from historical data on family decline in pre-Revolutionary...

"Some of the nation's leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in December, 2007, for the Pew Forum's biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life.

Given the recent popularity of several high-profile books on atheism, the Pew Forum invited Wilfred McClay, a distinguished professor of intellectual history, to speak on the historical relationship between...

This video presents a proponent of Secularism describing his beliefs. According to the video, "Secular principles encourage fairness and mutual consideration and help us all within reasonable limits to live together in the way we choose."

A short video on Robert G. Ingersoll's 1887 essay, "Secularism."

Primary Document

Transcript of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

Tocqueville's famous analysis of the American economic and political system, as he observed during his travels of the country in the 1830s.

"The Open Court, in which the series of articles constituting this work originally appeared, has given account of many forms of faith, supplementary or confirmatory of its own, and sometimes of forms of opinions dissimilar where there appeared to be instruction in them. It will be an advantage to the reader should its editor state objections, or make comments, as he many deem necessary and...

Other than the First Amendment's establishment clause, Jefferson's Danbury Baptist letter is undoubtedly one of the most influential writings on American religious liberty. Containing the famous "wall of separation" phrase, Jefferson's words in this private letter have been...

Hobbes argued that a state of nature (an environment without a government imposing order) would be "the war of all against all" and life in such an environment would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

The following Notes were written in Virginia in the year 1781, and somewhat corrected and enlarged in the winter of 1782, in answer to Queries proposed to the Author, by a Foreigner of Distinction, then residing among us.

"Secularism is the religion of humanity; it embraces the affairs of this world; it is interested in everything that touches the welfare of a sentient being; it advocates attention to the particular planet in which we happen to live; it means that each individual counts for something; it is a declaration of intellectual independence; it means that the pew is superior to the pulpit, that those...

"The Gay Science is a remarkable book, both in itself and as offering a way into some of Nietzsche's most important ideas. The history of its publication is rather complex, and it throws some light on the development of his thought and of his methods as a writer. He published the first edition of it in 1882. …

The Gay Science is a prime example of what is often called...

"In this new Edition I find little to alter and less to add. In a passage on page 27, the distinction between Secular instruction and Secularism is explained, in these words:—'Secular education is by some confounded with Secularism, whereas the distinction between them is very wide. Secular education simply means imparting Secular knowledge separately—by itself, without admixture of Theology...

Books

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