"'They enter college as Christians and graduate as atheists or agnostics', say some whose sons and daughters come home with a sheepskin showing proficiency in the arts and sciences and little, or none at all, in religion. The college is repeatedly blamed for this vital lack, and is not infrequently defended of the charge of failing to establish a religious background for the student."
Out of the Mouths of Babes: Girl Evangelists in the Flapper Era
The reporter who filed this 1922 article for Literary Digest was concerned with the secular world on college campuses that was damaging the well-balanced minds of American women:
"Woman is learning the same things that are taught to her brother; scientific theories destructive of the faith she imbued at home...The women are not doing their duty - they are giving too much time to outside interests - they are degenerating! Women smoking! Women drinking! Women preferring adventures and amusement to caring for families! The flapper - the short skirt - the lack of corsets..."
Click here to read the review of a novel that dealt the feminist discomfort with Christianity.
In 1948 the American history professor Henry Steele Commager (1902 – 1998) read this article that named the most powerful men in Cold War Washington - he then began to compose a list of his own, a list that he felt was far more permanent in nature. Commager wrote the names of the most influential thinkers of the past 100 years, leaders and writers who he credited for having "supplied us with our symbols, our values, our ideas and ideals".
One can't but help but cry a little when reading that the Americans of 1947 actually believed that their public school system was substandard; they had no idea the depths this same system would be thrust just thirty years hence. The Forties was a time when most school teachers believed that the school's biggest problem was "talking in the classroom" or lingering in the halls. However, this article lists the ten "firsts" that both state and Federal governments had initiated in order to make a fine education system better.