KAPPA ALPHA  “A Moral Compass for the Modern Gentleman”   

Glenn W. Harrell 8-22

“You come to college with your values intact; you’ve learned from family and friends what’s right and wrong. While in college, KA helps you keep your compass straight, develop your values-set and experiences, and points you in a great direction for your future. Then, with our history and your experience, your journey in life seems a little clearer.” (Source: kappaalphaorder.com)

Since 1865 when Kappa Alpha was established, there are over 150,000 lifetime members.

Political, social, and religious discussion, and debate framed the early fraternity’s existence. They wanted members with which they could engage in rigorous discussions surrounding ethics, religious formations, and scholarship. Though deviations from these “ideals” occur, the charter seeks to remain true to its origins and stated moorings. Greek and Latin mottoes help to identify, distinguish, and popularize the individual bodies of seeking-students.

Today, the same principals and hierarchal structures are held in esteem, and yes, they are frequently abandoned in favor of looser and lesser “moral compass” influences. Kappa Alpha Holds these as ideal:

REVERENCE for God and women  GENTILITY Chivalry and respect for all  KNOWLEDGE Continuous lifelong learning  LEADERSHIP Development of character BROTHERHOOD Faithful unto death EXCELLENCE Always aiming higher  (source-KA website)

OPEN DISCUSSION AND INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM, not the stale and rigid orthodoxy of the past, would help to secure the Kappa Alpha brand of progressivism. None of this modern outlook, however, was supposed to disturb or derail the Kappa Alpha Moral Compass. Just as many words may shift sideways in meaning or go away altogether, “liberal” then did not mean what it does today. For example, Henry W. Porter (quoted in the KP History page) said this in 1842, just 13 years before KA formed.

“Ours is the office to promote good fellowship and rational enjoyment: to be guided in all things by the hand of virtue and to reprove and discourage all manner of evil. If we would be respected, we must so act that we may be able to respect ourselves.” 

Mr. Porter would no doubt want to debate the errant liberal misfit to “rational enjoyment”—that of a broken moral compass revealed in a desire to twist the compass dial to point leftwards and to endorse the notion of a shifting morality, capable of being redefined as an avatar one day and a fluid ideology the next. “Discouraging all manner of evil” then is as simple as pushing an easy button or better yet, sleeping it off as the unfit soldier called to honor what truth insists on being, “the hand of virtue”. Confusion did not rule in 1865 as it does today. Truth can be a lie. A man can be a woman and a woman a man. Sure. Fine with me. “No sir”, says the officer of the moral courts, “move along—nothing to be see here.” Well, except perhaps the abuse of intellectual freedoms.

If liberal is still to represent unfettered thought and an abandon to all thing’s mediocrity, then secure her boundaries. Wall her borders and arm the good liberal against the horrors of leftist, postmodern absurdities. Post the flag of the Moral Compass for the Modern Gentleman of Kappa Alpha and call that young man to do battle if he cares at all for the honor of truth, wisdom, and a civil society. He is needed today, and cowardice must not be allowed near the temple of his soul. All that he holds ideal is under attack. Now we shall see if his religion of good nature, personal character befitting his own self-respect, and moral courage, is but a ruse or a benign slogan traded for a cold beer, and a pat on the back. This student may indeed live for being accepted, if not worshipped, by those who can do nothing to better his chances of survival should he too trade his soul for a cup of pottage filled with DIE. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

And lest we think that we shall rewrite history or best the philosophers who have preceded us:

1,800 years before Kappa Alpha or any of the fraternities learned to think and rationalize with the brains and intellect freely bestowed upon them by a benevolent creator, these words below were penned. They serve to remind us of the importance of humility and the call to be “slow to speak and quick to listen”. They speak of a liberal Christ who lavished us with the offer of grace and peace. He, the one and only way to the Father, understands our frailties and our bent towards all that would destroy us, were it not for his patience. He knocks on our heart’s door as we close the curtains and secure the lock. As a gentleman, he waits for us to open this door and will never force his way in. It is not in His character to do so. As we ponder and as we deep-think, let us never stop being thrilled at the wonder of a child and his laughter as a magnificent miracle—a wonder that sets the world aright when all is chaos. Jesus on a cross. His death and resurrection, rebuffed and rejected by the elite and the bright mind. And to what eternal end?

“The message about the cross doesn’t make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God’s power at work. As God says in the Scriptures, “I will destroy the wisdom of all who claim to be wise. I will confuse those who think they know
so much.” What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn’t God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?  God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him. Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. Our message is God’s power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.”

–I Corinthians 1:18-25   (St. Paul AD 54)                                                                               

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