By: Rev. Steve Lee
If you did not hear about the “College Admissions Scandal”, here is the quick summary. Several wealthy and celebrity parents are accused of using bribery and fraud, to get their children into major universities. Two of those parents involved are Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, who starred in TV series and movies. When the indictments were announced by Dept. of Justice and the FBI, it made for instant headlines. And the reactions were intense and widespread. Though there are many perspectives and it’s layered with many undertones, there are two points that I found fascinating. First, the uproar that focused on the accused wealth and fame. The public pointed to the scandal as evidence of how the rich and famous get special treatment. It is probably true that wealth and fame can open doors. In one case, a parent paid $500,000 to have their child be admitted to a university. Second perspective is of the parents involved in the scandal, some believe that the parents did what any other parent would have done. These parents did what they could to help their children, to get them into major universities. Many parents would have jumped at the opportunity to help their son or daughter get admitted into UCLA or Stanford. It just that these parents, like Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, had the means to help their children. Thus, don’t judge a parent’s attempt to express their commitment to their children.
This story resonated with me because our daughter took the SAT’s and will be applying to colleges and universities for Fall 2020. Honestly, it is not an easy process, with lots of uncertainties. Part of me can see why the accused parents did what they did, they want the best for their children. However it has been reported that the accused parents (some have already pleaded guilty) committed these crimes not only for the sake of their children, but it was a way of “signaling” that they are “special” and “elite” families. It was a way of demonstrating their high social standing.
Sad to think that some use their children’s college admittance as a means to climb the social ladder. What is clear to me is that no matter which college my children attends, it is a not a reflection of me as a parent. I am not a failure or a success, if my daughter attends Harvard or does not attend college at all. God is in control of everything, where ever my children go and do, I know God leads them. By His great Will and knowledge, He gave a purpose for every child. As it says in James 2, God does not show favoritism to one over another, God treats every child with love. And as much as I would want to see my children go to a prestigious universities, breaking the law is not a valid means to “love my children”! My wife and I are so thankful that we have children to love, we will try to love them the way God would love them!
I believe God will be my judge and my “final exam” as a parent is not based upon where they go to college. It is clear that the parents that stand accused, saw the success of their children as a measure of their value as parents, to flaunt to their social network and beyond. But as a Christian I am reminded that God does not show favoritism or partiality because my son went to Harvard nor does Jesus love me less because our children did not attend a prestigious university. My standing with God has never changed, my value as a person to God does not fluctuate; I am loved, always have, always will be loved by Him.