Sunday, July 23, 2006

Quote of the day: Christian educators begin to fight back against the chokehold of the bullying fundies

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“I sat for 25 years and watched my denomination become much more narrow and, in terms of education, much more interested in indoctrination."
—William H. Crouch Jr., president of Georgetown (Kentucky) College (pictured above), talking about his and the college trustees' decision to disaffiliate from the Kentucky Baptist Convention

I missed this report by Alan Finder when it ran originally in the New York Times, but luckily AOL picked it up yesterday. And people say AOL is totally useless!

The Georgetown breakoff is part of a trend among (formerly) Baptist-affiliated colleges, with different circumstances in each instance and in particular in each state, since affiliation is with the state conventions. In Georgetown's case, even though Dr. Crouch, the president, says, "We call ourselves a Christian college grounded in historic Baptist principles," the college also had ambitions to academic seriousness which current-style Baptist control would have made impossible—like satisfying the conditions of academic freedom and campus respect for diversity required for a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

The best-known school to disaffiliate from official Baptistdom is Wake Forest University. “The convention itself, in its national and state organizations, has moved so far to the right," says Bill Leonard, dean of Wake Forest's Divinity School, "that previous diversity on the faculty and among the trustees is no longer possible. More theological control of the curriculum and the faculty has been the result."

One of the "last straws" at Georgetown was a request from the Rev. Hershael W. York, then president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, to consider adding a faculty member to teach a literal interpretation of the Bible. As Dr. York puts it, from the official Baptist standpoint, at a Baptist-supported school, "You ought to have some professor on your faculty who believes Adam and Eve were the first humans, that they actually existed."

"The real underlying issue," says David W. Key, director of Baptist Studies at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, "is that fundamentalism in the Southern Baptist form is incompatible with higher education. In fundamentalism, you have all the truths. In education, you’re searching for truths."

3 Comments:

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Stop The Hate said...

I think this may be the quote of the year, then......how true!

STOP THE HATE - EXPOSE VISION AMERICA -REV. RICK SCARBOROUGH
http://exposevisionamerica.blogspot.com

"The real underlying issue," says David W. Key, director of Baptist Studies at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, "is that fundamentalism in the Southern Baptist form is incompatible with higher education. In fundamentalism, you have all the truths. In education, you’re searching for truths."

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Christopher Walker said...

Some wag on the internet put it a little differently (and I apologize for having lost the attribution):

The only problem with groups that have all the answers is that they don't allow any questions.

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger Hershael W York said...

I simply must weigh in on your blog and the subsequent comments with both bemusement and chagrin. My bemusement arises because the fact that I asked a school with a faculty of about 40 to add a single conservative prof is lost on you. Is that your idea of tyranny? I made a request, not a demand. I did it as a friend, not an enemy, because I was trying to avert a collision in our state denomination.
My chagrin arises from the fact that, for all their talk about tolerance, liberals often seem incapable of it. If this were a conservative school refusing to hire someone with a different view of the Bible even though supported by a denomination with more than half its constituents believing otherwise, I think your opinion would be different.
So fess up. The only group claiming to have all the answers here is the group that won't allow an alternative view to be taught on its campus. So you tell me, who's the narrow one? Which side won't allow the questions?

 

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