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dogemperor [userpic]
"God's Harvard"

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]hummingwolf)

Patrick Henry College (PHC), located in Virginia some 40 miles west of Washington, is one of American evangelicalism's recent success stories. It opened in 2000, became known for placing interns in the White House and other strategic spots, and in so doing became an object of intense media interest. When a group of professors resigned in spring 2006, charging the college with restricting their academic freedom, press ears perked up again.

Over the years Time, The New York Times, and many other publications have run largely superficial stories about PHC. One writer, Hanna Rosin, formerly of The Washington Post, went deeper. She embedded herself at the college for a year and a half and witnessed tumult among both professors and students. Her new book, God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America (Harcourt), shows the curiosity of an Israeli-born, Jewish New Yorker asking, "What does it mean to keep up a running conversation with Jesus in your head, and at the same time to function in the modern world?"

WORLD Magazine has a Q&A with the author here. Note: While author Hanna Rosin is no evangelical, WORLD Magazine itself can be classified as "Religious Right"--which makes the article all the more interesting, really.

[Edit: The previous link seems not to work for those of us who don't subscribe. However, if you go to this blog post and follow the link from there, you should be able to read it.]

dogemperor [userpic]
"One Universe, Under God"

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]hummingwolf)

Noticed yesterday that the October, 2007 issue of Discover magazine is dedicated to The State of Science in America. There are a couple of articles of possible interest to members of this community, but the most obvious one is "One Universe, Under God".

Eric Greiner, who has been teaching biology in the Pennsylvania public school system for six years, is a practicing Christian, and does not believe in human evolution. “I do not believe that our bodies have evolved to what they are today by chance or random mutations. The human body is too intricate and each system perfectly enhances our ability to perform as a whole. There has to be something bigger, and I believe God is what made it possible and perfect.” In the classroom, Eric rarely deals with human evolution, and therefore doesn’t feel the conflict between his teachings and his personal beliefs, but if a student questions them, he lets them know they’re free to choose. “Every now and then, I have a student that will bring up religion and evolution. I would reiterate that this is what scientists believe and that they don’t have to agree with them and that, not to get into detail, but there are things that I don’t believe, and that it’s OK for them not to agree with it either.”

[Edit: I was half-asleep when I posted and probably should have chosen a better sample paragraph. The article not about just one teacher, but about the controversies surrounding teaching the science of human origins in both Christian private schools (there's a mention of our old friend A Beka books) and secular public schools.]

dogemperor [userpic]
Christian education in Cali in the news again

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]star_cabaret)

If you want the background about what the article is talking about, the A Beka Books tab has all the information, going back to the beginning. Basically, the university system started getting stricter about schools teaching what they're supposed to be teaching, and certain Christian schools started crying foul.

Here's an update on what's going on in California (with some of the history):

Christian high schools sue University of California, alleging bias in admissions

Read more... )

examples of classes dismissed )
As someone who went to a private (conservative) Christian school until college, I'm not surprised that there were problems with the curriculum. Neither am I surprised by the identity of the companies whose curricula are problems.

Looking up the lawyer's employ, Advocates for Faith and Freedom, one sees the usual catchphrases:
some of the text from their website )
I know it's wrong of me to be so dismissive of groups like this because of the danger they pose. Has anybody else heard anything about this group?

dogemperor [userpic]
Backpack Blowback: Religious Right Activists Want Preferential Treatment From Public School Forum

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]navytron89) From Americans United Blog:[info]audotorg

We commented last December on a Pagan group in Albemarle County, Va., that took advantage of a Religious Right-sponsored move to open a public school’s “backpack mail” system to religious promotions.

The backlash was swift and harsh when parents received flyers announcing a Pagan holiday celebration at the local Unitarian Universalist congregation. One mother was livid that the school would send home in her child’s backpack anything it did not endorse. A “pagan ritual” is “an educational experience my children don’t need,” she fumed.

“Backpack mail” systems are common in public schools. Albemarle uses it to advertise extra-curricular activities such as children’s theater, summer camps and recreational sports events.

location: Norfolk,VA
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: Muppet Show
dogemperor [userpic]
School prayer gets a boost

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]exotic_princess)

House approves bill that would let students express faith on campus


AUSTIN — Legislation designed to give public school students opportunities to express religious viewpoints tentatively cleared the House on Monday despite warnings that it will have unintended consequences.

The bill would require school districts to adopt a policy allowing student speakers to express a religious perspective during limited public forums, such as football games, graduation ceremonies and school assemblies.

"This bill provides protection for students and school officials. Right now we have confusion in the schools about religious expression, and students are being discriminated against," said Rep. Charlie Howard, R-Sugar Land, author of House Bill 3678.
Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Bricks in the battle


Here's a very interesting Flickr photoset on evolution outreach.

Evolution Outreach

The battle is on between the teaching of science and the assault of religious pseudoscience. These pictures can be used in pro-science talks. As the author says, do it for the children!

dogemperor [userpic]
"God's Next Army" - Channel 4 documentary

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]multiclassgeek)

Just finished watching the aforementioned show: A documentary about Patrick Henry College in the US (for background,click here for the discussion we had here a few hours ago - It's a good primer on the PHC agenda.

Whilst I'm in no position to reiterate the entire documentary, here's some thoughts

Warning: May Contain Sarcasm )

Overall, I was slightly disappointed by the show. Whilst it did a good job of showing how these young people wanted to become politically active in order to advance their faith in a suitably Dominionist way, there was no time taken to look at the roots of why they believe this (i.e the core of Dominionist/Christian Reconstructionist thought). It came across as more of a "Look at this college in the USA which trains kids to enter politics and exert influence" rather than a "Look at the sort of shit that's being pulled, here" (which I think would have been a better doc all round). However, the announcer at the end did point to Channel 4's own Religion Resourse, http://www.channel4.com/believe as a link for those who "wanted to find out more about US Evangelicals" (I can't vouch for the content, but I thought the link might warrant another mention).

dogemperor [userpic]
British look at Patrick Henry College


The British Channel 4 is going to take a look at students from the extremely religious Patrick Henry College. The show is called "God's Next Army":

God's Next Army investigates Patrick Henry College (PHC), set up five years ago in Virginia, near Washington DC. Its mission is to train young fundamentalist Christians to become the next generation of America's cultural and political leaders. Though the separation of church and state is enshrined in the US Constitution, with financial backing from the evangelical community the college aims to 'rechristianise' America; to 'preserve the world from the sinfulness of man'.

PHC students are an isolated group who come from close-knit communities where everyone prays together and shares moral certainties. Most have been educated at home and have had no contact with either the social diversity or the political and intellectual cut and thrust of mainstream schools. Derek Archer, a prospective PHC student believes home-schooling has protected him from the 'moral decay of the world'.

Once at the college, the students ceremonially sign a covenant which commits them to a strict behaviour code: no alcohol, drugs or obscene literature; sex will be reserved for marriage; personal conflicts will be resolved biblically; the students will be above reproach, will uphold the tenets of evangelical Christianity and lead the nation for Christ.

Hopefully, someone will "YouTube" this segment so we can watch it.

dogemperor [userpic]
Transcript of "State of Belief"


For those interested, "Real Religious Left" now has a 3-part transcript of the "State of Belief" program up.

Also, for the NPR listeners in the community, today's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" will feature the founder of Patrick Henry College, which turns homeschooled Christian kids into political activists.

dogemperor [userpic]
Another case of dominionist "baby-beating"?

From the following article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
A new case of religiously motivated child abuse--warning, potentially triggering to walkaways )

dogemperor [userpic]


I needed a good laugh today. So do you.

dogemperor [userpic]
And I wonder why these "open minded" people denied them...

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]charlayne)

Gays on campus

"Unlike A&M, not all colleges allowed the activists on campus.

Soulforce organizers said they were denied access to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va."


Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]


Georgia ok's teaching of bible in school

My response to the proponents of such things is simple: "let's teach the Koran" It has more followers worldwide then Chistianity, and understanding it would see releveant considering current geopolitical events. Suddenly the support for religious instruction dies off when you say that.

"Ok, how about teaching them both?"

Wait, that'd be a comparitive religious studies class, which georgia already has.


dogemperor [userpic]
Attempt to ban The Handmaid's Tale

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]wyldraven)

Attempt to ban The Handmaid's Tale in San Antonio TX fails, for now.

Lyman said Thursday that he believed to book does not meet community standards. He said he would not want his own children to read the book.

More here.

Superintendent Ed Lyman pulled the book, saying it was too explicit for high school students.

Personally, I am convinced this is why it got pulled in the first place. Highlighting mine.

The Handmaid’s Tale centers on a fundamentalist Christian group that forces women to act as sex slaves. Those who sided with Lyman feel the book is sexually explicit and offensive to Christians.

I think this one bears watching.

BTW: The College Board exams given to advanced placement students for college credit include questions about the book.

dogemperor [userpic]
Pat Robertson is at it again

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]rubygloomrox)

He was on his 700 Club yesterday spouting some ridiculous garbage about a book he was promoting. He called liberal professors racists, murderers, sexual deviants and supporters of Al-Qaeda. And last year they raked in $160 million. That's just sad.
I need to get hold of his mailing list, because obviously some people will buy anything. That's a market I'd like to tap into.

Current Mood: apathetic
Current Music: sleater-kinney- one more hour
dogemperor [userpic]


Hello all :)

Here is an interesting bit from the Pandas thumb:



An elementary school teacher in Bennett, Colorado, has been suspended for showing her class a 12-min portion of the opera Faust, according to reports in the Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post, and the Los Angeles Times.


Parents accused Ms. Waggoner of devil worship and, in at least one instance, of not being a Christian, as if not being a Christian were somehow reprehensible. In fact, Ms. Waggoner, herself an opera singer, describes herself as a Christian and has two Christian recordings among her credentials.

For those interested in the evolution - creation/ID side of things that have been popping up here as of late Pandas Thumb is a good resource. Another is http://www.talkorigins.org/

dogemperor [userpic]


So...Grease, about high school students whose worst crime is drinking beer and smoking, is Evil. And so, presumably, is Shakespeare. I'm sure the local pastor must have just about ruptured himself at the thought of The Crucible, which is about censorship and religious fanaticism run amok.


dogemperor [userpic]
Bible Literacy Courses & The Republican Party

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]ns_kumiho)

But when some local leaders learned last summer about a curriculum package produced by the Bible Literacy Project out of Fairfax, Va., the problem seemed to be solved. The course presents the Bible in a historical and cultural context—giving students a better understanding of biblical allusions in art, literature, and music. More important, it has been vetted by conservative and liberal legal experts to withstand constitutional challenge.

One of the leading advocates of the Bible course, Dr. Randy Brinson, met me at the entrance to the state house. Brinson, a tall, sandy-haired physician from Montgomery who speaks with a twang and the earnest enthusiasm of a youth-group leader, is a lifelong Republican and founder of Redeem the Vote, a national voter-registration organization that targets evangelicals. Since discovering the Bible literacy course, he has successfully lobbied politicians in Florida, Georgia, and Missouri to introduce bills that would set up similar classes. But it is here at home that he's encountered the most resistance. “You should see who's against this thing,” he told me, shaking his head.

Indeed, when Brinson and the other supporters—including several Pentecostal ministers, some Methodists, and a member of the state board of education—entered the state house chamber to make their case, they faced off against representatives from the Christian Coalition, Concerned Women of America, and the Eagle Forum. These denizens of the Christian Right denounced the effort, calling it “extreme” and “frivolous” and charging that it would encourage that most dangerous of activities, “critical thinking.” The real stakes of the fight, though, were made clear by Republican Rep. Scott Beason, when he took his turn at the lectern. “This is more than about God,” he reminded his colleagues. “This is about politics.”


"That," he says, "was my first inkling that I wasn't one of them." If being a player in this world meant calling for the heads of moderate Republicans and ginning up fake controversies like a supposed "war on Christmas," Brinson wasn't terribly interested.


Randy Brinson chuckled as he reported this to me, saying, "This is smokin' them out. Now we see what they really care about. It's not religion; they care about power."


Intresting article on the switching of liberal and moderate Evangelical Christians to the Democrats.

dogemperor [userpic]
Challenging moment of silence

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]exotic_princess)

Supposedly this is the first challenge of the Texas law mandating a moment of silence... not *strictly* dominionist but worth watching.


David and Shannon Croft say in the complaint that one of their children was told by an elementary school teacher to keep quiet because the minute is a "time for prayer."

The complaint filed last week names Gov. Rick Perry and the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, which the Croft's three children attend in the suburbs of Dallas.

David Croft, a 37-year-old computer programmer, said there is no secular reason for a moment of silence.

"This is just a ruse to get prayer in school without calling it prayer in school," he said. "Is there any study showing a moment of silence helps education?"


State lawmakers were aware of such debate when they wrote the Texas law, said Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, a co-sponsor of the law. The measure designated the moment of silence as neutral time, despite arguments from some lawmakers that a verbal prayer should be included, Branch said.

Branch said that letting children pray in school makes them feel the school is not hostile toward their religion.

"I just wanted to create an opportunity for families who want their children to be able to pray at the beginning of the school day toward a higher being to be able to do so," Branch said.

Current Mood: interested
dogemperor [userpic]
Quoting Bible to attack gays is hypocritical


And now, a breath of fresh air...

Quoting Bible to attack gays is hypocritical
By Leonard Pitts Jr.

An open letter to Donna Reddick:

I'm writing this for Desiree. She's a student at Miami Sunset Senior High, where you teach business technology. A few days ago, she sent me an e-mail recounting an incident that happened on campus last week.

It seems that on three successive days, the morning announcements, which are televised throughout the school, featured student-produced segments on the subject of gay rights.

On the first day came comments from students who took the pro position. On the second day came remarks from a counselor who spoke of the need for students to respect one another. On the third day came you.

You and a few students, actually. One told classmates homosexuality was ''unacceptable in the eyesight of God.'' Another said gays were ``unrighteous.''Read more... )

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