Saturday, July 22, 2006

The divide between education and indoctrination.

The New York Times has an interesting article regarding the number of colleges that historically were connected with the Southern Baptist Church who have severed their ties to the denomination because of the rise of unthinking fundamentalism.

Georgetown College, in Georgetown, Kentucky had been affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention but ended that relationship. Dr. William Crouch, Jr., the president of the college, said: "I sat for 25 years and watched my denomination become much more narrow and, in terms of education, much more interested in indoctrination."

R. Kirby Godsey, ex president of Mercer University says that: "The future of Baptist higher education has rarely been more fragile." Mercer is no longer associated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Sometimes the university leaves and sometimes the fundamentalists push it out. Fundamentalists are demanding the right to appoint teachers and determine what will be allowed to be taught. They insist that their own world view be given exclusive reign on campus and that all other opinions be snuffed out. The dean of the Divinity School at Wake Forest, Bill Leonard, says that the Baptists have "moved so far to the right that previous diversity on the faculty and among the trustees is no longer possible."

But David Key, director of Baptist Studies at Candler school of Theology, Emory University, is more blunt. "The real underlying issue is that fundamentalism in the Southern Baptis form is incompatible with higher education. In fundamentalism, you have all the truths. In education, you're searching for truths."

Never forget that in the fundamentalist mind there is no room for any views but their own. Fundamentalism, whether Islamic or Christian, is inherently authoritarian and dangerous. As Europe grapples with the dangers of having allowed so many fundamentalist Muslims move there America is still too oblivous to the real threat posed by Christian fundamentalist and their war on Constitutional principles of individual rights and limited government. It is no accident that the most fundamentalist president to ever sit in the White House is also the one president who has shown the most contempt for the American Constitution.


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