A couple of years ago, Bryan College in Tennessee (a Christian school) altered its Statement of Faith to say that the Earth was created a few thousand years ago. If professors couldn’t admit they were Young Earth Creationists, then they could find another job.
It’s bad enough for a school to fire faculty members who accept basic science, but to also kick out Creationist professors who didn’t buy in to the Ken Ham-approved timeline? That’s some crazy level of fundamentalism.
Bethel College in Indiana is now heading down a similar path.
Last month, officials there approved a policy change that required faculty members to admit God created Adam implying that evolution (as real scientists know it) is a hoax.
Professors were welcome to “participate in academic communities” that didn’t adopt that position as long as they themselves didn’t advocate for evolution or hold leadership roles in those groups.
Which brings us to the sad story of James Stump.
After graduating from Bethel, he served as a professor there for 17 years (including “professor of the year” in 2003). Stump doesn’t necessarily have a problem with evolution. In fact, he’s the content manager for BioLogos, a Christian group that attempts to reconcile science and religion.
And there’s the problem. There was bound to be a conflict on the evolution issue since BioLogos promotes evolution over GodPoofedUsIntoExistence… and instead of dealing with that eventual drama, Stump chose to resign.
To put it another way, a college demanded that its educators adopt fictional dogma over evidence-based science… and the one guy who knew better decided to leave instead of becoming the focal point of controversy.
There are plenty of reasons not to attend certain Christian colleges, but this has to be near the top of the list. It’s not enough to “be a Christian.” You also have to adopt the school’s particular brand of bullshit. The moment you say, “I’m a Christian, but I think you’re wrong…,” they want you gone.
What good is a college where critical thinking and dissent are stifled? What sort of school tells faculty members they have to teach lies if they want to keep their jobs? How can anyone call that learning?
But those questions don’t matter to the people who attend these schools (or the parents who pay for their kids to go there, anyway). Critical thinking is heresy. Obedience is everything. And if the experts in a field go against a literal interpretation of a book written thousands of years ago, then the experts must be wrong.
To the graduates of Bethel, I hope that diploma doubles as toilet paper, because it’s not gonna do you much good otherwise.
(via The Daily Beast. Thanks to William for the link)