Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hypocrisy Amok or How Did Purgatory become an Intellectual Fashion?

So this nonsense is making the rounds on twitter as if it's the real grown-ups talking and all those kid protesters are just spoiled brats with feeeeeeelings.  Just tell those pussies to man up, to paraphrase a comment I saw in a facebook feed.  Other conservative sites are praising the manliness of Oklahoma Wesleyan's President and his idea that "Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn."  But it's not a place to learn.  At least not learn a lot of unsafe things if you are a Christian.
They have four goals, according to their website:

The Primacy of Jesus Christ…as the incarnate Son of God, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is the lens for all learning and the lord of our daily lives.
The Priority of Scripture
…as the inerrant and authoritative written Word of God that guides us in all matters of faith, learning, and living.

The Pursuit of Truth …as an objective, attainable reality grounded in the person and example of Jesus Christ and anchored in the Bible.
The Practice of Wisdom …as the goal for all members of the university community, who work to promote healing and wholeness in a broken culture and hurting world.

So you don't have to worry about learning about evolution at OKWU because according to their course catalog science majors must :
demonstrate an understanding of the natural sciences as a human approach to God’s truth; articulate an appreciation and respect for the Creation as a direct outcome of the wisdom and glory of the Creator; and, as appropriate, integrate present scientific understanding of the “book of nature” with a Wesleyan understanding of the Bible.

Want to study history?  Best do it from a providential stand point because you have to:

demonstrate knowledge of God’s work in history, particularly in the formation of Christian civilization;

Needless to say if you want a job there you need to have the following qualifications: 
–A personal and vital Christian faith is required.
–Evidence of commitment to the integration of Christian faith and living with the theory and practice of education is expected.

Yeah.  Basically the whole place is set up to be a little safe haven for Christians where they never have to encounter ideas that might challenge their faith, but by all means sir, please tell me how to be open minded!

Dr. Piper is right.  His school isn't a day care but a place where in his words students:

repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them.  
So it's a place for repentance.  That's not a university.  That's purgatory.   


  1. A-HAHAHAHA!!! I saw that screed but didn't inquire more deeply into OKWU's orientation and expectations of their students.

    Funny, I was just reading about how impossible it is for even in-state students with GPAs over 4.0 to get into UC schools as I saw your tweet. So let's just stipulate that anyone going to college in the 2000s or 2010s is automatically more qualified than any of us schlubs were in the 1980s and 1990s--I'm sure I couldn't get in to my alma mater now, with my H.S. record. Add to that growing up in the age of Campus Mass Murders, from middle school on through high school and university life. And let's not forget those "pussies" we know on our campus as veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I call bullcrap on the lazy slagging of an entire generation because a few of them dare to protest the status quo.

  2. Thanks for this. While I am troubled by some aspects of the movement to protect students from unpleasant speech, the President of an institution like OKWU is the LAST person to be suggesting infantilizing college students is a new phenomenon. Here's the truth: residential colleges/universities have always infantilized their students. But colleges like OKWU are the worst offenders, not only protecting them from speech that might challenge their religious faith, but also by tightly regulating behavior. The college I teach at was not unlike OKWU back in the 1920s. But like most church-related liberal arts colleges it evolved away from the OKWU approach in the middle decades of the twentieth century, reorienting its approach away from behavior and idea regulation toward "character development," which required allowing students to make choices with moral consequences. Now there are still plenty of problems with the "character development" model, and most colleges never completely abandoned the idea of behavior regulation. When I first arrived on this campus in the nineties, my first committee assignment was to serve on the student judicial board. What I discovered was an irrational system that seemed more interested in sanctioning students for having an illegal goldfish bowl or beer in their dorm room than it was in taking troubling cases of verbal and physical intimidation, bullying, and assault seriously. I can't say that internal system is much improved today, and this is one of the reasons that I have doubts that internal campus judicial systems will do much to solve the sexual assault epidemic on our campuses. Sorry for the rambling early morning response. The bottom line is that yeah, colleges do infantilize their students, and have always done so. But schools like OKWU are the worst offenders.

  3. This kind of Purgatory is an extremely dangerous intellectual fashion, as well. Not only are these students “learning” through the distorting, fallacious lens of archaic Christian teachings, they emerge from these collegiate cradles of religious intolerance with biases (rife, as biases are, with misinformation, hatred, and fear) against people of any culture, color, or creed different from their own.

  4. Hi Christina, welcome to the Panoptican and thanks for your comment! Can I ask how you got here?

    1. Sure--Google+ sends me emails occasionally with links to Google+ blog posts--to tell you the truth, I don't know how it chooses what posts to send me; maybe it sent me yours because I sent you an email at one point and so your address was in my cache, or maybe because it "knows" I write and read about issues in higher ed...