The fundamentalist Christian war on education

I don’t know quite how I wound up on these idiots’ mailing list, but I’m glad I did. It helps to understand what the proponents of the New Dark Ages want to reshape our culture into.

The folks behind Worldview Weekend, some kind of fundie pep rally for fear and ignorance, have sent out an email flogging a series of propaganda booklets aimed squarely at students whom they fear will actually be educated if they go to college. The idea is to innoculate their minds against anything that might threaten their precious fundamentalist teachings. In other words, keep the flock stupid so they’ll keep filling the pews and the collection plates.

Education, clearly, is a detriment to blind faith, and so education itself must be tarred with such emotional hot-button words as “socialist,” “communist,” “humanist,” and possibly several other fearmongering sobriquets I didn’t catch.

A quick glance at the blurb for one of these booklets, revealingly titled Christian Worldview for Students (that’s about as clear a title as you could come up with for something that’s basically naked propaganda), shows us that the “Christian worldview” essentially involves rejecting anything any scientist ever thought up, as well as embracing the most extremist right-wing paranoia out there. Seriously, these are people who believe the Bush adminstration isn’t xenophobic enough. Looking at the list below, you can see how these are views that would be eagerly embraced by the next generation of Eric Robert Rudolphs and Timothy McVeighs (and no, I don’t think that’s either a slippery slope or “appeal to consequences” fallacy).

Survival Kit for the University of Humanism

Glitzy brochures and slick websites that promote many of our universities don’t divulge the all-encompassing secular worldview that slashes God from every equation and consumes ill-prepared students. But collegians today will face many of the:

  • 67% of professors who approve of homosexuality;
  • 84% who condone abortion;
  • 65% who embrace socialist and communist ideals.

The results of four years’ exposure to these teachers are staggering. Recent research reveals that 91% of students from evangelical churches no longer believe in absolute moral truth. Even the Southern Baptist Convention found that 88% of young people from SBC homes slip away from the faith before they graduate from college.

The reason?

Most students say they did not learn enough Bible content growing up to enable them to make biblical life decisions, let alone defend a Christian worldview in the face of vicious opposition. This book provides worldview expert and best-selling author Brannon Howse’s briefing notes to prepare you for the worldview battle that takes place at the university of humanism-whichever one you attend. You will be ready to contend and not bend on topics like:

  1. Why evil and injustice do not negate the reality of a good God;
  2. Why the Bible can be trusted;
  3. Why Darwinian evolution is a lie;
  4. The liberal myth of “separation of church and state”;
  5. The authenticity of Jesus’ resurrection;
  6. What the fossil record really reveals;
  7. The myth of global warming;
  8. How dramatically crime would increase if guns were outlawed;

And more!

So take Brannon’s notes to heart-and mind. The Christian life you save may be your own!

Fear the hallowed halls of academe, Christian students! They want to make the Baby Jebus cry!

There’s a reason fundamentalist students have a hard time defending their “Christian worldview” from “vicious opposition,” which is fundie code for “enlightened and educated views”. Ignorant beliefs cannot stand up to hard facts. I imagine what’s so boo-scary for fundies to discover when they venture out of their shelters into the real world is that reality doesn’t care what your pet ideology is.

And any Christian student who thinks booklets like these will arm them against reality is being cruelly misled. It’s a pretty safe bet, I’d say, that anything these booklets have to say on the subject of evolution or global warming will be the same old moronic canards that have been debunked a thousand times over. Then again, maybe that’s all part of the “Worldview Weekend” racket: a student buys one of these booklets; tries to get into an argument about evolution with his biology professor or his fellow students; crawls away in humiliation after having his ass handed to him; goes back to the “Worldview Weekend” website, where they’re ready to sell him another booklet! Ca-ching! That’s the benefit of having an entire customer base consisting of paranoid, superstitious chumps who’ve been indoctrinated to fear education itself. Get them to think you’re the only ones they can trust, and they’ll keep opening their wallets for you time and again.

Southern Baptists offering “Stepford Wife” classes for women

Hat tip to Tara at Aetiology for this bloodcurdling article. The Southern Baptists want all you uppity bitches to know just who wears the pants around the house. And to this end, they’re offering classes with such titles as “Biblical Model for the Home and Family.” A more overt display of the way in which Christian fundamentalism treats women only marginally better than Muslim sharia law (at least the Baptists won’t murder you because you let someone see your ankle, so I guess that’s progress) could not be found.

Shudder to these testimonials. These are Christian women who have gleefully swallowed the notion that they are inferior to males and on this earth for no other reason than to do the Suzy Homemaker thing while hubby is out making something of his life. They have actually been indoctrinated to accept the idea that their own personal happiness is irrelevant.

God values men and women equally, any student here will tell you. It’s just that he’s given them different responsibilities in life: Men make decisions. Women make dinner….

It all sounds wonderful to sophomore Emily Felts, 19, who signed up as soon as she arrived on campus this fall.

Several relatives have told Felts that she’s selling herself short. They want her to become a lawyer, and she agrees she’d make a good one. But that’s not what she wants to do with her life.

More to the point, it’s not what she believes God wants of her.

“My created purpose as a woman is to be a helper,” Felts said firmly. “This is a college education that I can use.”

The whole point of taking college-level homemaking, she said, is to ensure that her husband won’t ever feel that he has to darn a sock or do the laundry. Those are her jobs…

“I’m not one of those out to rebel, out-to-be-my-own-woman types,” she said.

Yeah, being your own woman would really suck. I mean, y’all are different, right? It’s a man’s duty to be his own man, but for you ladies, well, there’s the kitchen…get to work!

I can’t remember where I read it, but I have heard that the number of over-35 women in America as whole who regularly take antidepressants and other medications is sky-high. Add to that a devastating regimen of brainwashing such as this, and the level of misery poor Emily Felts is likely to experience when she hits the big four-oh and realizes she’s thrown away the best years of her life can scarcely be imagined.

Now, to be fair, the article points out that the Southwestern Baptist Indoctrination Camp Theological Seminary is a fairly small establishment to begin with, and that very few women among their student body have signed up for these homemaking courses so far. And it goes on to point out that others in the Baptist community consider this master/servant outlook on marriage to be a throwback. But it’s hard to stomach that the entire female side of the student body is constantly hammered with the “submit!” message, when you consider that this place actually offers classes with names like “Clothing Construction,” “Meal Preparation,” and “Value of a Child” in the first place. With a straight face, too. Gee, how about spreading the notion that a marriage is a partnership among equals where responsibilities are to be shared? Or is that too “liberal”? Probably.

Maybe here we can see another reason why that Barna survey of several years back revealed that atheists have a lower divorce rate than Christians — with Southern Baptists suffering the highest divorce rate across all Christian denominations! I’m just sayin’…