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April 23, 2004

Cult Central Campus

by Red Wolf

United States: The Independent have run an interesting article on cult central, otherwise known as Patrick Henry College. There are some serious brain donors loose on the campus.

On a tour of the campus, we bumped into a bright young man called Jordan Estrada, from Pennsylvania. Estrada, 18, carried a book entitled Systematic Theology. He had played the part of Creon in Sophocles' Greek tragedy Antigone when it was performed recently by the drama team. He said he was interested in science fiction and wanted to be a writer.
Why had he wanted to study at Patrick Henry? A lot of what they teach in public schools is not based in reality. I am a believer in creation, he says. Did that belief lead to a conflict with his pursuit of science? None whatsoever. I have discussed this and spoken to many scientists and I found that there is no contradiction.

Which pretty much leads me to suspect that the courses offered at the college leans towards the total bollocks end of the spectrum.

It was at this point, walking past the single-sex dormitories and the campaign posters of suited students running for college office, towards the main building with its classrooms of attentive students, that one was struck with a sense of being on a film set. One could not help but recall the 1998 film Pleasantville, in which two teenagers are transported back to their parents' 1950s town of bland, unquestioning niceness.
The staff and students at Patrick Henry may laugh at this — if, that is, they have seen the film. The MTV and VH1 pop-culture channels are blocked from campus televisions, because their contents are considered inappropriate. The students' computers are set up with a program called Covenant Eyes, which monitors the websites they visit.
For all the warm welcomes, for all the smiles, for all the openness, there is something a little unsettling about Patrick Henry and the cultish devotion of its students. This is, after all, an establishment that claims to challenge its students to think for themselves, and yet establishes a fixed, rigid framework — both culturally and intellectually — in which they are to operate.
But, to its critics, what is perhaps most striking about this small, influential college with its self-confidence and focus, and its links with America's neoconservative political elite, is its utter transparency. Patrick Henry College is an institution devoted to spreading its word, spreading its view of the world, and helping to place its students in positions of authority and influence. And it does so in plain view.

The Bible college that leads to the White House - Independent, 21st April 2004.

Posted in Church and State at 04:07. Last modified on September 28 2006 at 23:42.
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Comments

1: Posted by: David Firth | April 24, 2004 3:39 AM

Why am I not surprised that the Bush administration embraces narrowly ideological institutions like Patrick Henry? So much for government by the people, for the people ... at least all the people. Suskind & Paul O'Neill's book warns that the Bush administration has few, if any, honest brokers in policy analysis. Scares me to death that the Republicans align themselves so far to the conservative bleeding edge.

2: Posted by: Jen | April 26, 2004 2:20 PM

How is this any different than Catholic or Christian elementary or high schools? It isn't. To each their own. From the way the campus and students are described though I'd bet there is an extremely low rate of crime on campus and is probably one of the safest colleges to be at. We of all people should know it's wrong to hate what you do not understand.

Wax lyrical

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