Protestations by the Louisiana College board of trustees that the new textbook selection policy contains nothing to fear is reminiscent of Dr. Jerry Rankins promise that missionaries would not be required to sign the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.
Protestations by the Louisiana College board of trustees that the new textbook
selection policy contains nothing to fear is reminiscent of Dr. Jerry Rankins
promise that missionaries would not be required to sign the 2000 Baptist Faith
and Message. Im sure we all remember the firings, forced resignations
and forced early retirements of missionaries who refused to sign that creed.
Superficially, the textbook selection policy seems innocuous, but “appropriate
in context and purpose” statement is a real Trojan horse. Textbooks supporting
viewpoints “recognized by others in the discipline as appropriate for the
subject matter” – but which disagree with the trustees narrow
interpretation of the Bible – will simply be excluded using the “appropriate
in context and purpose” provision. Precedent at other Southern Baptist
institutions controlled by ultraconservatives strongly suggests that the trustees
personal opinions will prevail – and opposition will fall on deaf ears.
Obviously, academic freedom must be accompanied by academic responsibility.
However, this policy, in the hands of a fundamentalist board or administration,
endangers meaningful education at Louisiana College. The key word in the preceding
sentence is “meaningful.” Nevertheless, the board seems determined
to rule LC with an iron hand, mistaken in the belief that only they know what
is best for the college and, above all, what is theologically acceptable.
Two of my sons are Louisiana College graduates. Each received an excellent
education; and although they attended LC before the ultraconservative takeover
of the board, they even grew as Christians. Because of this policy and other
recent and pending repressive actions by the board, I have abandoned hope that
my grandchildren will attend LC – unless the board comes to its senses.
I emphasize, however, that I continue to have great respect for and confidence
in the LC faculty.
Louisiana College should be an educational institution – not an indoctrination
Baton Rouge, La.