Mike the Mad Biologist

No, Maha, It Isn’t Weird at All

In a very good post about elitism and Republicans, Maha asks:

John McCain’s recent mangling of Barack Obama’s famous “bitter” remark is also illustrative:

“We’re going to go to the small towns in Pennsylvania and I’m gonna to tell them I don’t agree with Senator Obama that they cling to their religion and the Constitution because they’re bitter,” said McCain, who might have been referring to the Second Amendment right to bear arms. “I’m gonna tell them they have faith and they have trust and support the Constitution of the United States because they have optimism and hope… That’s what America’s all about.”

A lot of people jumped on the malapropism about the Constitution, but I say look at the next part also — he’s going to small towns in Pennsylvania and (emphasis added) “I am going to tell them that they have faith and they have trust and support the Constitution of the United States because they have optimism and hope and that is the strength of America.” These are people he’s never in his life lived among, but he’s going to tell them what they think? Does anyone beside me think that’s weird?

Well, Maha, most members of the Coalition of the Sane would think that, but consider this item from Tbogg about Pensacola Christian College:

Pensacola Christian College prides itself on being different, not just from secular colleges, but from fellow Christian ones, too. Some of those differences, like the way students dress, are obvious to any visitor. Others are not. Since its founding, more than 30 years ago, Pensacola has blossomed from a tiny Bible college into a thriving institution of nearly 5,000 students. Along the way it has become known as among the most conservative — and most secretive — colleges in the country.

Not to mention one of the strictest. The rules at Pensacola govern every aspect of students’ lives, including the books they read, the shoes they wear, the churches they attend, and the people they date. Many of those regulations are spelled out in a handbook sent to students after they enroll, but there are plenty of unwritten rules as well. Demerits are common and discipline swift.

It’s all in the name of preserving Pensacola’s “distinctives” — the word the college uses for what sets it apart. But many former students say the enforcement of the rules is often cruel and capricious. Dissent is never tolerated, they say, and expulsions for seemingly minor infractions are routine….

Of Pensacola’s many rules, those dealing with male-female relationships are the most talked about. There are restrictions on when and where men and women may speak to each other. Some elevators and stairwells may be used only by women; others may be used only by men. Socializing on particular benches is forbidden. If a man and a woman are walking to class, they may chat; if they stop en route, though, they may be in trouble. Generally men and women caught interacting in any “unchaperoned area” — which is most of the campus — could be subject to severe penalties.

Those rules extend beyond the campus. A man and a woman cannot go to an off-campus restaurant together without a chaperon (usually a faculty member). Even running into members of the opposite sex off campus can lead to punishment. One student told of how a group of men and a group of women from the college happened to meet at a McDonald’s last spring. Both groups were returning from the beach (they had gone to separate beaches; men and women are not allowed to be at the beach together). The administration found out, and all 15 students were expelled.

Even couples who are not talking or touching can be reprimanded. Sabrina Poirier, a student at Pensacola who withdrew in 1997, was disciplined for what is known on the campus as “optical intercourse” — staring too intently into the eyes of a member of the opposite sex. This is also referred to as “making eye babies.” While the rule does not appear in written form, most students interviewed for this article were familiar with the concept.

Let’s try to ignore that graduates from this indoctrination camp were actually appointed to positions of power within the Justice Department. Trying…

[reboot]

Ok, then. Back to the post…

Anyone who is so credulous as to actually believe in optical intercourse is very comfortable with being told what to think (and this is not an isolated case of stupidity. (And conservative leaders are also very comfortable with telling them what to think).

We should remember that the authoritarian impulse requires many more followers than leaders, yet the Coalition of the Sane, in my opinion, is far too gentle towards the followers. They are responsible for their disastrous stupidity.

Comments

  1. #1 Karen
    June 30, 2008

    You malign the Uruk-Hai on your scienceblog lead-in. They were in it for the booty, the food — “he (Saruman) gives us man-flesh to eat” — and the fun. They backed whoever they believed to be a winner, and did their own thinking. It just wasn’t very deep.

    Anyone who can put up with four years of intolerably strict rules on their personal lives have bigger problems than their friendly neighborhood pastor can counsel them through.

  2. #2 natural cynic
    June 30, 2008

    Keep your creepy places in the right categories. PCC is an unaccredited school in FL. The creepy lawyers came from Pat Robertson’s Regent University [fully accredited] Law School in Virginia Beach. Maybe a few came through both.

  3. #3 Darrell
    June 30, 2008

    Keep your creepy places in the right categories. PCC is an unaccredited school in FL. The creepy lawyers came from Pat Robertson’s Regent University [fully accredited] Law School in Virginia Beach. Maybe a few came through both.

    There were actually lawyers from both schools. Esther Slater McDonald graduated from Pensacola Christian college and and Notre Dame Law School.

    Monica Goodling (who recommended Esther to be hired) graduated from Messiah College in Pennsylvania and law school at Pat Robertson’s Regent University

  4. #4 seks shop
    February 16, 2010

    Keep your creepy places in the right categories. PCC is an unaccredited school in FL. The creepy lawyers came from Pat Robertson’s Regent University [fully accredited] Law School in Virginia Beach. Maybe a few came through both

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