This news comes to us from one of Tennessee’s major newspapers — the Chattanooga Times Free Press of Chattanooga, Tennessee. That state is often mentioned in our humble blog for two different (but not unrelated) reasons: (1) it’s one of two states in the US crazed enough to adopt a version of the Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom bill; and (2) Dayton, Tennessee was the location of Scopes Trial.
Dayton is also the proud home of Bryan College, founded after the Scopes trial and named in honor of William Jennings Bryan. Bryan was not only the Scopes trial prosecutor (which is glory enough for one man), but in his earlier political career he championed the income tax, alcohol prohibition, debased currency, and several other idiocies. He was essentially opposed to free enterprise, always favoring increased regulation and government control over the economy. In all his political campaigns, he was supported by the Ku Klux Klan. We regard him as the Great Populist Blowhard and an all-round crazy man.
Now that we’re all oriented, let’s turn to the news from the Chattanooga Times Free Press. They have this headline: Bryan College takes stand on creation that has professors worried for their jobs. Egad — the professors are worried that they might be Expelled! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Bryan College was founded on the back of the country’s most famous debate over creation and evolution. And the biblical literalists, the stalwarts, the six-day creationists flocked here even when society began tipping toward a more scientific understanding of human origins, when Darwin, not Genesis, became the more convincing explanation for many.
Thank heaven for Bryan College! What’s going on there now? We’re told:
But over the years, more diverse views on Genesis 1 and 2 crept in. Some professors, staff and students didn’t just identify as young-Earth creationists. Their views became more nuanced. They called themselves progressive evolutionists and theistic evolutionists and old-Earth creationists; they found ways to reconcile faith and science.
That ol’ Devil — he manages to creep in everywhere! What’s being done about this outrage? You’ll be thrilled to learn that the college administration isn’t letting things drift:
Now the administration is making a statement against these aberrations. The board of trustees is requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms. If they don’t sign, they fear that jobs could be on the line.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Ooops, please forgive that unseemly outburst. The news continues:
Students say professors have seemed visibly depressed and upset since the announcement was made. Some staff, who wouldn’t give their names out of fear of retaliation, said their consciences may not allow them to sign the clarified statement, and they are unsure what action the administration might take against them. They have a few weeks to decide whether to sign.
Even the students are involved:
Nearly 300 of the school’s 800 students signed a petition within a few days asking the trustees to reconsider the change. Joseph Murphy, in a Student Government Association letter to the administration, said the decision was made without faculty input and that the president and trustees were threatening academic freedom. He called the move unjust, uncharitable and unscriptural.
These upheavals rarely occur in a vacuum. They are often tied to outside events and that may be the case here. Let’s read on:
Many members of the Bryan community are confused over the timing of the change. Why is this happening now, just as next year’s contracts are being delivered? But some recent events may explain the move.
In 2010, Ken Hamm [sic], a nationally known creationist who runs the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., wrote a scathing article criticizing Bryan College [because of] a graduate’s book. … Hamm [sic] also criticized biology professor Brian Eisenback, who was quoted in USA Today saying that he taught all origin views and theories — including Genesis and evolution — without revealing his own beliefs.
Good ol’ Hambo! If only godly people like that were in charge of everything! Then, truly, the world would be perfect. The first thing that needs to be done is to crush the ungodly spirit of the Enlightenment.
The news article is rather long, but we’re going to stop here. You may want to click over there to read it all. We’ll leave you with this little thought:
When a science teacher is teaching science, the creationists want their beliefs to be included. But when a professor at a place like Bryan College wants to teach a little bit of science — the keepers of the faith are ready with torches and pitchforks, the rack and the flame. How they must long for the days when heretics were burned at the stake!
We’ll also leave you to ponder a question: In matters like this, why don’t we hear from the Discovery Institute? Aren’t they the self-declared champions of academic freedom? Why don’t they demand that Bryan College should teach the controversy? Come on, Discoveroids! Get involved!
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