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Stephen Meyer, founder of the Discovery Institute, has a warning for Christian parents.  Once they send their kids to college, they can expect to have their upbringing challenged.

"It's often a very unsettling time period for students, and in no small part because of the intellectual challenges that they're going to encounter -- the challenge to the worldview that they have likely been raised with," the program director explains.

And he laments that students entering Christian colleges and universities are not necessarily immune.

"It can be very disorienting if you have biologists who are Christians but Darwinists, or psychologists who are Christians but behaviorists who think that all human behavior is determined by genes and environment," Dr. Meyer notes.

For those who don't know, many fundies consider critical thinking to be the eighth deadly sin.  It's a big reason a lot of them opt to put their kids in a bubble--homeschooling or private school, filtered Internet service, and in some cases getting TV from places like SkyAngel.  Apparently Meyer doesn't like the fact that a growing number of born-agains actually have their minds broadened in college and the mission field.

To that end, Meyer helped develop a program called "TrueU" with Focus on the Family, designed to help high schoolers, college kids and adults keep their faith after they leave home.  Here's a promo:  

Hmmm--has it occurred to them that part of the problem is keeping their kids sheltered?

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sadly, even if they go to public colleges (17+ / 0-)

    they may get their beliefs re-enforced. My niece Thing 2 (so-called because her behavior is unpredictable but always nasty and obnoxious and guaranteed to cause problems, like the creatures from The Cat in the Hat) did a paper for freshman bio on evolution. She wrote two or three paragraphs explaining evolution and six pages telling why she, as a Christian, didn't believe in it. She got an A.  I suspect her prof was a fundy Christian whoa greed with her but had to teach the truth in bio class.

    Unfortunately her Christianity doesn't prevent her from being a screaming bitch to anybody the least bit different--or from flashing that bio prof to get her failing grade on her first test raised to a D.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:55:22 PM PDT

    •  Very possibly not (4+ / 0-)
      She got an A.  I suspect her prof was a fundy Christian
      If her paper was well written she may have just gotten the A for writing a paper that wasn't an embarassment of typos, sentence fragments, bad spelling and grammar, etc.

      I got an A from a prof once for writing a paper explaining why I should not have to complete his take home exam because it was badly written and did not cover pertinent material. (I still had to take it, but I did get another A for turning the same paper in for my argumentation class)

      •  It was a bio paper. (6+ / 0-)

        Six out of 7 pages were spent quoting the Bible and several creationist groups--NOTHING was argued from a scientific PoV.

        And I have taught college English. This was NOT a quality paper. I'd have given it a C because it was typed and  vaguely organized. She sure as hell wouldn't have gotten an A from me.  I actually term paper writing. I had toe explaining to several of my students who were fundy Christians that quoting the Bible is NOT the way to write a paper justifying corporal punishment--because it onlyt convinces believers and doesn't offer any valid scientific evidence to back up their claims.  The young man came back and thanked me alter because he'd been doing poorly in other classes because he simply quoted the Bible--fine in a religion class, not so hot in bio or chem or psych class.

        Also, this is GA, where MOST people are fundamentalist Christians, so suspecting he is one is simply playing the odds.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:16:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  TrueU Teaching Ignorance Since 2011. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR, Sarea, jayden

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:56:28 PM PDT

  •  uh huh (7+ / 0-)
    To that end, Meyer helped develop a program called "TrueU" with Focus on the Family, designed to help high schoolers, college kids and adults keep their faith after they leave home.

    The faith must be weak then.

    I believe in physics.

  •  Seeing this in action right now. (12+ / 0-)

    My son started college this year and am hearing stories from him and many of his friends about some of the classmates they're encountering. So far it's been what we've termed "dorm damnation"... people thinking they can save sinners from going to hell because of not being Christians etc. The "kids" have politely suggested that perhaps they should have attended a different school if it was so important to them to not be exposed to anyone who believed differently.

    In one case, the response was that's why the student came into the lion's den. Egads.

    Then there's a former colleague whose son attended one of the Christo-acadamies K-12 and who started college last year at a state university.  She once asked me how I could send my son to public school.  Said it like I was making him eat dog shit for lunch.

    Her son challenged his history professor on just about everything and the mom was "so proud" because we've been lied to for so long that it will take people like her son to educate us. Ya know...the Civil War wasn't about slavery and slave owners weren't racist. Um OK.  

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 03:18:49 PM PDT

  •  The homeschoolers in our area offer classes (7+ / 0-)

    in "refuting evolution."  Seriously.  Once they plant the crazy, they want it to grow.

  •  Even with blinders and chastity belts (6+ / 0-)

    you can't fight the glands and inquiring minds, even with preachers' kids.
    Thank you.

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 03:48:04 PM PDT

  •  Republished to Street Prophets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross

    I also added the Street Prophets tag.

  •  But Everyone Knows This Movement is Disappearing (4+ / 0-)

    because no more young people are entering it.

    Honestly, someone says that here about once a month.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:08:22 PM PDT

  •  It just goes to show... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis, kurt, Kimball Cross

    they do not want to be part of this world. What we would call the real world.

    Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

    by p a roberson on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:36:26 PM PDT

    •  "The world" is a cussword for them. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Satan is the lord of this world, they say.

      Being Jewish, I take a somewhat different view of this world. "Heaven and Earth are full of His glory." We are in the world to make it a better place, to restore the world, or as they say in Hebrew, Tikkun ha-Olam.

      For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

      by Kimball Cross on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:24:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My nephew went to Liberty. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Haikuseed, kurt, Kimball Cross

    I don't know why, he was raised mainstream Methodist, his dad is a pastor. I think the strict social code appealed to an overweight, insecure but out-going kid, it leveled the social playing field. But there are other, somewhat less onerous Christian colleges.  Liberty methodically took apart 12 years of perfectly good public school science education.  He received a surprisingly good business education, but he has an awful education  in science, social sciences & liberal arts.  My nephew had his upbringing challenged in the worst way.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:37:37 PM PDT

  •  Isn't that a part of (6+ / 0-)

    what college is for?  Everyone gets their views challenged, and (with good luck) comes out the better for having asked questions and really thought about the answers.

    Those who rail against that really should not let their kids of of the barrel in the attic they've had them nailed into for the past 18 years.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 05:10:51 PM PDT

  •  Another Christian bashing post.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross

    I agree with letting kids figuring things out for themselves how ever don't you get tired writing  this nonsense? It's as though some of your here have a compulsive Christian bashing disorder.

    •  No, bashing idiots, (5+ / 0-)

      who in this case call themselves "Christian."

      •  Bull crap.... (0+ / 0-)

        It's all about Christian bashing because they are easy targets.

        Why not be all inclusive then and include Islamic Fundamentalist schools then, or is that too "controversial"?.

        Why are they idiots? this may seem foolish to you but why don't you respect what they believe and want to do?

        Why the need to denigrate them at every opportunity?

        This is so hypocritical.

        •  Turn those questions around. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, wayoutinthestix, Birdman

          Why do Christians feel the need to denigrate at every opportunity? The vid in the diary does nothing but.

          Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

          by jayden on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 10:04:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Discovery Institute works with Islamic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Fundamentalists? I had no idea.

          Maybe youknowbetter could write a diary of his/her own and we could read it for a fair and balanced view.

          •  I'm not into bashing people with beliefs.... (0+ / 0-)

            Or lifestyles that happen to be different to my own. My comment was not just about  the Discovery Institute and you know that.

            The whole thing is hypocritical. Stop the Religion bashing.

            •  You seem to be looking at this diary and expecting (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              it to be about things that it's not about. This diary concerns itself with some recent comments made by Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute, and it includes a promo for TrueU. This diary is not about Islamic Fundamentalism. Also, this diary is not about pandas. It would be absurd for you to raise the question: "Where are all the pandas?" It's also absurd for you to raise the question: "Where are all the Islamic Fundamentalists?"

              So, why don't you write a diary and explain what it is that you mean? Because people who want to read and write about the Discovery Institute are going to continue to do so. And 'religion bashing' will continue, although the people who are 'bashing' religion seem to be merely criticizing its effects on a number of things, in this instance, education. They seem to be making the point that the rigid adherence to doctrine can result in great personal conflict.  Stephen Meyer, in fact, makes the same point. I note in passing that Mr. Meyer does not mention Islamic Fundamentalists.

              And no, I did not know what you meant by your comment, and I don't think I'm supposed to know what you meant unless you've explained yourself. You're supposed to explain your point of view, and then I will know what you meant.

        •  Why don't I respect what they believe? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JTinDC, wayoutinthestix, Birdman

          I do not respect what they believe because their beliefs are not the product of considered thought but rather are simply what they were told to believe by some authority figure.  To the degree that one blindly accepts and regurgitates dogma I laugh at them - yes, even openly mock because they deserve no less than ridicule.  Life is not concrete.  There are no simple answers.  There are very few beliefs I hold that I am not ready to drop in a moment if reliable new information refutes them.  This isn't the most comfortable way to approach life but it is far more conducive to finding truth than stubbornly clinging to a set of unchanging beliefs simply because high ranking members of my tribe claim they are so.

          Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

          by kbman on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 10:52:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You could have made it clearer then. (0+ / 0-)

        You could have called them Fundamentalists or Dominionists or something.

        For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

        by Kimball Cross on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:26:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Are you one of those (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      evolution denialist Christians being discussed in this diary, or are you being vicariously offended?

  •  Getting homeschooling wrong (7+ / 0-)

    I've posted about this before and I'll continue posting about it whenever I need to. Don't paint homeschooling with the broad, anti-science, fundy based humanities brush as I see here.

    My daughter homeschools her three kids and she laughs as hard at the fundies as I do. No 3 (or 5 or 8) thousand year old earth for her and my grandkids. She separates the dinosaurs from the hominids and none of them believe Jesus rode them. She has surrounded herself with like minded secular homeschoolers in every community (and state) in which she's lived (three, so far—soon to be four) and her influence has been felt in each place.

    They are very aware of the image homeschooling in general and non-secular homeschooling in particular presents  and have their own cogent discussion at the ready whenever challenged. I will put her up against anyone, anywhere who thinks homeschooling is wholly an arm of the fundies.

    I would appreciate it if everyone would help spread the word that they're not all like that.

  •  My Own Experiences (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, YsosadisticGOP

    My Dad was a pastor in a theologically conservative Lutheran denomination (LC-MS:  Our Motto: Not as Crazy as the Wisconsin Synod... But Pretty Close); and he instilled in me a deep appreciation for Good Strong Lutheran Doctrine.  But he was also a science fiction fan, and my formative years were spent reading not just Luther's Small Catachism, but also Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet and Asimov's Lucky Star books and the Skylark of Space by E.E. "Doc" Smith.  And as I progressed through his SF collection I encountered ideas that challenged the beliefs I was taught.

    And so I wrestled with them.  I won't say I was ever one to "Question My Beliefs" because that sounds overly dramatic.  But I did test them.  And in doing so, I gained new perspectives on these beliefs and, I think, a better understanding of them than if I had stuck strictly to my teachings and never ventured into the Secular World.

    Now, in high school I was a pretty ardent Creationist.  Creationism was a really big thing about the time I was going to a parochial middle school and so I got a lot of that.  I entered Biology class in the public high school with kind of a chip on my shoulder on the subject.

    After High School, I went to a Lutheran College in Milwaukee studying Liberal Arts.  A lot of incoming freshmen there had graduated from Lutheran High Schools in the area and they were all Creationists to the bone.  Which proved a problem in the Earth Science class I took, because the students kept wanting to argue Creationism and the Prof just wanted to get through the material (because one semester is never enough time to cover Earth Sciences; you wind up spending half of it on Geology and everything else gets a lick and promise).

    I think that is when my own opinions on Creation/Evolution began to moderate a bit.  But that's a subject for a diary by itself.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:25:19 AM PDT

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