Home » Uncategorized » What They Teach At The Theological Seminary. Part 2: Teaching Religious Intolerance

What They Teach At The Theological Seminary. Part 2: Teaching Religious Intolerance

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Many of us are brought up learning to respect all religions – at least I was. We hesitate to believe anything bad about those neatly-dressed, soft-spoken, authoritative-looking, sometimes scraggly-bearded Men of The Cloth. We are making the same mistake that millions have made before to their disastrous cost. Hundreds of thousands of young lives have been utterly and brutally destroyed in the process.

In Part 1, I just laid out some examples and excerpts from Methodist Emory University’s Professor Paul (“Phaullus”) Courtright, and the antics of his tribe of Emory faculty. Until their Religion Studies Department was revamped under the glare of public exposure as a bunch of p0rn-peddlers, probably even criminal child-p0rn peddlers. The “South Asia” part of Religion Studies was absorbed into the Languages department, hidden under the direction of an Indian-born English teacher and Member of the Emory President’s Panel, who, shocked by what she could no longer deny, told the administration that she could in no way support those sorts of obscene activities. Since then, Emory University has been relatively well-behaved, going on to hire Salman Rushdie and the Dalai Lama, and perhaps irritate the Islamists and the PRC’s Communists instead. We heard that a very senior dignitary visiting from India  asked the Emory administration flat-out what had happened with the obscenity-peddling enterprise, and they begged him not to raise the issue, as they were still traumatized by the experience. :LOL  Anyway, we as citizens of the Atlanta Community, have seen no reason to bother Emory University since then. Emory’s Medical School, Law School and Business School, as well as their joint BioMedical / Engineering school, are all highly respected. A few p0rn-peddling losers should not be allowed to pull down a great institution, as their President seems to have realized back in 2004.

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So we get back to the root of the issue: What do these Seminaries and Divinity Schools teach, to make their faculty and alumni so so so filthy bad?

Here I am just going to direct the reader to a thoughtful article written by a good Christian: Frances Patterson. At “Rethinking Schools.org”. Perhaps this article will give us a better understanding that just using words like “causus belli” does not make anyone civilized.

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/special_reports/voucher_report/v_into162.shtml

\begin{quotes}”

By Frances Patterson

Christian fundamentalist textbooks display a breathtakingly arrogant attitude toward other religions. ” \end{quotes}”

Just a couple of excerpts, PLEASE read the whole article: I cannot very well copy the whole thing here!  It looks at each region of the world separately. This plague is everywhere, perhaps even in Antarctica.

\begin{quotes}”In looking at the treatment of religion, I again studied three major textbook publishers for fundamentalist Christian schools and home-schoolers: A Beka Press, Bob Jones University Press, and School of Tomorrow/Accelerated Christian Education. I drew on a wider range of the textbooks and materials than in my discussion of politics and included substantially more material from world history and geography textbooks and, in some instances, from English literature texts.

Materials from the three publishers have a recurring theme: that the lack of material progress in various Third World countries and among indigenous peoples can be attributed to their religious beliefs. The publishers also share a tremendous emphasis on conservative Protestant missionary activity; approving passages abound about individual missionaries and Christian converts and the need for both historical and contemporary evangelism.

In one textbook’s discussion of India, for example, students are asked how Hinduism contributed “to this country’s sad fate.” Students are then encouraged to contrast India with the United States and told, “If we refused to kill disease-carrying insects, allowed filthy animals to roam around in public places, and refused to eat meat for nourishment, do you think we would be as prosperous as we are?” 3“\end{quotes}

… And let me post the final comments from Frances Patterson:

\begin{quotes}”

COMMENTS

The materials’ attitude toward Roman Catholicism and non-Western religions raises serious issues that should be part of the public debate over the use of public funding for sectarian education. Two of the many questions raised:

  • How much respect for the rights of members of minority religions could ordinary citizens, elected representatives, and government employees, including judges, have if their educational background included a school curriculum based on these textbooks?
  • Is it fair to use the coercive power of the state to collect tax revenues that are then used to support educational institutions that malign the religion of the taxpayer? It is one thing to say, “This is what I believe.” It is something else to say, “Your religion is in error.”

It is surely far removed from the spirit of religious tolerance, however imperfectly applied in our nation, to make statements that encourage American children to despise the religion of their fellow citizens.”\end{quotes}

P.S. This blog post is dedicated to the eminent historian from the Princeton Theological Seminary, Dr. Richard Fox Young. Without his dedicated, tireless and hilarious struggles on Twitter, The Caravan and The Seminar(y) we would not have had an opportunity to revive these important issues from over a decade ago, and cast the bright light of reason and investigation into the recesses where fundamentalist abuses and abusers, and their obscene enterprises thrive.

Finally, let us note that Dr. Young continues to see absolutely nothing wrong with the writings of Courtright and Doniger and their ilk. Perhaps this is a case of one not being able to smell the fragrance because it blends so well with the ambience of one’s own base – the Princeton Theological Seminary?  Q.E.D.

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