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God's Next Army - a documentation about an evangelical College
July 5, 2006 3:45 AM   Subscribe

God's Next Army a british documentation about the Patrick Henry College. It's only goal: to train more soldiers for God and the evangelical agenda in US politics. Shouldn't there be a separation of education and ruthless fundamentalist indoctrination? (FPP)
posted by homodigitalis (32 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good luck with that, any education system is already chock full of indoctrination of a social/cultural/religious nature. It's possible to make an argument that this only raises one's attention because it's a form of indoctrination you're not already familiar with or have been assimilated into.
posted by biffa at 3:57 AM on July 5, 2006


The mission of Patrick Henry College is to train Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding.

The "spirit of the American founding" is nicely defined in the Virginia Declaration of Rights drafted by James Mason and adopted unanimously June 12, 1776 by the Virginia Convention of Delegates

Article XVI

That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.


Showing forebearance, love, and charity towards one another is in the best liberal traditions of America. Imposing the Christian religion on others is not. Biblical values are not - and will never be - American values.
posted by three blind mice at 4:08 AM on July 5, 2006


I watched this when it aired. One of the most startling things was how the Patrick Henry students have such incredibly sheltered upbringings - I think something like 80% of the people who go to Patrick Henry are home-schooled.

They're expected to become hardened politicos and lobbyists for the Christian Right and yet the freshers in the documentary were weirded out just by travelling on the Washington metro.
posted by runkelfinker at 5:01 AM on July 5, 2006


I'll be a little more concerned about this when it starts happening at Harvard or the University of Virginia. Until then, it kind of warms my heart that these fruitcakes have found each other.
posted by psmealey at 5:15 AM on July 5, 2006


Nerd central
posted by A189Nut at 5:28 AM on July 5, 2006


I think something like 80% of the people who go to Patrick Henry are home-schooled.

I see little chance that they will become successul human beings let alone "hardened politicos and lobbyists." Good that there is a university that will keep them in their nice, safe, protective bubbles past home high-school.

All those sweet, naïve 21 year old virgins, just prime for corruption by us hardened public school grads.... thank gawd for home-schooling.
posted by three blind mice at 5:34 AM on July 5, 2006


From the Channel 4 site:
God's Next Army shows students taking their first step towards power, canvassing for a key Republican candidate. They visit a conservative lobbying company which is opposing the payment of compensation to people affected by asbestos, and is trying to repeal estate tax because 'the earth is the Lord's'.
Because the Earth is the Lord's... !?! Bunch of fuggin' commies! Glad to know that K Street is doing their part... Does Ken Mehlman know about this? Did George W. Bush approve of this message? 'Cos I'm not sure that Wall Street would approve...

Liberal bias, indeed!
posted by vhsiv at 5:55 AM on July 5, 2006


Let's cut marching orders straight to Bagdhad!!
posted by nofundy at 6:55 AM on July 5, 2006


I don't know what the deal is. For all the money and time the evangelicals have put in PHC is not even state accredited.
posted by parmanparman at 7:09 AM on July 5, 2006


For all the money and time the evangelicals have put in PHC is not even state accredited

Does that really matter if the whole point is to turn-out future leaders and foot-soldiers for what is, basically, an insular political movement? Outside accreditation really means nothing if the school's only purpose is to support and supply an established pipeline.
Given the very focused direction the students are headed, I seriously doubt any of their intended "employers" are going to have a problem with the school not being accredited by godless secularists. It's probably a plus.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:30 AM on July 5, 2006


I did a front page post about Patrick Henry before, it seems no one there realizes the cyclical nature of politics. Religious fundamentalism now, tomorrow secularism ... poor kids won't know what to do when the Democrats inevitably come in control again and Patrick Henry diplomas are treated like the crazy idealogues they are.
posted by geoff. at 7:45 AM on July 5, 2006


If power swings back to the left, these kids will quickly find themselves without jobs, and essentially worthless degrees.
posted by drezdn at 7:48 AM on July 5, 2006


Or what geoff. said.
posted by drezdn at 7:48 AM on July 5, 2006


When I look 6 posts up from this, I can't help but think there's an even greater need for some private schools that train students to defend a liberal agenda.
posted by klarck at 8:06 AM on July 5, 2006


How did they ever get the ".edu" domain name? In most states, they need to be accredited. If they are accredited, where is it from? If not, then they may be jumping the gun a little bit on their grand plans.

Sounds like another hick bible "college" to me.
posted by mooncrow at 8:18 AM on July 5, 2006


Aha -- NOT accredited -- NOT likely to be:

"ACCREDITATION

Why is accreditation important to Patrick Henry College?

Patrick Henry College is committed to private accreditation for three reasons. First, the College believes that accreditation communicates a commitment to the assurance of a quality education, and does so without any compromise of the College's Christian mission. Second, many students and donors to the College expect the College to be accredited. Third, achieving accreditation within reasonable time frames is a requirement for operating a College such as PHC in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is common for institutions to hold multiple accreditations to meet the various expectations of its constituencies. Candidacy status is the normal and expected state for all new colleges, and it is what the college must obtain first. Some accreditors use the term "preaccreditation" to reference candidacy."
PHC Accreditation page
posted by mooncrow at 8:22 AM on July 5, 2006


mooncrew: it is implied that any educaitonal institution that enters into a license as a school of higher learning and is seeking accreditation can receive a .edu address. Although there is the funny case of my friend Eric, who by sheer wit convinced a Net Sol engineer to sign over ZORG.EDU and ran Zorg College from his bedroom in Berkeley, CA.
posted by parmanparman at 8:31 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


You favorite jihad sucks.
posted by bardic at 10:07 AM on July 5, 2006


(And I didn't realize they weren't accredited--that's pretty pathetic. I mean, go to a liberal school and start a young Republicans group--you'll piss more people off, and you'll get a lot more attention. There are plenty of politicians and magazines and thinktanks in DC that will hire you for having fought the good fight against godless librul commie professors during your four years at Princeton, UVA, Stanford, what have you. I've seen it happen. It's a lot easier than having to actually bust your ass and get good grades and do well on the LSAT or GRE. Just chuck enough turds and you're the new freakin' William F. Buckley without having to read all those messy books.)
posted by bardic at 10:33 AM on July 5, 2006


Hmm - I head the author of the latest OMG FUNDIES ARE PWNING AMERICA book on NPR talking about PHC, and it sounded as though they actually had good success rate getting people into real and influential positions.

I have no evidence to this effect, but I'm curious if all the people in the thread saying it's a useless degree and effort have any evidence either, beyond their own opinion.
posted by freebird at 10:48 AM on July 5, 2006


In the documentary they talk about how proud they are that after only being open for five years they already have a former student working in the White House (Carl Rove’s office if I remember correctly.)
posted by Tenuki at 10:59 AM on July 5, 2006


freebird, it's a little too early to call it a useless degree but it seems to cater to an extremely narrow career path (fundamental Christian faction of the GOP). Such an overtly fundamentalist and political school will surely send flags up to any employer unless said employer were looking for that. Would you want an evangelical working at your company? Any rational employer, even a Christian, would see the potential hazards to hiring someone who feels the need to talk about their religion constantly -- case in point the one student's employer talks cautiously about how the student brings up the bible and his faith a lot. I cannot imagine the majority of employers seeing this as a benefit.
posted by geoff. at 11:56 AM on July 5, 2006


parmanparman: it is implied that any educaitonal institution that enters into a license as a school of higher learning and is seeking accreditation can receive a .edu address
Well, nice try, but I think this probably depends on your state. Some states have really tightened the screws on "online colleges" (which PHC seems to have begun as -- check how developed the online courses section is compared to the rest) in order to try to stop scammers and fly-by-nighter operations.
Seems like the state of Ole Virginnie is a bit lack-e-dasical in its process, by cracky. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the only provisional accreditation PHC seems to have secured is a "Transnational Christian Colleges Accreditation Board", which coincidentally is also based in rural Virginia.
Makes you go "hmmm"
posted by mooncrow at 12:00 PM on July 5, 2006


An interesting article on the school last year in the New Yorker: God and Country.
posted by ericb at 1:46 PM on July 5, 2006


I think something like 80% of the people who go to Patrick Henry are home-schooled.

From the New Yorker article:
"[Elisa] Muench, like eighty-five per cent of the students at Patrick Henry, was homeschooled, in her case in rural Idaho. Homeschoolers are not the most obvious raw material for a college whose main mission, since its founding, five years ago, has been to train a new generation of Christian politicians. Politics, after all, is the most social of professions, and many students arrive at Patrick Henry having never shared a classroom with anyone other than their siblings. In conservative circles, however, homeschoolers are considered something of an élite, rough around the edges but pure—in their focus, capacity for work, and ideological clarity—a view that helps explain why the Republican establishment has placed its support behind Patrick Henry, and why so many conservative politicians are hiring its graduates."
posted by ericb at 1:50 PM on July 5, 2006


Nice, very nice:
[Patrick Henry’s president, Michael] Farris’s manifesto for the school, “The Joshua Generation,” embraces the Rove principle: the “Moses generation,” he wrote, had “left Egypt,” and now it was time for their children to “take the land.” Farris is the author of nine nonfiction books and three novels, all with Christian themes, and in them he warns against “MTV, Internet porn, abortion, homosexuality, greed and accomplished selfishness”; he calls public schools “godless monstrosities.” But students are not expected to avoid the secular world entirely. Farris told them at chapel recently that one day “an Academy Award winner will walk down the aisle to accept his trophy. On his way, he’ll get a cell-phone call; it will be the President, who happens to be his old Patrick Henry roommate, calling to congratulate him.”
posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on July 5, 2006


"Hmm - I head the author of the latest OMG FUNDIES ARE PWNING AMERICA book on NPR talking about PHC, and it sounded as though they actually had good success rate getting people into real and influential positions."

Keep in mind that this success is based on the fact that Republicans control the White House and Congress. When the Democrats regain power I would bet that their 'success' rate would plunge. This college is very plugged into the RNC.
posted by UseyurBrain at 2:18 PM on July 5, 2006


PHC is just one of a growing number of Xtian groups out to foster theocracy in Amerika. there's this guy. Protecting us from the Xtian, muslim, and jewish fundamentalists are these guys.

I think MTV sucks too, but damn...
posted by aiq at 2:42 PM on July 5, 2006


"an Academy Award winner will walk down the aisle to accept his trophy. On his way, he’ll get a cell-phone call; it will be the President, who happens to be his old Patrick Henry roommate, calling to congratulate him.”

Silly fundy! Everyone knows Hollywood is run by Jews and gays!
posted by bardic at 2:48 PM on July 5, 2006



I have no evidence to this effect, but I'm curious if all the people in the thread saying it's a useless degree and effort have any evidence either,


It might be useful right now, but if the power shifts away from the republicans, or people shun fundamentalists, the degree will be a screeming red flag on a resume.
posted by drezdn at 3:51 PM on July 5, 2006


We know that the Sunshine State is America's Wang™. Does the concentration of such institutions as Patrick Henry, Liberty, Lynchburg et al. make the Old Dominion America's Fundament?
posted by rob511 at 6:25 PM on July 5, 2006


Colleges can do what they want, within the law--it's public schools that cannot and should not (altho that's not stopping them at all).
posted by amberglow at 7:05 PM on July 5, 2006


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