Cedarville University is a Baptist college in Ohio with 3,000 students. The campus is currently engulfed in a minor uproar over the way it's enforcing its ideological beliefs. Let's take this opportunity to gape and marvel at what some people who run educational institutions actually believe to be true.
Inside Higher Ed has the story of Cedarville's current controversy: the administration is trying to cut its philosophy department, and a professor who espoused a slightly less literal version of Bible doctrine was recently suspended, and an administrator who was somewhat less conservative than average is resigning, and all of this is being perceived as a move by the school towards a stricter, more conservative stance with regards to its wacky Christian beliefs. Briefly:
Even by the standards of its fellow members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of evangelical colleges, Cedarville is theologically and culturally conservative. Students are required to attend chapel five days a week. Every student is required to minor in the Bible. The college boasts of its belief that the Earth was created exactly as described in the Bible and says its graduates are "in the world but not of it."
The real treasure for future anthropologists will be the school's 14-point doctrinal statement, to which professors must subscribe. These are just a few of the things that are being taught to young students who have paid money in order to obtain "education:"
We believe in the literal 6-day account of creation, that the creation of man lies in the special, immediate, and formative acts of God and not from previously existing forms of life...
We believe in the imminent "Blessed Hope," the Rapture of the church before the tribulation, when the "Lord shall descend from heaven" to catch up His bride to meet Him in the air and "so shall we ever be with the Lord." ...
We believe in the literal, bodily resurrection of the crucified Lord, His ascension into heaven, His present life there as our High Priest and Advocate, and His personal, bodily, visible return to the earth at the end of the tribulation to establish His millennial kingdom on earth, and to reign as the only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
What often gets lost in America's historic respect for Christian belief is just how motherfucking insane those actual beliefs are. "Hi, I think the whole universe was created magically in six 'days' [WHAT ARE 'DAYS' IN THIS CONTEXT???] just a few thousand years ago, and I also believe that a couple thousand years ago a magic guy lived and died and was magically resurrected, and I believe that if you believe what I believe you will one day be magically beamed up to a special place far, far away to live in bliss. Can I interest you in my educational program?" Under normal circumstances, that's when the Taser would come out. But here we have an entire subculture of people who can successfully sell blatant rejection of science as "education" to some poor god damn
students. Is there not some responsibility for professional educators to avoid passing on things that are clearly mythological as fact? Conversely, can we please come up with a new category for doctrinal religious schools, outside of "education?" How about, I dunno, "hilarious ancient propaganda?"
It's useful to remember that Christian doctrine is patently absurd, and to allow that to inform your judgment of the intellectual faculties of those who believe it to be true.