Last week there was a major development at the University from which I graduated–a student was expelled for watching the ‘morally reprehensible’ TV show Glee on his computer, off-campus, at Starbucks. This wasn’t the only thing that led to his expulsion, but it was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ so to speak. However, the list of offenses for the preceding months was just as ludicrous. Keep in mind we are talking about a ultra-conservative, Christian University.
People may argue whether or not the University was right or wrong to expel him, knowing that he signed a statement saying he would abide by the University rules when he enrolled. But the fact is that he organised a student protest last year against the University for allowing a pastor who had covered up and mishandled a case of the rape of one of those in his care to serve on their board. The protest did not draw a huge participation by the students, possibly because they feared the would become targets for harassment or possible expulsion. It did, however, draw extensive media coverage including some of the national networks in the U.S.
Now, after the College has taken this step, and people, organisations and the news media are once again scrutinising the University, those who support the College are posting on Facebook and Twitter comments which ask for prayer because the University is experiencing “an attack of Satan.”
So let me get this straight: You know this is an “attack of Satan” because…? Are you good at recognising these so-called attacks? Do you get them often? Could you be mistaking them for what happens when institutions do dumb things–could it be that what the University is experiencing is the result of its own actions? Is it possible that they are being seen by people outside of its “hallowed halls” as being arrogant, ignorant, and antiquated? (On arrogance, how arrogant is it to think that the Prince of Darkness would leave whatever ghastly, horrible torture he is afflicting somewhere else to personally attend to thwarting your righteous and holy activity?) Could it possibly be that it is the University which is being the evildoer by harassing, intimidating and provoking fear in its students?
Time will tell.
In my opinion, student numbers will drop somewhat as the media and blogosphere publish their take. I would be surprised to see much coverage nationally due to the way the media has gotten used to the lunatic-like activity of fundamentalists, but it will provide fodder for the tabloids and comedians as well as discussion topics for the disenfranchised ex-fundies. In the long run, such actions will hurt the College and it will lose any status it may have in the community as a credible educational institution.
Meanwhile, I am looking forward to seeing a Glee episode that has the expulsion of a student from a fundamentalist Christian school as its storyline.