Wednesday, November 13, 2013

EMT ~ traditions and beliefs

Rachel at the old courthouse in Dayton, TN
MaryZorro provided this discussion question:
I want to visit Dayton, TN, on one of my trips to Tennessee.   Although "Inherit the Wind" is fictional, it shows us the deep, old-time religious beliefs of the people of the region, Bryan College, and the family of Rachel Held Evans.

"Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee, United States.  It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview."

RHE is making a courageous break with those traditions and beliefs.  How has she had the courage to take on these changes so publicly?


Bonnie Jacobs said...

MaryZorro wonders how Rachel Held Evans had the courage to break with the traditions and beliefs of the people around her. What do you think?

Bonnie Jacobs said...

You may enjoy what Rachel posted 47 minutes ago on her blog:

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Oops! I failed to specify which post on Rachel's blog. Here's the direct link to "The day we made the Berenstain Bears laugh":

Thanks, Shirley, for pointing it out to me.

Shirley said...

Apparently I'm missing the humor as the remarks hardly made me ROTFL. However, my children did enjoy the Berenstain Bears. I had commented to another mother how popular the books were with my trio and she let me know that they were no longer reading them in their family. She said that in the books Papa was portrayed as being weak and gullible with Mama being the wise one who controlled the family. Her observation did ring true with the bear characterizations, but it also seemed a fair reflection of reality. I felt the stories did reflect good moral truths in a fun way. Our family continued to enjoy the books even though I then had an inner smile as I read them and thought about the roles played by Mama and Papa.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Ah, Shirley, you've helped me see a possible reason Rachel could be compared to the Bears. I thought it was funny because they are like cartoon characters to me.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

On Sunday, the Chattanooga Times Free Press had an article about Bryan College "requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms."

Rachel is included in one of the paragraphs:
"In 2010, Ken Hamm, a nationally known creationist who runs the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., wrote a scathing article criticizing a Bryan College graduate’s book. The graduate, Rachel Held Evans, wrote about how she had questioned the nuances of her evangelical upbringing and had come to new realizations about the world, including the belief that evolution was part of God’s creation plan."

Alongside the article were faith statements from three Christian colleges:

It's common for Christian colleges to pen statements of faith that lay out the beliefs that define their respective campuses. Sometimes those documents address issues of human origins; sometimes they don't. Here are excerpts from some statements of faith or belief from Christian colleges and universities in the area:

"We believe that the rich diversity of the living world is rooted in historical supernatural creative acts recorded in Genesis 1 and 2." -- Statement of Community Belief, Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

"God originally created mankind in His image, and free from sin; but through the temptation of Satan, they transgressed the command of God, and fell from their original righteousness." -- Statement of Faith, Union University, Jackson, Tenn.

"We believe there is only one God, who created, preserves, and rules over the universe. The historical account of creation found in Genesis declares that God is the personal and direct Creator of all that exists, including the first humans Adam and Eve, from whom all human beings have come." -- Statement of Faith, Shorter University, Rome, Ga.

You can read the rest of the article here:

Zorro said...

I was not able to find the article with my kindle. Did the school statement accept or reject Rachael's changed position on evolution?

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Oh, they absolutely rejected her position and made their own even more stringent. Bryan College if now "requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms."

Nothing else is said about Rachel, besides what I quoted above, but the professors and students are not happy. If the professors and staff refuse to agree, it sounds like they may lose their jobs.

Zorro said...

Yes, I got that froyour first post. I wondered if they specifically said any more directly confronting Rachel's statements? Is her book directly responsible for their statement?

Bonnie Jacobs said...

No, nothing else is said about Rachel. The one time she is mentioned (that I quoted above) is about 3/4 of the way into the article, which I cannot pull up from the newspaper itself, and the link to the "press display viewer" thing won't work for me, either. It is simply one of the things in the background that the writer of the article says may have caused the administration to want to "guard the institution against error or even heresy" right now.

Adam & Eve. Period.

Bryan College draws a line in the sand on creation that has professors worried for their jobs and sparks everything from concern to outrage among students, alumni

I still have the actual newspaper article. If I'm able to get with you while you're in town, you can have it.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

The Huffington Post wrote about the issue on Tuesday, March 4th:

The Casualties of Bryan College's Anti-Evolution Revolution

Lucky for us, this article links directly to the Chattanooga paper's article on Sunday, so you can read it for yourself.

Zorro said...

I read on Rachel's facebook page today "For all the people who come home from church feeling lonelier than when they left, please know that you are not alone today."

I imagine that life is not going so well for her in her little town since the school has issued their statement