Silent Change Redux

Almost a year ago, I did a post about the tendency of fundamentalists to shift their stances on issues while all the while pretending that nothing has changed at all. Nothing to see here, folks! We’ve always believed this way.

This sort of selective memory was clearly exemplified by the announcement a week ago that after thirty-five years of a principled stand against accreditation, Pensacola Christian College has suddenly decided that maybe it isn’t so bad an idea after all. Hey, all that stuff we told you about being forced to teach evolution and endorse communism and having to give up our high standards of Christian excellence? Forget all that. We never said it. It never happened. We’ve always planned on seeking accreditation someday…it just took us a few decades to get around to it.

So for all of you PCC grads who suffered for Jesus by being unable to get certain jobs, get into schools, or follow certain career paths because your alma mater was standing on its convictions: the joke, it would seem, is on you. They hope you’ve enjoyed your substandard employment and educational opportunities. Now they’re going to change their minds.

Yes, I know we’re going to have a long conversation about how the accreditation is national not regional and it won’t throw open the doors to PCC alums to do everything that graduates of other schools can do. However, the main point still remains. PCC has changed what they had previously called a principled stand without even paying lip service to the countless students who have paid the price for getting an unaccredited degree over the years. We can expect all the anti-accreditation rhetoric to be flushed down the memory hole and completely forgotten by the same people who so strongly defended it in the past.

We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

72 thoughts on “Silent Change Redux”

  1. Bonus points for the 1984 reference.

    I missed a job as a substitute teacher because of my unaccredited degree. Not a bog loss in the long run though. My Alma mater is still standing strong, unlike those PCC compromisers.

    1. If your alma mater is the large fundy church in the desert of So California, they got their K-12 school WASC accredited while still using anti-accreditation materials (pastor wrote a booklet about it) about the college. Lots of duplicity going on…as is typical for them.

      Also loved the 1984 reference. It is so appropriate.

  2. Run, Forrest, run!!! Run away. The DoE is investigating because TRACS doesn’t make it’s schools comply with their standards. This is all a ruse. A ruse to raise tuition prices, get their students to take out federally-backed student loans. It’s all about money. It’s always been about money. And, if they really want to keep up with the Joneses, the Horton’s will buy a bank to funnel the student loan money through. Run!

    1. It may be a ruse, I kind of doubt it. Unless they’ve silently changed the student loans & funding rules/convictions they won’t accept any federally funded loans/programs, not even the G.I. Bill.

      1. Unaccredited schools can’t get federally-backed student loans any more, hence TRACS, started under GWBush administration. This is a way around legitimate accreditation, hence the DoE, under a new president, is investigating them. Without government-backed student loans, a person could have the loans erased in a bankruptcy proceeding. This is why TRACS is a ruse.

      2. Well, student loans are always federally backed, sallie mae used to be a customer of mine, and they always were involved in backing loans, if someone defaults on a student loan, the funding bank gets reimbursed by sallie mae and then the bank can still collect from the borrower! And they can’t be cleared in bankruptcy, even when they were funded by commercial banks. Going forward, only the federal government will be funding these, or so I have heard from a few sources.

        So if this is only an effort to be able to offer federal loans/grants, doesn’t that make it even more hypocritical given their reasons for eschewing accreditation in the past?

  3. when i moved back to canada to attend nursing school in 2009, i was told flat out that none of my BJU credits (which are legion) were even up for consideration. they said that TRACS isn’t a valid type of accreditation internationally. this came from a major provincial university. 🙂 maybe other people have had better luck than i, but this seems to be the norm!

    1. Yes, I think whether TRACS accreditation is real accreditation (as the term is normally used in academia) is very much open to debate at best (the more negative view being that it’s a transparent sham).

  4. In honor of your (brilliant) last two sentences:
    WAR IS PEACE
    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

    And one more quote from the prophet Orwell:
    “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.”

  5. I recently researched bitterness, and I was surprised to discover that there is no psychological condition called bitterness, but there is one which describes the condition suffered by many accused of bitterness: post traumatic stress disorder.

    And there is a social condition many others suffer from: moral outrage. We are not bitter; we have suffered greatly, and although many of us have no symptoms of actual PTSD (myself included) we feel a moral obligation to those who continue to be hurt. And we are outraged at how easily and thoughtlessly those injured by fundie groups are disposed of. We are outraged that the crimes perpetrated against vulnerable young men and women.

    So, to be clear, for victims there is no such thing as bitterness. Their is PTSD, and there is inconvenient moral outrage.

        1. Well, THAT (9/11) was the fault of gays, lesbians, liberals, feminists, and atheists.
          Jerry Falwell and a whole bunch of other fundies said so. Forgiveness does not apply to those groups, obviously.

        2. Guess I’m having a hard time seeing the connection between PTSD and attending PCC. I don’t mean to minimize the effects of the PCC experience, but to compare it to PTSD is to go the other way and minimize what combat veterans, rape victims, child abuse survivors, etc., experience.

    1. Thank you for that, Christine. It just makes it harder on people who have been abused when they cannot find the validation that they have been wronged. Without validation, we are dead men walking.

  6. I had to fight enough to find a university that would accept my undergrad degree accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education, and to satisfy the institution that the undergrad school is NOW regionally accredited and nothing hugely substantial would have changed between national and regional accreditation. TRACS is a pretend accreditation, and that’s the nicest thing I can say about it.

  7. BJU had the same rhetoric surrounding accreditation. III went so far to say that even a Christian accreditation organization is unbiblical. They made dogmas out of no accreditation and then in 2004 they suddenly forgot all of that.

    I’m convinced that BJU will say whatever it takes to win the current argument they are currently fighting. Even if what they say contradicts or destroys other dogmas or fundamentalism itself. Accreditation is just the most obvious issue of hypocrisy.

    Of course it is true. It probably won’t help PCC much with this accreditation. A lot of those doors will still be closed to graduates. It is a token gesture, but nothing more.

    1. Yeah, exactly. BJU already went this route–preaching against accreditation for so long, and then sneakily changing their minds. Look how it’s working out for them. Not so good, honestly.

  8. I graduated from PCC when it was running over 5,000 sense then it has slowly shrunk every year. Enrollment is printed in the back of every yearbook really really small. This is nothing more then a move to try to stop the bleeding.

    Fundland always preaches against pragmatics in ministry. However, here is a classic example of fundies practicing pragmatics and trying to cover past positions all at the same time. I loved PCC when I was there the friends and what not and am very thankful for much of what I got there. However, I have to call this plain hypocrisy.

    1. early 90s eh? I didn’t realize it had gone down, I thought attendance was still growing since they’ve added 2 dorms and the PCC land theme park. What’s the attendance run now?

  9. Hmmm…interesting that TRACS was created by the Institute for Creation Research.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnational_Association_of_Christian_Colleges_and_Schools

    TRACS apparently *requires* the schools it accredits to accept young-universe creationism as taught by ICR, i.e., the entire universe being created in six literal calendar days. Traditional academic accreditation this isn’t, IMO.

    http://www.tracs.org/files/AccreditationManual_January_2011.pdf

    BTW, Wikipedia says that Liberty resigned their TRACS accreditation in 2008. Anyone know the reasoning behind this?

      1. I’d guess it’s because they got SACS and there’s no point in maintaining the headache and cost of both if you’ve got a regional standing that’s worth more.

      2. Liberty had some very serious financial problems years back. They were in danger of losing their SACS accreditation. I think they picked up TRACS as a fall back. Liberty dropped TRACS once their finances stabilized. I *think* that’s how it went down…

  10. Interesting note, ABeka Academy is SACS accredited. So, the arguments against regional accreditation forcing evolution to be taught, etc, doesn’t apply k-12.
    And, all those alumni who wrote letters and publicly called on the college to seek accreditation and were subsequently black-listed… what happens to them?

    1. Well, they are changing even if they are denying it. The very least PCC and BJU could do is issue what ammounts to a universal recall of every stupid idea and sermon that taught error that they can honestly remember. Secretly getting accreditation is one thing. The video of the BJU guy blaming the victim is quite another. If they don’t remember all their horrible teachings, I hope the internet will help to drag a little memory assistance their way. Don’t both of these colleges teach repentance and turning from evil? What’s wrong with them practicing a little of what they preach?

  11. I know that when I was there some people in the admin made a big deal about the “world’s standard of education” (hint: the world is paying our salaries), but I don’t actually think P’cola ever believed accreditation was wrong. I say this because the Academy has been accredited since forever, and the certification is proudly on display for all to see in the admin area. I suspect the speeches were rather excuses for a school which quite simply couldn’t afford accreditation.

  12. If you can do a better job starting a college, than do so. Walk in their shoes and you will know where they are coming from on this issue! I haven’t had a hard time getting a job, and my degree was “non state accreditation”. Many times state colleges academics standards are lower than private colleges.

    Is this all you’ve got? Not much!!

      1. Several of us can attest that Darrell did start his own degree-granting college. Old Paths University is superior to PCC and its like in several ways. A few of them are:
        Its rules are more reasonable.
        Its tuition is more affordable.
        It is honest about the value of the degrees it awards.
        It doesn’t mislead potential students to get them to enroll.

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