During my tenure at Pensacola Christian College there was a group of anonymous students who produced an album of parody songs about all things PCC. Now from the dusty archives of last decade I’d like to make these songs available to you:
1 – Intro
2 – Date Me
3 – Your Body is a No-No Land
4 – A Home for You
5 – Ode to Bob Jones
6 – We all Read from the KJV
7 – I Got 150 Demerits (‘Cause I Said Amen in Church)
8 – Dr. Mutsch Where Did You Go?
9 – I Don’t Like the NIV
10 – Chaperon’d Again
11 – The NASB Song
12 – Touch Not the Unclean Thing
For those of you who didn’t go to PCC much of the background here involves the video series that PCC released called “The Leaven in Fundamentalism” which in so many words accused Bob Jones University of being a liberal tool of Satan for teaching that modern Bible versions are actually not that bad.
Ballard South (BS) is a wing of the oldest dorm on campus. The intro track also references Coberly (where I spent 3 years of my college career) which is the second oldest dorm.
150 demerits (enough to get you expelled) is the penalty for any kind of disruption of a public meeting, including saying “Amen” out loud during a church service.
Dr. Mutsch was a college VP who suddenly disappeared one day without any warning or explanation.
Touch Not the Unclean Thing was a book written by PCC graduate David Sorensen that became required reading all ministerial students.
This video from Mike Ames, former BMOC at PCC, highlights one of the hallmarks of conservatism in general and fundamentalism in specific: the word “victim” is most frequently used as a slur. Mike has a hard time using the word “victim” when talking about being used, abused, and ultimately ostracized. I think he dislikes the term because we were taught that victims are just whiners. They are weak. They have an agenda that involves trying to profit from lies.
The fundamentalist stance towards victims is often thus: if they hurt you it’s because you let them. If you suffered it’s your fault. If you admit that you were emotionally and spiritually bludgeoned then you’re most likely just bitter.
Because nothing helps a person who has been hurt like victimizing them all over again with shame and guilt.
For more videos and discussion check out soulation.org
Can You Describe Your Fundamentalist College? from Soulation on Vimeo.
Here’s a video from Dale Fincher, who writes over at soulation.org talking about his experiences at Pensacola Christian College.
A recent conversation with a fellow graduate of my Fundy U reminded me of a particularly striking metaphor for the real priorities in fundamentalism. If you were to stand in front of the Administration building of that institution you couldn’t help but notice a striking set of palm trees, straight and tall. This isn’t in itself surprising because the palm is the symbol the college, a testament to their marketing strategy of “fun in Florida.” Like most things at that college, however, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
Those who pay attention will notice that when the weather gets cold (and it does occasionally do that even in Florida) the severely underpaid ground staff will be seen scrambling to put heater blankets on these trees to keep them alive. You see, the trees aren’t native to Florida. They’re imports from far, far away bought and shipped at great cost and they were chosen for their looks not their resilience or their authenticity.
I can’t help but think of how much those palm trees reflect the goals that fundamentalists so often seem to have. Look good. Be beautiful. Spare no personal cost. Do whatever it takes no matter how impractical. And if all else fails, fake it if you have to.
If only they cared enough about their students to offer them an emotional warm blanket when the spiritual cold sets in.
This coming week marks ten years since I graduated from Pensacola Christian College. Many people recall their college days as among the best times of their life but I am not among their number. To celebrate a decade of freedom I’m going tell five different stories remembered from my time there.
I invite you to take a trip with me back to the brick halls of your own Fundy U to recall a time when the rules were many, the privileges were few and the price we paid was far too high.