Demanding Proof

The last bastion of those who would defend the ills of fundamentalism is protesting that nobody has ever shown them proof positive that any charge against them has merit.

I recently observed this in person via an online conversation where apologists for a particular fundamentalist college claimed that nobody has ever proven to them that someone has been denied entrance to a graduate school because their undergrad degree lacked accreditation.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.

Whether it’s a scandal that is common knowledge or a truth claim that is patently false, the rallying cry of fundamentalists will inevitably be “you have no proof!”

Since our pastor was given a plea bargain to a lighter sentence than the original crime he was charged with, you have no proof that he actually did it! Who cares if the evidence presented to the grand jury was overwhelming? You have no proof!

Since you can’t produce audio tape that our college president actually said that crazy thing you can’t prove he actually said it! It doesn’t matter that there were 5,000 witnesses. You have have no proof!

Hard on the heels of this cry that there is no proof, will come the accusation that lacking this smoking gun all further references to this event are gossip, slander, and attacks upon the blameless figure of God’s man.

Who are you going to believe after all, me or your own lying eyes?

65 thoughts on “Demanding Proof”

  1. Goes well w/ the WND post the other day. They’ll blindly believe total “melarkey” they want to believe, and refuse to believe undeniable truth. Even if you had an audio or video tape they’ll question the veracity of that usually.

  2. You, however, should avoid ANY appearance of evil, including, but not limited to, movie theaters, music stores (everything you need should be at your local fundy bookstore/music shop), clothes shops that don’t sell skirts or culottes, etc…….

  3. I am intimately acquainted with this mindset. I attended two Fundy colleges while pursuing a undergrad degree.I heard something like this when anyone in leadership was found to have done or said something questionable.

    Me: “Can you believe Dr. Bob (or other cult leader) actually said that in chapel?!”

    Fundy friend: “What?! Well…..ummm hey, man… I wasn’t there so I can’t say he did or he didn’t.”

    Me: (Perplexed) “Well, I’m telling you he did. It just happened not more than 5 minutes ago.”

    Fundy friend: “I was working my campus job that pays $2 dollars an hour. Besides we shouldn’t “gossip” about it. You don’t know his heart. We shouldn’t judge. I don’t even know that he said that, though.”

    Me: “Wait, are you calling me a liar? He said it! Ask any of the 4,000 people walking out of chapel if you want.”

    Fundy friend: “The burden of proof rests on you. I have to go…. have you had your devotions today? God bless you!”

    The weird memories keep flooding in! Good work Darrell!

  4. have you had your devotions today?

    That’s beautiful.

    Implying that the reason we’re even having this conversation is that you are spiritually deficient in some way is a great tool.

  5. Wow! This is right on the money! When you lay out all of the proof that you have they claim that it is not enough.

    @Darrell
    “I recently observed this in person via an online conversation where apologists for a particular fundamentalist college claimed that nobody has ever proven to them that someone has been denied entrance to a graduate school because their undergrad degree lacked accreditation.”

    If needed I could show them several letters from grad schools informing me that I was ineligible due to my college not being accredited. Some of these are from accredited fundy colleges!

  6. @Apathetic Several people brought such proof and the response was that “schools deny people admission for all kinds of different reasons such as grades, background, etc. It was probably some other reason that you were denied.”

    To which I replied that I was explicitly told by an admissions counselor that my degree was the reason they couldn’t even take my application.

    And they came back with “We know of other people from your college who got into programs at that school so that can’t possibly be the reason.”

    And on it goes.

  7. Well done Darrell. It is just another double standard. My proof is convincing, your proof is not. Evidence is the input into the logic process. If the process is broken, the evidence is worthless. The problem is not the evidence; the problem is the fundy’s logic.

  8. Check out the link below. Classic (unfortunately) story about another Hyles-Anderson grad following in the footsteps of several other HAC alumni…and of course to circle back to this post, plenty of folks from his church are stepping up to the plate to defend him. Notice the church placed him on “paid administrative leave” after the charges were brought against him.

    http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/christopher-settlemoir-charged-with-assault-20100614-apx

  9. Even if you have the proverbial box of evidence staring them in the face, they will then say:
    “The media, the criminal justice system etc. are tools of satan and cannot be trusted.”

    Stuff fundies like: Satan, Scapegoats and Strawmen! Oh my!

  10. The president of my alma mater and pastor of the church where I was a member, was hitting on teens in the church for years (including my wife but she didn’t bite) but if any mention of this was made, it fell right into this category; “wherre’s the proof?”. After all it[s only her word (we all know what a teen age girl’s word/testimony is worth in fundamentalism) against the “great leader”. The “great leader” killed himself when the shit hit the fan and the church membership absolved themselves of any guilt. So much for accountability.

  11. @Mark, I meant real logic, arguing from concrete terms and verified facts. Fundy logic is a misnomer–to see it in action is comparable to the “If she weighs the same as a duck” sketch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  12. Funny how Fundys are so political about their religion. Put the Fundy institutions side-by-side with the political machine and you cannot tell the difference. None, zip, ziltch, nada…
    The tactics in politics are the same tactics used by the institutionalized fundamentalists. And just like the politicos who believe everything their candidate or politician says; the fundy cult members are under the same delusions… they believe whatever the m-o-g says, principally because they want to believe…

    And believe they will… to the bitter end. They will fight you tooth and nail to prove they are on the winning side, god is with them, and to for them to be attacked with the “truth” is just their way of suffering for Jesus in the face of unrighteous persecution…
    If these fundy appologists ever wanted to go into politics, I realize it would be a step down for them but they are naturals at the game.

    I’ll go have my devotions now, and git right with gid.

  13. I had a situation with Randy Ross, the webmaster of http://www.teens-4-christ.org which escalated to the point of him opening an entire forum and writing this big post on how I was a devil and all his teens (aka. People who create an account on his blog) should stay away from me. The heresy? I was spreading the false doctrine of repentance being essential for salvation.

    When I exposed him for who he was, he accused me of slander, filled my own personal blog with anonymous comments, and he even sent me annoying messages on Yahoo Messenger. He accused me of messing up with the Man of God (yes, he wrote it in caps). Here he was, a 40-year old man, acting like a 15-year old when kids tease him for his acne. I had absolutely no evidence for my claims, just quotes from him.

  14. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember to have a Christlike attitude when I am talking to them. It is like trying to explain something to a three-year old, and they just keep saying, NO! They don’t have the capacity for reason.

  15. @maybe gray

    I rarely read Sharper Iron unless someone links it but that is _exactly_ the kind of response I’m talking about. A+ for that find. A few relevant quotes from the comments:

    “if you read something critical of another person or website, just ask yourself if they’ve provided any proof of their assertions, or if it’s just mud-slinging. If you find that what you are reading is basically filth, then leave it in the pig trough where it belongs, mark that person as a railer and separate from them. ” – Susan R

    “Where’s the proof?” – Jay C.

    Yup. Sounds about right.

  16. @Darrell @maybe gray

    Proof that you just can’t parody fundyism! D puts out fine effort post after post, but it’s not possible to come up w/ something absurd enough they haven’t done it and continue to do it! 🙂 LOL

    I don’t know how you have the tolerance to read something like sharper iron. I remember when Arlin Horton criticized criticism from the Student Voice thing back in the day (PCC specific, sorry). I didn’t understand why you’d be afraid of criticism or willing to answer whether it was anonymous or not. Now I do understand….

  17. for the record, I don;t read Sharper Iron unless Joycelyn links it on her FB page. So much hot air blah blah blah, wow – the anxiety over jot and tittle, the mulling over every nuance, it like OCD for the Bible set. reminds me of a rabid fanboy msg board.

  18. My husband has a Master’s degree from BJU in counseling. Not only can he not get into graduate school for that field, he can’t even get a JOB in that field. No state in the country will accept a non-accredited counseling degree for professional licensing….NONE. And Trinity Evangelical Divinity school took pity on my husband and let him in. He still had hoops he had to jump through, but being that they are an Evangelical school, they know what BJU has done to people, so they try to aid those who are trying to get out. His BJU “credentials” are a JOKE over here. A JOKE! Thankfully GOD has intervened and we have been able to succeed. But these people are just nuts.

    And right now 35 states will not allow BJU grads’ to get teacher certification because they are not regionally accredited. That is astounding information and needs to be told over and over and over again. Most of those states have it written in their state laws that they cannot accept their degrees. How much more “proof” do people need????

    And my husband’s PhD from Pensacola…HA!—nothing but a piece of tissue paper!

  19. That Sharper Iron post is astounding… such timing. I tried reading through it, but had to bail when it hit people claiming that you had to be a Young Earth Creationist (even a 6+24) to be a fundamentalist, since you know that what they really mean is that you have to be a Young Earth Creationist to be a ‘Christian’ like them. I used to watch Kent Hovind’s stuff and a lot of his defenses are exactly this ‘where’s the proof’ ideology.

  20. @Jocelyn Zichterman

    I am convinced that the piece of paper was worth more before the printed my degree on it. I feel for you and know what you are going through with all of that.

    I have a degree from an unaccredited fundy school of higher larnin’. I just applied at a real school. If I am accepted I will start as freshman. None of the credits I earned will transfer. I paid for Eng 101 at Fundy U, I did the work and I passed the tests with good grades. Now I have to take that same class again. It is frustrating.

  21. @maybe gray
    From the Sharper Iron link you posted:
    “Of course, we should listen to our critics first and weigh their criticism. But when listening to a critic reveals a consistent pattern of factual error (and more than a little evidence of malice), further listening is poor stewardship of our time.”

    Wow! I never thought I would get a cogent reason for not listening to fundies from a Sharper Iron posting.

  22. One of the marks of a cult is not recognizing the truth when you’re confronted with evidence. In NC, it’s extremely difficult to get into any state grad school with an unaccredited degree. They consider each case individually – which is more than many schools will do – but, they refuse to come up with a system that addresses the issue as a whole. So, in NC, if you have an unaccredited degree, good luck. This is the big lie that will be the downfall of Fundyland schools.

  23. It’s a wonder fundies even believe that God exists. After all, no one has ever seen God, but several people hear fundies make outlandish comments. It’s quite ironic that a group that espouses the virtues of faith will demand proof if anyone calls them to account.

  24. It took months and months and 2 state congressmen just to get a SUBSTITUTE certificate here in Colorado.because my degree was from BJU. I finally had to dig out my NC and SC teaching certificates of 30 years ago as proof that I had ever been in a classroom, in spite of my resume.

  25. @Tony

    I had similar issues with Randy Ross! He’s such a weirdo (I noticed his forums seem to no longer exist.. it’s more of a blog site? I guess he can’t deal with opposition :P)… he pretty much stalked me online, and I was a 17-yr-old girl at the time. The ironic thing, is that part of how my husband and I met, is because we were both enemies of Randy Ross on his creepy forum. We were both considered “rebellious”, and Randy Ross even emailed my dad about me… totally lying, and trying to get me in trouble. Needless to say, my dad wasn’t about to “discipline” me for something some random online weirdo was saying….

    Randy thought he was the authority over any girl on his site… which is totally creepy. He was always talking about sexual issues that teens deal with, and I suspect he has a hard drive full of child porn hidden somewhere that his poor wife knows nothing about.

    Btw, he has a Facebook page, if you wanna look him up. He hasn’t changed much.

    1. Oh my gosh. I thought that name looked familiar. I went to an IFB high school with Marc and his twin brother. We rode the same bus together. What I mainly remember is them trying to discuss/argue theology with everybody who tried to talk to them. That went over well with a bunch of teenagers who just wanted to have fun on the bus ride home from school. They got made fun of quite a bit. Sad, really.

  26. Ugh this hits close to home because I got denied to two grad programs this semester and they told me it was because of the TRACS accreditation that BJU obtained. One program told me I would be perfect for their program and exactly what they were looking for in a student otherwise.

    When I called BJU and chewed out the person on the phone for deceiving me into thinking my degree would be worth something to the educated public they told me that I should stand up for my education and my convictions to the public schools. Isn’t that the job of the institution? They should back their own credentials.

    Okay but seriously, has anyone gotten into a regionally accredited school through the appeal process? BJU claims it will be a piece of cake.

  27. Asking for proof is not bad. It is bad when proof is presented and then minimized, disparaged, or ignored.

    If you are going to go to college to get a professional licence or to get the ticket to graduate school, wouldn’t it be wise to find out what licensing and graduate school requirements are before you sign up 4 years of your life and lots of money pursuing an undergraduate degree? Do some research. If you are smart enough to go to college, you are smart enough to do this. If you deny students to the unaccredited schools, the schools will change or go broke. (In this economy they may change and still go broke.)

    Accreditation has an interesting history. How about one of you graduate-school-cannot-bes doing the research?

  28. And logically, what proof do fundies have that the Bible really is the inspired Word of God?

    Where’s the proof?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Bible says so! What more proof do you need?

  29. I love the double standard here. Fundies demand proof from their opponents, yet refuse to provide it to back up their own claims. “The Bible says rock music is sinful!” “Oh, really? Where does it say that?” *crickets* “I don’t remember the verse, but it’s in there somewhere! Ah, sweet irony.

  30. @ Randy: If only I had been smart when I enrolled in college I wouldn’t have gone to a fundy school in the first place!!! The fact that I posted at all is evidence that when I was seventeen and fundy, I wasn’t making the best of choices for my spiritual or academic health. Don’t we all wish we had stumbled upon grace before making the decisions we did??

  31. Amanda, even better:

    “Rock music is evil”
    “What Bible verse says that?”
    “Well, there was no rock music in Biblical times, duh! Its about the ‘appearence of evil.”
    “Oh, well, there was no molecular biology during biblical times either, can we then entertain the possibility that evolution has real merit, despite Genesis”
    “I’ll pray for you.” aka fundy version of F off.

  32. @ Randy, @ bju grad – I REALLY believed it when I was told that BJU grads have no trouble getting jobs because of the stellar reputation of the school. Also at 17 I had no idea that someday Christian schools (where I preferred to teach) would be in decline because of the economy or that I would grow weary of rules that say, for instance, that women teachers aren’t allowed to be seen in public EVER wearing pants.

  33. @Apathetic or whatever–thanks for your kindness! It has been hell to get where we are, but we feel heaven is the best way to describe where we are now. Thankfully we have been able to move on…but man, I would go back and change nearly everything.

    @Randy–I take it that you were not raised in the IFB? If you were, you would know that from the time we toddled across our living room floors we were told we had only 3-4 choices of “good” schools that we could attend. THEN we were told that all other schools were “apostate” and “humanistic.” THEN we were told that everything the secular schools said was a “lie.” THEN we were told that BJU credits would have “no problem transferring, due to their stellar reputation.” Basically, because we were born and bred IFB we had no way to discern right from wrong. We were not taught to discern. We were taught this song from the time we stood up in our cribs, “I will obey the first time your told. I will obey right away. Never asking why, never with a sigh. I will obey right away.” And we did just that. We obeyed. And then we GREW UP…and when we GREW UP…we learned different things. We stepped out of our IFB orb. and we realized we were LIED to by every person in a “position of trust” in our lives. I would have LOVED to have had the opportunity to think for myself and do research…ah, that would have been the life. But that’s not the life we were allowed to live. So now we’re speaking out about it. Were we dumb? Were we stupid to have believed the people of trust in our lives? Were we less intelligent? I don’t think so… I think we were DUPED by a bunch of cowards. That’s what I think. And yes, we were brainwashed. We admit that…100%. That’s what happens when you are born and raised in a cult. And sadly we can’t change the past…but we CAN help others not make the same mistakes we did in their own futures.

    Anyway, sorry for the diatribe. But that’s what we went through. Those are the facts. They aren’t that pretty. But hey, we are hopefully helping others not do the same things we did.

  34. I knew PCC wasn’t accredited but I honestly didn’t think it would ever matter to me.

    You see, when I went I was a dyed in the wool fundamentalist and I never expected to do anything other than work for and live in fundamentalists circles. You don’t need an accredited degree to teach at a fundy school, or work for a fundy mission board. And if that’s all you aspire to then an unaccredited degree makes perfect sense.

  35. A counseling undergrad or masters degree from BJ is worth nothing if you want to actually go into the counseling profession. I think its very deceptive of the school to portray anything otherwise. No state professional licensing board will recognize the counseling degree, not to mention people with these degrees haven’t been trained appropriately for the profession either. A masters in professional counseling or social work or psych from a program recognized by national accrediting entity is needed. I’ve heard some people who have realized this who believe that the answer is to get a certification in nouthetic counseling. I’m not sure they get the point.

  36. Well, just for the balanced perspective: I had no problem getting into the University of Cincinnati for grad school with my homeschool/BJU background…I know about 5 other people in music who are also there, so maybe they just like BJ people

  37. Graduate school is not really THE issue though. Everyone at this point can find some school somewhere that is willing to accept them into graduate school. The REAL issue is certification. Right now ONLY 15 states will grant teacher certification to TRACS accredited BJU degreed students. And even then they require extra’s in many cases (like a high GPA, Praxis tests, etc.). If you went to BJU when it wasn’t accredited–well, no chance whatsoever. To get a license as a professional counselor you must have a Master’s from a regionally accredited instituation—unless the school that is Nationally accredited has a SPECIALTY in professional counseling….which BJU does NOT have. So therefore, their counseling degrees are 100% bogus!

    From what I’ve read as well: BJU’s HIGHEST student population is within the teaching and counseling areas. That’s SICK and SAD. Because those students are going to find out the HARD way how bogus their degrees are when they get out. WE NEED TO SPREAD THE WORD ON THIS—for their sake. No “balanced perspective” is necessary. It only downplays the problem.

    We CANNOT keep focusing on the success stories. That helps NO ONE! From what I’ve been told, BJU is continuing to LIE to people and it needs to stop. We need to sound the alarm loud and clear so that every student has a mind to research their particular field and do their homework to ensure they do not get screwed in the end. And for every “success” story, there are 5 more traumatic stories to tell.

    And in the end, who in their RIGHT MIND would EVER go to a school and pay $60-80,000 for a degree that could end up being completely denied in the end. Who would do that? Only CULT members do things like that. Because if you really understood the issue, you would be a much wiser person.

  38. @Kat: He has a facebook page, and one day I had decided to add him and see what he was about- he declined my request. I didn’t think much of it, but when I started getting in touch with a young lady from his congregation, he immediately sent me a friend request. He is still Ranty and outward standards-oriented. After a while, I was so annoyed at his boycott-this-and-that statuses that I deleted him. Like you, I also question his morality. Why would a 40<-year-old man be so preoccupied with power over teenage forum subscribers? It is creepy indeed.

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