Tag Archives: fundy u

SFL Back To School Day 4: College Daze

Fundamentalists will tell you that where you go to college will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Of course, other people outside of fundyland may say the same sort of thing but what they mean by it is rarely the same. For in fundamentalism your choice of a college determines your fundy pedigree, you opportunities for employment within fundamentalism, and often the caliber of fundy that your spouse is likely to be as well. For example, there are Hyles men and PCC men and Bob Jones men and rarely the three will meet (except in the occasional conference). Choose wisely.

And it’s no wonder that the various graduates of the big (a very relative term) Fundy U schools (an even more relative term) don’t generally associate with each other. The education received at a Fundy U could more accurately be called “indoctrination.” For if a strong voice speaks with apparently authority for long enough it will eventually be accepted as the voice of truth. The trick to getting students to listen is three-fold:

1) Isolate. Get them away from everything else so they can only hear you. Tell them that their college has more authority in their lives than any other person. Make them depend on you for the totality of their social existence, their physical needs, and spiritual nourishment and then…

2) Condition. Create a Pavlovian response to specific verbal stimuli. When someone say “KJV” everybody cheers. When someone says “NIV” everybody boos and jeers. Then do the same with terms like “liberal” and “biblical” and “compromiser.” Make the instruction exist on a level well away from rational thought and then…

3) Reinforce. Now that you’ve got them conditioned to agree with every word that comes out of your mouth, simply use that power to reinforce your dominance at every turn. Use praise and ridicule. Use demerits and compliments. Use the ever present threat of failure and the ever present promise of someday being “one of us” to mold and shape people into your own image.

And once the Fundy U has filled its students heads with dogma and filled their hearts with a lust for the praise of men then it releases them into the world where they will spend most of their time trying to avoid actually having to defend their indefensible ideas. In each Fundy U this dogma also has just enough variety to keep the fundies at odds with each other. Trust me, you don’t want to be around KJV-Only people if you’re only a TR-Only guy and being a Ok-with-the-“critical”-text-sometimes guy would be very awkward indeed. It’s better to stay with your own kind.

To be fair, the worst of the indoctrination practices are often reserved for those in ministerial classes but with daily chapel, mandatory church, required Bible classes, and non-optional prayer group it’s all but impossible to graduate with any sort of degree completely unscathed. And it has been my experience that if a person does not begin to put up a mental resistance to the onslaught of indoctrination by the time they reach their Junior year, that their trip out of fundyland will likely be delayed by at least a long, painful decade or two.

It would seem the education at Fundy U would oftentimes seem more at home in a reeducation camp than an actual institution of higher learning.

Telling Tales Of The Glory Days

I recently found a Facebook group dedicated to people sharing tales of their memories and exploits at my Fundy U. After spending a few hours reading of hands held, kisses stolen, and beer hidden (yes, hours. people love to tell their stories) I came to the conclusion that apparently my Fundy U is Sodom and Gomorrah in khaki pants. Who knew?

Now far be it from me to stop anybody from reminiscing over their youthful shenanigans. I broke my share of rules along the way and have fun laughing with my friends about it now. But the reason I’m laughing is mostly aimed at how ridiculous the environment was that made me care about doing those things at all. And more to the point, I think that if a decade later you’re still trying to establish your cred as a Fundy U Rebel then you’re missing the big picture: you’re still living with the rules firmly lodged inside your head.

At some point we all realize that people outside of these kinds of institutions don’t care how much you got away with. It mostly just looks silly that you were having to “get away with it” in the first place.


Lame. Lamer than lame.

Another fact of which I was mostly unaware (you hear rumors about a lot of things) is that there was also a thriving gay community at my Fundy U who evidently bedded 9/10 (give or take a decimal point) of the male population. I’m actually little offended at learning that. What am I, chopped liver? Four years and nobody ever made a pass at me. Harrumph.

But of all the things that I’ve taken away from the train wreck that is the public and full disclosure of every last sin and transgression, there is none great than the realization that if even 10% of of the tales being told are based in reality then why exactly was I being harassed for having a few CD’s that “didn’t pass” ?

“Excuse me, Mr. Floorleader, there’s a Roman orgy two floors up. Why don’t you go deal with that and leave me alone. Thanks.”

There is one other possible motivation for posting these sorts of true confessions and that is to show the fundy U administration and deans exactly how much they didn’t manage to stop. But in order to get a thrill from that, you have to still be emotionally invested in caring about what the administration and the deans are thinking. And really, who’s got that kind of time?

Personally, I’m at a point that if my Fundy U toppled into the much-farther-away-than-advertised ocean tomorrow I would pretty much greet it with a grunt of surprise and an inquiry into what was for lunch. That part of my life has been over for almost a decade. And perversely, complete disregard is the sweetest revenge of all — for fundamentalism can stand anything but being made irrelevant.

So by all means. Post your memories, I’ll post mine and we’ll all get a chuckle. But if anyone thinks that their brags of fundyland wine, women, and song are impressive in general then they need to get a little perspective. The most outrageous and perverse Fundy U student…is still a student at Fundy U.


It’s May and every Fundy U is preparing for one of the biggest events of the year: graduation.

Fundy U Seniors spend their days preparing for exams, making wedding plans for ten minutes after graduation, and trying their best not to get expelled in the last three days. That last is not nearly as easy as it seems for after enduring four years of pressure from rules and regulations a lot of students have just stopped caring. There are always a few who just can’t seem to finish the course.

The dreams that lie ahead of these Fundy U grads are large. There are exciting opportunities in everything from fundy schools and fundy churches, to ministry positions fundy food service. And for those who didn’t manage to snag a spouse in the first four years, there is also the option to stay for another couple years of grad school and try again.

So to those who are going to walk across the stages of various Fundy institutions and reap the reward of four years of blood sweat and tear by getting a degree that is barely worth the paper it is written on, I say “God Bless You.” I’ve been there and I can tell you that after a few years of deprogramming and therapy that it really does get better.

Relax. Play some music that doesn’t check. Breathe a deep lungful of unregulated air. It’s time to start the healing process.