Sunday, November 27, 2005

Bob Jones University Press and the Christian Curriculum

Forgive me for all the references to the New York Times today. The print version is unavailabe within about 100 miles of where I live; I just happened to be about 115 miles from home this morning, and so had the pleasure of inking my fingers with the beast all afternoon.

The linked piece by Thomas Vinciguerra is a little bit disturbing, highlighting, as it does, some passages from textbooks produced by the Bob Jones University Press. Here's a selection on Emily Dickinson:
Dickinson's year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary further shaped her "religious" views. During her stay at the school, she learned of Christ but wrote of her inability to make a decision for Him. She could not settle "the one thing needful." A thorough study of Dickinson's works indicates that she never did make that needful decision. Several of her poems show a presumptuous attitude concerning her eternal destiny and a veiled disrespect for authority in general. Throughout her life she viewed salvation as a gamble, not a certainty. Although she did view the Bible as a source of poetic inspiration, she never accepted it as an inerrant guide to life.
Here's the hell-bound heretic herself, modeling a healthy approach to Sundays (and demonstrating that healthy "disrespect for authority in general"):
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church --
I keep it, staying at Home --
With a Bobolink for a Chorister --
And an Orchard, for a Dome --

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice --
I just wear my Wings --
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton -- sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman --
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last --
I'm going, all along.

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