What kind of learning institution is this? A dogmatic one. And the majority do not seem happy about it.
Bryan College was founded on the back of the country’s most famous debate over creation and evolution.
Some professors, staff and students didn’t just identify as young-Earth creationists. Their views became more nuanced. They called themselves progressive evolutionists and theistic evolutionists and old-Earth creationists; they found ways to reconcile faith and science.
Now the administration is making a statement against these aberrations. The board of trustees is requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms. If they don’t sign, they fear that jobs could be on the line.
Bryan’s statement of faith, more than 80 years old, isn’t allowed to be amended or changed, according to its charter. So the clarification, announced by President Stephen Livesay in a Feb. 23 news release, shocked the Bryan community. Even those who agree with the clarification say they think the administration has misstepped and that the change is unnecessary.
“This is an educational institution. In order for us to do our jobs, we have to be open to a variety of positions on things and many people would see this as a narrowing of a position that doesn’t need to be narrowed,” said John Carpenter, a journalism professor at Bryan.
Can we say they knew what they were getting into? The President Livesay says this won’t alter the quality of academics. That doesn’t say much for what came before. The trend now is for these private conservative schools to continue to shelter kids who have been sheltered their whole lives, never being exposed to opposing views and allowed to be freethinkers and experience new ideas. Conservative families fear their kids going to college and becoming, God forbid, ATHEISTS. So much for independence…
Bryan College is named after William Jennings Bryan, a famous politician and presidential candidate who was a staunch advocate against evolution. He was the opposing lawyer in the Scopes Trial and swore by the literal word of the Bible.