Christians Have Nothing to Fear About Secular Colleges

Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin wants you to know that sending your kids to a cheaper public school is a disaster waiting to happen:

Yes, secular colleges have a lower price tag. But, what might that decision really cost your family?

The cost of sending a young person to a state university will, in many cases, be a life marked by ambivalence toward spiritual things, regrettable lifestyle choices, or a complete disregard of the principles Christian parents had attempted to pass on to their children.

Because, as we all know, all secular college are completely devoid of Christian life…

No, that’s not it. The problem, Maranatha goes on to say, is not that Christianity is missing at these schools, but that there are too many challenges for young Christians, including “Fellow students who will question, and often ridicule, those with conservative lifestyle standards” and “A dormitory where they will be forced to share a bathroom, floor, or even their room with someone of the opposite sex.”

Students questioning your beliefs?! WE CAN’T HAVE CRITICAL THINKING IN COLLEGE!

And at which state school are students forced to share a room with someone of the opposite sex against their will? (Not to mention I can’t think of a single school with a co-ed dorm that doesn’t also have a men-only or women-only floor or dorm for those who prefer those options.)

That’s not all:

Another way to view those statistics is that approximately 65,000 high school seniors will strengthen their faith at Christian colleges this fall — but 148,000 will lose theirs at secular colleges.

The only reason 148,000 Christians would lose their faith in college is because they were allowed to step outside the bubble for once and expose themselves to alternative perspectives that just made more sense than Christianity. If Christianity held up under scrutiny, there wouldn’t be anything for Bible-believers to worry about. But if you believe in Creationism, you’ll be a fish out of water in a real science class. If you hold bigoted views of homosexuals, you’ll be in for a huge surprise when you finally meet some gays and lesbians who don’t fit into the mold you’ve created for them. You get the idea.

Darrell Dow at Stuff Fundies Like also challenges the idea that sending your child to a Christian college will “strengthen” their faith:

Come back and see me when you’ve done your due diligence with another study about how many graduates of [Independent Fundamental Baptist] institutions have also left the faith or abandoned the “morals” they have been taught. For good measure you could also do a quick check into how many kids who were raised in church and went to no college at all are also now atheists. A quick anecdotal check of Fundy U grads I know suggest that number will be pretty high.

The whole Maranatha article is just designed to scare Christian parents into sending their kids to a more expensive school where they’ll receive a less relevant education for most of the careers that’ll be available to them in the secular world.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • God’s Starship

    Got my political science degree at a secular school. The religious conservative students usually get to say whatever they want without being challenged, because people rarely want to argue with an idiot. When they are challenged it’s obvious they are not used to talking outside the fundie fishbowl because they tend to get confused, get stuck in a loop, or start talking about Hitler…. because… ya know… Hitler.

  • C Peterson

    Of course Christians have something to fear sending their kids to a secular school. They could become educated, which is often the first step in losing one’s religion. That’s very scary to many, if not most Christians.

  • Thin-ice

    So I went to Bible College for 3 years, and in the middle went to a community college to get my liberal arts credits so I could get my theology degree. And a philosophy professor at the cc challenged my fundy thinking and attempts at apologetics. He planted a seed of doubt that stayed with me, and though I ended up being a missionary in Europe for several years, eventually after 46 years I de-converted, when that seed matured into critical thinking.

    So, yes, secular colleges are doing a great job of un-brainwashing students, though not in the way that this IFB Bible college thinks.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I was going to say that if Christianity made real actual sense, rather than the mental gymnastics one needs to perform to sorta kinda in a virtual way believe in it, they would haven’t this sort of fear. Then I read this sentence:

    If Christianity held up under scrutiny, there wouldn’t be anything for Bible-believers to worry about.

    Not nice, Hemant. Not nice.

    • RedShasta

      Well… that’s how I lost my faith.

      • Richard Wade

        lost my faith gained my reason.

        • RedShasta

          Little of column A… little of column B. I found that I had to explore spirituality and find it wanting before I was comfortable accepting the fact that I’m an atheist or at the very least, an extreme agnostic.

          Ooo. ‘Extreme Agnostic’. That’ll be my next band name.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I was going to comment on how XTREME agnostics are all about riding the fence on a skateboard or dirt bike, then realized it isn’t 1998. Goddammit.

            • Oranje


    • WallofSleep

      “Not nice, Hemant. Not nice.”

      Perhaps not, but it’s as true as the day is long. Besides, there are times when it is necessary to be less than nice.

    • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

      It’s true. Get over it.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Why should I get over it? He stole my line, one I had been waiting to use for years and years.

        • Heidi McClure

          It took you years to find a situation where you could use that? Stick around, you’ll probably run across another opportunity by tomorrow.

    • cary_w

      I don’t think there’s anything not nice about that statement. Christian parents may not want to hear it, but they can’t deny it’s the truth. If they were confident that their kids had strong morals and were secure in their beliefs, then they should feel confident that their kids can resist temptations and continue to follow Jesus throughout college. If their kids stray from the church, then maybe they weren’t taught well enough while they were at home.

      This is the main difference between liberal and conservative parents. Conservative parents think their kids need rules, honor codes, and shelter from temptation in order to stay moral and responsible in college. Liberal parents want their kids to be moral and responsible because they understand the consequences and know in their hearts that it’s the right thing to do. We want our kids to choose the right path out of their own free will, rather than because some set of rules tells them to choose that path.

      As I mentioned in another post, my daughter has been turning all churchy on me at her secular college, I’m hoping its just a phase, but I partially blame myself her actions. I raised her as a “none”, we rarely talked about religion and I never clearly told her my own beliefs. Now I see what a mistake that was, I should have raised her as an atheist, I should have talked to her about religion and pointed out the absurdity of religion a lot more. I’m now feeling some regret that I sent her out in the world unprepared for the temptations she would find.

    • TnkAgn

      Hemant is friendly, but not necessarily “nice.”

    • Highlander

      How is what you said any different than what Hemant said (other than Hemant being far more succinct)?

      • allein

        He’s just mad ‘cuz Hemant stole his line.

  • Mr Ed

    UMASS experimented with coed bathrooms in the 70′s. Typically the relation between men and women on coed floors is closer to brother/sister than orgy.

    • Buckley

      Especially when they are sharing stalls

  • Richard Wade

    Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that Maranatha Baptist Bible College is an expensive private college losing business to cheaper public colleges that might actually teach something that can get you a job.

    Basic marketing strategy. Scare the customers away from the goods and services of the competition, whether it’s a multi million dollar education industry or an open air farmer’s market:

    “Beware his melons! He grew them in the shadow of the infidel’s outpost! They are tainted by the evil of the unbelievers! My melons were grown next to our most sacred site! They are blessed melons!”

  • R Bonwell parker

    “we all know reality has a known liberal bias” —Stephen Colbert

  • Oswald Carnes

    “A dormitory where they will be forced to share a bathroom, floor, or even their room with someone of the opposite sex.”

    So at christian schools students are encouraged to live in intimate proximity only with people of the same sex. These people are weird.

    • allein

      Well, of course, no one at those schools would ever be tempted by that kind of intimacy!

    • Gringa123

      Not to mention that there is no school that allows co-ed rooms. My school had some co-ed dorms, but you still had to room and share a bathroom with those of the same sex. I’d like to see their statistics on this.

      • Gringa123

        And what are their kids going to do when they have to rent an apartment in a building with both sexes????

        • yulaffin

          They won’t be allowed to rent an apartment or live on their own. Mommy and Daddy will expect them to continue living at home (until they get married). Because Jesus!

      • eric

        Dunno about co-ed rooms, but Berkeley has had (some) dorms with co-ed bathrooms for at least 20 years.

  • Scarlet

    I went to a secular university while being religious. My main catalyst for becoming atheist was going to my cousins conservative/fundamentalist church. College probably helped a little ;)

  • Anna

    What always strikes me about the conservative evangelical and fundamentalist subculture is the climate of fear: fear of change, fear of doubt, fear of dissent. They fear that the children they have so carefully indoctrinated might be exposed to other beliefs without their parents (or parent substitutes) there to whisper in their ears, telling them how wrong everything is.

    I can’t think of comparable fears among secular parents or even parents of most other religious groups. Would any atheists fear their children going to a religious college? Or (as teenagers) a religious summer camp? Personally, I wouldn’t. I did those things myself, and I never found myself in danger of losing my atheism. I want my children to have different cultural experiences. I don’t have the desire to control their every thought and action.

    • smrnda

      I’m an atheist, though at different points in my life I’ve done Jewish holidays with family, and as an adult I went to a church a few times since I felt like I should know what it’s like firsthand. Once I even observed some local pagans in worship, just since I wanted to see what it was like and I wanted to meet some pagans and find out about their beliefs and practice.

      My worry with kids are that for some things, I don’t worry, but I’d worry in some other cases since some religious events can involve people asking intrusive, personal questions, and I’m not sure I’d want my kids (if I had them) potentially exposed to vicious homophobia or sexism at a young age. I mean, as a grown-up I can walk into a church and hear someone denounce *me* and my *lifestyle* and I’m emotionally unaffected.

      Some exposure is probably a good idea, if only for cultural literacy.

      • Anna

        Well, not too young. I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting small children in that situation, but high school and college students? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I went off with the Mormons when I was barely 14, and it didn’t do me any harm.

        A lot of religious believers seem to want to control their children’s every thought and move. Not just the Protestants, either. I spoke with two different fundamentalist Catholics on this blog who wanted to monitor everything their children were exposed to. SJH even said he wouldn’t allow his teenagers (teenagers!) to talk with people unless he was in the room.

        As a general rule, I don’t think atheists are fearful of their children encountering different religions. I wouldn’t mind my child attending a religious college as long as the academics were strong, obviously not one that teaches false science like Maranatha. Catholic colleges, for example. That’s where I ended up, and I got a good education there.

    • wmdkitty

      I’ve done a lot of exploring, religion-wise, and I find I keep coming back around to a specific deity (Bast), rather than a belief system or practice. What this means, I don’t know, but then… there’s a lot that I don’t know, and that’s okay. I’m curious, I ask questions, I investigate and research and I’m always learning something new. (I’m a cat — it’s in my nature!)

      Questioning (especially questioning authority) is something of a “religious” practice for me.

      Whoa. All that was just to say that exploration, questioning, curiosity, these are qualities I would encourage in a child.

    • KMR

      No but you don’t think your child will go to hell if they believe something different than you. How awful is that fear, that this child who you would die for, would be tortured for eternity if you fail at the sacred task of indoctrination.

      • Feminerd

        And that’s why we think religion (well, Christianity anyways, not all religions have ideas like this) is inherently immoral, yes.

        • KMR

          Not all Christians believe in hell either. The progressive traditions are very different from the fundamentalists. But yes most certainly the fundamentalists ones are troubling for many reasons.

          • Feminerd

            Fair enough. Though I’ve also met a fair number of moderate Christians who are uncomfortable with the idea of Hell but still very much believe in it.

    • cary_w

      I wouldn’t say that I feared my kids choosing a religious school for college, but it was just never on the table. From at least the time they were in jr. High they knew we expected them to go to college and all the colleges we encouraged them to look into we’re either state schools or secular private schools. Both my kids looked into some schools on their own that we knew nothing about, but neither looked into any religious schools and I would have been awfully surprised if they had. I wouldn’t have banned them from a religious school, there are some out there that very strong academics in certain fields, but they would have had to have a very good reason for choosing that school before I would have agreed to pay for it.

      • Anna

        Some colleges are so tangentially religious (Georgetown, Gonzaga, Duke, etc.) that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t think twice about it. My concern wouldn’t be the quality of the education, but paying money into the “coffers” of a religious institution. It didn’t bother me when I was 17 and applying to college, but knowing what I know now about the Catholic church, I’d really have to hold my nose to write the check. In any case, I wouldn’t fear my child being converted. They might actually be safer there than they would be at a secular school with a heavy evangelical presence.

      • Feminerd

        What Anna said. When I was applying to colleges, I mostly applied to secular schools, but I did apply to Georgetown as well because it’s one of the best public policy and political science schools in the country. I knew it was Catholic, sort of, but it wasn’t “really religious” so my 17-year-old self didn’t really care.

  • rhodent

    “And at which state school are students forced to share a room with someone of the opposite sex against their will?”

    Closest thing to this I can think of is that we all know plenty of people who have their boy/girlfriend spend the night (or a lot of nights) with them, and maybe sometimes the roommate isn’t cool with it but chooses not to say anything in the name of getting along. It’s a reach and certainly not the mental picture that comes to mind given the phrase, but with just enough truth that the claim isn’t a complete lie.

    • Anna

      That would generally be in dorms with two bedrooms, though, right? I’ve never heard of someone having a significant other stay over when they would all be sleeping in the same room.

      • allein

        My first college roommate had her boyfriend stay sometimes (I didn’t mind so much; it wasn’t that often and he was much more considerate than she was…we only lasted one semester together); other girls on the hall had guys stay sometimes, too (though I don’t know how their roommates felt about it). We also had a sign hung on the bathroom door that said “Guy in bathroom” or something that the guys could flip around (after checking that no one was in there) so we would be warned. There was also a bathroom off the lobby that guys could use (it was an all-female dorm so they had it for male visitors in general).

        • Anna

          I don’t imagine the bathroom situation as problematic. It’s more the sharing a bed (and having sex?) a few feet away from where you would be sleeping. I can’t imagine anyone doing that (or even asking to do that) unless there were two separate rooms. Or at least a divider separating the room into different sections.

          • allein

            I didn’t care about him sleeping there (though two people in a twin bed sounds uncomfortable..). If they ever had sex with me in the room, I didn’t hear it. And it’s not like he was there every weekend; maybe 3 or 4 times during the semester. We did a lot of room-switching at the end of my first semester; let’s just say the school’s roommate-matching procedure didn’t work very well for most of the freshmen on my hall (about half my hall was freshmen, and all but 2 of those rooms swapped roommates right before finals; I moved in with one of my friends two rooms down). (There was one girl on my hall who could sometimes be heard having sex with her boyfriend but she didn’t do it when her roommate was there. They were just loud and her bed was against the wall bordering the hallway.)

            • Anna

              The beds in my college’s dorm rooms were so narrow, I can’t imagine they would comfortably fit two people. I suppose just the sleeping wouldn’t bother me, but hanky-panky in the same room as someone else would be kind of a dealbreaker for me. I know college students have sex in their rooms all the time, but I always thought they put a “privacy” or “keep out” sign on the door first and told their roommate to get lost for a few hours. Overhearing people in the next room (been there!) is a little different from having it take place in front of you, LOL.

              • allein

                Heh, I don’t know if they did anything when the lights were out. If they did either they waited until I was asleep or they were really quiet. She never kicked me out…she didn’t live that far away so she could go see him pretty easily, so he didn’t spend a ton of time there. Then they broke up. Our beds were in opposite corners of the room (not that the room was that big, though my dorm did have the biggest rooms on campus) and I usually had a radio on right next to my head. The beds were standard twins (with crappy mattresses of course…the girl who lived in the single on my hall actually brought her own full mattress set with her).

                • Anna

                  The dorm rooms at my college had beds directly across from each other, so whatever someone did would take place in full view of their roommate.

                  Like this, except I remember the rooms being even smaller and the beds narrower:


                • allein

                  Ours started out that way but in the middle of the room, with a nightstand in the middle (on the one wall with nothing on it), but we could rearrange them. One wall had two closets with a double-wide dresser in between, so each person got one set of drawers and a closet, and there was just enough space for my bed (plus about a foot) between my closet and the wall with the windows in it. Her bed was on the wall opposite the closets, in the opposite corner from mine. My second roommate had a loft, so I had my bed under hers at a 90 degree angle, with a nice little space for my night stand and a little 4-shelf storage thingy. My dorm was nice because the rooms were big enough to be a little creative. Some of the other dorms were more difficult to rearrange.

          • allein

            The bathroom situation would have been an issue in my dorm simply because when you went in the door, the showers were right there, on the left. Each had a little changing area behind a curtain, and another curtain between that and the shower, but otherwise was not separate from the rest of the bathroom. I would not have been comfortable with guys in and out of there. There were also 3 toilet stalls and 4 sinks on the right side of the room. The other dorms had similar setups, as far as I know. Standard procedure on my hall was for a guy to open the door a little and ask if anyone was in there, and if so if it was OK for them to come in. If no one answered, or someone inside said it was OK (if I was just brushing my teeth or whatever, I didn’t care. If I was showering or peeing, then no), he would flip the sign around and enter. If someone inside said no, either he’d have to wait or go downstairs to the lobby bathroom.

            • cary_w

              Haha, speaking of bathroom situations… I just remembered the year I spent in an all-girls dorm that used to be single-sex floor dorm. Our floor still had urinals in the bathrooms so we bought some nice potted plants to put in the urinals and I totally forgot what those funny little self-watering plant holders were until just now!

              • allein

                lol, that’s funny.
                My dorm when I was in college was all-female. Nicknamed “The Nunnery.” At the time we had 2 coed, one all-male, and 4 all-female (though one of those was a small building that was essentially one hall of single rooms, so there were only about 14 people in it; it was torn down after my sophomore or junior year, I think. Ironically, it was called Preservation Hall). (The school is ~65% female, hence more female than male dorms.) A few years after I graduated, they decided the guys had made such a thorough mess of the all-male dorm that they didn’t deserve to have one anymore, so they cleaned it up over the summer and converted it and one of the female dorms to coed. Which female dorm? The Nunnery, of course.

            • Anna

              I don’t think that would bother me unless they were communal showers, but in that situation I would be uncomfortable if it was all-female, too. I’d at least need a private shower stall (even a curtain is fine). My college’s dorm rooms had a mix of private bathrooms and larger group bathrooms, but the showers (as far as I can remember) were private and separate.

      • Heidi McClure

        Seriously? We used to do it all the time in my dorm (state school), which wasn’t even co-ed at the time. My bf slept over, my roommate’s slept over all the time, my neighbor’s boyfriends did it. We knew everybody’s boyfriends by name, even the girls’ down the hall. For that matter, male and female friends who weren’t our significant others slept over all the time, too. We just had to sign them in at the front desk so security knew whether or not they were supposed to be there. And I’m not talking about recently. I mean like 1987.

        • Anna

          Wait, sleep over as in have sex? On a single bed directly across from your bed? I never lived in a dorm but I did visit my friends’ dorm rooms in college, and I never heard of anything like that happening.

      • Highlander

        Forgive me for saying it, but you are being naive. When I was an RA in the early ’90s I mediated a number of roommate disputes revolving around one roommate not getting any sleep because the other roommate and his girlfriend, ahem, weren’t sleeping either. That was on one floor with 36 men, over the course of a year. I imagine there were even more that never escalated to that point so I never heard about them. I also heard many of the same sorts of stories from the women RAs. And I was told a “funny” story by a girlfriend of mine about the time her roommate popped her head up from the lower bunk to exclaim how she had just thrown up on her boyfriend’s lap while performing oral sex.

        • Anna

          Wow. I wouldn’t classify myself as naive. I just never thought college students did that. I’ve seen people having sex in front of cameras on The Real World, but I wasn’t aware it was a common occurrence in normal housing situations. Having sex in front of someone else? I’m no prude, but I’d be horrified if that happened to me.

          • Highlander

            My time as an RA really opened my eyes to how truly inconsiderate and selfish most 18-20 year olds are.

            • Anna

              I’ll bet. I have a hard time imagining why anyone would want to do that, though, unless they’re drunk or into exhibitionism. It seems especially creepy to do so in front of an unwilling person. I mean, if your roommate consents to watch you have sex, that’s one thing. It’s another thing to foist it upon them.

          • wmdkitty

            It can be done discreetly, but that really depends on your comfort level with the roomie(s).

            • Anna

              I guess it depends on the configuration of the room, but in general I have a hard time imagining how someone could have sex in the same room as someone else without them at least knowing what was going on. I’m more baffled by the notion that the couple wouldn’t want privacy, and that all three parties would be okay with it.

          • baal

            I worked behind the desk as a part time job my freshman year…the incident reports were fairly shocking since most people had no clue about the rapes, theft, assault and other major crime that wasn’t reported to the police. The not illegal but very annoying sex antics were considered lesser issues in comparison. Then there was the guy with a pet snake and the other guy with the shroom selling business who would only sell to jews (no I don’t understand that). It was quite the time, I’m surprised I managed to make it to any classes.

  • Kellen Freeman

    Funny thing for me was that secular college strengthened my faith, then seminary tore it apart. It wasn’t the college that did the deconstruction, but the setting where I was told to focus on the Bible that turned me away.

  • michaelfugate

    And from their Statement of Faith….

    “We believe in Six creation days of twenty-four hours each.”

    • WallofSleep

      It’s odd and a little depressing that this has become such an important litmus test for True Believers.

      • Art_Vandelay

        I don’t know…the first chapter seems as a good of a place to start as any.

        • JT Rager

          Meh. Even as a Christian for YEARS I found fundamentalism as the literal truth of the Bible rather absurd. Rather, for myself, I considered Genesis a harmless folk tale that happened to feature the God I believed in. After all, the Bible was assembled by man, why couldn’t it be flawed?

          Maybe I wasn’t a very good Christian :p

          • Art_Vandelay

            So everything that didn’t mesh with what you observed about the real world was man’s error and everything that you could find a way to justify was divinely inspired? On the contrary…it sounds like you were a perfect Christian. (No offense intended)

    • Sven2547

      “We are an educational institution that rejects fundamental tenets of science and history!”

    • michaelfugate

      Digging further – it is fun to see that the “biologists” employed are primarily foreign MDs like this guy:

      Yingguang Liu teaches biology on a level that threatens the neoDarwinian paradigm every day. “The delicate interplay of molecules within biological systems poses the greatest challenge to the gradualistic evolution of Darwinism,” he says. “The cells and molecules declare the glory of their creator.” His current research interest is human endogenous retroviruses.

      Creation science should include all scientific studies of creation, he says. “My goal is to equip young Christians with the scientific knowledge and skills needed to strengthen their faith in a world of humanistic chauvinism. Good science done by creationists is a testimony to those who accuse fundamentalist Christians of being ignorant or anti-scientific. Our students should do well even in secular professions using science and technology.”

  • WallofSleep

    I recall what happened to me the first time I attended a secular college. It took me months to come to grips with the fact that Santa Claus is just make-believe.

  • invivoMark

    Same-sex floors are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and good riddance! You’re never going to have the opportunity to choose your neighbors in the real world, so why would you want to in college?

    When I was at Arizona State, there was only one building left on campus that still had same-sex floors, and people were trying to change that. Here at Wisconsin, AFAIK, they don’t exist at all. Why would anybody want that sort of segregation?

    Edited to add: having lived in Wisconsin for 3 years, I’ve never heard of Maranatha College.

    • Buckley

      We had (still have as far as I know) a dorm at Eastern Illinois University that was fully co-ed, but while it was mixed on floors, the floors were actually a series of suites that were single sex. So while I lived in a suite with 5 other guys (3 rooms, 1 bathroom, 1 living room) there was the same across the floor from us but all women. I liked it but it isn’t for everyone.

      • allein

        I wouldn’t have a problem with that setup. The dorms at my school had communal bathrooms on each hall, which I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with the opposite sex (my dorm had 3 shower stalls, one bathtub, 3 toilets and 4 sinks in each bathroom). The only rooms that had their own bathrooms were the head residents’ rooms (which were really two rooms + bathroom), and there was only one of those per dorm.

    • cary_w

      “Same-sex floors are quickly becoming a thing of the past…”

      That surprises me and I’m not sure I believe it. Most older dorm were built with only one sex in mind, and thus only had one big communal bathroom on a floor, so it becomes a problem to convert them to co-ed floors. Although I guess a lot of the newer dorms are being built in a suite format, with two or more double rooms sharing one bathroom, but these are still single sex suites.

      As my kids were looking into colleges, it seemed like they all had almost exclusively single sex floors, with a few single sex dorms (usually all-girls for the daughters of overprotective parents who naively think it will keep the boys away from them) and only the occasional co-ed floors which were usually the suite style dorms. They both ended up at the same school, which was supposed to be all single sex floors but because the numbers of each sex didn’t work out quite right, my daughter ended up in a handicap suite with five other girls on a boy’s floor. They had two extra-large wheelchair accessible rooms that shared their own giant accessible bathroom at one end of a boys hall and no boys or handicapped kids to fill it, so they made it into a little girl’s corner. No one seemed to have a problem with it.

      Interestingly enough, their school doesn’t have an all-girls dorm, but it now has a small all-boys dorm that used to be a fraternity.

    • Atwatersedge

      I deliberately chose a women’s dorm in college because I wanted a quiet atmosphere to study. All the people I knew in co-ed dorms had to go to the library to get anything done, particularly those in the freshman dorms. I also did not want to be sexiled from my own room.

  • cary_w

    1. How do they explain my daughter (raised without religion and now going to a state university) who is suddenly getting all churchy on me and hanging out with Intervarsity and all that? Damn it! I thought it was safe to send her to an “evil” secular school, but no, she’s turning Christian anyway!

    2. This: “Another way to view those statistics is that approximately 65,000 high school seniors will strengthen their faith at Christian colleges this fall — but 148,000 will lose theirs at secular colleges.”

    There’s no way in hell I’m sending my kid to a school that doesn’t understand simple statistics. Correct me if I’m wrong, but arn’t there a hell of a lot more secular schools than Christian schools? So comparing NUMBERS makes no sense at all! How about the PERCENTAGE of Christian students who lose their faith at each type of school??? The infuriating thing is that their school would probably look just as good (in the eyes of a Christian parent) if they used meaningful statistics.

    3. Is there really any school, anywhere that allows opposite sex roommates in a dorm? I know a lot of schools run their own appartment buildings or rent school-owned houses to students, so that sort of thing could happen in school-owned housing, but not in a dorm, and certainly not forced on a student in a dorm.

    • michaelfugate

      I know this is entirly anecdoctal, but please sign her up for a Bible study course where she reads the entire Bible (not just selected bits and pieces); it worked for me to lose my faith.

      • michaelfugate

        How the hell did that extra “c” get into anecdotal?

        • momtarkle

          Christ put it there. He’s sneaky.

        • wmdkitty

          *glances at keyboard*

          d and c are adjacent, thus it is entirely possible — in fact, probable — that you managed to hit both at the same time.

      • cary_w

        She was actually teaching bible studies for a while! (“Do you think they could find someone LESS qualified??!?”) but she admitted to me that she has not read the entire bible, she was just reading the selected verses and leading the discussion on the approved topics. I have challenged her to read the ENTIRE bible and I am gently challenging her on some of her churches beliefs, but I’m reluctant to push her too far right now because she’s a very good student in a challenging field, so as long as she’s on the path to graduate I don’t want to rock the boat too much. I’m also still hoping its just a phase.

        • Anna

          If that was my daughter, I’d really question her on the whole sin and hell thing. Has she bought into the idea that she’s inherently broken in some way?

          • cary_w

            Not really, I think what sucked her in is the whole Jesus-loves-you stuff. And the charity work, she really is a very caring and giving person, and the truth is all of the charity work she’s been doing has been useful stuff and not handing out bibles or anything like that.

            But that’s definitely what hurts ME about the choices she’s made. It breaks my heart to think that she might feel she’s a sinner or that she’s missing something in her life.

            The other thing is, she is doing very well in school, making good friends, having tons of fun, staying out of trouble, taking advantage of some amazing once-in-a-lifetime college opportunities and seems to be very happy, so it seems petty of me to complain about the one little thing she does that I don’t approve of. But I will admit that part of why I’ve been hanging out on this blog so much lately is to explore my own atheist views and prepare ways to challenge her religious views with her when the time is right.

      • Thackerie

        A private liberal arts college turned me into an atheist the first semester of freshman year. That’s when I took the “History of the Bible” course.

    • Jeo

      On your #2 point. I think they are bastardizing the stats even more than that. I am guessing that is just the number of students who attend each type of college. Making the massive leap that every student who goes secular loses faith (we can only hope) and every one that goes to a Christian college gains (impossible).

    • Eliot Parulidae

      I knew a gay guy who filled out special forms so he could have a female roommate at Emory…but I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about.

    • allein

      The college I went to (affiliated with the Brethren Church but not a “religious” school by any means) has senior housing complexes (townhouses, which I lived in my senior year, and apartments that were built several years after I graduated) that were single-sex within units (4 people in a two-bedroom unit), but your neighbors might be of the opposite sex. The coed dorms are same-sex by hall (there are also a couple of all-female dorms).

    • invivoMark

      Their stats are worse than that. High school seniors don’t attend college. Duh.

  • DoctorDJ

    Oh, my. They proudly toot their horn over the quality of the science they are teaching.
    “The goal of the project was to provide an alternative to the evolutionist explanation for the transcription of endogenous retroviruses into human genomes.”
    “Liu said he feels the Lord directed him to the study of endogenous retroviruses….His research on ERVs has been presented in … papers published in publications such as the Journal of Creation, Creation Research Society Quarterly,
    and on the Answers in Genesis website. However, according to Liu, this
    conference “is the highest level of creationist conferences.”
    I dare say that a penny spent on an education at this “school” is a penny wasted.

  • LesterBallard

    Christians base their lives on fear; fear of death, fear of being punished after death.

  • JN

    I went to a conservative Christian university and that is where my doubt flourished. Despite being in an environment with forced worship and forced religion classes many of my professors, especially in research methodology classes, strongly promoted the ideas of skepticism and not believing things without evidence. I also know many of the professors are more free thinking than the hard line approach that the church and the school officially take.

    I am in no manner promoting attending a religious university, but in my case it turned out fine. I’m employed outside the church and, if anything, I think I slid much more toward atheism being in a setting with religion shoved down my throat than if I had gone to a secular college.

  • Mitch

    I heartily agree with Darrell’s obervation. I became an atheist while attending a Lutheran university.

  • Artor

    I didn’t wait until college to bail on Xianity. It was in Catholic grade school. I finally decided I should read the Bible, so I’d have a better understanding of what was in it. And that did it for me. I understood that I wanted no part of it!

  • TnkAgn

    The first time I heard this joke, it was about Maranatha Baptists:
    “Why don’t Maranatha Baptists make love standing up?
    Someone might think they’re dancing.”

    Since then, it’s also the Missouri Synod Lutherans, et al..

  • advancedatheist

    Who needs the rapture to make christians “disappear” (deconvert), when secular colleges and universities can get the job done?

  • A3Kr0n

    From their website:
    “Eligible for all federal financial aid programs”.
    I don’t like that very much.

    • Spuddie

      Without the easy credit of student loans, they would not be able to charge ridiculous tuition for their diploma mill.

  • Ann Onymous

    Oh noes! I share a bathroom and a floor with my stepbrother! Surely I am thrice damned!

  • LizBert

    I think Christians have plenty to fear from secular colleges. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but they do have something to fear. I wanted to attend a Christian college but largely due to financial constraints I didn’t. I have no way of knowing if I would still be a Christian if I had gone to one but I think there’s a good chance that I would have buried many of my questions and still be a religious.

  • Savpunk

    At any rate, if a student is devoted to his or her beliefs, there are plenty of organizations for religious students on the campuses of secular schools. I went to state schools for my undergraduate and graduate degrees and taught at state universities and there was never a dearth of religious activities available for students who were so inclined. Not to mentioned it is also entirely possible for these young adults to get up all by themselves and go off to the religious institution of their choosing on their religion’s holy day and attend services. I can’t speak for non-Christian faiths, though I imagine it’s the same, but I know that pretty much any church located near a campus has its “campus outreach” services, aimed at drawing students in.

    Seriously. Everything in this country is stacked in favor of Christianity. If they can’t convince their young people to keep their faith in spite of non-Genesis teachings in a science class or because they meet people who think sex without marriage is acceptable, then that should be considered a wake-up call for them to reevaluate the strength and validity of their own religion. This is true for any religion. If it were true, you would have nothing to fear. By showing fear, you’re showing your true, i.e. fake colors.

  • The Watcher

    For a group of people who love the word “freedom” so much, it might help them to learn what it means.


    If Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, had any validity, there would not be this pressing need to indoctrinate children. Children could simply be encouraged to seek the truth and follow that road where ever it leads them. At some point, religious leaders must realize, even if they won’t admit it, that following the road of seeking truth won’t lead people to religion.

  • Spuddie

    Don’t save money on accredited schools which will teach your children things which people might take seriously when they graduate. Instead blow it on one which we control and nobody outside of the Fundie circle takes seriously because….Jesus.

    Maranatha has a good scam going. They get to charge tuition which in no way reflects the value of the education given to the outside world and get the parents on board out of fear.