David Barton: Half Of Students In Christian Colleges Leave Church Due To Pagan Professors

During what is listed as Thursday’s broadcast on Kenneth Copeland’s Believer’s Voice of Victory program, David Barton said at 10:48 into the clip:

Those in authority include those in our education system, for example, in our universities. Last Friday, when we pointed out about education, now between 71-88% of our Christian kids who go to college are renouncing their faith at college, and that over 50% of our Christian kids who go to Christian colleges are renouncing their faith at Christian colleges because the professors in the Christian colleges were trained by the pagans in the secular colleges, and Jesus tells us in Luke 6:40 that every student when he is fully trained will be just like his teacher. So those Christian professors, “Christian” professors, are trained by those pagans and they think like the pagans. They’re living in Egypt and they think they’re Egyptians instead of Hebrews.

Barton recently told Westside Church in Omaha, NE the same thing (at 7:00 into this clip):

Right now between 71-88% of Christian youth raised in Christian homes, 71 to 88% of those kids with deny their faith in four years at the university. That is the most hostile place in America right now for Christian faith…The good news is that while we lose 71-88%  of kids to secular campuses, we do at least have Christian campuses we can send our kids to, and at Christian campuses only 50% of Christian kids deny their faith at Christian campuses. Woah, what’s going on here? Jesus told us what’s going on here. If you go back to what Jesus said in Luke 6, chapter 6 verse 40, Jesus said, every student when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. What happens is that so many of the professors we have in Christian university were trained by the pagans at other universities, they just happen to be a new pagan trained at a Christian university. I mean it’s extremely hostile now, even at Christian universities.

I was unable to find the exact percentages Barton cited regarded students at state schools, and I could find nothing regarding his claim about Christian colleges. Some survey may exist with these results but I have been unable as yet to find it (and of course, I am glad to have a look at any surveys which support Barton’s claim).  I assume he is referring to the work of the Barna Group which surveyed students between 2007 and 2011 regarding their relationship to the church while in college.
However, Barna’s conclusions are not the same as Barton’s. The situation is much more complex than is portrayed by Barton.
According to Barna’s website, the reality is that many students who stop attending church don’t actually leave the faith.  Barna’s David Kinnaman said:

The reality of the dropout problem is not about a huge exodus of young people from the Christian faith. In fact, it is about the various ways that young people become disconnected in their spiritual journey. Church leaders and parents cannot effectively help the next generation in their spiritual development without understanding these three primary patterns. The conclusion from the research is that most young people with a Christian background are dropping out of conventional church involvement, not losing their faith.

In fact, young adults often feel disillusioned with the institutional church even as they maintain a belief in God. According to Kinnaman’s earlier book unChristian, many young people distance themselves from the church because of what they perceive to be hypocrisy in the church, and not due to the influence of their so-called “pagan professors. (an example here)”
In fact, Barna says it is a myth that “college experiences are the key factor that cause people to drop out.” If anything, college experience expose problems already in place rather than create them. According to Kinnaman’s survey, there are six reasons why this generation is leaving the church:

  1. Churches seem overprotective.
  2. Teens’ and 20-somethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.
  3. Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
  4. Church attitudes toward sexuality are often simplistic and judgmental.
  5. Christianity seems exclusive, which they wrestle with.
  6. The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.

Since Christian academics have become more vocal about their concerns over his history, Barton has become more critical of Christian professors as a group. Rather than stick to the issues, Barton has gone on the offensive by slamming Christian scholars and devaluing their faith and their dedication to Christian vocation.  Now, contrary to evidence, he accuses us of contributing to the religious demise of half of our students.
I hope this effort becomes clear for what it is.

David Barton: There Are About A Dozen Colleges That Are Right

These days David Barton’s historical work would not well received at many colleges and universities. There are dozens of Christian academics, and many more outside of Christian settings, who have raised significant questions about Barton’s accuracy and conclusions. However on his broadcast yesterday (Oct. 16), he suggested that there are about a dozen Christian colleges which are receptive to him. Barton said:

There’s about a dozen universities out there across America that we know of and deal with that are right biblically cause they believe what the Bible says, they’re very pro-America, they’re very pro-Constitution, the Constitution that God was involved in that, that it reflects biblical values, and so those are the guys that are good to go to to get a perspective. And we thought you know, one of the theologian guys that is really good on this is also the president of a university, Oklahoma Wesleyan University which is a great university, one of these that’s, it’s right on the Bible, right on the Constitution, right on American history.

Barton then introduced Dr. Everett Piper as his speaker on theological liberalism.
For his part, Piper is glad to be endorsed by Barton, tweeting

What I get out Barton’s statement is that if you question Barton’s claims, then you are not right biblically, not pro-America, pro-Constitution, or right on American history.  Reminds me of his claim that those who question him are just repeating our pagan training.
I suppose it is encouraging that there are only 12 schools remaining that need to see the light.
I propose that there is a great divide between those (apparently) few evangelical schools which Barton approves and the others which he rejects. While we probably agree on many things, there may be a great difference in what students are learning in the history classes.

Springboro Confederate Flag Waving, League of the South Defender Says He Was Misunderstood

This is why it is good to shine light in dark places.
Defending the indefensible often leads to backpeddling.
In actuality, Sonny Thomas, the fellow who showed up at the Springboro School Board meeting and defended the Constitution course written by a League of the South board member didn’t back off much. He now says he was trying make a point about symbolism. I guess in a way he did what he set out to do. However, the symbolism which most people associate with the Confederate flag is repulsive.  He acknowledged that most people viewed it as racist, a sentiment which was confirmed in the Cincinnati.com article by Cincinnati area minister, Damon Lynch.
Not sure how Sonny’s reframing of the situation will sit with his ideological peers. On at least one white nationalist blog, he was getting cheers for his efforts. Occidental Dissent posted a link to the Daily Caller article on the subject with the headline, “Go, Sonny, Go.” According to the blogger, Sonny was in attendance at the unabashedly white nationalist Council for Conservative Citizens 2013 conference.
Kelly Kohls, president of the school board, told me in an email that she was surprised by Thomas’ remarks. She told me that board policy allows prearranged speakers to talk about whatever they want to talk about for three minutes. She said she felt between “a rock and a hard place” because she disagreed with his message but also worried about a free speech lawsuit if she shut him down.
Looking into Thomas’ background, it is hard to see how his remarks were surprising. This is not his first national media rodeo. In 2010, he was in the news for making disparaging remarks regarding Hispanics via twitter.  There were ripples throughout the tea party world; for instance, James Traficant and others pulled out of a Springboro tea party event due to Thomas’ involvement.

Fireworks at Springboro Ohio School Board Meeting

I wasn’t at the Springboro School Board meeting, but I talked to someone who was and I am following several twitter accounts to get a sense of the fireworks that took place. Local news reporters were there and I will provide more information as I find it.
According to the person I spoke with and a tweet (see below), one speaker unfurled a Confederate flag in defense of the League of the South.

According to witnesses, the flag waver was Sonny Thomas, tea party leader in Springboro. Thomas also runs the twitter account for the Ohio branch of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white nationalist organization.
Preliminary news coverage from WDTN.
Witness to the Confederate flag waver.
Prior post on Institute on the Constitution and the League of the South.
Dayton Daily News Story is posted at the Springboro parents Facebook page.
Huffington Post picked up the Confederate flag waving story here. The fact that Sonny Thomas showed up to support the IOTC course seems to validate the problems with the course in the first place. From Thomas’ point of view, attacking the course is akin to attacking the League of the South.

Institute on the Constitution Founder Michael Peroutka on Southern Secession and His Course on the Constitution

Last week, the Springboro School Board canceled two controversial summer courses on the Constitution. Both courses were offered to the public as a way to evaluate them for possible use in the schools. However, because of concerns expressed by the public, the courses were canceled. In light of what I have learned about the courses, I commend the school board for their action.
In my write up of the situation I focused on the 12 week course offered by the Institute on the Constitution. The IOTC is an educational project of the law offices of Peroutka and Peroutka, based in Pasadena, MD. To me, a disturbing aspect of the IOTC course is the connection of IOTC founder Michael Peroutka to the League of the South. The League of the South is a neo-Confederacy organization which promotes Southern nationalism. They seek to create a political climate that supports the secession of Southern states from the rest of the country in order to form a nation which protects “the Anglo-Celtic core population (i.e., white) and culture of the historic South.” One inspiration for the League is the 1858 pro-slavery, pro-secession organization League of United Southerners.
Beyond the obvious problems with the League’s mission, I wondered why the IOTC would offer a course in the Constitution if the real aim is to separate from the nation and form a new Constitution based on the Bible. However, after watching Michael Peroutka speak at the 2012 League of the South annual conference, I got a better sense of the purpose of the course. Reform or restoration is not in view. Watch:

Here is the transcript of his remarks (after the break): Continue reading “Institute on the Constitution Founder Michael Peroutka on Southern Secession and His Course on the Constitution”