If you believe that what we have been reporting as happening at Shorter is either a) untrue or b) isolated, we recommend that you read this post at the Save OBU website. If what you read disturbs you, then imagine this incident happening times 51.
Are we painting with a wide brush? Yes, yes we are. The same lack of any sort of fair, ethical hiring processes for the majority of the new appointments at Shorter were denied at Shorter as well. As a result of the practices of Don Dowless and the Shorter Board of Trustees, the new human resources director walked out after six weeks. (Ask Don Dowless where the applications and files are for many of his new hires. They aren’t in the human resources office where they belong.) The same sort of individuals willing to forsake the sciences in order to follow the drumbeat of fundamentalist creationism are now sitting in faculty seats at Shorter, and whether it becomes apparent today or tomorrow or next year, it IS coming.
For too long now, the fundamentalists have operated under a cloak of secrecy, making slow, calculated moves intended to destroy any semblance of open, free exploration of ideas and the pursuit of truth. First they took the seminaries, now they intend to take over the colleges. How do they do it? By one carefully placed, easily manipulated Board of Trustee member, Alumni Governing Board member and one faculty member at a time – or in the case of Shorter, in a sweeping replacement of all Board members and 51 new faculty.
These actions are not going unnoticed within the academic community. The repercussions for the students of these schools will be profound.
Fundamentalism is an insidious cancer determined to destroy the very fabric of academics in order to increase and maintain control of those who follow the GBC and SBC banners. It is up to Shorter’s alumni to stand up and stand up now against this abomination.
Save our Shorter is calling for some alternatives for its alumni and discussions will begin soon.
I am confused. Is Shorter a Baptist college? A Christian college? If so, then why in the world would it have people on staff that do not believe the Bible? If you do not believe the Bible, then why would you think a Christian college would hire you or retain your services in any way?
Shorter is a Georgia Baptist funded college, and not all people who attend or have taught there where Baptist, and even less now, after the recent witch hunt to get rid of those who were not Baptist.
It is having a personality transplant by those who wish to make all things so conservative that you cannot even mention drinking a glass of wine, or enjoying a slow or fast dance with your wife/girlfriend…
The issue is can we hear opposing sides of Christian or Highly Conservative thought in the college classroom, diplomatically, and still benefit from it it some way, like to reinforce our own position, by finding faults in the opinion presented at the time and place…when warranted…without losing our religion/salvation, which is not possible to start with…lol…
Rich, the answer to your two opening questions (which we probably all know) is that Shorter has been a Baptist-affiliated school for much of its life, and has ALWAYS been a Christian institution. But the latter two questions completely miss the point: you are implying that any Christian whose interpretation of Scripture differs from your own (or from the GBC’s stated positions) does “not believe the Bible” and is therefore a false Christian — a treacherous judgement to make. Your implied assertion that Dowless and the Trustees have done the logical thing completely misses the point as well: Shorter was doing very well as a Christian institution (and already had a policy of only hiring Christian faculty for the past few years) without forcing anyone to sign a statement of agreement with one particular interpretation of Scripture.
After a long break, I decided to revisit our friends at SaveOurShorter.com. The general tone of the conversations had not changed much, and many of the same talk points continue to be discussed. I did notice, from the volume of contributions on the site, that as Shorter University has moved on, so has much of the site’s readership. Sadly, this seems like an attempt to resurrect the site from the ashes of obscurity. As Muslim clerics stir the emotional pot among their followers around the world , SOS issues their passionate plea for its readers to renew their attempts to create as much discomfort for the university as possible. I’m deeply concerned about the passing references to the [ideology of the] university as an “insidious cancer” and an “abomination.” Sadly, this is the problem with targeting your rage toward a particular group. As you become consumed with fighting fundamentalism, perhaps best characterized by such groups as Westboro Baptist Church, you inevitably begin to sound a lot like them. You also lose the ability to delineate between groups such as WBC and others with traditional values, which greatly enlarges the scope of your displeasure. I sincerely wish the best for our friends at SaveOurShorter.com. I hope there is a day when they feel they can finally beat their swords into plowshares. Scrutiny and accountability can be good, although encouragement and cooperation can be better. Until then, I’ll pray that the peace of God continues to pervade and rule in all of our hearts (Col. 3:15).
Mr. Arnold, while sometimes some of the wording may appear strong, the overall sentiment remains, for SOS, a concern for the students of the future because of the break from the past legacy of Shorter. SOS is not dead. Its members and followers pray also for students, faculty and administration. There are things that go on at the school behind the scenes that are wrong. You may not be aware of them. I pray that you keep checking in and read the articles not with a predetermined bias of scorn, but with an eye that may allow you to wonder about something and check it out for yourself at the school. Ask questions. See if you detect anything out of sorts when you get your answer. Thank you for checking on SOS. Peace to you Josh!
I and the other Alumni have more determination and brains than you give them credit for ( after all we were allowed to learn and practice true critical thinking in our Shorter Days..as opposed to the current status quo).
Furthermore how dare you paint us with a wide brush, in comparing us with the hate mongers of Westboro Baptist Church who constantly seek to damage the memory and closure of the death of a U.S. Veterans in the line of combative service to the Greatest Country in the World. As someone who served in the U.S. Army Reserves, I found that comment very troublesome, not to mention that you compare us to be like Muslim extremists, which is even more hateful, if you have stood in the full witness of what the World Trade Center Towers were, which is what a Missions Trip, from Shorter and the GBC afforded me when both were of a different mindset than now, and life was good for all, and there was room for conservative, moderate, and liberal theological positions on campus and in the GBC, even if some stayed in the the proverbial closet, we still all had a tolerance for them, and we all argued less, because we loved more, with a greater love than has been shown in the last 2 to 3 years, by anyone in the GBC, or Shorter Board of Trustees.
As for encouragement, we take pride in knowing that the freshmen class, that is now seated is thinking for themselves, noticing the drop in numbers of classmates, questioning why this has happened, and why they were shown the bright lights of a proverbial Hollywood that’s lights have grown dim if not dark in some cases, such as the theatre and music department.
That is the true spirit of Shorter that great teachers like Dr. Wilson Hall, Dr. Thelma Hall, Dr. Don Mendence, Dr. Joe Baskin, and others taught us all.