Re: The Men and Women of Patrick Henry College

Phc Allen's recent post on the graciousness of the Patrick Henry College student body has generated the beginnings of another debate regarding the college's supposedly ungracious response to Soulforce's spring '07 campus visit. For the record, I'm not here to reopen that ridiculous can of worms. If you want to see my opinion on the matter, I commented on Allen's post.

I am here, however, as an alumna of Patrick Henry to offer some thoughts about a school that has received a wide range of media attention, from praises to criticisms. I was once a student walking on campus, a debater in the audience... a graduate set loose in our nation's capital to "change the world." And I'd like to set the record straight for those of you who may be wondering what the college is really all about.

Hanna Rosin of the Washington Post recently published a book on PHC entitled God's Harvard -- tough title. I liked Hanna well enough when I met her several years ago, but my opinion of her quickly took a downward spiral when she referred to me in a New Yorker piece as a "Washington wi[fe] in waiting." Apparently she thinks I went to PHC to earn my M.R.S. degree. I guess she expected me to change the world one diaper at a time (not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'd like to think I went to college to learn to employ my brain both inside and outside my home, not just to find a mate.) Anyway, I digress.

As an alumna, I had hopes that Hanna's book would paint PHC in an accurate unprejudiced light, but perhaps that was foolish. She did no such thing. Thankfully David Kuo of Slate called her on the carpet for several of her prejudiced remarks. But Hanna's book has done one thing very well: it's illuminated the humanity of the student body.


Hi Faith, I followed Jonthan's link and read about the editing of the Equality Loudoun commenting policy by the Patrick Henry College Office of Communications. I also read that if a student performed this type of redaction, the consequences would be severe and could result in dismissal. Was anybody from the college disciplined over this matter? Has anybody apologized to Equality Loudoun or tried to make things right?
Labrialumn, Thank you for your comment, and please allow me the chance to reemphasize that changing the world "one diaper at a time" is certainly as important as, say, running for office. Believe me, I would know. My husband and I are expecting our own little one in the Spring and while I expect to be changing quite a few diapers while I'm a stay-at-home mother, I still anticipate exercising my mind in a world outside my home as well. My point was, and still is, that I did not appreciate being labeled as a woman attending college for the sole purpose of attracting a husband. I have a brain and I desired to develop it and gain insight from individuals much wiser than I. Not to check out all the hot available men. :-)
I let the dialogue under the previous post go for so long because, as Allen pointed out, the Equality Ride visit to PHC was related at least slightly to what he had written. But Faith specifically said that this was not what her post was about, and the site rule is that commenters stick to the subjects raised in the post on which they're commenting. Unless that rule is followed here, I will close this thread as well. I'm pretty sure we're all adults here. Let's act like it, please. Thank you.
Faith, What you refer to as a "can of worms" is accurate, but it's not our can of worms, it's yours and you have reopened it with your claims to "virtue". As a Christian, I'm personally saddened by a recurring re-writing of one of God's commandments which I'll paraphrase below: "Thou shall not bear false witness, unless it's about gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people, and then it's ok." With respect to Patrick Henry College, I'll refer you to the re-writing of our blog's posting policy by the “Office of Communications, Patrick Henry College”. That action was not virtuous. It was unethical, but not unexpected. Hana Rosin said something to the effect that she did not meet a single Patrick Henry student who had a "reasonable" view of homosexuality. David Kuo put it like this: "Theologically, the first thing to go was the six-day creationism. But they didn't change their views about homosexuality or the environment or taxes, or the overall view that a Christian could feel at home only among Republicans." And he went on to describe the PHC ideology as "Maybe smug, or arrogant or naive" and he quotes Robert Draper who calls it "dead certain". It's one thing to hold these views in an abstract disassociated sense, but quite another to share a community with real living, breathing, feeling human beings and to treat them as subhuman demons to which the "bear false witness" prohibition does not apply. I'm sorry, but the college shares a community with us and it's time to shed anti-gay bias along with six-day creationism. Until the PHC community does that, your outdated ideas about sexuality will continue to manifest themselves in behaviors that are unacceptable to Christians.
"Seinfeld" was a repository of feminist ideology? News to me. Joking aside, I fail to see what's either non-Christian or non-understanding about Faith's remark that there's nothing wrong with changing diapers. And the fact that all of us are called to different positions seemed to be precisely the point she was making. Finally, I feel the need to remind you (again) that insulting bloggers -- and I would consider calling a blogger's faith and/or worldview into question as coming dangerously close to that -- is against the rules of this site and is grounds for a warning and possible suspension from commenting. Please keep it in mind.
"not that there's anything wrong with that" splutter Wow, such a perfect put-down phrase from feminist ideology. And then the lack of any understanding that God has called all of us to different positions, and some of those might not appear to be "great things" Isn't this a Christian worldview site? Oughtn't the columnists have a Christian worldview? Maybe send all columnists to six months at L'Abri before they start writing?
Faith, Thank you for sharing your perspectives as an alumna of PHC. "For Christ and For liberty" is certainly a mantra I could rally behind and I praise the efforts of the school--and the students--to present a Godly example in an ungodly world. I really do. I really do apologize for the tangent that comment thread has gone on. I hoped to merely provide a counter-point to experience Allen had on campus, I should have forseen the interest such a point would draw. I hope that PHC as a school and as individuals will continue to seek Christ and seek Liberty in the world after they leave.
Jonathan, it's pointless for you to try to pretend to be someone else when I can easily see your IP address via TypePad. Faith told me that she had discussed this already with you on another blog and that she was done with the discussion, and I made it clear that this post was not the place to talk about the topic. Despite that, you attempted to keep up the conversation anyway by deceiving us. You are suspended from commenting, and this thread is closed.

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