Pensacola Christian College
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Pensacola Christian College (or PCC) is a
diploma mill conservative, independent Baptist fundie school founded in 1974 by minister Arlin Horton and located near the former Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida. Because of their fundamentalist beliefs, the school operated for many years as an unaccredited institution, but was accredited in 2013 by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools to award associates to doctoral degrees.
PCC explicitly details their firm adherence to biblical literalism, young earth creationism, pre-Tribulation eschatology, and other typical fundie beliefs, in their Articles of Faith. Their educational philosophy rejects "what has crept into much of American education since the middle of the last century," i.e., "progressive notions with a focus on humanistic views of a child’s nature." Thus, liberals are bad, secular humanism is worse, "naturalistic and relativistic" thinking is an abomination, and tolerance is to be avoided at all costs. Sadly, as is the case in many strict fundamentalist institutions, criminal acts such as rape and stalking are ignored and blamed on the victim.
The PCC Ecosystem
Pensacola Christian College is part of a broad ecosystem of fundamentalism. In addition to the college, the Hortons own and control many related businesses:
- A Beka Book, a
propaganda millpublishing house providing sermonstextbooks to Christian homeschoolers
- A Beka Academy, a distance-learning program for homeschoolers
- Joyful Life Sunday School, publisher of fundamentalist screeds for Sunday Schools
- Pensacola Christian Academy, an elementary, middle and high school for indoctrinating young minds into a fundamentalist worldview
- Pensacola Theological Seminary, the college's graduate level component
- The Crowne Centre, an independent Baptist church located on the PCC campus
- Rejoice in the Lord, a weekly television broadcast
- Rejoice Radio, a network of over 40 FM radio stations spreading the creationist plague to at risk people.
“”After what I’ve seen at PCC, – the rules, the “court,” the staff bickering, the nonsense of it all, and what really goes on and is just ignored, it’s just not real to these people. So maybe none of this is real. As long as everything looks OK on the outside, that’s what counts to them. Appearance, just appearance, that’s all. I just don’t care anymore. It doesn’t matter what you are like inside, just be sure you dress right, speak properly, keep the rules – just “fit in” and you’ll be a fine Christian. That’s not for me.
|—A former PCC student|
Any physical contact between members of the opposite sex is strictly forbidden. To help students conform to this, all stairwells and elevators on campus are segregated by gender. Patronizing movie theaters, watching television, visiting the dormitories of the opposite gender, use of profanity, listening to any music other than pre-approved Christian music, having hair of the wrong length, and off-campus meeting of members of the opposite sex are grounds for disciplinary action, up to expulsion. Additionally, protests and petitions are expressly forbidden, as is possessing, distributing, writing, or reading "unauthorized literature."
The eerie similarities between their policies and those of authoritarian regimes like North Korea is ironic as ever, since it is a given that they go to bed at night worried about atheist commies conspiring to take away their "freedom".
As a college of "true" Christians, PCC does not include any coursework that could conflict with a strictly literal reading of Genesis - it teaches Young Earth Creationism and the Great Flood. PCC is not forced to teach subjects such as evolution, though students are generally given an idea of what evolution is (from a creationist viewpoint). PCC teaches a literal seven-day creation by God of the universe approximately six thousand years ago. PCC also denies Sigmund Freud's work on psychoanalysis.
PCC offers bachelor degrees in over 15 majors in nine departments, including Bible, Engineering, and Nursing. Pensacola Theological Seminary, the college's graduate level component, offers Master's Degrees in Divinity, Ministry, Biblical Exposition and Languages, Church Music, and a Doctorate of Ministry to prepare "servant-leaders for full-time Christian work."
Sometimes credits from PCC can be transferred to secular or non-secular colleges or universities, which may or may not be accredited, but many institutions will not accept credits from PCC.[Note 1]
A Beka Book
“”Between the Fall of man and the Flood of Noah's day... God allowed man to live by the dictates of his conscience, without the restraining force of government. Because man did not have the authority to put murderers to death during this time, acts of violence and passion grew to such dimensions that God mercifully sent the Flood to destroy all of mankind but one believing family. After the Flood... God established civil government by ordering the death penalty (capital punishment) for murder. In establishing this first foundational civil ordinance, God again taught man the sanctity of human life...
|—Bad pseudohistory from World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective, 2nd Ed. (A Beka Book, 1997), a 10th grade history text.|
A Beka Book, named after Rev. Horton's wife, Rebekah, supplies a full range of fundamentalist Christian textbooks to homeschoolers and Christian Schools. In 1996, A Beka Book asked for financial relief from millions of dollars of unpaid taxes requested by state and federal governments. The taxpayers ended up paying the bill.
A Beka Book's textbooks are typical of the genre of educational materials supplied by religious fundamentalists. They are notable for a stunning display of religious intolerance, right wing conservative politics, and harsh criticism of contemporary culture.
Some highlights from the catalog include the following:
- Science of the Physical Creation in Christian Perspective. ISBN 836585161X. The geology section includes a "refutation" of the "principle of uniformity" and other ideas of evolutionary philosophers.
- Science: Order and Reality. ISBN 0813631041. A middle school level "biology" "textbook". Published 1993, written ca. 103. Every chapter opens with Bible verses.
- Physics: The Foundational Science. The highlight of this text is its wealth of lengthy historical essays on Men of Science, Men of God; physics takes a real back seat.
- Vocabulary, Spelling and Poetry series. Besides learning words useful in reading the King James version of the Bible (which PCC believes is the only good translation), students are treated to lengthy essays on how, e.g., the "descriptive" school of dictionary writers are spearheading a satanic conspiracy bent on making "evolutionists" out of English speakers.
- Economics: Work and Prosperity. Ostensibly an economics text, actually an anti-communist tract, although apparently the news of the Soviet Union's collapse passed the author by. Not surprising, since he is Russell Kirk, who not only died in 1994, but was not an economist even when he was warm. It should be said, however, that the authors of real economics texts could take a hint from Dr. Kirk's writing style.
- Sex, Love and Romance: Sex Education from the Bible. Probably the only sex-ed book that contains more references to Satan than to semen. A must-read for aspiring misogynists and writers of religious-themed erotica.
- Bible Doctrines for Today. A Bible course text that may also double as bad science fiction.
- A Healthier You. A book on how to be a good God-fearing White Southern Protestant Christian American, with some anti-drug education slammed on. One highlight is an illustrated panel that shows how you can pass a history exam through hard prayer and the Lord's grace.
- Choosing Good Health. Similar to above but for a younger audience, also with some basic medicine and first aid stuff slammed on.
- Official site
- A Beka Book
- A Beca Academy
- Joyful Life Sunday School
- Rejoice Radio Network
- Rejoice In the Lord
- 5 Insane Realities At My Fundamentalist Christian College
- The Student Voice Archives
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools Members at tracs.org.
- Articles of Faith at pcci.edu.
- A Beka Book Philosophy of Education at jhchristianacademy.org. Based upon naturalistic and relativistic thinking, most of the popular education ideas today are built upon progressive notions with a focus on humanistic views of a child’s nature. The resulting paradigm is characterized by an emphasis on experience, attention to student needs and desires, facilitation by teachers, a natural (permissive) environment, collaborative learning, and the clarification of values emphasizing tolerance.
- I Was Told I Needed To “Repent” For Being Raped At My Christian College at xojane.com.
- ‘God is Done with You’: Pensacola Christian College and Sexual Violence at patheos.com.
- Christian Colleges Have a Sexual Assault Problem at rewire.news.
- A Father's testimony at svarchives.com.
- College Standards at www.pcci.edu.
- College Code of Conduct at www.pcci.edu.
- General Responsibilities at www.pcci.edu.
- PCC Divisions at www.pcci.edu.
- Course list at www.pcci.edu.
- Pensacola Theological Seminary at pts.pcci.edu.
- Degrees offered at Pensacola Theological Seminary at pts.pcci.edu.
- Fun With Christianists: Things You Can Learn in a Christian ‘World History & Cultures’ Textbook (Part 1). Wonkette, September 2, 2012.
- Taxpayers foot religious school's tax tab. Tampa Bay Times, July 7, 1996.
- Teaching Religious Intolerance at rethinkingschools.org. To say that Christian fundamentalist textbooks portray Roman Catholicism and non-Western religions in a negative way is to understate the case by several orders of magnitude. All the texts are imbued with an arrogance and hostility toward non-Western religions that is truly breathtaking.
- With God On Their Side... at rethinkingschools.org. In A Beka's world history textbooks, the term "liberal" is tied to, among other things, the belief in evolution - and both are thoroughly castigated.
- Science of the Physical Creation in Christian Perspective at amazon.com.
- Sundays With The Christianists: Sex Education From People Who Think You're All Filthy Perverts. Wonkette, February 17, 2013.