Shocking Allegations Against Five Wheaton College Football Players

"The criminal charges add another troubling incident for Wheaton College's football team, which consistently is ranked among the top Division III programs in the country under longtime head coach Mike Swider. The team made national headlines nearly three years ago after players dressed up in Ku Klux Klan robes as part of so-called team-building activity in a campus gym."

Chicago Tribune

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WheatonCollege.jpgWheaton College

What in the world is going on at Wheaton College?

Five Wheaton football players have been accused of carrying out a horrific hazing act involving a freshman teammate. Here is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune that describes what is alleged to have occurred:

The student told investigators that he was watching the NCAA basketball tournament in a dorm room on March 19, 2016, when several teammates entered the room and tackled him, according to the documents. The freshman kicked his legs and yelled at them to stop, only to be punched and have his bare legs and wrists wrapped in duct tape, the victim said.

The players put a pillow case over the 19-year-old freshman's head and took him from the residence hall. Though there was a "root beer kegger" taking place in the dorm that night, no students or college employees intervened as the freshman was carried out of the building, according to the records.

The freshman told investigators that he was placed in the back seat of a teammate's vehicle and held down by at least two players while others piled into the vehicle. After the vehicle began moving, the players played Middle Eastern music and made offensive comments about Muslims, according to the victim's account.

At one point, the players suggested to the freshman that he had been kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to fornicate with goats, the teen told investigators. They patted his foot and suggested he would be their "goat" for the evening, the records said.

The freshman told investigators that his teammates restrained him with more duct tape during the drive, pulled down his shorts and underwear, then repeatedly tried to insert an object into his rectum. After the freshman yelled at them to stop, he was beaten, he said.

The players drove to a park located off campus and carried the freshman onto a baseball diamond, according to his account. The players threw dirt on the teen, took his cell phone and left him half-naked on the field, he said.

The freshman, who had just transferred to the college, did not know where he was or how to get back to campus. The temperature that night was about 45 degrees, according to National Weather Service records.

About 10 minutes later, a second player was dumped on the field, he told investigators. The two were eventually driven back to campus by classmates who came looking for the second player.

The freshman returned to his dorm room, called his mother and then drove himself to the hospital. He suffered muscle tears in both shoulders, in addition to various bruises and scratches, the records said.

Late Monday afternoon a DuPage County judge signed arrest warrants for the five football players at Wheaton College who were charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint, according to the Tribune.

The student reportedly suffered muscle tears in both shoulders and has undergone multiple surgeries for his injuries. The Tribune indicated that the student is now attending a college in Indiana.

News outlets far and wide have been covering this shocking story. Here is one of the early reports by a Chicago news station.

The following segment aired after two of the football players turned themselves in to authorities.

The Washington Post covered this story and provided the following information:

College administrators learned about the incident shortly after it happened from coaches and other team members, according to a statement the school sent to The Post. It declined to share details of the investigation, citing federal student privacy protections. The statement said college leaders immediately launched an internal investigation and its trustees have launched a campuswide review of its current anti-hazing policy.

The five players who were charged were ordered to perform community service, and write an eight-page essay reflecting on their behavior [emphasis mine], the Tribune reported, and all are still listed on the football team’s roster.

The students being sought on arrest warrants are 21-year-old Kyler Kregal of Grand Rapids, Mich.; 22-year-old James Cooksey, of Jacksonville, Fla.; 21-year-old Benjamin Pettway, of Lookout Mountain, Ga.; 22-year-old Samuel TeBos, of Allendale, Mich.; and 21-year-old Noah Spielman, of Columbus, Ohio. Spielman is the son a former son of former NFL player Chris Spielman, who is a football analyst for Fox Sports.

The Chicago Tribune article included this shocking information (see screen shot below)


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-wheaton-college-football-hazing-met-20170918-story.html


We were stunned when we read the following excerpt from The Washington Post article:

Christian Simpson, a black student who played one season of football, left the team this year partially because of negative comments the football players made about “affirmative action and race relations.” He said that while the extent of the physical aggression he witnessed was “locker room talk,” he wasn’t surprised that this allegedly happened.

It was shocking to read about Christian Simpson's football experience at Wheaton. You see, Dr. Philip Ryken has been serving as president of Wheaton College since 2010, and he is also a Council Member of The Gospel Coalition, which has been publishing a number of articles that denounce segregation in churches, among other related topics. And let's not forget that Wheaton's current president is a Calvinist.

There has already been some speculation that this alleged hazing act by these five football players may have been in response to Wheaton's former political science professor Larycia Hawkins, who garnered national attention when she wore a hijab in support of Muslims. Hawkins has since left Wheaton College to become a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.

In response to these allegations, Wheaton College issued the following statement.


Full Statement by Wheaton College (link)

Wheaton College aspires to provide an educational environment that is not only free of hazing, but practices our values as a Christian community. As such, we are deeply troubled by the allegations brought by law enforcement against five members of our football team. When this incident was brought to our attention by other members of the football team and coaching staff in March 2016, the College took swift action to initiate a thorough investigation. Our internal investigation into the incident, and our engagement with an independent, third-party investigator retained by the College, resulted in a range of corrective actions. We are unable to share details on these disciplinary measures due to federal student privacy protections.

The College has fully cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation. To not impede the law enforcement investigation, the College was bound by confidentiality and unable to share more information until now.

The conduct we discovered as a result of our investigation into this incident was entirely unacceptable and inconsistent with the values we share as human beings and as members of an academic community that espouses to live according to our Community Covenant. We are profoundly saddened that any member of our community could be mistreated in any way. This incident has prompted our Board of Trustees to engage outside experts to lead a campus-wide review of the level of effectiveness of our anti-hazing policy and of the culture around how students treat one another in our campus communities, athletic teams, and organizations. Wheaton remains committed to providing Christ-centered development programs and training to all our students.

In 2014, we revised our anti-hazing policy and improved our training protocols to include a formal review of our anti-hazing policy with all student athletes every year, with required student signatures; we also require annual training for residence assistants who are responsible for residence hall activities. Despite these deeply troubling charges, we have experienced positive changes on campus, including rapid responses from campus leaders to reports of hazing or other inappropriate behavior and effective disciplinary review.


We will continue to follow this story closely.

Comments

Shocking Allegations Against Five Wheaton College Football Players — 236 Comments

  1. So no one contacted law enforcement at the time of the assault?

    How can they think that 50 hours of community service & an Essay–of all things— are anywhere near enough of a response?

    I just can’t believe the callousness of Wheaton’s administration.

    You’re far safer in Iceland than in our universities.

  2. Molly245 wrote:

    How can they think that 50 hours of community service & an Essay–of all things— are anywhere near enough of a response?

    I wonder if the penalty would have been as mild if the offenders had not been football players?

  3. @ Deb:
    I wonder if the disciplinary actions would have been the same if the players has committed the atrocity to a member of the faculty? I’ll bet the discipline would have been much harsher if the victim had been Ryken or the head football coach.

  4. Molly245 wrote:

    So no one contacted law enforcement at the time of the assault?
    How can they think that 50 hours of community service & an Essay–of all things— are anywhere near enough of a response?

    It doesn’t matter on many colleges. The campus police answer to the college and have police jurisdiction.

    A friend of my sister-in-law’s at the big university here was kidnapped for several days, repeatedly raped, and held hostage last year. She went to the police. The university said she signed an agreement for the university court to handle it, so they banned him from the school for 8 years. That’s all the punishment he has gotten and likely will.

  5. good grief — my son’s public high school football team has far superior behavior. behavior expectations are very high. being part of the athletic program is seen as a privilege. players are expected to be leaders on the high school campus, responsible and respectful to others. behavior infractions mean you have lost the privilege to participate and are off the team.

    any student at the public high school would be expelled for less severe behavior than these players exhibited.

    by contrast, wheaton gives them community service and an essay to write. and it seems they continued to play in games.

    “Three of the accused played in Wheaton College’s victory over Carthage College Saturday, and all were listed on the team roster as of Monday afternoon. The Division III program is ranked fourth in the country.” chicago tribune article

    somehow i’m not surprised. football ranking and power before decency and integrity.

    the public school system in our town outshines Wheaton (& other christian institutions) in integrity standards.

  6. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):

    “I wonder if the disciplinary actions would have been the same if the players has committed the atrocity to a member of the faculty?”
    +++++++++++++

    i wonder if the disciplinary actions would have been the same if the perpetrators weren’t on the football team.

  7. elastigirl wrote:

    i wonder if the disciplinary actions would have been the same if the perpetrators weren’t on the football team.

    Only if they or their parents were/are rich or other important reason.

  8. At least they didn’t wear a hijab while committing these assaults so it’s all good really. Wheaton needs to sort out its priorities.

  9. elastigirl wrote:

    somehow i’m not surprised. football ranking and power before decency and integrity.
    the public school system in our town outshines Wheaton (& other christian institutions) in integrity standards.

    Don’t forget about money! College football brings in a tremendous amount of money to colleges, something that high schools don’t get.

  10. ishy wrote:

    Don’t forget about money! College football brings in a tremendous amount of money to colleges, something that high schools don’t get.

    Wheaton probably has lots of excuses regarding protecting its football team, but money generation is not one of them. Wheaton football plays in NCAA Division III, which allows no athletic scholarships. Its football stadium has a seating capacity of 4000. Wheaton is certainly not Penn State. There are 4 high schools in Spartanburg County, SC (where I live) with stadiums larger than that, including one stadium with a capacity of 15,000. I speculate the money generated by these high schools is larger than Wheaton.

    I’ve heard that many Texas high schools dwarf those numbers. Maybe someone in Texas could enlighten us on the subject.

    According to https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/wheaton-college-illinois/student-life/sports/, Wheaton’s athletic programs bring in a net of $0. My opinion is that Wheaton, like most other colleges, are more concerned about image. The football players in the above incident should have be expelled and police contacted much earlier. The Wheaton administration figuratively “dropped the ball”. As a Christian school, this is unacceptable and again brings ridicule to the Body of Christ.

  11. Ken P. wrote:

    The Wheaton administration figuratively “dropped the ball”. As a Christian school, this is unacceptable and again brings ridicule to the Body of Christ.

    Amen. What a terrible testimony before a watching world.

  12. Since I live in Texas, I can tell you about high school football stadiums. One town nearby built a new football stadium recently that is worth millions of dollars. Seriously, it’s just a game. But not to people who live in Texas. I am stunned by the discipline the Wheaton college football players got. In this day an age, the 8 page essay could easily be done by someone else (as in threatening other students), or taken from various forms of books, etc. As a person who has had shoulder surgery, I can state that it is a life changing event. I’m 6 months post-op and still in pain every day. I can only imagine what pain this young man was going thru and probably to this day is still going thru to some degree. As a parent, I would have also made the school pay for all the medical expenses incurred by his injuries. I might have even sued these boys. You cannot let these young “adults” boys get away without some type of major discipline. It is setting an example for other students that says, oh well, we can do the same thing, the college won’t do much to us. Totally not acceptable.

  13. Or as Rod Dreher put it, they skated. Whatever changes were made in 2014 were obviously inadequate if these 5 football players were given community service and had to write an essay as punishment for kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault, etc. I wonder who these “outside experts” are.

  14. This story is so disturbing! It bothers me a little that all of the headlines refer to “hazing” when this is assault, including sexual assault. (I know that it IS hazing as well, but this goes beyond some prank getting out of hand.)

  15. Isn’t it amazing how a few hundred ordinary people turned the world upside down and spread the life giving Gospel of Jesus without so much as one Bible college, seminary, big box church, or football team? People where overwhelmed by the love they had for one another. Where is the love here, in this situation?

    Such an act, totally devoid of love, reveals a heart and life totally devoid of Jesus and His love. How far they have fallen. When they should be tearing their (own) clothes and repenting in sackcloth and ashes, instead they are covering up and making excuses.

    We see this repeated over and over again in colleges, seminaries, and churches, yet the people still flock to them and give them money. Take the money away and they all fall down. Given the current state of affairs in the USA church, why do they wonder that the whole mess is shrinking? No love. The world is watching and concluding that they live better, more honorable, more loving lives than those who profess Christ. The events catalogued here prove that.

  16. I this day of the internet I am surprised that Wheaton thought they could keep this under wraps. Better to deal with it immediately and have expelled these guys. Then no one would be accusing the school of wrongdoing.

  17. Molly245 wrote:

    So no one contacted law enforcement at the time of the assault?

    How can they think that 50 hours of community service & an Essay–of all things— are anywhere near enough of a response?

    I just can’t believe the callousness of Wheaton’s administration.

    One word in the title explains it all:
    FOOTBALL.

    Rank Hath Its Privileges.

  18. NJ wrote:

    I wonder who these “outside experts” are.

    And if they’re buttery, doughy, and really into Fantasy FOOTBALL (like House Mahaney).

  19. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Molly245 wrote:
    So no one contacted law enforcement at the time of the assault?

    According to the MSN article, a nurse in the ER contacted the police and reports/evidence were taken at that time (which would have been shortly after the attack).
    Although we looked at the school as an option when my oldest son was looking for colleges, in my mind, Wheaton already has a black eye after the Dennis Hastert affair…

  20. readingalong wrote:

    According to the MSN article, a nurse in the ER contacted the police and reports/evidence were taken at that time (which would have been shortly after the attack).

    This brings in the question of the local police’s relationship with the college, or possibly the police saw it as a hazing incident, and since no one died, it wasn’t worth their time. Either way, why did it take so long for local prosecutors to bring charges?

  21. Failure to report is a real problem in the football community. Which doesn’t excuse Wheaton at all, but the issue appears to be systemic. While I was away on vacation, here in the Valley of the Sun, we have the Chandler police department (next city over) wanting to bring charges against a former football coach and the principal of Hamilton High School:

    http://www.azfamily.com/story/36406715/additional-charges-recommended-against-ex-football-coach-principal-of-hamilton-high

    So much emphasis is placed on winning in football, I’m thinking it completely skews priorities.

  22. Just to be clear: the police want charges of child abuse and failure to report against the former football coach and the current high school principal. (Why yes, he was still in his position as of two days ago.) There are six victims.

  23. Ken P. wrote:

    his brings in the question of the local police’s relationship with the college, or possibly the police saw it as a hazing incident, and since no one died, it wasn’t worth their time. Either way, why did it take so long for local prosecutors to bring charges?

    I wonder about this as well?

  24. brian wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    i wonder if the disciplinary actions would have been the same if the perpetrators weren’t on the football team.

    Only if they or their parents were/are rich or other important reason.

    One of the perps belongs to former NFL Pro Chris Spielman, so I can see why the top brass probably didn’t want to rock the boat too much. This entire incident is far beyond disgusting. I hope the kids that were hurt recover physically, mentally AND spiritually.

    Way to represent Christ, Wheaton! 🙁

  25. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I wonder if the penalty would have been as mild if the offenders had not been football players?

    Football is big business. All the way from Pop Warner stuff to the rarified heights of the NFL. Lotsa’ dinero changes hands even in college ball… no wondering required about whether or not extra slack was given to these cretins, but I think you knew that already.

  26. ishy wrote:

    Don’t forget about money! College football brings in a tremendous amount of money to colleges, something that high schools don’t get.

    “Follow the Money.”
    — “Deep Throat”, All the President’s Men

  27. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Just to be clear: the police want charges of child abuse and failure to report against the former football coach and the current high school principal. (Why yes, he was still in his position as of two days ago.) There are six victims.

    It’s JoePa & Penn State in miniature.

  28. Harley wrote:

    You cannot let these young “adults” boys get away without some type of major discipline. It is setting an example for other students that says, oh well, we can do the same thing, the college won’t do much to us. Totally not acceptable.

    “And everyone wonders how O.J.Simpson got started?”
    — KFI Afternoon drive-time, when a similar scandal broke during Cirque de O.J.

    Referring to a quote attributed to O.J. during that 1994 media circus:
    “I’m O.J.SImpson and O.J.Simpson gets away with everything.”

  29. Read the details on the “hazing”…

    Animal Forced Dominance Display putting The Weak One in his place beneath the Strong.
    Like the Men of Sodom attempted with Lot’s guests.

    In prison slang, they “made a woman out of him”.

  30. The reason I’m binge-commenting on this subject is I spent four years as the geeky nerdy Omega Male in a High School that literally Worshipped their Varsity Football Team. Football Players Could Do No Wrong. And I was on the bottom of the heap.

    P.S. A couple times I was threatened with gang rape “behind the backstop”, but this did NOT come from the football jocks. (They mostly kept to themselves.) At least I wasn’t at Wheaton…

  31. Not shocked anymore, but saddened. We’ve had Penn State, Master’s College, Wheaton, Harvard, and how many others? This crap has to stop and perps need to be punished.

    I am disgusted by the whole mess. These institutions need to die a quick death. Burn them and torch them and anyone who goes to them even if not involved with the crime either needs to change the culture or get out. Sorry that goes for my alma maters as well. I would be embarrassed to say I was from or going to any of these schools I mentioned unless I was a change agent for the good.

    Remember the scripture verse that the one who knows to do good and doesn’t has sinned, so to walk around with head down in ignorance is no excuse. I don’t care what school it is. Get outta there or change the bad behavior. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

  32. Not usurping God on this one, but I have to at least question the salvation, if professed, by these scumbags.

  33. The football players should have been expelled, all the coaches fired and the football program disbanded.

    Additionally every football player on the team should be tested for steriods and expelled if they test positive.

    Every administrative official who took part in the disciplinary process should also be fired.

  34. I checked out Wheaton College as a potential place for me to attend back around 2000. My encounter with Head Coach Swisher was so awful that I chose to exclude Wheaton from my college hunt. Instead, I went to Carleton College. (My experience playing at the secular Carleton College against similar colleges like Wheaton from 2001-2004 was how the more conservative “Christian” the college, the dirtier their players played.)

    I remember how Swisher was so proud that he ran his DIII program like a DI program. So, it comes to little surprise for me that he is now having similar DI program scandal problems. Also, I can’t imagine playing for a coach who allowed those kids to remain on his team after what happened–assuming the report is true.

    All that said, these actions do not speak for all of Wheaton just as these actions do not speak for all college football players. Who knows? Maybe the NCAA will step in and level their own consequences on these athletes?

  35. Top 50

    Perps should have been dropped from the team at minimum. Expelled, in my opinion. Criminal behaviors should be jail time if they were convicted. I shall refrain from saying what I am really thinking is the reason that those things, including a trial, did not happen lest I blow up the thread.

  36. My mother gave me the straight dope on Christian colleges a very, very *long* time ago. She told me that some parents sent their kids there to straighten them out. She also told me it never worked.

  37. Deb wrote:

    Amen. What a terrible testimony before a watching world.

    Actually it’s a testament to poor leadership, a culture of superiority, a belief in untouchability and likely steroid abuse.
    This incident could and has happened on secular campuses with the exact same response.

    I don’t say this to defend the faith. Christians are as animalistic as the rest of us.

  38. @ Molly245:
    We have to educate college students to call real police immediately even if in shock. So why didn’t the hospital call? Or did I miss that?

  39. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Did you read about the horrors that went on in Steubenville Ohio with a public school high school football team? They carried a passed out girl around from party to party and raped her all night. The leadership of the entire town including a judge backed the football players. They took pictures and put them on social media!

    The girl had to move.

  40. Caroline wrote:

    This story is so disturbing! It bothers me a little that all of the headlines refer to “hazing” when this is assault, including sexual assault. (I know that it IS hazing as well, but this goes beyond some prank getting out of hand.)

    Very much agree. This was an assault, plain and simple. They should face legal charges and expulsion.
    What bothers me also is their lack of fear of any consequences. They must have done something like this before and gotten away with it.

  41. Lydia wrote:

    We have to educate college students to call real police immediately even if in shock. So why didn’t the hospital call? Or did I miss that?

    According to this article, the hospital did contact police. Looks like this is verifiable.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-wheaton-college-football-hazing-met-20170918-story.html

    [QUOTE]

    The freshman returned to his dorm room, called his mother and then drove himself to the hospital. He suffered muscle tears in both shoulders, in addition to various bruises and scratches, the records said.

    After he became overcome by emotion in the emergency room, a nurse called police and collected evidence, according to the records. […]

    [END QUOTE]

  42. Lydia wrote:

    Did you read about the horrors that went on in Steubenville Ohio with a public school high school football team? They carried a passed out girl around from party to party and raped her all night. The leadership of the entire town including a judge backed the football players. They took pictures and put them on social media!
    The girl had to move.

    Recent new developments in that one – one of the perps now wants to play at Youngstown State (tried out as a walk-on); he was accepted, then school backed out when a petition was circulated against him, now suing and courts are saying (at present) that he can play.
    Although perhaps he can argue that he took his punishment already (was sentenced to a year in juvenile detention)…

  43. elastigirl wrote:

    the public school system in our town outshines Wheaton (& other christian institutions) in integrity standards.

    Many public schools have sworn police assigned full time to campus, and there is a huge overlap between breaking school rules and breaking the law. Kids get thoroughly punished at school for off-campus incidents (e.g., going to a weekend beer party, even if the student does not drink any beer). The school acts immediately–none of this presumption of innocence.

    If this hazing with r@pe happened in a public high school around here, the perpetrator would be severely punished by the school system… assuming he ever got out of jail.

  44. Jack wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    Amen. What a terrible testimony before a watching world.
    Actually it’s a testament to poor leadership, a culture of superiority, a belief in untouchability and likely steroid abuse.
    This incident could and has happened on secular campuses with the exact same response.
    I don’t say this to defend the faith. Christians are as animalistic as the rest of us.

    I don’t believe Christians are as animalistic as the rest.
    A truly changed heart would not do such things. It would be an offense to God and mankind.
    Steroids could be an issue, and the aggressive behavior that goes with it.
    Not that it’s use gives excuse. Just something for the college to investigate.

  45. OCDan wrote:

    Not usurping God on this one, but I have to at least question the salvation, if professed, by these scumbags.

    Agree…doesn’t reflect Christ living in them at all.

  46. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The reason I’m binge-commenting on this subject is I spent four years as the geeky nerdy Omega Male in a High School that literally Worshipped their Varsity Football Team. Football Players Could Do No Wrong. And I was on the bottom of the heap.
    P.S. A couple times I was threatened with gang rape “behind the backstop”, but this did NOT come from the football jocks. (They mostly kept to themselves.) At least I wasn’t at Wheaton…

    Sorry HUG, the world can be cruel to the outsiders. I hope you have the satisfaction of becoming a success, in spite of their torment.

  47. I have a family member who feels very strongly that high school students should go right from homeschool or Christian school right to Christian college because studies show that Christian kids who go to secular schools are likely to come out of college not being Christian anymore. And then I read stories about this. I don’t feel so bad about my kids going to a small state school. I don’t know much else about Wheaton or any other Christian college these days, but I do know that living up to our calling as believers requires a heck of a lot more than a Christian label and reputation.

  48. Catherine Martin wrote:

    I have a family member who feels very strongly that high school students should go right from homeschool or Christian school right to Christian college because studies show that Christian kids who go to secular schools are likely to come out of college not being Christian anymore.

    This sounds too much like saying that people should never, ever have their beliefs challenged. Education is not the enemy of belief. Any faith worth having should be strengthened through learning–or why go to college at all?

    Alternatively, these home school alums who are supposedly no longer Christian after secular college…

    1) …might still be strongly Christian but no longer recognizable by certain folks back home. Girls in pants! Run away!

    2) …might have realized that they were not raised in an authentic faith, but merely held captive by Ma and Pa Pharisee.

  49. OCDan wrote:

    Not usurping God on this one, but I have to at least question the salvation, if professed, by these scumbags.

    But I thought it was all covered under the blood?

  50. Catherine Martin wrote:

    I have a family member who feels very strongly that high school students should go right from homeschool or Christian school right to Christian college because studies show that Christian kids who go to secular schools are likely to come out of college not being Christian anymore. And then I read stories about this. I don’t feel so bad about my kids going to a small state school. I don’t know much else about Wheaton or any other Christian college these days, but I do know that living up to our calling as believers requires a heck of a lot more than a Christian label and reputation.

    Would like to see those studies. Because a whole lot of studies are perfect balderdash. I know, am on the inside, have been on the editorial staff of an academic journal and reviewed a lot of articles containing academic research. There’s some junk out there.

    This is anecdotal, but when my oldest child had her faith challenged four years ago by an atheist friend on a secular state u campus—the one where I teach—she came to me saying she wanted to read “God is Not Great” by Hitchens, a book her friend had suggested. At first we freaked out, wondering if we were going to lose her, but finally we realized if her faith couldn’t withstand a challenge, it wasn’t real faith, so daughter and I went straight to the university library and checked it out at my insistence and she read it. The wife and I held our breath. When daughter was done, I asked her what she thought of Hitchens’s arguments (thinking there might be a big fight and crisis of faith) but she answered: “I think Hicthens is a spoiled brat and doesn’t make good arguments.”

    So now our little baby, four years later, has an active faith in Christ, is graduating this semester summa cum laude in accounting, has already been accepted to a major university’s graduate school, and has proven that you can be a born again Christian on a public university’s campus, be smarter than the smug, intellect-idolizing atheists, have your faith challenged regularly, and have it come out the other end with it stronger than ever.

  51. ishy wrote:

    A friend of my sister-in-law’s at the big university here was kidnapped for several days, repeatedly raped, and held hostage last year. She went to the police. The university said she signed an agreement for the university court to handle it, so they banned him from the school for 8 years.

    Wait, WHAT? Does that mean the real police were not allowed to handle it? (maybe this is answered above, I’m just getting through this). That is astoundingly horrible.

    I have never understood hazing really, but it seems to creep into specific cultures (the most physical stuff generally male ones). But to cause muscle tears that required surgery to an athlete?? Not to mention the other stuff.

  52. ishy wrote:

    Molly245 wrote:
    So no one contacted law enforcement at the time of the assault?
    How can they think that 50 hours of community service & an Essay–of all things— are anywhere near enough of a response?
    It doesn’t matter on many colleges. The campus police answer to the college and have police jurisdiction.
    A friend of my sister-in-law’s at the big university here was kidnapped for several days, repeatedly raped, and held hostage last year. She went to the police. The university said she signed an agreement for the university court to handle it, so they banned him from the school for 8 years. That’s all the punishment he has gotten and likely will.

    Why doesn’t your friend turn it over to local law enforcement? No university can circumvent that, no one can contractually waive their rights to pursue a criminal matter.

  53. Ken P. wrote:

    Its football stadium has a seating capacity of 4000.

    Goodness, my high school is bigger than that too.

    I would ask not just would they have gotten a harsher sentence if not on the football team, but also if not on the football team, would they have done anything like this? Outside of frats (where hazing seems centered on drinking although I have no real experience with this), I don’t know where else such things are common. I think a marching band got in trouble for hazing once.

  54. Gram3 wrote:

    My mother gave me the straight dope on Christian colleges a very, very *long* time ago. She told me that some parents sent their kids there to straighten them out. She also told me it never worked.

    Interesting. I can see that I guess. But also overprotective parents. Which is maybe a bad combination?

    My friend used to tell me about all the ‘rules’ at her Baptist college, like not going to parties across the street, dorm checks, etc. I was happy enough to go to a school with no such rules.

  55. Catherine Martin wrote:

    Christian kids who go to secular schools are likely to come out of college not being Christian anymore

    SO, I live in the bible belt. Local public schools, from elementary to college, are probably as Christian as everywhere else generally. So I find this boogie man silly.

  56. Cranston wrote:

    At least they didn’t wear a hijab while committing these assaults so it’s all good really. Wheaton needs to sort out its priorities.

    Students at Wheaton should have worn hijabs en masse in support of Larycia Hawkins. Maybe some did, but it wasn’t reported.

    Oh. Right. The case against her was that she agreed with Pope Francis on facebook that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Nothing about the hijab.

  57. Mae wrote:

    Very much agree. This was an assault, plain and simple.

    And why did it take a year and a half before any charges against the attackers? Was there obstruction of justice by Wheaton officials? They certainly knew something; there was the 8-page essay assignment, and the 50 hours of community service. Like these guys had done no more than give a wedgie and a swirlie.

  58. ishy wrote:

    The university said she signed an agreement for the university court to handle it, so they banned him from the school for 8 years.

    Did your friend have a lawyer? This is not how laws work. A university has no right to make a crime, not a crime. Even if too much time has gone by, she could still sue.

  59. @ Mae:

    “I don’t believe Christians are as animalistic as the rest.
    A truly changed heart would not do such things. It would be an offense to God and mankind.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    the rest… most people I observe are kind, honest, decent, generous, compassionate. Regardless of religion or no religion. I believe God can change a person for the better, but I also acknowledge the honorable things I see in just about everybody.

  60. For over 30 years my state university in Texas had dropped football. Now, I met my wife in the 1970s in the marching band and no football, no marching band, but you know, the addition of football about 5 years ago has not done anything to add to quality of life at the school.
    So many of the college kids who would be in the stands have jobs or other obligations.
    When they first brought back football, the stands were packed. Now that novelty is over, perhaps 25-30% of the stands are filled.
    Who is paying for the game? The students. It is part of their ” fees” to the university.
    Now football works at UT-Austin, or A&M, many even at the Univ. of Houston, but at my alma mater? I’ve not been to a game since the sport was reintroduced.

  61. @ Law Prof:
    That’s wonderful!

    Both of my daughters graduated from public universities and have continued to walk with Christ. I know not all parents can say that about their children.

  62. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Mae:
    “I don’t believe Christians are as animalistic as the rest.
    A truly changed heart would not do such things. It would be an offense to God and mankind.”
    ++++++++++++++++++
    the rest… most people I observe are kind, honest, decent, generous, compassionate. Regardless of religion or no religion. I believe God can change a person for the better, but I also acknowledge the honorable things I see in just about everybody.

    I believe that as well. The kindness and goodness of many, is a true blessing. Evil exists but thankfully, human goodness diminishes it’s territory.

  63. @ Law Prof:

    This study refutes Catherine Martin’s claim.

    It says, “Colleges can’t be blamed for declines in religious activity, study says, because graduates are more religious than others.”

    The data that they analyze come from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which tracked more than 10,000 Americans from adolescence through young adulthood from 1994 to 1995 and from 2001 to 2002. Because the study was looking at individuals, it differs from studies looking at those attending certain colleges and includes students from a range of colleges and those who didn’t attend college at all.

    Note the study was about all college, not just “certain” colleges.

  64. Deb wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    That’s wonderful!
    Both of my daughters graduated from public universities and have continued to walk with Christ. I know not all parents can say that about their children.

    I came to know the Lord at the University of Nevada practically in the shadows of the casinos in Reno.

  65. @ Law Prof:

    I don’t know about studies on the subject of living like a Christian while in school, but I personally attended, at the post high school level and by the time it was all said and done, five religiously affiliated educational institutions/ programs each for a period of one to three years and two secular educational institutions for a combined total of eight years and I found it much easier to live like a Christian in a religiously affiliated institution/ program. I mention the time only because I think that a year or more is long enough to develop a feel for a place.

    Of the religiously affiliated programs three were Baptist and two were Catholic. All of the schools including religiously affiliated and secular were good places to be at the time, but coming out as a bible thumper is a lot easier at some places than at others.

  66. Law Prof wrote:

    So now our little baby, four years later, has an active faith in Christ, is graduating this semester summa cum laude in accounting, has already been accepted to a major university’s graduate school, and has proven that you can be a born again Christian on a public university’s campus, be smarter than the smug, intellect-idolizing atheists, have your faith challenged regularly, and have it come out the other end with it stronger than ever.

    Wonderful for her. I lived a long time outside the US in a place dominated by atheist intellectuals. My faith changed and grew stronger as a result. It was a country where religion was considered private, and I did talk less about my beliefs. But I still tried to live out a Christian example, worship regularly, pray daily, and otherwise grow in Christ.

    I heard a few smug comments by atheists, but usually when I had made a superficial remark, or seemed to be proselytizing.

  67. @ okrapod:

    And on the topic of education:

    Of all things, when we submitted our credentials to the state to set up a homeschool, the state recognized me as a ‘teacher’ in a secular homeschool. RE is in charge of ‘curriculum and administration’ and is also ‘teacher’. In this state you have to actually establish a school, small though it be, and have a curriculum and give standardized tests and keep records and periodically get investigated of sorts. You also have to specify if it is a ‘religious’ or a ‘secular’ school. We are a secular school. I teach math, science and social studies. RE teaches all things pertaining to the literature, reading comprehension, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and whatever else goes along with the English language. We are subscribing on on-line Spanish instructions, and I am doing an introduction to piano course.

    There are some really great curriculum materials out there. Who knew.

    I went on line looking for episcopal/ anglican religious curricula for home school and found none. What I did find was an article discussing whether ‘episcopal homeschool’ was an oxymoron. I don’t know how many at our parish homeschool but we do know that we are not the only ones.

    Believe me, you are never too old to try new things, and I am finding this rewarding.

  68. okrapod wrote:

    episcopal/ anglican religious curricula for home school

    Have you looked into Godly Play? I don’t know if it’s for the right age, but Godly Play instructors might help you.

  69. I wanted my youngest daughter to attend a Christian College here in California. She had her heart set on Arizona State. My husband agreed that ASU would be best for her, so since I was outnumbered I grudgingly agreed. It was a good decision. She joined a sorority and was elected Chaplain and chaired the Philanthropy Committee. She was able to be an example to some of the girls who were not acting in their own best interests. Sure, her faith was challenged, but she is strong, stubborn and knows her Bible well. She made mistakes, just like any young person does, but for her the University was a good choice. By the way, a proud Mom speaking, she was on the Deans List when she graduated in only 3 1/2 years. Now at age 34, she, her husband and three little boys attend church regularly.

  70. Deb wrote:

    Both of my daughters graduated from public universities and have continued to walk with Christ. I know not all parents can say that about their children.

    My kids didn’t make it through Calvinism at church as high schoolers without losing their faith.

    But with God all things are possible . . .

  71. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The reason I’m binge-commenting on this subject is I spent four years as the geeky nerdy Omega Male in a High School that literally Worshipped their Varsity Football Team. Football Players Could Do No Wrong. And I was on the bottom of the heap.

    Hunh. I guess one advantage of being a geeky, shy, unpopular girl (as opposed to boy) in high school (and I went to two different high schools) is that the male jocks mostly just ignore you.

  72. Gram3 wrote:

    My mother gave me the straight dope on Christian colleges a very, very *long* time ago. She told me that some parents sent their kids there to straighten them out. She also told me it never worked.

    On a somewhat similar note, a few years ago, I was listening to podcasts by a black atheist lady who gives dating advice to other black women.

    I remember her basically telling Christian black women in her podcasts to stop hoping to find “Mr. Right” at their local church.

    Because, for one thing, she said, many of the guys who do show up at most churches are either older dudes who are looking for a younger model to play “nurse maid” to them as they get even older (they want a wife who will change their adult diapers), or…

    Many churches attract broken, messed up, or drug addicted type of men.

    She was telling women that even if or when men do show up in churches, they are not the type you want to date or marry – they are poor prospects. She believes churches attract selfish or horrible guys, not good catches.

    I thought this lady’s advice made all kinds of good sense.

  73. Lydia wrote:

    They carried a passed out girl around from party to party and raped her all night.

    They should have their genitalia slowly sawed off with a rusty, ragged blade.
    I wonder if guys like this ever manage to get married, and they have a daughter, if it ever dawns on them how hideous their behavior was? Would they want a group of men raping their daughter all night?

  74. Lea wrote:

    But also overprotective parents.

    Definitely. The point about the troubled kids is that Christian college isn’t a magic fixit program that some parents imagine it will be. I think maybe a lot of parents are overprotective. I was merely appropriately prudent. 🙂

  75. Mae wrote:

    I don’t believe Christians are as animalistic as the rest.
    A truly changed heart would not do such things. It would be an offense to God and mankind.

    A mouse in the cookie jar is not a cookie.

  76. I honestly hope this place is shut down or placed under new management as quickly as possible. There are too many instances in high schools, universities, colleges and even elementary schools where children/teens/young adults and adults are permitted to do unspeakable things to each other and call it a “joke” or say that it’s “no big deal”. Kidnapping a guy and raping him -yes, you heard me, I qualify that as rape- is horrendous, one that should cost the team members involved their position at the school. I think someone should also look into college faculty because if this is how the students act, can you imagine the teachers?

  77. elastigirl wrote:

    the public school system in our town outshines Wheaton (& other christian institutions) in integrity standards.

    Remember, Jesus said that even pagans know how to behave decently with each other.

  78. okrapod wrote:

    Believe me, you are never too old to try new things, and I am finding this rewarding.

    I’ve been wondering how you all were doing with the changes that homeschooling had brought to your home. So happy to hear it is working out well.

  79. Daisy wrote:

    She was telling women that even if or when men do show up in churches, they are not the type you want to date or marry – they are poor prospects. She believes churches attract selfish or horrible guys, not good catches.
    I thought this lady’s advice made all kinds of good sense.

    Sadly enough, she is making a good case. For example, if most of the churches in your area preach quiverfull/patriarchal mumbo jumbo and have men who believe that any interaction with a woman (be it conversation, a handshake during greeting, being offered coffee, handing out Bibles, etc.), is an invitation for inappropriate behavior, then you might be temped to marry the agnostic down the street who treats you like a human being with feelings and respects your individual opinions.

    It is truly sad when someone is trying to find a partner to be “equally yoked with” and only manages to find a person who is out to take advantage of them or abuse them. How Our Heavenly Father must weep.

  80. Bridget wrote:

    My kids didn’t make it through Calvinism at church as high schoolers without losing their faith.
    But with God all things are possible . . .

    Amen to that.

  81. Bridget wrote:

    My kids didn’t make it through Calvinism at church as high schoolers without losing their faith.

    I did not know that. So very sorry, but it is true that with God all things are possible. It is stories like yours that make me want to scream words that I should not. Or maybe should.

  82. I know several people who have graduated from Wheaton who are wonderful Christians and are probably appalled at what is going on there now.
    @ Sam:

  83. @ Gram3:
    Honestly, the people I know who attended the local baptist college were mostly there for academic reasons or because they themselves wanted that particular experience I think. I didn’t see a lot of parental meddling in my friend/family group. But then again, I went to public school. One of my friends was a PK, though.

    Schools differ, too, in how religious the campus philosophy really is Georgetown is Jesuit I think but pretty secular, while Catholic U. seemed to have much more religious students.

  84. Ted wrote:

    Students at Wheaton should have worn hijabs en masse in support of Larycia Hawkins. Maybe some did, but it wasn’t reported.

    Oh. Right. The case against her was that she agreed with Pope Francis on facebook that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Nothing about the hijab.

    You speaka’ my language. The cretins who are the subject of this post get virtually nothing for consequences, and yet they wanted to run Hawkins out on a rail for daring to exercise academic freedom. Wheaton sure does have some effed up priorities.

  85. Lea wrote:

    I went to public school.

    Me,too. People have good and bad experiences at all kinds of schools, I imagine. My kids went to different kinds of schools. They are wildly different from each other. And I do mean wildly. That is no surprise since their parents are fairly different. Dare I say the “C” word?

  86. Clery report is not yet out for 2016 (October 1 is the date it is due). Last year’s report has 2 cases of rape in 2015 and 1 case in 2014 and 2 cases in each year of fondling. There were also 3 cases of dating violence in 2015 and 2 in 2014. Note these are reports, they don’t necessary mean arrests or prosecutions happened.

    https://www.wheaton.edu/media/migrated-images-amp-files/media/files/offices20and20services/public2 0safety/clery-act-report.pdf
    starting page 44

    That Wheaton is actually reporting some cases is a good sign. A complete zero from places that aren’t tiny and where all or many of the students live on campus likely indicates a good coverup. Wheaton also does not seem to have the catch-22 that some other religious schools are believed to use to keep reports down (e.g., Brigham Young); a person reporting rape, etc. is prosecuted under the school’s policies against drugs, drinking, sex outside of marriage (Wheaton’s explicit policy is not to punish students who make a good faith report of a more serious crime but where the reporter had been violating university rules on drinking/drugs). There may well be differences between the written policy and actual policy. It seems fairly obvious that something went wrong with Wheaton’s reaction to this rape (by federal definition used in the Clery reports).

    Also Wheaton’s current hazing policy: http://athletics.wheaton.edu/documents/2014/8/12/WC_Hazing_Policy.pdf

  87. Sam wrote:

    Kidnapping a guy and raping him -yes, you heard me, I qualify that as rape- is horrendous, one that should cost the team members involved their position at the school.

    Felons.

  88. @ Gram3:

    “Dare I say the “C” word?”
    +++++++++++++++

    hmmmmmmm…. it depends on what you mean by the “C” word!

  89. Muff Potter wrote:

    You speaka’ my language. The cretins who are the subject of this post get virtually nothing for consequences, and yet they wanted to run Hawkins out on a rail for daring to exercise academic freedom.

    Hawkins was an IDEOLOGICAL Traitor, Comrades.

  90. Bridget wrote:

    Here is more info on this case.
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/wheaton-football-hazing-charges-445545223.html

    The quotes below are from the link above.

    “Spielman is the son of former NFL star Chris Spielman. An attorney for the Ohio State linebacking great said the family is surprised by the charges and called the allegations against his son “inaccurate and sensationalized.”

    “Chris and his family were shocked to hear of these charges after an investigation by Wheaton College exonerated these gentlemen over one year ago,” the statement read. “The initial print reporting has been inaccurate and sensationalized as Noah has, and will, cooperate with authorities moving forward in the legal process.””

    It would seem the Speilman’s statement is at odds with the statement from Wheaton administration:

    “The college said in a statement late Monday night that it conducted its own investigation into the hazing claims, which “resulted in a range of corrective actions,” though it could not specify what those actions were.

    “The conduct we discovered as a result of our investigation into this incident was entirely unacceptable and inconsistent with the values we share as human beings and as members of an academic community that espouses to live according to our Community Covenant,” the statement read. “We are profoundly saddened that any member of our community could be mistreated in any way.””

  91. Looks like the perps were all white, certainly all male, and certainly all football players. That gets you elite status and special treatment in a lot of places. Add to that the fact it happened at a “Christian” college with all the typical culture of protecting the institution’s reputation and covering up any dirt to keep the facade of righteousness going, and what do you have? The perfect storm.

    I hope the judge throws the book at these guys. We’re talking about felony offenses here. Status be damned. And then they should go after the administrators who hushed it up for aiding and abetting after the fact. I don’t know what is sicker or more evil: doing something this stupid and evil, or trying to sweep it under the rug even when you know just how vile it was.

    I graduated from a Christian high school and went to a Christian college for year. Nothing even close to this would have been tolerated at either place. I don’t think we even had people capable of conceiving of such acts, much less doing them. But that was a few decades ago.I think American evangelicalism today is rotting from within.

  92. @ Todd Wilhelm:

    “We are profoundly saddened that any member of our community could be mistreated in any way.””
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    i’ve had more than enough of “profound”/”profoundly”. the ultimate reaching word in all christian PR spin.

  93. @ brad/futuristguy:
    Hospitals are mandated to call when they think abuse has occurred. What I was really referring to is on many college campuses people rely on campus police when they should not.

  94. @ Friend:
    Not around here. Basketball teams even had paid prostitutes in campus basketball apt building parties quite a bit. One of them is writing a book!

  95. JYJames wrote:

    Sam wrote:
    Kidnapping a guy and raping him -yes, you heard me, I qualify that as rape- is horrendous, one that should cost the team members involved their position at the school.
    Felons.

    @ Muff Potter:
    Donning a hijab is freedom? Yikes. Where have all the real feminist gone?

    Symbols of Oppression are freedom?

  96. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Todd Wilhelm:
    “We are profoundly saddened that any member of our community could be mistreated in any way.””
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    i’ve had more than enough of “profound”/”profoundly”. the ultimate reaching word in all christian PR spin.

    …much like the terms, “gospel” and “biblical!”

    “Profoundly saddened”? Is this why it took over a year for the arrest warrants to be issued? “Profoundly saddened”, my foot….it sounds more like damage control to me.

  97. @ Ted:
    Since it’s “Christian” academia, it makes sense that people would be concerned about a professor who believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

    Sadly I think the response is wrongheaded. What a great opportunity to have a rigorous debate.

    It probably would not help her to wear a hijab for such a debate. 🙂

    While she has the freedom to wear hijabs all she wants, it is concerning that some want to celebrate and normalize a symbol of patriarchy. Wonders never cease.

  98. Leslie wrote:

    I know several people who have graduated from Wheaton who are wonderful Christians and are probably appalled at what is going on there now.
    @ Sam:

    And to think 17 years ago my family members joined the Piper cult at Wheaton, came home and told us all we did not know the true gospel and were idolatrous for celebrating the Fourth of July with a barbecue. 🙂

    Talk about continual regression!

  99. Lydia wrote:

    And to think 17 years ago my family members joined the Piper cult at Wheaton, came home and told us all we did not know the true gospel and were idolatrous for celebrating the Fourth of July with a barbecue.
    Talk about continual regression!

    Piper has looked up the definition of idolatry, right? Well, guess I better stop celebrating Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Remembrance Day, Canada Day, Victoria Day and Halloween, then. (Wouldn’t want to be accused of making idols out of bunnies, pumpkins, turkeys, passion plays, Easter wreaths, advent calendars, Nativity pageants, maple syrup, poppies and Queen Victoria….Seriously, Queen Victoria? Why? I…oh never mind.)

  100. What Happened wrote:

    TGC has no time to deal with these petty issues. They are carefully considering their theological views on cremation.

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-faqs-what-christians-should-know-about-cremation?utm_content=bufferaa358&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    I don’t want to get too far off topic, but… Really? If I didn’t recognize TGC’s logo, I would think this was satire. I feel like it boils down to “Because this is our cultural tradition, it must be the only Godly way.” I guess TGC is fine with micromanaging the true believers even in death.

  101. boys will be boys
    its all gossip and slander
    internet mob being judge and jury
    were all sinners
    its already September 23d in New Zealand– spring has sprung but the clocks will never spring forward tomorrow
    because there will be no tomorrow because the world ends today
    planet nibaru
    I guarantee it!!!Caroline wrote:

    I would think this was satire

  102. Gram3 wrote:

    People have good and bad experiences at all kinds of schools, I imagine. My kids went to different kinds of schools. They are wildly different from each other. And I do mean wildly.

    Yes. I actually went to Christian elementary, public high, and a private, non-religious college, so I had a wide variety of experiences! But each school has its own things. I think it’s very important to find a place that fits you, wherever it is. And then find a place to fit within that school. And then you’ll probably be fine.

  103. @ What Happened:
    I was tempted to comment on that article either that I was planning a Viking funeral or that burning was the only way to insure nobody comes back as a white walker…

  104. John wrote:

    I don’t know what is sicker or more evil: doing something this stupid and evil, or trying to sweep it under the rug even when you know just how vile it was.

    I think the rug sweeping is more evil. People can get involved in some really reprehensible stuff on the spur of the moment. Fueled by a desire to fit in with the team, too little life experience and maybe too much beer, they’ll do things they deeply regret upon further reflection. In some cases, this is the result of weakness rather than malice on the part of some perps who who just go along with the crowd and are swept up in groupthink. Of course, this isn’t to excuse the behavior, because of course very few people would kidnap another and abuse them, possibly sodomize them, no matter how many beers they have down them, no matter what extent the peer pressure.

    But university administrators with ample life experience, knowing what happened, having time to reflect upon it, knowing the distinctly Christian mission of the institution, to plot a course of action that gives the perps only a light punishment and hides a series of serious crimes from the authorities, ostensibly to protect the reputation of the university at the cost of the truth—that’s diabolical. It’s a strong sign that those administrators care little to nothing about Jesus and are utter frauds.

  105. @ What Happened:
    “Why not simply toss the corpses of our loved ones into the local waste landfill?”
    Russell Moore
    I approve this statement.
    As my friend Roger Bombast says– You’re all rubbish!

  106. Law Prof wrote:

    I think the rug sweeping is more evil.

    In this case, maybe. These football players are still young, and seemingly stupid, and their brains aren’t even done forming yet. Administrators are adults, and should be able to think rationally.

    I wouldn’t say that’s always true, though. I would put a rapist further down the line than someone who covered it up probably, but then I would also be DEEPLY suspicious that the person covering it up was equally evil at heart. And covering it up might lead to more people being hurt, so in that way it might be worse. But then, letting a rapist off will lead to more people being hurt as well. We get into a choice of passive or active evil, maybe.

  107. @ Lowlandseer:
    @ Caroline:

    I had to laugh at the phrase from the article by Mr Carter:

    …normative funerary practices of God’s people.

    It really is so comical it’s not worth arguing with. I expect an impassioned article on the potent symbolism of the three-piece suit and why it is therefore more godly than the dhoti.

    (Just to clear up any possible misperception: this is a joke. I don’t think either form of dress is remotely more godly than the other.)

  108. @ Caroline:

    A former pastor and friend of mine was doing some research on resurrection and came across, by accident, an article by Russ Moore on cremation. This was about 8 years ago. He was astonished that Moore was positioning cremation as bad compared burial from a Christian perspective. We talked about it for quite a bit. Especially these days when it is all the working poor can afford. And lets us not forget 9/11 victims who burned to death.

  109. Lydia wrote:

    Especially these days when it is all the working poor can afford.

    Their solution for that was to skip embalming and buy a pine box, which iirc, was STILL more expensive than cremation! Like, thanks guy. How is that better?

  110. They told us in RCIA that the Catholic church had been opposed to cremation for centuries because the opponents of christianity thought that burning a body would prevent the possibility of resurrection and would burn christian bodies as a means of persecution or something. If I understand correctly the RCC has rethought and modified its stance on this issue while still wanting to follow the dust-to-dust statement in scripture.

    I see no need for protestants to get involved in that issue at all ever for any reason. I have requested cremation. I think it is poor stewardship of available resources to choose otherwise. Many churches now have sites for urns (a columbarium) on the premises. That is a lovely idea for those who want to do that.

    And no, a requiem is not necessary, though a short memorial service might be a good idea if the family needs that. Prayers for the dead including prayers for the repose of the soul of the dead are a part of some but not all christian traditions. I wonder if Moore prays for the dead.

  111. Law Prof wrote:

    I think the rug sweeping is more evil.

    I tend to agree. Especially since those who swept it under the rug were supposed leaders in a Christian institution. Their positions of authority and power mean they bear more responsibility. These are the people who are in charge of educating and developing the next generation of Christianity’s leaders, missionaries and thinkers? God help us.

  112. okrapod wrote:

    They told us in RCIA that the Catholic church had been opposed to cremation for centuries because the opponents of christianity thought that burning a body would prevent the possibility of resurrection and would burn christian bodies as a means of persecution or something.

    And during the Age of Reason, the more rabid “New Atheists” of their time would deliberately cremate as a “flip-the-finger” to the Church.

  113. okrapod wrote:

    Prayers for the dead including prayers for the repose of the soul of the dead are a part of some but not all christian traditions. I wonder if Moore prays for the dead.

    Fundagelical traditions usually don’t. The rationale is that once you’re dead, your Eternal Destiny is fixed forever and prayers have no effect on it whatsoever.

    They don’t take into account that a God who is outside of linear time could take future prayers into account at the given time.

  114. Lydia wrote:

    Donning a hijab is freedom? Yikes. Where have all the real feminist gone?

    Symbols of Oppression are freedom?

    Oh good God no! What I had in mind was solidarity with Hawkins when the admin. boyz went after her. Wearing the hijab is a choice for conservative Muslim women. Not all Muslim women do the hijab thing. There really is such a thing as progressive Muslims too. I support them all in freedom of choice.

  115. What Happened wrote:

    TGC has no time to deal with these petty issues. They are carefully considering their theological views on cremation.

    And a little commentary from the resident SF fan:

    Eric Flint has a “Forward into the Past” time-travel series (commonly called “1632” after its first novel) where a West Virginia town circa 2000 gets one-way time-slipped into Central Europe during the middle of the Thirty Years War (last, longest, and bloodiest of the Reformation Wars) and has to deal with it. As the downtimers have to deal with them and the uptime history trace and knowledge they bring.

    In one of the “Grantville Gazette” short story collections of the series, there’s a short titled “Hobson’s Choice”, centering on a literate downtimer Englishwoman. The “AHA!” moment of the story is when Miss Hobson discovers mentions of an uptime crop failure when reading/translating an uptime almanac — a “crop failure” whose yields per acre were TWICE what was a bumper crop in contemporary (downtime) agriculture. And only Miss Hobson and her circle of commoners notices this — their betters, like all Lords Temporal and Spiritual, are tunnel-visioned on Predestination, Election, God’s Sovereignty, and all the other Important Theological Implications arising from the arrival of the uptimers.

  116. John wrote:

    I graduated from a Christian high school and went to a Christian college for year. Nothing even close to this would have been tolerated at either place. I don’t think we even had people capable of conceiving of such acts, much less doing them. But that was a few decades ago.I think American evangelicalism today is rotting from within.

    Remember Internet Monk’s “The Coming Evangelical Collapse”?
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/the-original-coming-evangelical-collapse-posts

    Well, this is it.

  117. @ Muff Potter:
    I am sad it’s becoming a symbol of freedom and even celebrated. One can support another without promoting symbols of Oppression. It seems regressive to me.

    I bet a lot of people here would freak if John Piper started promoting hijabs as a “choice” for women to show their seriousness about submission to men. It’s funny what we support for political correctness.

  118. What Happened wrote:

    TGC has no time to deal with these petty issues. They are carefully considering their theological views on cremation.

    I thought the theology was settled for the Gospel Glitterati by Russell Moore years ago. Burial is the only Christian way. Did something change to make it debatable?

  119. Muff Potter wrote:

    Wearing the hijab is a choice for conservative Muslim women.

    I probably shouldn’t get too far into this, but sometimes yes, sometimes no. In some countries/traditions, it is more of a requirement than a choice. People who wear it in other countries sometimes ditch it as soon as they get away, so complicated?
    Muff Potter wrote:

    Not all Muslim women do the hijab thing.

    True. Many people at my school wore those headscarves, which can be pretty chic.

  120. Lydia wrote:

    This was about 8 years ago. He was astonished that Moore was positioning cremation as bad compared burial from a Christian perspective.

    Yes, that’s the article I remember. Top downism got me again. Moore was quite certain that burial is proper because of its testimonial value of looking forward to the resurrection of the body. I do not remember if it was in JETS or perhaps an article in the SBTS journal. Or maybe even on his website.

  121. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    an impassioned article on the potent symbolism of the three-piece suit and why it is therefore more godly than the dhoti.

    Yes. An excellent point. Normative attire for God’s people, if judged by the Biblical evidence, is not what Joe Carter is probably wearing. In fact, if Joe Carter wore normative-God’s-People-attire, he would be accused of blurring the genders after which we would enjoy an inscrutable Piper tweet.

  122. John wrote:

    These are the people who are in charge of educating and developing the next generation of Christianity’s leaders, missionaries and thinkers?

    Nope. I give them no such power or authority. The Holy Spirit is a much better teacher to those who following Christ.

  123. Christianity is about manpower. Rape is about manpower. It is obvious that Christians would protect and coddle rapist and hate rape victims.

    Growing up in Christian homeschool it was crystal clear that conservative Christians did not think rape should be a jail-worthy offense.

    As someone who has left Christianity, I wish Christian women would decide they want better for their poor little girls. It is so painful being a little girl growing up in Christianity.

  124. Gram3 wrote:

    Moore was quite certain that burial is proper because of its testimonial value of looking forward to the resurrection of the body

    That was the RCC’s argument for its preference.

    Though as I pointed out above, at one time there was advocacy for cremation specifically because it went against the Church.

  125. Guest wrote:

    Christianity is about manpower.

    Christianity is not about manpower though there are some people who are probably Christians who proclaim false doctrines which have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. They are deceived. I am very sorry for the harm that was done to you in the name of Christ. Rape is definitely jail-worthy, and I do want much better for little girls, for women, and also for boys and men who are warped by this toxic theology and hurt others as a result.

  126. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    That was the RCC’s argument for its preference.

    Thing is, the Judeans did not bury in the ground but placed the body on a slab in a tomb where it decayed to bones. At least that’s what they did with Jesus. Then some were placed in ossuaries or other permanent places. So, I’m thinking that’s not exactly the same as the “Christian burial” that Moore advocates. I’m not taking a stand for or against. Just saying it’s not as CLEAR as he says.

  127. Guest wrote:

    As someone who has left Christianity, I wish Christian women would decide they want better for their poor little girls. It is so painful being a little girl growing up in Christianity.

    While honoring your viewpoint and experience, I would suggest that many girls and boys are thriving in Christian families and churches. This site focuses on the important topic of abuse in a Christian context. Many of us, though, grew up in healthy Christian settings and/or have striven to raise our children in healthy Christian settings.

  128. Muff Potter wrote:

    What I had in mind was solidarity with Hawkins when the admin. boyz went after her. Wearing the hijab is a choice for conservative Muslim women. Not all Muslim women do the hijab thing.

    When I see an ethnic woman in a hijab headscarf, I just think she’s “Old Country”.

  129. Random-linked from “hijab”, a thought about Syrian refugees…

    Pope Francis once suggested that each Catholic parish sponsor over and aid a single Syrian refugee family. If applied to the USA, that would be over 17,000 refugee families. (No figures for Canada, but that would probably add 1-2000.) Since these parishes are scattered all over the country, the refugees would be dispersed and immersed, making it difficult for any infiltrated radicals to link up and reach critical mass.

  130. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    The Catechism of the Catholic Church prefers burial but allows cremation provided that it is not done as a demonstrable denial of faith.

    And that the resulting ashes must be treated with the dignity accorded any human remains. This usually means an urn in a niche in a mausoleum.

  131. Guest wrote:

    Christianity is about manpower. Rape is about manpower. It is obvious that Christians would protect and coddle rapist and hate rape victims.
    Growing up in Christian homeschool it was crystal clear that conservative Christians did not think rape should be a jail-worthy offense.
    As someone who has left Christianity, I wish Christian women would decide they want better for their poor little girls. It is so painful being a little girl growing up in Christianity.

    Wish your blanket didn’t get thrown so widely. The problem is not Christianity—presuming you define that as as a true faith in Jesus as Lord, a faith that compels you to treat others the way you’d want to be treated and to preserve justice and stand up for the hurting and abused—that’s true Christianity as Jesus lived it. The problem is with the abusers, sociopaths, NPDs, hateful Pharisees, chest-thumping misogynists, money lovers, power grabbers, mega church bombasts, frauds and phonies who seem to populate Christian institutions with increasing numbers these days. It’s why I’ve rejected organized Christianity—but not Jesus.

  132. Lea wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I think the rug sweeping is more evil.
    In this case, maybe.

    I see what you’re saying with the “maybe”, a rape is a rape and it’s vicious, evil stuff because it can kill a person from the inside—you could argue a rape is a symbolic form of murder, you’re destroying part of a person that they’ll never likely get back, damaging a part of them likely for life. It’s perhaps something like a church destroying your reputation and slandering you, ruining your relationships with family and friends, spiritually abusing you, it’s symbolically much like a murder—they’re trying to kill an almost essential part of you.

  133. Bridget wrote:

    Nope. I give them no such power or authority. The Holy Spirit is a much better teacher to those who following Christ.

    Looks like you’ve actually read the whole Bible, even the parts that the church abusers and power brokers hate, like I John 2:27.

  134. While I think the football players’ behavior was reprehensible (if true, vs. merely alleged) and they should’ve been suspended from playing football, I don’t see how labeling Phil Ryken a “Calvinist”–regardless if he is or not–has anything to do with the story. Can someone help me see the connection?

  135. Law Prof wrote:

    The problem is not Christianity

    This event has more to do with the vestiges of what used to be acceptable in our society. Not the sexual abuse aspect – wrong is wrong but there definitely used to be “boys will be boys” mentality as far as “hazing” or other such behaviours that was used to mask what was essentially bullying (which is another power play).

    Like HUG, I was on the outside of the “cool crowd” and the bullying only stopped when I took them on 4 to 1 (me being the one). I’d love to say that there was a Hollywood ending, like a Karate Kid type showdown, but no….I got the stuffing beat out of me. The clowns never annoyed me again though.

  136. Lea wrote:

    I probably shouldn’t get too far into this, but sometimes yes, sometimes no. In some countries/traditions, it is more of a requirement than a choice. People who wear it in other countries sometimes ditch it as soon as they get away, so complicated?

    Well since we’re talking about hijabs…how come there isn’t the same sense of outrage for thousands of mennonite, hutterite and amish women who have to dress like “Little House on the Prairie” extras?

  137. Bridget wrote:

    My kids didn’t make it through Calvinism at church as high schoolers without losing their faith.
    But with God all things are possible . . .

    In this thread, I’m getting the vibe that somehow kids who become apostates are somehow defective or inferior. This is a general attitude (mostly associated with evangelical churches) that non-christians or the “unchurched” are lacking in some fundamental way.

    People leave their faith for a variety of reasons. Often they don’t do it lightly. I’m in my forties and only now am I starting to identify as a non-christian after years of doubting. I still pay my taxes, give to charity, love my kids, I’m a good husband, generous friend, all without the expectation of a reward in the afterlife.

    Your kids are fine. As long as you’re loving parents, they’ll continue to be fine. If salvation is out there, then it isn’t as cut and dried as most religions would have us believe.

  138. Law Prof wrote:

    Looks like you’ve actually read the whole Bible, even the parts that the church abusers and power brokers hate, like I John 2:27.

    I have. The rest of 1 John is good as well 😉

  139. Deebs,

    Has anyone heard from Max? I haven’t seen him comment in a bit. I’m concerned . . .

  140. Jack wrote:

    how come there isn’t the same sense of outrage for thousands of mennonite, hutterite and amish women who have to dress like “Little House on the Prairie” extras?

    I would say the question is whether it is really a choice mostly? I don’t care what anyone wears but I don’t like people (women) being told how they must dress. Maybe the Amish feel more even because men are wearing socially odd things as well?

  141. Jack wrote:

    Well since we’re talking about hijabs…how come there isn’t the same sense of outrage for thousands of mennonite, hutterite and amish women who have to dress like “Little House on the Prairie” extras?

    To me, they’re just staying “Old Country” despite many generations in the States.

  142. Lea wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    Wearing the hijab is a choice for conservative Muslim women.
    I probably shouldn’t get too far into this, but sometimes yes, sometimes no. In some countries/traditions, it is more of a requirement than a choice. People who wear it in other countries sometimes ditch it as soon as they get away, so complicated?
    Muff Potter wrote:
    Not all Muslim women do the hijab thing.
    True. Many people at my school wore those headscarves, which can be pretty chic.

    And some Muslim women in the USA are forced to wear it by their husbands, their community.
    I am all for choice, as long as it’s really a choice.

  143. Guest wrote:

    As someone who has left Christianity, I wish Christian women would decide they want better for their poor little girls. It is so painful being a little girl growing up in Christianity.

    I’m really sorry your childhood was that awful. And that there are plenty of little girls still going through that same thing.

  144. @ Jack:
    Also I have had extensive discussions with Muslim women about how annoying and hot their clothing is in the ME, but no such discussions with Amish women? So maybe my perspective would change if I did.

  145. Law Prof wrote:

    The problem is not Christianity—presuming you define that as as a true faith in Jesus as Lord, a faith that compels you to treat others the way you’d want to be treated and to preserve justice and stand up for the hurting and abused—that’s true Christianity as Jesus lived it. The problem is with the abusers, sociopaths, NPDs, hateful Pharisees, chest-thumping misogynists, money lovers, power grabbers, mega church bombasts, frauds and phonies who seem to populate Christian institutions with increasing numbers these days.

    The more noise (and these guys “who populate Christian institutions with increasing numbers” are NOISY), the less the Signal-to-Noise Ratio.

    Guest is a survivor of Spiritual-Abuse-On-Steroids, and after so much Noise for so long it’s really hard to make out any Signal.

  146. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Such an act, totally devoid of love, reveals a heart and life totally devoid of Jesus and His love. How far they have fallen. When they should be tearing their (own) clothes and repenting in sackcloth and ashes, instead they are covering up and making excuses.

    Good point. Spot on.

  147. Jack wrote:

    I’m getting the vibe that somehow kids who become apostates are somehow defective or inferior. This is a general attitude (mostly associated with evangelical churches) that non-christians or the “unchurched” are lacking in some fundamental way.

    Indeed there are other legitimate choices.

    You are also pointing to a painful struggle for many Christian parents. I don’t know of a reliable formula to ensure that a child raised even in a loving Christian home remains a practicing Christian. Personally, I don’t think salvation can be lost, so my own concern is about Christianity during mortal life rather than eternity.

    But ours is a faith of choice, and ours is a God of love who wants us to choose Him. A guaranteed Christian outcome would take away that choice.

    While I yearn for certain young people in my life to love Jesus, I know that Jesus loves them, and I can love them too.

  148. Lydia wrote:

    Did you read about the horrors that went on in Steubenville Ohio with a public school high school football team? They carried a passed out girl around from party to party and raped her all night. The leadership of the entire town including a judge backed the football players. They took pictures and put them on social media!
    The girl had to move.

    It continues…one of the Steubenville players convicted of the rape is playing for Youngstown State. He was a walk-on player last year and then recruited to the team. However, he became unhappy when women at Youngstown first circulated a petition and then the administration said he’d be allowed to practice with the team, but not allowed to play this year. He quit the team, but lawyered up, went to court, and as of September 14, he has a court order temporarily allowing him to play football until a hearing on September 28.

  149. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And that the resulting ashes must be treated with the dignity accorded any human remains. This usually means an urn in a niche in a mausoleum.

    The cremation urn can also be buried in a cemetery.

  150. Jack wrote:

    how come there isn’t the same sense of outrage for thousands of mennonite, hutterite and amish women who have to dress like “Little House on the Prairie” extras?

    Because they are considered quaint and harmless, incapable of threatening.

    People do get queasy about women and girls in the orbit of men like Warren Jeffs, though. Those frocks and hairdos seem to represent abuse and oppression:

    http://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/v1492176510/articles/2015/09/27/inside-warren-jeffs-polygamist-cult/150926-yamato-prophets-prey-tease_wegcr0.jpg

  151. Mae wrote:

    And some Muslim women in the USA are forced to wear it by their husbands, their community.
    I am all for choice, as long as it’s really a choice.

    I had a Muslim family as neighbors. The husband was a doctor at the hospital. He always wore a dress shirt and tie. His wife always had her head covered, but her face was visible. Her mother was completed covered in black with her eyes only being visible. Their teenage daughter wore shorts and dressed like any other teenager.

  152. Ken G wrote:

    The cremation urn can also be buried in a cemetery.

    If so, a small vault should be sunk into the grave to hold the urn. When urns are just put into the ground, they can be displaced and broken open when equipment is used in the cemetery.

    Many people take cremation urns home for the long term. This might be fine, but it deprives others of a place to go to visit a grave. And word about an urn’s location does not always travel. In a lot of families, people are uncomfortable asking what happened to Grandma’s remains, because they feel like they should already know.

  153. Oh, just to follow up on the story I mentioned earlier about the local high school where the principal and former head coach are looking at child abuse charges–they’ve been “reassigned within the district” away from the high school in question.

    http://www.12news.com/news/investigative/hamilton/principal-and-athletic-director-removed-from-hamilton-hs-campus-reassigned-within-district/477962596

    I suppose we must let due process take its course, but if there’s any truth to the rumors these guys covered up hazing at the high school, that they’re punished and lose their jobs.

  154. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Apparently, in our American Christian culture, bad boys are just boys being boys:

    – Christian or not
    – Evangelical college with a Billy Graham Center or secular university
    – nice quaint wholesome rural small town on the prairie or big city metropolis
    – elite Christian private high school or public school
    – famous megachurches with celebrity youth pastors or small one-room churches

    — the bad boys all get a pass?

    Classmates the press interviewed at Wheaton (one guy, one girl), said they know that the allegations simply are not possible because they know better. These five alleged felons are in reality the best of the best. They know. They know better.

  155. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:

    From the incident you refer to, and looking at the links, Hamilton High School in CHANDLER, Ariz. –

    Formula or How to ensure hazing (or child abuse, or trafficking, or assault, etc.) is endemic in an institution:

    be sure to suppress evidence like the Hamilton administrators did in this case. Predators will flock to the institution knowing there are no consequences. All is swept under the rug, and the predators have their playground. They rule.

  156. We scattered some of our brothers ashes on his country property in the Chico area. The rest were taken and scattered at the old family estate in Ireland, and at his favorite pub in Doolan. One of his best friends scattered some at the annual fraternity camp out near Yosemite. This would have been very meaningful to my brother and therefore to us.@ Friend:

  157. Ken G wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    And some Muslim women in the USA are forced to wear it by their husbands, their community.
    I am all for choice, as long as it’s really a choice.
    I had a Muslim family as neighbors. The husband was a doctor at the hospital. He always wore a dress shirt and tie. His wife always had her head covered, but her face was visible. Her mother was completed covered in black with her eyes only being visible. Their teenage daughter wore shorts and dressed like any other teenager.

    Understood. We had a Turkish Muslim school in our town. ( for 15 years ) All male students. The faculty wives spoke little English, arms and limbs totally covered up, and the hijab. Many spoke very little English. We befriended two very sweet young women. They were not free in any meaningful way, to live other then under their husband’s authority.
    I’m familiar with the other side as well. My oncologist ( radiology ) was from Iraq. An anesthesiologist, I’ve had a few times for surgery, is a female from Egypt. My brother’s dentist ( female ) was from Iran.
    Both sides exist….one representation of Islam, does not negate the other.

  158. @ Leslie:
    That sounds very comforting. Cremation gives people great flexibility, and that is helpful to most. You have also probably made sure that the family knows this part of your brother’s story. Some people post such information on Find A Grave or make a special record for future generations.

    I know a widow who scattered her husband’s ashes in the Great Smoky Mountains. The family considers that whole vast region to be his resting place. Lovely.

    However, I also know siblings whose father died when they were tiny children. The family was so dysfunctional that the children could not find out where he was buried for decades. Fortunately, as adults, they did locate his grave. Had he been in an urn, with no independent record of its location, they would probably still be in the dark.

  159. In case you hadn’t seen this post from the *Chicago Tribune* yet, it’s from today (Friday) and has the most detailed factual information and analysis I’ve seen compiled about the sides of the victim and his account of what happened, the five students charged, the police investigation and the documentation they subpoenaed, and Wheaton College’s responses. The details of the police investigation are especially important to countering some information that’s been floating about alleged prior shoulder injuries of the victim.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-wheaton-college-hazing-charges-met-20170922-story.html

  160. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    detailed factual information and analysis

    Yes.

    “Away from public scrutiny, however, the college stood more firmly behind the players after finishing its internal investigation a year ago, according to an ABC News report Friday. College officials, who hired a third-party investigator to review his account, sent the accuser a letter last November stating that they found the players’ account ‘more credible’ than his, the network reported.”

    Another example of a Christian institution siding with the predators, even when medical evidence proved injury from the incident, requiring reparative surgery.

    Evidence. Then denial by the notable Christian college. Truth much?

    Jesus, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.”

  161. @ brad/futuristguy:

    from article: “College officials, who hired a third-party investigator to review his account, sent the accuser a letter last November stating that they found the players’ account “more credible” than his, the network reported.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “third party” is a familiar and suspicious term with these christian scandals. who was this third party, and how neutral can they possibly be if Wheaton signs their paycheck? “Beholden” enter stage left.

  162. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    HUG

    Sorry, I had trouble finishing my train of thought on this one and I hoped,someone would finish it for me. In stream of consciousness fashion I’ll list my thoughts and hope it makes sense.

    1. The TGC crowd is constantly issuing directives/opinions, sometimes ridiculous and sometimes contradictory, with an organizational brand that gives them the appearance of legitimacy.

    2. They don’t honestly and humbly acknowledge failure. They either issue an Amish sounding version of Perry Noble’s “The best is yet to come” or they wait till the reason for The apology is no longer helpful, but still makes them seem humble. But, the directives/opinions never stop.

    3. Many of these guys are plucked from relative obscurity to positions that seem out of line with their experience or competence. Their lack of experience or competence is stretched thinner as they take on additional jobs, write books, speak, etc. All this maneuvering has the purpose of gaining more and more institutional control, increasing the status of the individual, and building the group brand.

    4. There seems to be a fraternal bond and commitment with these guys that takes priority over the institutions and people they serve. The are beholden to the group for the opportunities they’ve received and dependent on the group for future opportunities. I believe that most of them have also been initiated to the group by “paying their dues”, which is really just a subtle form of hazing (See their tweets and other comments about their “interns”).

    5. Independent thinking is risky. It is a world of constantly evolving derivative theological application where the Spirit is replaced with systems, mechanisms, organization charts, and flow charts. The men behind the curtain are really calling the shots and setting the priorities. This environment dulls whatever instinct or competence these men do have.

    6. Phillip Ryken lives in this derivative world where he constantly publishes new material. He rose this position from the pulpit of a church with about 1,600 members where there were almost as many elders and deacons as staff members. Wheaton has about 300 staff members and over 3,000 students. His prior experience made this a real stretch for tim professionally and his own fraternal experience with TGC possibly blinded him to the sadistic underpinnings of this incident.

    If some of this is a bit of a stretch, my fallback explanation is that he was afraid of the football coach. Seriously, take a look at the coach!

    Also, check out the weird interview where Ryken makes an attempt at self disclosure when promoting his book, “When Trouble Comes”.

  163. Gram3 wrote:

    I’ve missed him, too. Just assumed he was in Tampa with family after Irma.

    Does he reside in Florida as well? That would explain a bit. Still wondering if he is safe/healthy.

  164. What Happened wrote:

    he was afraid of the football coach

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir27vj12J7U

    The Wheaton Director of Athletics: “I am so grateful that the Lord uses Wheaton Athletics to encourage our students in their Christian faith and to develop character … more important than his 148 wins is the way Coach Slider uses his platform to challenge people in their walk with Christ…”

  165. @ Jack:
    I rarely ever see those. Yet I see hijabs on lots and lots of pre teens. My daughters colleague in a summer job (16) sais she would love to take hers off ;(100 degrees!) but her parents would kill her. Figurative? I hope.

  166. Jack wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I probably shouldn’t get too far into this, but sometimes yes, sometimes no. In some countries/traditions, it is more of a requirement than a choice. People who wear it in other countries sometimes ditch it as soon as they get away, so complicated?
    Well since we’re talking about hijabs…how come there isn’t the same sense of outrage for thousands of mennonite, hutterite and amish women who have to dress like “Little House on the Prairie” extras?

    I rarely ever see those, Jack. Yet I see tons of pre teens wearing hijabs. I’m just an old feminist, what can I say? My first instinct is to save them but restrain myself. 🙂

  167. Jack wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    In this thread, I’m getting the vibe that somehow kids who become apostates are somehow defective or inferior. This is a general attitude (mostly associated with evangelical churches) that non-christians or the “unchurched” are lacking in some fundamental way.
    People leave their faith for a variety of reasons. Often they don’t do it lightly. I’m in my forties and only now am I starting to identify as a non-christian after years of doubting. I still pay my taxes, give to charity, love my kids, I’m a good husband, generous friend, all without the expectation of a reward in the afterlife.
    Your kids are fine. As long as you’re loving parents, they’ll continue to be fine. If salvation is out there, then it isn’t as cut and dried as most religions would have us believe.

    I don’t get that vibe at all. I don’t know how old your kids are but often one does not realize what really influenced their children until they are teens and later. The fun part starts around pre teen years if they are allowed to question and rebel –which I think is healthy and normal. (Humor is needed)

    I know a very nice- not overly religious -couple that had all three sins in Chistian school. All worked well with first two who went on to productive secular careers. The last one seemed perfectly fine until the last day of senior year when he announced to entire school he was an atheist. I know it’s not funny but I was there picking up my middle schoolers and it was a William Wallace moment in the schools history. Later, I found his parents were not even upset about it. Just shocked he hid it so well. They just wanted to know why he did not tell them sooner so that he could go to a different school. Well, his girlfriend was there so he stuck it out. 🙂

    That was five years ago and he is finding his way with the support of his parents through college. No pressure. (His mom is a great advocate for abuse victims and has seen a lot)

    My point is they are all different and one never really knows what influences them most. We hope it’s us and our love but even that is not a guarantee during the turbulent years when that cortex is really forming. So we wring our hands wondering if we could have done things differently and not mess them up too much.

  168. Jack wrote:

    In this thread, I’m getting the vibe that somehow kids who become apostates are somehow defective or inferior. This is a general attitude (mostly associated with evangelical churches) that non-christians or the “unchurched” are lacking in some fundamental way.

    I don’t view my children this way at all. I have, however, seen some Christian parents treat there unbelieving children horribly. It was most disturbing.

  169. Guest wrote:

    As someone who has left Christianity, I wish Christian women would decide they want better for their poor little girls. It is so painful being a little girl growing up in Christianity.

    I can tell ou how sorry I am that you were raised the way you were. I can tell you that there are many of us who were raised to think for ourselves, stand up for what we believe, and fight physically if necessary! We have raised/are raising our daughters (and sons) to do the same.
    When my daughter was 18, her ex-boyfriend tried to rape her. She knocked him out cold and got away. I told her that she did the right thing ……. because she did!

  170. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    The problem is not Christianity—presuming you define that as as a true faith in Jesus as Lord, a faith that compels you to treat others the way you’d want to be treated and to preserve justice and stand up for the hurting and abused—that’s true Christianity as Jesus lived it. The problem is with the abusers, sociopaths, NPDs, hateful Pharisees, chest-thumping misogynists, money lovers, power grabbers, mega church bombasts, frauds and phonies who seem to populate Christian institutions with increasing numbers these days.
    The more noise (and these guys “who populate Christian institutions with increasing numbers” are NOISY), the less the Signal-to-Noise Ratio.
    Guest is a survivor of Spiritual-Abuse-On-Steroids, and after so much Noise for so long it’s really hard to make out any Signal.

    Probably right on that analysis.

  171. Jack wrote:

    Like HUG, I was on the outside of the “cool crowd” and the bullying only stopped when I took them on 4 to 1 (me being the one). I’d love to say that there was a Hollywood ending, like a Karate Kid type showdown, but no….I got the stuffing beat out of me. The clowns never annoyed me again though.

    Bullies hate being hit back because at the end of the day, they’re pathetic cowards. It’s why they always target the small, the timid, the ones who can’t fight back. When you punch them in the face, even if they ultimately beat you down, they’ll usually leave you alone because last thing they want to do is challenge someone who’ll fight back—they dish it out, but cannot take it. I was on the outs and pretty well beaten down as a scared, small kid in junior high and the first couple years of high school. There was no Karate Kid showdown, either, not even the 1 on 4 beatdown like you had that nonetheless earned their respect. But I started hitting the gym (not the weight room, the heavy bag and speed bag) and then went off to university and made the varsity boxing team and that was that, no one bothered me again. You could say that I was being beaten up in the ring worse than back at school, as real boxers could hit a whole lot harder and break a whole lot more on you than the high school bullies, but knowing that I could and would hit back now forever silenced that crowd.

    It’s like the church bullies, the abusive leaders, when you get in the face of an abusive leader, simply don’t back down, don’t take their manipulations, throw everything back in their faces, tell them exactly what they are like Jesus did “Sons of hell”, etc., amazing how they crumble just like the bullies did back in high school when you hit back.

  172. Lea wrote:

    My Three Sins. Coming to Christian NBC this fall!

    Hoping William Demarest will play Uncle Charlie. He was great at fighting sin.

  173. Law Prof wrote:

    The problem is with the abusers, sociopaths, NPDs, hateful Pharisees, chest-thumping misogynists, money lovers, power grabbers, mega church bombasts, frauds and phonies who seem to populate Christian institutions with increasing numbers these days. It’s why I’ve rejected organized Christianity—but not Jesus.

    They’ve found their haven, which is what was happening in Jesus’ day, and why he called them out.

    The incident of the five felons at Wheaton and how the institution responded, brings into the light one more institutional shelter. Wheaton has shown its colors.

    Legacy or not, the good folks would be well-advised to run like Olympians and abandon that degenerate team – the felons and the enablers: propping them up, cheering them in sport, excusing their criminal behavior, espousing their “Christian” character, etc.

  174. Lydia wrote:

    I rarely ever see those, Jack. Yet I see tons of pre teens wearing hijabs. I’m just an old feminist, what can I say? My first instinct is to save them but restrain myself

    We have a large Mennonite population so we see a lot. But on the topic of saving, what does that mean? People of all faiths have deeply held beliefs. I’m not talking about the oppressive fundamentalist faith. Just regular folks who go to church or mosque or temple. To them their religious accoutrements mean something so they won’t be saved by implying that our way is the best way.
    My wife’s great grandmother was Moslem but lived a secular life. She wore Moslem dress all her life though she married into a Buddhist family.
    Just like all of us who are descended from immigrants who came to North America, as time went on, we became like the dominant culture. I know that racism & sexism are still rampant but in principle this is what America was built on. Not perfect but it has been much better than Europe’s abject failure to integrate immigrant populations. Leading to many of the security issues they face today.
    Christians would do best to lead by example. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

  175. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    When my daughter was 18, her ex-boyfriend tried to rape her. She knocked him out cold and got away. I told her that she did the right thing ……. because she did!

    Women and girls need to be taught hand to hand combat techniques by professionals. I believe it could go a long way in making rape-brained cretins think twice before assaulting any woman or girl.

  176. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    My Three Sons was an American sitcom of the 60’s and 70’s, starring Fred MacMurray, who played a widower raising his three sons.

    The reference, I believe, is a play on words, and not about the show (which was wholesome).

  177. What Happened wrote:

    4. There seems to be a fraternal bond and commitment with these guys that takes priority over the institutions and people they serve. The are beholden to the group for the opportunities they’ve received and dependent on the group for future opportunities. I believe that most of them have also been initiated to the group by “paying their dues”, which is really just a subtle form of hazing (See their tweets and other comments about their “interns”).

    All of the points you make are good ones, IMO, but the mention of interns struck me because it is so true. They are creating their own group of disciples who are loyal first to them and the System. That is frightening, and that is what Gramp3 and I and some others discovered. Yet those former interns would swear that their loyalty is to their Lord and not to their guru. That level of deception is the frightening thing.

  178. Bridget wrote:

    Does he reside in Florida as well?

    I don’t know where Max lives. He asked for prayer for his family in the Tampa Bay area, IIRC, before Irma hit Florida.

  179. Law Prof wrote:

    It’s like the church bullies, the abusive leaders, when you get in the face of an abusive leader, simply don’t back down, don’t take their manipulations, throw everything back in their faces, tell them exactly what they are like Jesus did “Sons of hell”, etc., amazing how they crumble just like the bullies did back in high school when you hit back.

    Being Christian doesn’t mean you can be kicked in the pants and take it any more than invoking forgiveness will make everything like it never happened.
    With the clowns in this post, I have no doubt that Jesus will be dragged into it. There will be tears of repentance.
    Forgiveness has to benefit the victims. And the perpetrators still must have their day in court.

  180. Jack wrote:

    This is a general attitude (mostly associated with evangelical churches) that non-christians or the “unchurched” are lacking in some fundamental way.

    And with some of these evangelical churches, “unchurched” means anyone who isn’t a covenant-agreed member of THEIR church.

  181. Jack wrote:

    This is a general attitude (mostly associated with evangelical churches) that non-christians or the “unchurched” are lacking in some fundamental way.

    And with some of these evangelical churches, “unchurched” means anyone who isn’t a covenant-agreed member of THEIR church.Friend wrote:

    People do get queasy about women and girls in the orbit of men like Warren Jeffs, though. Those frocks and hairdos seem to represent abuse and oppression:

    A guy I know who’s knowledgeable about historical costume told me those “prairie dresses” FLDS plural wives and daughters wear are NOT actual 19th Century Prairie Dresses (AKA “sack dresses” because they were so shapeless). They were the 1950s Hollywood adaptation of the dress, tailored and reshaped to show 1950s-acceptable female curvature.

  182. JYJames wrote:

    The Wheaton Director of Athletics: “I am so grateful that the Lord uses Wheaton Athletics to encourage our students in their Christian faith and to develop character … more important than his 148 wins is the way Coach Slider uses his platform to challenge people in their walk with Christ…”

    The Wheaton Director of Athletics you have quoted is a woman. I wonder if her reaction to the incident would be any different if the victim were a female student? Double standard?

  183. Muff Potter wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    When my daughter was 18, her ex-boyfriend tried to rape her. She knocked him out cold and got away. I told her that she did the right thing ……. because she did!
    Women and girls need to be taught hand to hand combat techniques by professionals. I believe it could go a long way in making rape-brained cretins think twice before assaulting any woman or girl.

    Good for your daughter! I think I mentioned on another post that my 8th grade daughter smacked a boy in the face at an outdoor event when he grabbed her friend’s behind – hard enough to make him cry, in front of a lot of other kids laughing at him (while loudly telling him ‘You don’t GROPE people that way!’ A week later, the kid actually admitted to her that he deserved it!

  184. Yet I don’t mean to demean anyone for not responding in vigorous self-defense – all are different in terms of innate personality, training, circumstances, etc.; personally, I probably would have had more of a “deer in the headlights” response…

  185. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    1950s Hollywood adaptation of the dress, tailored and reshaped to show 1950s-acceptable female curvature.

    Intriguing. I have also wondered if they come from standard clothing patterns by a company like McCalls or Simplicity… either vintage patterns or costume patterns. (Patterns for bishop’s copes have been used by church sewing guilds and Halloween costume makers alike.)

  186. Ken G wrote:

    The Wheaton Director of Athletics you have quoted is a woman. I wonder if her reaction to the incident would be any different if the victim were a female student? Double standard?

    Not in the Christian world. Male and female leaders often respond the same . . . in favor of the institution. It’s the same response as in the secular world, actually.

  187. I would urge you and all commenting here to wait for the full story before the rush to judgment – especially when the comments judge the salvation of those involved!! @ Mae:

  188. Wes wrote:

    I would urge you and all commenting here to wait for the full story before the rush to judgment – especially when the comments judge the salvation of those involved!! @ Mae:

    Not judging their salvation, not my point, nor within my human abilities. My point was, their actions were not good fruit, not a display of Jesus in command.

  189. @ Wes:

    by the same token, i would urge you not to turn off your God-given sense of right and wrong, just and unjust, due to must-not-be-judgmental conditioning. the are multiple wrongs in this situation, not the least of which is Wheaton’s duplicitous response.

  190. @ elastigirl:

    Sure, yes on the surface it sounds horrible. But we have only heard one side of the story. We should judge rightly. And i would suggest that there may be information gathered in Wheaton’s investigation that we are not privy to. Is it possible that this has been sensationalized and the given punishment actually fits the crime? We do not know that the allegations are completely true, nor do we know the intent of the accused. Of course the young men should receive appropriate justice. But is it not reprehensible to suggest that they should be punished more severely (as some in this thread have said) because of their race, religion, “privileged” status, or parents wealth?

  191. Wes wrote:

    And i would suggest that there may be information gathered in Wheaton’s investigation that we are not privy to.

    Wheaton should not be investigating this at all. The police should (and I believe they are) be investigating.

    Wheaton already investigated, remember? And dished out their punishment.

  192. @ Bridget:

    Exactly Bridget that’s my point about Wheaton investigating. There may be good reasons why they gave the punishment they did, and it may be related to what they found in their investigation.

    This was reported to the police 18 months ago. I agree that the police should investigate it.

    When an issue such as this is brought to the attention of the college, they should investigate so that they will have some basis for discipline. Otherwise they will be either giving punishment based solely on any accusation brought forward, or they will be forced to wait to give discipline until the police investigation is complete.

  193. @ Wes:

    “But is it not reprehensible to suggest that they should be punished more severely (as some in this thread have said) because of their race, religion, “privileged” status, or parents wealth?”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i give more credit to the commenters here than that — i am quite sure that the point they were trying to make is a hope and longing that justice is truly blind, impartial, and objective in how it is meted out. so often is seems this is not the case.

    it seems these gentlemen may have been let off easy due to the present and future benefit the school gets from associations that bring in prestige & money (high football ranking; wealthy, famous families who are happy with Wheaton can become future patrons).

  194. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Wes:

    i give more credit to the commenters here than that — i am quite sure that the point they were trying to make is a hope and longing that justice is truly blind, impartial, and objective in how it is meted out. so often is seems this is not the case.

    @ elastigirl:

    Fair enough on this part. I was concerned that it didn’t seem so.

    Regarding the reason why they were seemingly let off easy . . . I don’t think we have reason to believe this is because of prestige and money do we? We know that the charges brought are more severe than what the punishment from wheaton indicated. Also we know that they have a good football team (but they are division III, non scholarship, have small attendance, and bring in no money for the college). We know that at least one of the parents is well known and probably well off. There is a lot we don’t know though. But it is a jump to suggest that the reason for the particular punishment was prestige and money (though I agree with you that these are often motivating factors). I would like to give the benefit of the doubt if possible at this point to everyone involved- the victim, the accused, the college, the district attorney, and the police.

  195. Wes wrote:

    But is it not reprehensible to suggest that they should be punished more severely (as some in this thread have said) because of their race, religion, “privileged” status, or parents wealth?

    I, for one, have never, ever said that anyone should be punished more severely or less severely because of their race or sex or religion or their parents’ wealth or any other irrelevant issue. I am not a Social Justice Warrior as it is currently styled, but closer to a libertarian. It is my opinion that it is reasonable to expect purportedly Christian young men to refrain from kidnaping another young man and duct taping and doing the other things which I believe they admitted doing to him. If Wheaton has a policy against such behavior which warrants expulsion, then those young men should be expelled. If Wheaton does not have such a policy, then Wheaton should have such a policy, IMO, because such behavior is not consistent with the name of Christ. Essays and community service does not do it.

    If there is contrary evidence, then Wheaton should produce it. A really good start would be for Wheaton to produce its policies and procedures which led to the essay and community service discipline. Because that just does not seem adequate.

  196. @ Wes:

    yes, you’re right, i don’t know if money and prestige factored in to anything. but this much i do know: the thugs were let off light with a pat on the hand, the college believed the thugs over the victim, but then when the media shone the spotlight on it all they suddenly changed their tune and said “We are profoundly saddened that any member of our community could be mistreated in any way.” duplicitous opportunism.

  197. Wes wrote:

    I was concerned that it didn’t seem so.

    Did anyone actually say something along those lines? Because I didn’t see you quoting them.

    I think this has to do with football nonsense more likely than anything else.

  198. @ Deb:
    Thank you, Deb and HUG, for your replies. I don’t necessarily agree, but see your points.
    Should’ve mentioned in my original comment that I’m a longtime reader but first-time commenter; I appreciate “the Deebs” in publishing items on this blog that need to be made public.