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Harding University

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Date: Jul 19 2004
Major: English (This Major's Salary over time)
Harding is a front for a right-wing think tank from way back. Look up National Education Program and read all about it. I wish someone had explained this to me when I was young, naive, and my parents sent me there (although I won a full scholarship and could have gone anywhere. I was too young to understand what I was doing and the way I was raised, you don't question your parents even if they aren't paying the way.) I was 30 before I got up the nerve to question. I guess I was pretty stupid socially even though I was strong academically. I wonder what my life would have been like had I gone somewhere else and gotten a little more

worldly-wisdom at an earlier age.

I will say I feel I got a good grounding in my field. I feel my education in my field matches up to anyone else's. Also, my professors recognized that I was book-smart and did encourage me. For that I thank them.

I have one thing to say to the professors I had then, though. They were grown men. They had to have thought about whether the church of Christ and its teachings were correct and whether it was conscionable for them to indoctrinate us naive 18-year-olds with the church of Christ's teachings and all the Harding right-wing propaganda. Especially in my field, they knew their way around a literature book and had no problem teaching me what an allegory was. They HAD to have thought beyond a literal interpretation of the Bible and basing a whole religion and political indoctrination of us kids on a literal interpretation of the Bible. I do not fault my rural parents and grandparents, who never had an education, for taking the Bible literally. But those professors were grown men, educated and well versed in allegory, symbolism, and literary criticism. I cannot believe at the age I am now, that when those professors were my age, they believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible such as the church of Christ taught. I can only conclude they participated in Harding and all it stands for because they thought there was a purpose that was more important than teaching us to think. I can only conclude that purpose was teaching us to be good little footsoldiers, anticommunists, and right-wingers.

Some of those professors had daughters. Now that I have grown up, I wonder what those professors wanted for their daughters. I know how I felt about myself as a woman, having grown up in that atmosphere. Now I look back and wonder if those professors ever thought about what they wanted for their own daughters. I can only assume they wanted them to grow up just like I did—feeling I was good for nothing, absolutely nothing. That is what a woman feels like in the church of Christ, education or no education.

I hope things have changed at Harding. I am told they are changing in the big, more urban, churches of Christ. But I read web boards and I see the very same feelings of self-loathing from the women. This has very little to do with education, I realize—but the church of Christ upbringing I received has impacted my life much, much more than the four years I spent at Harding. I think if I had gone somewhere else I would have grown more worldly-wise a lot earlier in life—which would have been good for me, but was the exact opposite of what Harding intended.

responseWell, of course, you have harsh things to say about Harding and the Church of Christ. You have become a liberal. I am an educated person and believe the literal version of the Bible. It comes down to a matter of faith.
responseI'm sorry that you had a poor experience at Harding. I was not/am not CoC either. It is a weird place to go if you aren't CoC, but I was already a very bold questioning person before going, so I didn't swallow the pill. I still think it prepared me in an amazing way for my work.
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