Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nationals 2009

I report with deep regret and a bit of shame, that Nationals will be held at Bob Jones University. For those who may be unaware, why would BJU be a bad idea? Well for a few reasons,

1. Up until the 70s, BJU banned black students, and then for sometime banned unmarried black students (for fear of "race-mixing"). Furthermore they continued to ban "interracial" dating. This had been rescinded in later years, but this is far too recent of a past and the atmosphere remains a bit unapologetic about this. Hardly the "Biblical worldview" the NCFCA is rightfully trying to uphold.

2. Division in the Body. NCFCA is a Christian organization and thus should embrace a Christian spirit, that is the spirit of Christ Himself. But BJU has constantly made a habit of attacking Christians with uncalled for and divisive rhetoric such as "heretical". Such persons and organizations like Rev. Billy Graham and Catholic Christians come to mind. This attitude, for which there has been no rescinding, is frankly appalling and no organization should condone it.

3. Legalism. A quick read through the bylaws of the college show a legalistic, stern, and shallow interpretation of Christian morality. Why endorse this kind of "morality"? Isn't this the sort of system that Christ condemned?

4. Honorary Degrees. Some of the people that this university chose to associate with (and has yet to rescind) is frankly scary. "Rev" Ian Paisley, the hardliner Protestant demogogue, who once argued for the burning of Catholic churches and homes in Northern Ireland whose qualification for an honorary degree seemed to be a condemnation of Catholicism via violence. The second major offense against common decency, was their bestowment of a degree upon Gov. George Wallace. A greater disgrace, I cannot imagine. The company one keeps speaks a lot about a college.

Now you may be thinking,

Why does all of this matter? I believe that as the main Christian, home-educated, forensics league, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. Not only should we hold ourselves to a higher standard for Biblical reasons, but the eyes of the forensics community is upon us, to some extent. Not only for our interesting position as the main homeschooling league, but also for the fact that many NCFCAers go on to college and do well. It would do a great disservice to all the work the league has done, and to the alumni on the college circuit. It ought to embarrass the board.

This is not to say that Nationals should be boycotted. This would do nothing positive. But we, as the stockholds of this league so to speak, ought to express the dismay that many of us hold over this. Our board should have known better.


  1. I would point out one correction: BJU has apologized for the racism. Despite a great deal of accuracy in your post (pts. 2-4), I thought I would at least point out that the race issue has been addressed to a pretty satisfactory degree. J. Henry

  2. IF it meant that much to the alumni maybe they could get one the of the fine universities they attend to host the event.

    The nationals in Texas was largely due the Umstattds and there son who was attending Mary Hardin Baylor.

    Getting a location to host nationals is a very difficult task, which site did you or your region nominate or how many schools did you approach.

    I know you feel the board should take care of this kind of stuff but they really need help. I've talked to Mike numerous times and he really wishes he could handle it differently but every year it is one thing or another and always seems to come down to a last minute save by some place.

    Maybe we should be thankful we have a place at all.

    Coach Carter

  3. I understand that despite the need for a location to host nationals, the board of the NCFCA will not allow California to host, even though California has ample locations that would be happy to host.

  4. See, as much as I genuinely do appreciate the difficulty in finding a venue for Nationals, there has to be a limit to the depths to which the board will reach. And while I also understand that it's much easier to criticize decisions than to make them (especially from far on the sidelines, like I am), there is also a place for legitimate criticism. Honestly, endorsing BJU is sort of beyond the pale, even for an organization as conservative as the NCFCA. The trouble is, I don't know that the NCFCA knows where its limits are, if the conversation turns to which groups the organization will align itself with. And that's something that they should figure out. Homeschooling is not a small, unified community anymore, and it's not just the "liberals" that the NCFCA should be striving to distinguish itself from.

    And another note on racism at BJU: interracial dating is now permitted, but only with parental consent. The University has no such rule for couples of the same ethnicity. Seems to me that racism is alive and thriving at BJU.

  5. OK, so why should we then not boycott all of the other liberal universities/facilities that we have held/will hold tournaments at?

    Please know what trouble this whole boycott thing has caused. No, I do not--absolutely not approve of racism, but if you have a complaint about BJU/Nats, don't spread it on the internet. Go to the board yourself if you have a complaint!

  6. It appears the NCFCA is taking a hard line on people who have a problem with this decision.

    From an e-mail to NCFCA affiliates in Region 8:

    "I am not aware of anyone in our region that has participated in any protest, but if someone has and chooses not to remove their name, I will recommend to the Board of Directors that your National slot be revoked."

  7. Has BJU confessed its sins? Has it repented? Do I have perfect doctrinal understanding? Am I sinless? Jesus taught me that with the same measure I forgive, I will be forgiven. Paul taught me that disagreements in the body that I should pray that God would reveal the truth to each side in those areas we could not agree and that we should walk together in what we could agree. So WWJD? -- Pete Miyares

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