Sneaking into Liberty University

| December 7, 2010 | 4 Replies

Kevin Roose decided that he would transfer over to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University from Brown University, and to write about his experience. His book is called The Unlikely Disciple. Here’s an enlightening interview with The Friendly Atheist, and don’t miss the introductory video by Bill Maher.

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Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Ebonmuse says:

    I didn't attend for a whole semester, but may I take the opportunity to say that I've been to Liberty too! Roose's book was partially the inspiration for that trip (another one which I recommend is Marc Adams' The Preacher's Son).

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Ebonmuse: Thank you for the links to Daylight Atheism. I just finished reading your four-part series regarding your own visit to Liberty.

      Reading the Roose interview and your articles, though, I'm still puzzled. I keep finding myself thinking "What holds all of this together?" What keeps the students from getting together after class and saying to each other: "These claims are crazy" or "There is no evidence for believing these claims."

      There are not chains, shackles or armed guards, and there would seem to be every incentive for a Liberty student to think "This makes no sense" when the lesson makes no sense. Yet large numbers of people attend, year after year. The shackle are inner shackles, of course, but I nonetheless struggle to get into the mindset. Perhaps that is because I was never a believer in any sort of supernatural being. Not even as a small child. It never made sense to me. It was always creepy. It always annoyed me. I struggle to think of ways for me to experience the Liberty mindset, so that I can understand it and counteract it.

  2. Mike M. says:

    Erich,

    The fundamentalist religious mindset, as I see it, may be one of 'comfort in certitude'. In an infinitely complex world of swirling novelty, the fundamentalist seeks assurance in dogma and grasps for the safety rope of religion to mitigate the creepy crawling sensation they get when they confront the unfamiliar, or uncomfortable. The dull mind needs a concrete paradigm to explain away what they cannot comprehend. It seems similar to the infantile urge to seek the pacifier instead of making an effort to peer over the edge of the bassinet, and trying to figure out that expanded field of reality. I think it's likely that the typical fundamentalist type, or Liberty student, may also have a deep emotional anchor to a paternal authority figure, one that will tell them what to do and what to believe, in order to alleviate the sometimes difficult burden of having to think for themselves and trust their own intuitive inner processes.

  3. Xtech says:

    Youtube vid of Kevin Roose addressing a Secular Students group

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tscNjLjiF8A&fe

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