Monday, June 27, 2005

American Madrasas: Inside the Stepford Republiban Factory

One of the key factors blamed for the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan were the schools known as Madrasas . They are funded by wealthy Saudi Fanatics who take children at a young age and cut them off from the outside world to keep them "pure" and then forcefeed them hyper-fundamentalism.

When Students graduate, they are the perfect ideological warriors. Utterly fanatic, unaware of any other way of life or dissenting viewpoints, and utterly committed to the political agenda of their benefactors.

Well, never let it be said the Extreme Christian Right in this country doesn't know a good idea when it sees one.

This article in the New Yorker Highlights the American version of the Madrasas:

Have you ever watched Faux News (You know on dare or something) and looked at the ranks of perfectly blow-dried interchangeable earnest young androids they get on as guests to faithfully parrot the day's talking points? Have you every asked yourself "where could they get so many self-delusional idiots from? Is there a factory for them or something? "

Well Yes, yes there is, and its called Patrick Henry College:

Patrick Henry is a Christian college, ... where almost all the students {300 in all} have internships, with Republican politicians or in conservative think tanks..

Three times a year, the White House chooses a hundred students for a three-month internship. Patrick Henry, with only three hundred students, has taken between one and five of the spots in each of the past five years-- roughly the same as Georgetown.

Of the school's sixty-one graduates through the class of 2004, two have jobs in the White House; six are on the staffs of conservative members of Congress; eight are in federal agencies; and one helps Senator Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, and his wife, Karen, homeschool their six children. Two are at the F.B.I., and another worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority, in Iraq
and this is not by accident, the "College" is essentially the assembly line where Stepford Wingnuts are made:

{its} main mission, since its founding, five years ago, has been to train a new generation of Christian politicians. {School President} Farris's manifesto for the school, "The Joshua Generation," embraces the Rove principle: the "Moses generation," he wrote, had "left Egypt," and now it was time for their children to "take the land."

Last year, the college began offering a major in strategic intelligence; the students learn the history of covert operations and take internships that allow them to graduate with a security clearance.

A whole lot of elected members of Congress started off as Hill staffers," Farris said. "If you want to train a new generation of leaders, you have to get in on the ground floor.

And where, oh where, does Patrick Henry find the worldly, seasoned, brilliant young men and women with depth of experience and world knowledge to become our future leaders?:

eighty-five per cent of the students at Patrick Henry, {were} homeschooled

Uh-oh. You mean they've been exposed to nothing more or less than whatever their Fundamentalist parents thought to teach them without any chance of ever encountering a dissenting viewpoint?

YEP; and apparently in Wingnut circles, that a good thing

In conservative circles.. homeschoolers are considered something of an élite, rough around the edges but pure--in their focus, capacity for work, and ideological clarity-- { the Password is "Fanatical" } a view that helps explain why the Republican establishment has placed its support behind Patrick Henry, and why so many conservative politicians are hiring its graduates.

Indeed this is exactly why the School was created:

Patrick Henry's president, Michael Farris,founded the school after getting requests from two constituencies: home schooling parents and conservative congressmen. The parents would ask him where they could find a Christian college with a "courtship" atmosphere meaning one , where dating is regulated and subject to parental approval. The congressmen asked him where they could find home schoolers as interns and staffers, "which I took to be shorthand for `someone who shares my values,' " Farris said. "And I knew they didn't want a fourteen-year-old kid." { Hey now, lets not give them that much credit Just yet, haven't you heard of Jeff Gannon?}

A neither side has been disappointed. Congressman get their Glassy-eyed Fanatical Storm Troopers, and Parents get to ensure that all their hard work warping (oops I meant Molding) their children into rigid dedicated swallowers of Fascism isn't undone by risking a chance they might, ya know think for themselves, but at the same time their children can actually get a college degree.

Lets just take a peek in on campus life shall we?: {author's note, I swear I am not making any of this up}

First lets look at their academic rigor:

when students enroll at Patrick Henry, they sign a ten-part statement of faith, agreeing that, among other things, Hell is a place where "all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity."

The curriculum for the first two years follows a "Christian Classical" model--basically, Western Civ from a Biblical perspective... They also study Euclidean geometry and biology; the school uses a standard science textbook but the professor, Jennifer Gruenke, who also has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, ,tells students that the earth was created in a week.
And the Progressive social atmosphere

Junior Ben Adams, who sent out a nine-page e-mail to the entire student body before the spring formal reminding the girls to dress modestly. "Lust is sin," it said. "It is sin for you to tempt us.
Often, the campus looks like a scene from "Meet Me in St. Louis," with young men and women talking to one another through open windows, or exchanging a chaste goodbye at the downstairs door--men and women are not allowed in the living areas of each others' dorms. Girls talk about not "stumbling" a guy, the equivalent of tempting him, and resident advisers keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't wear shirts that show any bra.

Because as we all know, glimpsing a woman's ...err...uhh.. "foundational garment" will turn any man into a lust-crazed hell bound beast.

and The extremely modern attitudes about gender roles:

When all the best papers in a constitutional-law class that Farris taught were turned in by girls--and not for the first time--Farris yelled at the boys to grow up. The new careerist code of the Joshua Generation can become a problem for the girls, however. Even the most ambitious ones, those who wake up at 3 A.M. to study, told me without reservation that as soon as they had children they would quit their jobs to raise them.
This backwards Campus would be the butt of a joke if not for its growing influence on the reigns of power in this country. For example lets take a look at the current Campus Power Couple. Both are smart as hell (He got a perfect 1600 on his SATS and together they have routinely won debating matches against students from Harvard and Oxford), The are driven, both have interned on Capital Hill and the White House, and both are utterly clueless about the real world:

This is Patrick Henry's version of College Sweethearts:

{Matthew} du Mée arrived at Patrick Henry, in 2001, after being homeschooled by his parents...{Christy}Ross is {a White House Intern } and du Mée's usual debate partner, When {she} was sixteen, she wrote in her journal,...she not fall in love with a guy for five years," a period that she chose after hearing a lecture that compared committing to Christ to sticking to a long-term business plan. . ...they began spending "exclusive time" together, in junior year, du Mée called Ross's father to tell him.

Last year, du Mée asked if he could court her by writing her father an eighteen-page single-spaced letter. Du Mée's courtship proposal came exactly five days before her pledge expired

{ yes this 22 year old man asked permission of a 21 year old woman's Father! before dating her }

Over Christmas break, du Mée , to proposed in front of her parents . She accepted, and gave him a hug-- they wanted their first kiss to be at their wedding..

I've heard of saving yourself for marriage, but That's ridiculous! Two supposedly adult people have committed to spending the rest of their lives together, But have yet to even Kiss

Still their utter Naivete' hasn't impeded his rise through the Republiban ranks:

Du Mée's transcript reads as though he had gone through a Beltway-staffer training camp. He took classes on the Presidency, on Congress, and on constitutional law. In his senior year, he volunteered at the White House one day a week, answering the telephone comment line, and he has interned twice with Representative Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican.

Du Mée's first directed research project was a thirty-page evaluation of a bill giving tax credits for donations to fund private-school scholarships, which Franks had introduced

. He wrote another with Ross, on reforming the U.N., complete with policy briefs.

{duMee and Ross}decided to get married right after graduation and move to Phoenix. . Du Mée would "really, really like to run for political office," he said. "U.S. Congress would be great."

As for his equally brilliant wife?:

Ross would look for a job, but only to pay back loans. Eventually, they want to adjust to living on one salary so that she can homeschool their kids

and so the Cycle begins again.

Now to be fair the Patrick Henry Experiment hasn't worked yet. The sleazy culture of Republicans in the real world is likely to serve as a shocking kick to the spiritual groin.; for most of these little hothouse fanatics. But as they have got to be masters of Self-delusion to have made it this far; its unclear if the cognitive dissonance will have any actual effect on them. The scary thing is these kids are poised to step into the extremist shoes of blowhards like Santorum and Frist, but with one crucial difference

These Guys actually believe the Crap they are peddling.


Anonymous A Texan in Bavaria said...

I know one very religious (but very nice) girl who went to high school with me who also wanted her first kiss to be at her wedding. I think that's how she wound up.

Then again, she went to public high school and then to Texas A&M, so she's not completely sheltered.

She married an independently wealthy surgeon who she met at medical school. He only went because he wants to be a medical missionary (he didn't need the money). She's an anesthesiologist who wants to be a medical missionary. Awww...

And her parents didn't approve, because she found him without THEIR input.

3:58 AM  

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