I did not publicly announce my pause aside from a couple of coded retweets about Lent. Commenting at all would be a comment, and I promised to refrain from publicly commenting while I was in NGU’s employ.
I interpreted Pannell’s pause as broadly as possible. The spirit of the rule was that NGU doesn’t comment about any other college, especially those in their neighborhood. Yes, Bob Jones University was named in my memo, but other “neighborhood” higher-ed news was afoot as well. The College of Charleston named a new controversial, “Southern heritage” president. My old fundy high school teacher Steve Livesay was insisting on a neo-con religiousity for the faculty at Bryan College. Liberty University partnered with Benny Hinn. The Feds named 55 colleges in an inquiry regarding sexual assault cases. On all of those I had to be silent.
Is it that big of a deal really? Is it? No, it’s not. I can be quiet for two months. It is, however, proof of the reign of silence in Greenville County. That’s why I’m laying it out like this. To prove what life is like for a female academic in Greenville, South Carolina.
Things continued, of course, among the whistle-blowers. I got my share of taunts from BJU’s Randy Page himself — direct lies — clear attempts to draw me into the fray and break my promise. I refrained. I finished the semester well.
My “Proof is in the Product” storify continued to make waves. Odd considering I only have 414 twitter followers. I’m not a big dog in the twittersphere.
This is a difficult row to hoe. We are all working toward the same thing. Even those who don’t claim Christ deep down want the same thing. We want justice and peace. We want Shalom.
My kids and have been reading about the Israelites’ wandering in the wilderness and their complaining and discouragement. I remember listening to that story in Sunday School and thinking, “What is wrong with you people? Can’t you see?” It’s fun to sit on our pedestal from millennia away and judge.
But the wandering is hard. It’s hard to watch and pray. It’s hard this marching through Immanuel’s Ground.