Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#774: Arlin Horton

Arlin Horton is the former president of Pensacola Christian College (PCC), an unaccredited institution (or, as some argue, a cult) he founded in 1974 right down the street from Dinosaur Adventure Land. The PCC also runs “A Beka Book”, the infamous propaganda mill publishing house providing textbooks to fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers, known for instance for claiming that set theory is godless and evil, and for its uncompromising creationist stance (it is named after Rev. Horton's wife, Rebekah).

Indeed, in A Beka Book’s catalog you will find titles such as “Science of the Physical Creation”, which claims that evolution is bunk, all scientists subscribing to evolution are frauds, and that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons; “Science: Order and Reality”, presented as a biology textbook but really mostly a collection of Bible verses; “Biology: God’s Living Creation”, the same, and made famous through some court cases in 2012; “Physics: The Foundational Science”, which contains very little physics but a lot of attempts to emphasize the faith of famous physicists; “Vocabulary, Spelling and Poetry”, which describes a purported conspiracy among grammarians to make kids into evolutionists; “Economics: Work and Prosperity”, an anti-communist tract (which has in fact missed the fall of the Soviet Union); “Sex, Love and Romance: Sex Education from the Bible”, which is a rabidly misogynist tract mostly about Satan; “Bible Doctrines for Today”, which one would suspect would be a Bible tract, but which also contains a fair share of ufology and conspiracy theories concerning aliens; “A Healthier You”, which claims in effect that prayer is the foundation for all health; and “Choosing Good Health”, which is the same as the previous book, but targeted at kids.

PCC is strictly devoted to gender segregation, prohibiting e.g. handshakes between people of opposite genders, has strict restrictions on what music students may listen to, and has a strict prohibition on petitions or reading or distributing unauthorized literature (all in the name of free speech, of course). The coursework at PCC is of course strictly young earth creationist.

Horton resigned in 2012, handing the reins to Troy Shoemaker, whose “doctorate” was awarded by the very institution he is about to take over.

Diagnosis: Deranged madman who makes even the most rabid ayatollah seem liberal by comparison, and who appears to think that the Taliban didn’t go far enough. The PCC has quite a number of students, and it is rather sad to see the numbers of child abusing parents who even consider sending their children there.

1 comment:

  1. Christian home schooling survivor here...I mostly went to public schools growing up but got home schooled for 3 years and most of the books were A Beka. I remember "Science: Order and Reality" and "Choosing Good Health" quite well. They did have a lot of fascinating stuff in them, but were shot through with fundamentalist doctrines. Take the health book for example: a whole chapter was devoted to describing all these different types of diseases and what bodily systems they affect, and I found all this really gripping, but then it goes on to say that this was all just "the tip of the iceberg" and that most diseases are caused by "disobedience of God's Word." The science book, meanwhile, mostly provided a good introduction to biology, but of course, it also had plenty of (discredited) arguments against evolution, which can today be found on the TalkOrigins "Index to Creationist Claims" page. Yeah, I ate it up, at that time...thankfully the forces of reason got to me before it was too late.