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The Wind Rises: A beautiful lie

Hayao Miyazaki is a major name, maybe the major name, in Anime, Japanese Animation. The Wind Rises  is his eleventh film and reported to be his last film. It is a beautifully animated piece with a …

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Joe Aguillard’s apology that proved the narrative

joe_davidDavid Hankins released through the Baptist Message confirms the narrative that has been being established through the media and blogs over the last two months. It really is a simple narrative: Joe Aguillard is dishonest and self-serving while David Hankins has amassed tremendous power in the LBC and has shown undue influence in Louisiana College operations.

Dear Dr. Hankins,

I want to deeply apologize for things that I said about you and Eric on a recording by Chuck Quarles. I haven’t heard the tape, but I’ve seen typed quotes from the recording and I am so remorseful in having said those things. What I said does not reflect in any way my true heartfelt feelings for both you and Eric.

In addition, I will share with anyone that you did not use undue influence in any way and never pushed your way onto the Academic Affairs committee. Your leadership on that committee is invaluable.

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The Louisiana College Board of Trustees: Sycophants and Heroes

Heath Veuleman
Heath Veuleman

When all is said and done it is the responsibility of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees to make sure LC is a healthy and properly run institution. As I have been in conversation with academics, legal professionals, and media members around the country, the consistent bewilderment has been…”How does the board let this continue?” We’ve known the answer for a while but have had no proof. There is a majority of the board that has seemed to support Joe Aguillard’s presidency no matter what immorality or incompetency he perpetuated. But, there has also been a minority that has sought to do the right thing. These ethical board members have been marginalized, attacked legally, and removed from their important posts on the board. They were almost able to remove Aguillard from office last year in response to his misappropriation of funds. But, due to the influence of LBC Executive Director, David Hankins, Aguillard was able to survive. 

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The minority Board Members Speak out: An Open Letter to Louisiana Baptists from Concerned Trustees

Louisiana College LogoThis morning the minority group of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees released a letter of Concern. I for one am very happy to see this happen. Ultimately, what has happened at Louisiana College is the responsibility of the Board and I am glad that some are speaking to the seriousness with which they take this responsibility. This letter was released to several media outlets. But, it was also posted on the blog of Jay Adkins. I suggest you take the time to read his commentary on the letter (read here). It is worth your time.

 

Dear Louisiana Baptists,

     The undersigned members of the Board of Trustees of Louisiana College have come to the conclusion that due in part to our fiduciary responsibility to the Louisiana Baptist Convention as duly elected members of the Board of Trustees, and in part to preserve our integrity and testimony before God, our families, and our churches, we are forced to make a public statement regarding our concerns over actions of the administration of Louisiana College.

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Louisiana College: Learning from Star Wars

Darth HankinsOne of my favorite events that I organized when I was at Louisiana College was a panel on the Philosophy & Theology of Star Wars. We had a panel with two theology professors, a history professor, and me. We discussed the Philosophy of Star Wars (which often is not consistent with Biblical theology) and then watched the movies all night long. It was a good exercise in how to think through the philosophy presented in popular culture. Over the last month I have been thinking about Star Wars, especially episodes 1-3. Those movies are really about the struggle of good and evil and the political maneuvering of the evil Sith. All throughout the movies the Sith Lord is manipulating the political scene. There is also in each movie a “public” face of the Sith.

One of my favorite quotes in the first movie is from Padme who, while in the senate chamber, says, “This is how liberty dies… to thunderous applause.” This speaks to an important truth. Evil often manipulates the situation so that people excitedly think they are doing the right thing. I can’t help but think of when Joe Aguillard was made President of Louisiana College.

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Louisiana College: Heads will Roll, 10 Steps for Moving Forward

President Joe Aguillard
President Joe Aguillard

Rumors are flying that President Joe Aguillard has been given the choice of stepping down as President and being allowed to take medical retirement or being fired. For seemingly personal reasons, not ethical standards David Hankins has apparently removed his long-standing and important support of Joe Aguillard and that is proving to make the difference. A year ago, when it looked like Aguillard may no longer be president I wrote an article entitled Louisiana College…Moving Forward. That is an important article for people to go back and read. It explains why the wrongs LC has done over the last nine years can’t just be swept under the rug. But, I thought in this post it would be helpful to republish my thoughts about how LC can move forward.

  1.  Remove Aguillard from the Presidency. I don’t see any way around this. There is so much baggage with his presidency. As bad as what has been made public is…there is so much more. I pray that Aguillard will repent and turn his life around. But, whatever happens he should not remain as president.
  2. Publicly Admit Wrong. There has been so much damage over the last decade that has been swept under the rug. People’s lives have been destroyed and students have been emotionally and spiritually scarred. There are serious trust issues with LC right now. The only way for LC to get past these issues is to admit they blew it. Anything else will simply look like more of the same. Public sins need to be dealt with publicly.

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Joe Aguillard Exonerated! … oh wait, nevermind

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins

First it was the liberals who were after Joe. Then it was the Calvinists. Or at least that has been the narrative. But, there are some troubling figures for this narrative. I came to Louisiana College because of the conservative doctrine and am not a Calvinist. But, I am from California and lived in NYC so I am easy to brand as a liberal. (Though you may want to read Am I a Liberal?). Then came Tim Johnson. He certainly isn’t a Calvinist or a liberal. He was even the Chairman of the Board when Aguillard was elected President and Johnson was a key figure in making that happen. Now, there comes Tony Perkins. I am not certain, but I do not believe he is Calvinist but he certainly isn’t liberal. In fact, he is a major political figure within conservative evangelicalism’s conservative political scene. His conservative credentials are as strong as any. In fact, when the relationship between Perkins and LC was first developing I remember Aguillard being rather excited about it.

So, what is happening now?

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Why Louisiana College Students are Afraid, and Why They Should Be

Student's and Alumni praying for Louisiana College
Student’s and Alumni praying for Louisiana College

Yesterday, a Louisiana College official laughed at students and one of their parents when they stated that people on campus are afraid. When I wrote my open letter in 2011 I included a couple of statements about the fear on campus:

There is a spirit of fear among the faculty and students which is wholly inconsistent with our God who does not give a spirit of fear.

The level of fear at LC is such that students are told by their family to not raise health concerns related to facilities out of concern that they may not actually be granted their degrees. Meanwhile, faculty members shake their heads silently for fear of losing their jobs, many choosing to leave quietly after just a year or two.

I was charged by the college for lying about these statements. The defense that the was used yesterday against the students on these issues was all too familiar to me. “You can’t say there is a spirit of fear on campus because I’m not afraid.” The truth is there is a spirit of fear at Louisiana College and it has existed for many years. As bad as it was when I was there, I am told by several sources that it is worse now. I’ve been told by some that the oppression is “palpable.” I’ve been told that it feels like summer because there is so little life on campus.

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Tournament of Artists: Round 1-C

Vote for your favorite artists!

The winners from Round 1-B which finished last night include:

Albrecht Dürer, Francesco Borromini, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Jacques-Louis David, Claude Lorraine, Eugéne Delacroix, Albert Bierstadt, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Edvard Munch, and Pablo Picasso

Round 1-C brings 30 more artists who are trying to advance to Round 3. Please vote for your favorites! This tournament is purely for fun to see not which artists are the most historically significant but which artists people prefer. So, make your voice heard! Who are your favorites?

Antoni Gaudí

Jean-Antoine Houdon

Henri Matisse

Which artist's work do you like best?

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Strong Arm Tactics Continued by the Louisiana College Administration

CLA-CThe national eye is closing in on Louisiana College. The behavior that had previously only concerned those within the state has begun to interest the broader Christian community. As the students come closer to their strike tomorrow the LC administration is finalizing the strategy which they will employ tomorrow. It seems that the school will allow silent prayer but will crack down very hard if any student “give[s] speeches or promote[s] a strike in any other way.”

This is from one of the RA’s after a meeting with Dr. Aguillard tonight.

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