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Louisiana College: President Joe Aguillard’s Lie of “Exoneration”

For almost a year, ever since the investigation by the Board of Trustees into corruption, Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard and his supporters have been using the term “exonerated” every chance they get. The story from the Aguillard camp has been that a Calvinist take over was thwarted and Godly leadership maintained. The truth, however, is much darker.

Dr. Aguillard Eating a Worm as part of a Sermon.
Dr. Aguillard eating a worm as part of a sermon.

This blog has previously discussed Aguillard’s vindictive nature and his strict line on loyalty and his authority behind closed doors. But, today Aguillard made a news story out of something no source had previously reported on. In January of 2013, Dr Chuck Quarles filed a complaint with SACS about ethical concerns over Aguillard’s behavior. According to Quarles he “did so only after speaking to an official at SACS and receiving assurances that [his] complaint would not result in LC’s loss of accreditation.” As Quarles explains, “Many fine Christian educators whom I greatly respect serve at LC and I did not want my complaint to harm them in any way.” However, yesterday Louisiana College posted on their website a press release entitled “SACS Reaffirms Louisiana College: Denies Quarles Complaints” In the release, Aguillard claims that the accusations were false and compares himself to The Apostle Paul in Corinth when explaining how he will respond to the “false accusation.” Tommy French, Chairman of Louisiana College’s Board of Trustees, asserts, ” Our President, Dr. Joe Aguillard, has been vetted and completely exonerated. The facts have proved the absolute integrity of Louisiana College, the Board of Trustees and President Aguillard.”

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Prisoners: Hinting at Grace

I’ve never been a huge movie guy. I enjoy them like everyone else but I wouldn’t consider myself a serious critic. Mostly, I see action films, with a real soft spot for Sci-Fi, and kids …

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The Danger of Duck Dynasty

I haven’t said much about the Duck Dynasty trend that has swept through America over the last couple of years. I know many good Christians who enjoy the show and are attracted to the principled …

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Aguillard in his own words: Will the real Joe Aguillard please stand-up, please stand-up, please stand-up?

Hankins told a Board member that Aguillard would “remain President unless he was found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.”

There are few characters in Louisiana Baptist life that are as controversial as Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard. For some, he is the near messianic figure that led the redemption of Louisiana College from liberal heresy to conservative orthodoxy. That narrative began to fall into question, beginning in 2011 and gaining steam until 2013, when theological conservatives began to question Aguillard’s leadership. I was the first of the “New LC” crowd to do so in 2011 with my Open Letter to Louisiana Baptists. But in late 2012, a board member called for Aguillard’s resignation and two Vice Presidents filed whistle-blower complaints against Aguillard on ethical grounds. The Board then hired a law firm to investigate the allegations. The firm found that Aguillard had behaved unethically and that there was ample ground to fire him.

President Joe Aguillard
President Joe Aguillard

There is no freedom of speech here. I didn’t make that up. That’s the law. When a student says, “I have freedom of speech…” We have three attorneys who will laugh them into the ground because there is no such thing here.

Despite all this, the Board, unofficially led by Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Director David Hankins, chose to close ranks behind Aguillard publicly proclaiming that Aguillard was a good and Godly leader. Though privately, Hankins told a Board member that Aguillard would “remain President unless he was found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.” To invoke the words of corrupt former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, who had only recently been released from prison and was still on probation, was not a ringing endorsement of Aguillard’s ethics. Further, it illustrated that for Hankins small issues like dishonesty and misappropriating college funds were not a major concern. Indeed, even the fact that Aguillard’s behavior had cost the college their largest donor in history was not enough to make Hankins withdraw his support for Aguillard.

Why is Hankins so supportive of the embattled President? To be honest, I can’t figure it out. This is a President that is so manipulative and controlling that when he became President he asked the IT Department about being able to listen in on employee phone conversations, which they refused to facilitate without a warrant. The one thing that is clear is that Hankins has chosen to support Aguillard at almost all costs.

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Same Sex Attraction and the Aching Heart of Christ

The issue of the relationship, or lack thereof, between homosexuality and the church, especially the evangelical church, is a hot topic these days. In some ways, I am a really bad blogger. I tend to either not write about a hot topic (notice the lack of a Duck Dynasty post) or I tend to post on the subject late (my Treyvon Martin post was intentionally a week or two after it was ‘cool’ to post on the verdict). I do this, in part, because I live in my own head too much and, in part, because I don’t want to be chasing the trendy subject. But sometimes, the trendy topics are also really important topics.

James loves God and...
James loves God and…

If you work in Christian Higher Education you are going to butt up against this issue. If you are involved in the arts you are likely to have friends who are gay. If you attend an ecumenical theological union for your PhD you are also going to have friends who are gay. All this makes the tension between faith and sexuality a live issue. It is not a distant issue like it once was for me. When I have lunch with my friend who is the Managing Director for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry he is not some abstract political or religious argument, he is my kind, gentle, loving friend who is sitting across the table from me engaging in good conversation.

A saying I have grown fond of is, “We hate the sins we don’t commit.” There are certain sins that the evangelical community has really latched onto as unacceptable. Right now those are homosexuality and abortion. 

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Art Is Not Frivolous

I have an art show installing this week at  Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California and I sent them my standard professional bio. But, the show is at a church and their interest is not …

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