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Response to "Warring visions of the Religious Right"

 I like the fact that there are institutions with diverse views around the country. Americans are not confined to believe in a strict set of ideals; they can choose what to say and what to believe. In this way, Regent University should be able to flourish even though some of the beliefs held by the students and faculty may be controversial. What I did not like was when other religions or ways of life were censured by people at the University, namely its founder Pat Robertson. For example, in the book New World Order, Robertson said that “There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.” He believes that no one else should be given influence in the world including “drunkards, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy moneychangers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals.” Robertson was also accused of anti-Semitism in another one of his books. However, according to a faculty member at Regent, Robertson cannot be held responsible for what is written in his books because his ghost writers are unreliable. I don’t see the point of publishing books that do not reflect one’s true opinion. It seems to me that Robertson should get better ghost writers or write the books himself. I think that people should be able to live their lives and practice religion freely, as long as they do not harm anyone and respect others freedom to do the same.          Kate Harten

I really agree with Kate. It's nice to know that every student is given a fair, diverse option in where he or she would like to go to school. Religion has always been and will forever continue to hold a major role in some citizens lives. In this country we are given the right to religious freedom and I believe it's a brilliant idea that allow universities to incorporate religion into there curriculums. Of course, with this in mind, not all institutes hold a religious affiliation which is also a plus. This way a student is not forced to take part in any activity that might cause discomfort. Personally, Regent University seems like a fine school for students who chose that path. It isn't there to 'brainwash' students into a student life style and I am positive the perspective students know what they are committing to. However, Pat Robertson does sound like an extreme man. "An entire nation run at all levels by the faithful." To me, Robertson merely sounds like an idealist. And again, I agree with Kate: to say, “There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.” makes the man sound almost like a dictator. But still, I do not believe that Regent is building "an army" of students to go out and control politics if that is what the article is trying to get at. -Samantha.

It really freaked me out that Regent is purposely trying to get religion into secular businesses, professions, etc. I disagree with Sam regarding the dominion theology aspect of the school ("I do not believe that Regent is building an army") because, although the teachers that the reporter spoke with denied that the school taught dominion theology, there did seem to be an undercurrent of that belief. Even if the school did not identify itself as teaching dominion theology, one quote from the Regent Catalogue of Study is "for us at Regent University, a regent is one who represents Christ, our Sovereign, in whatever sphere of life he or she may be called to serve Him." This sentiment brings to mind a highly religious elite group ruling under "God's" authority. This seems to me the stepping stone for a oligarchical theocracy; the manifestation of the dominion theology. -AP

The article really gave some insight in to how individuals of different branches of Christianity coexist together, and Regent University has done well accomplishing that by allowing multiple view points from different sects. Although it's obvious that each group has it's own interpretations of scripture and such, they all seem to share a similar concept of a religious mission. The school itself does not seem religiously fundamental, it's very politically diverse, however it's founder, Pat Robertson, appears to have some strong feelings about where he and other followers of his faith should be on the spiritual scale compared to the heathens, a.k.a. the communists, atheists, adulterers, homosexuals and so on. Not surprisingly, openly stating such extreme views can be quite controversial, no matter how natural these ideas are to some people, but that is not to say that all people of the same faith believe in Pat's philosophy and vice-versa. However this is a good reason why religious schools should be able to thrive beside non-religious schools, and the church needs to be separate from the state, so that there is a learning space that appeals to every individuals' needs and wants without creating daily friction between people who share opposite values. Freedom of Speech and Religion are what allow faith-based schools to exist, and I encourage that, no matter what creed is practiced. If a student likes or dislikes what s/he is seeing in a school such as Regent University, then they have the right to decide whether they want to be affiliated. ...Until religious fundamentalism, or pressure, begins to directly affect my way of life, I say live and let live - whether I agree with certain religious beliefs or not. --Anjela

I think that it’s impressive how much the school has improved over the years, but I also agree with the fact that it seems like the school is trying to put this religion into professions, political professions even. I agree with Sam and think that Pat does sound extreme, he stronlgy beleives in his religion and wants to spread it. But he isn't exactly pushing it on other people and the students did choose this school. He gives examples of many ways that they try not to push a certain type of religion onto the students and says that one teacher was let go for a reason like that. If they don't want to be there they don't have to. The students that go there are probably there because they are religious people, and there is nothing wrong with that. They have the freedom to persue whichever path they decide to go for in life, whether it have a religious basis or not. But I can also see how people may be opposed to this idea and the ideas of this school because religion is always a controversial topic. People tend to have strong opinions either way on the subject, but what is true is that the students are there to learn, and to be there. I think it is nice to think that here in America you can found a college on what you believe, and actually accomplish the goal of having it succeed, whether everyone agrees with your beleifs or not. --Sarah S.

After i read this piece, ive come to realize that schools have become more optimistic in a way. I think its great that students are given thier rights to whatever religion they wish to follow and have it be involved in thier college.They're given more than one option rather than being given one specific option.As being a part of the United States these students have rigths, and it is wonderful that they're given a chance to exersize them in sucha way, especially in the subject of religion. Religion plays a rather large part in peoples lives and so religion is important in that way.Its impotant that these students at these universities feel comfortable at thier college and feel like they can go about thier normal spiritual ways.I also think its wonderful that some of these colleges welcome different people and thier perspectives on thier specific religion and on religion in general . For example when Vinson Synan the dean of Regent College invited him  as a liberal protestant hiedogian to give a lecture about his recent work on the worldwide penecostal movement. Its good to see diverstity in religion accepted like that with an open mind.I think it was great that Pat took the intiative to take his strong beliefs in his religion and put it out there,there is nothing wrong with that. Others who follow the same outlook or path can partake in those same beliefs, however despite his strong beliefs he did not let it overwhelm people, he did not force it upon others. I believe its important to stick with what you believe in, and that people will decide to stay loyal to thier beliefs. People will make any choice they decide to make and be the navigators of thier own lives.They also have the power to chose what they take in and leave out, they have the decision to  chose thier future. Beliefs are valued worldwide no matter where you go, and as long  as they continue to be valued as they are people will continue to make decisions for themsleves that support thier beliefs (depending the person). == A. Mejia

It is interesting how something that started so small could grow o big. I like that they did community work in the "Black Ghetto of nearby Chesapeake." By working with children they are trying to prevent problems before they start. A lot of people that go to church are to help do community service because it is good and they church tells you too but also out of the kindness of their heart. They are doing what is right, because they want to. I agree with Kate and Samantha too I really like that there is so much diversity in the views in institutions around the country. Diversity is always a good thing. Religion is very important to some and it always will be to some percentage of the population. I love that fact that in this country you are given the freedom to choose which religion you wish to be a part of, and also that you can choose if you are part of the percentage that religion is very important to you, not so important, and even in the middle. I tin Regent College isn't there to "brainwash" (like Samantha said) the students. You make a decision to attend or not attend that school, maybe depending on your personal beliefs. Pat Robertson founded that school with his own strong beliefs. Legally he could start that school with those beliefs, and if you choose to attend you may or may not have the same beliefs as him. He wanted the school to be specific to the same religion as he himself, being the president of the "Christian Coalition." Finally I do again agree with Kate and Samantha that he seems like a sort of extremist, but i do not believe that he is building a so-called "army." -Tamara

I agree with having schools that practice religion because it can allow people to find other people who are practicing the same religion and allows them to find people who have things in common with them.  I also agree with Sarah when she says people who attend these colleges choose to do this themselves. Pat doesn't push this on other people and his students, they choose to attend the school and if his religion is involved in the curriculm you chose to go there probably knowing that it is.  I also like the idea that Pat is very confident in his religion and wants to share it with other people.  Though, I feel as though he should be very cautious when it comes to that.  Religion is a touchy subject to some people especially since different people feel differently about religion. One thing I don't agree with is trying to get religion involved in businesses and politics and things like that.  I think that if that is accomplished there will be a lot of problems between religions.  For example, if someone who practices the method of Pentacostal is elected into an executive position and his opponent practices the method of Catholic was passed over.  People of the catholic church could easily get upset and say that this wasn't a fair election.  Then the Pentacostal  church could say that the Catholic church doesn't think it is fair because the Catholic nominee wasn't elected. --> Dyanna H. 

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