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A Former Pensacola Christian College Student Shares Her Story

pensacola christian college

On Monday, Cracked, posted an article titled 5 Insane Realities At My Fundamentalist Christian College. In this story an ananymous former student details their experience attending Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida. What follows is an excerpt from the article:

Religious schools are as old as religion itself, and there’s nothing wrong with keeping the “God” in education(g). But when college students are sent to live at a Christian school where their every move is monitored, well, there is a certain potential for things to get weird. Pensacola Christian College, for instance, has come under fire for what has been described as a cult-like atmosphere, along with the little matter of not having any accreditation at all.

We spoke to one former student who we’ll call “Lilith.” She attended PCC and told us…

…The most traumatic event in Lilith’s tenure at Pensacola Christian College occurred in the spring of her freshman year. She and her boyfriend had sneaked away to enjoy a rare moment of nuzzles, because no physical touching was allowed between genders at all. Well, someone must have seen them in this obscene act of awkward adolescent pecking, because shortly thereafter …

“I received a call slip in my mailbox ordering me to the dean’s office,” she says. “I remember that it was really weird, because it came on a Sunday.” When she got there, she found a waiting room full of other fallen women. “When I was called into the office,” she says, “the dean and one of her assistants were waiting. ‘How are you?’ they asked. ‘How are you feeling?'” She told them she felt fine, and they cut right to the chase. “We’re concerned about your health. We’re concerned you might be pregnant.”

That seemed unlikely to Lilith, a currently menstruating virgin. “They told me ‘People said you’ve been feeling sick and vomiting in trash cans,'” which was only slightly less confusing, because she had never been that sick the whole time she had been at school. When she explained all of these things, they asked “Would you be OK with taking a pregnancy test to prove your innocence?” That’s verbatim what they said, as if pregnancy was a crime.

Lilith had a feeling that not being OK with it wouldn’t be OK, so after five hours of being called in and out and asked all kinds of questions presumably with a flashlight in her face, she was marched down to a bathroom to take the (obviously negative) test. This was during a busy time of day, when there were tons of students in the halls, all watching her being trotted out to take her pee of shame…

…Let’s go back to the school’s spontaneous pregnancy check for a moment. “What makes me the most upset is that no one ever talked to my boyfriend,” she says. “He was completely blameless not just in their eyes, but in the eyes of the whole school. It was the entire culture.” Women were blamed for everything, even for (as Lilith later found out) being raped. That link is to an account by former student Samantha Field, who was sexually assaulted and then told later that she needed to repent.

But the double standard for men and women wasn’t just an unspoken part of the culture — it was overtly stated in the rules. For instance, women were flat-out not allowed to work certain jobs on campus. This wasn’t some abstract wage gap situation, involving invisible forces like social pressure and hiring managers who quietly shuffled her application to the bottom of the pile. They took female applications for landscaping or security jobs and politely handed it right back to them. (A woman? Using hedge clippers? Just as in the final days of Sodom!)

And please note that if she wasn’t happy with her on-campus job prospects, she couldn’t just go out and apply to be waitress. Only men were allowed to work off-campus, which sucked because the pay and hours were usually a lot better. Women could only work approved (usually unpaid) internships, which didn’t do much for their pantyhose fund, so they were forced to choose from the slim on-campus offerings.

Even in the seemingly gender-neutral field of broadcasting, which is what Lilith majored in, male genitalia was required just to announce the college basketball games. “I asked and asked and asked, ‘Why can’t a girl do this?’ and they just said, ‘They just won’t let you.'”…

I encourage you to read the entire article.

More than a few of the readers of this blog are former Pensacola Christian College (PCC) students.  Polly and I have family members who attended PCC and some of them are still closely connected to the College. I have no doubt that the aforementioned story is factual. I’ve had numerous private discussions with former PCC students. Their stories bear witness to the truthfulness of  “Lilith’s” story.

HT: Richard Marlowe for making me aware of this article

3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Brian

    I am grateful to know that this kind of abuse is being passed around but I have to say that it makes me so so angry to realize that parents who love their kids can be hogwash deluded enough to think they will benefit from a college such as this…. what hateful manipulations and insinuations. How anti-human and sick. I feel so sorry for these kids.
    There is a book out there, maybe out of print now, that came to be through the assistance of Norman Mailer. He came upon a man in prison whose writing struck a chord. He helped the man get his book published and eventually helped him get out of prison as well. Jack Henry Abbot was the author/prisoner. His book was In the Belly of the Beast. I mention it because there is a scene I recall from the writing where Jack takes the only thing he can get in his cell, a Holy Bible, and soaks it in the toilet. He then uses the soaked lump of eternal and literal truth as a weapon by dropping it into a pillow case and whacking some soul with it. To me, Bruce, having come up through the Baptist church as the child of a preacher, is probably one of the most honest uses I have ever known for the Bible. When I read of the abuses and crimes committed by those clutching the black book, I always think of Jack Henry Abbott. He too knew in his heart just what to do with that crock of heavy shit. Jack was the ultimate fire and brimstone basher in my view of things. He ended up back in prison after a short time because he had spent so much time incarcerated, he no longer knew how to buy a toothbrush or survive in any reasonable way as a free man.

  2. Avatar
    Charles

    Lilith is a real person. Her name in real life is Samantha Field,and she lives in the Washington, D.C. area. She came out of the closet about her Pensacola Christian College years long ago. Here is her most recent article on her nationally popular blog (See URL Below) . She abandoned Christian fundamentalism and is now a liberal Christian. Her blog specializes in raking fundie thought and nonsense over the coals. The following is the URL for her blog:

    https://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/

    She has written extensively about her rape experience at PSC on this blog. She is a professional communicator by college training, and her articles are often picked up and distributed widely by the national wire services and other media outlets. Next to you Bruce, she is quite likely the IFB church’s second greatest nightmare. She is a really great thinker and writer.

    Well crap. Guess I was wrong. Lilith and Samantha are two different people. Oh well. That is not so bad. It just means PSC gets “dicked” in stereo, which is what it deserves.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Hey Charles,

      I think this is another student. The second page of the article states:
      “Let’s go back to the school’s spontaneous pregnancy check for a moment. “What makes me the most upset is that no one ever talked to my boyfriend,” she says. “He was completely blameless not just in their eyes, but in the eyes of the whole school. It was the entire culture.” Women were blamed for everything, even for (as Lilith later found out) being raped. That link is to an account by former student Samantha Field, who was sexually assaulted and then told later that she needed to repent.”

      Here’s the link to Samantha Fields story:

      http://www.xojane.com/issues/samantha-field-pensacola-christian-college-rape-stalking

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