[6/17/11 UPDATE] Two administrators, one biology professor, and one board member resign

Educate Truth shares the following article from Spectrum as a service to readers.

“Two administrators, one professor, and one board member were asked to resign on Friday,” according to Spectrum blog editor Alexander Carpenter.

The president and the provost of La Sierra University regret to announce the resignations of four members of our university family.

On Friday, June 10, Board Chair Ricardo Graham requested the resignations of Dr. Jeff Kaatz from his position as Vice President for University Advancement, Dr. Jim Beach from his position as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Gary Bradley from his part-time faculty position in the Biology Department, and Mr. Lenny Darnell from the Board of Trustees.

These resignations have been accepted and are effective immediately. Campus administration is unable, at this time, to offer any additional details regarding the decisions of these individuals. Further information will be made available as appropriate.

We invite you to keep our campus in your prayers as we move through this difficult time for the university.

UPDATE 6/13/11: It’s been confirmed from multiple sources that these resignations have nothing to do with the biology department. LSU has not yet given a reason for the resignations.

UPDATE 6/17/11: Beach and Kaatz are both still employed at La Sierra University as tenured faculty. Bradley, Beach, and Kaatz were all at-will employees in the positions they resigned from.

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466 thoughts on “[6/17/11 UPDATE] Two administrators, one biology professor, and one board member resign

  1. Time for a new survey. Put the tape online, ask SDA Churchmembers to listen to it, and then vote whether they believe these characters should be teaching or students or leading our SDA institutions.

    Do it like the previous ones, with Name, Church offiliation, etc.(in order to verify, i.e. no anonymouses) ) I’d like to see how our actual SDA members see this thing.

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  2. BobRyan:

    Either Patti thinks Ricardo Graham is a member of the GC and that the GC owns and runs LSU or she thinks that the LSU board should not take the action that it did in cases like this.in Christ,Bob
    Patti is continuing the myth that the GC actually fired these characters, instead of what the facts state, which is Graham heard the tape and asked for their resignations.

    I’ve heard the tapes, thus I know WHY Graham did what he did. Listen for yourselves.

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  3. Shane&#032Hilde: @Ron Stone M.D.: I agree, and that’s one reason we’re seeing so much push back.

    The total lack of any respect for fellow teachers, administrators, Board members, NAD officials, and even other SDA colleges and universities is amazing.

    The arrogant attitude of all on this tape is astounding. You gotta get a copy and listen! You’ll hear WHY they resigned, rather than have the tape made public.

    I’m not kidding!

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  4. Here is how the LSU side of “spin doctoring” works –

    I point out that in the gang-of-four incident Bradley is the only one on public record (exempting that recording of course) in the tank for evolutionism.

    BobRyan said : Bradley is the only person (among the four) that clearly has a link to the sacrifice-all-for-evolutinism strategy in the LSU biology department based on his own statements to the press.

    Professor&#032Kent:
    Your characterization of an entire department (and in prior posts an entire university) as “sacrifice-all-for-evolutionism” because of the views of a few individuals is nothing more than propaganda. Do you truly believe in educating truth?

    I then point out that Kent is the only one trying to drag in the “entire university” as the scope of those who argue for evolutionism at LSU.

    Kent gets someone to take the bait.

    Greg&#032W: Lets get facts straight. Bob Ryan once wrote
    In this board action LSU has found “air cover” for continuing down their present course — awaiting for a “proposed committee” to gain time resources funding and authority “by somebody else” – before they would ever to cease and desist their “sacrifice all for evolutionism” policy in place today.
    Where has Professor Kent accused the university of a sacrifice all for evolutionism policy?

    Well as can be seen in Kent’s own post above – he is the one dragging out the scope of “The entire university” into this.

    not me.

    And if you had actually included the full quote from my post you referenced above that point would have been clear.

    I note that you carefully deleted the key statement in that post.

    http://www.educatetruth.com/news/lsu-board-news-release-and-actions/comment-page-1/#comment-6304

    BobRyan said:
    I believe this is a perfect illustration of the thinking that went into that Board Action – we should not ignore it.

    This thinking is precisely why a pro-evolution LSU administration would so readily propose that “somebody else” come up with an Adventist science curriculum that supports a recent 6 day creation week – because in the minds of these evolutionists (as in the mind of Richard Dawkins) there is in fact “no such thing” as a scientifically rigorous curriculum that supports the Bible doctrine on origins.

    ….
    In this board action LSU has found “air cover” for continuing down their present course — awaiting for a “proposed committee” to gain time resources funding and authority “by somebody else” – before they would ever to cease and desist their “sacrifice all for evolutionism” policy in place today. And their back-up hope on this is that since there is “no such thing” as a “scientifically rigorous science curriculum supporting a recent, literal 6 day creation week” whatever effort might be put into the non-existent committee – would be all for naught and might even result in a conclusion allowing all SDA science programs to embrace evolutionism since the Bible facts on the origin of life are not “scientifically rigorous”.

    My post clearly points to this as LSU administration and LSU board actions. The context simply shows that they speak for the university at that level but never does the post argue that the entire university (every man, woman and child) is in the tank for evolutionism’s defense if not its belief.

    In fact I repeatedly point to the biology and religion departments as the problem areas and have repeatedly given examples of success at LSU as in my often repeat of the enlightened actions of the LSU Chemistry and Physics department during Walter Veith’s visit on campus at LSU in the past month or so.

    The spin doctoring that must be engaged in to support the various problems at LSU (as if they were a good thing) is astounding.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  5. Shane&#032Hilde: Judging by the reaction of the four to the recording being made public to the board, I think it’s safe to assume that what was on the recording was more incriminating than the alcohol.

    I agree. If only Bradley “had a few” why would the others resign. Wasn’t it at Bradley’s home where they watched the game?

    Or was it at someone else’s house, and Bradley just brought a “fifth” to share?

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  6. While we are on the subject of someone doing the right thing. Larry Blackmer comes out like a shining hero in this event. That guy has risen to new heights in my estimation. The “bad guys” in this case are furious with him for his strong stand in favor of the church, our doctrines and the correct mission of SDA schools.

    Larry is the man!

    Larry’s chief crime according to these guys is that he insists that the SDA mission is NOT to be “the best public university that SDA tithe, offering, gift and tuition dollars can buy”!

    Larry said that we are not out to just be “a better Harvard” or to just preach a basic minimalist Gospel like some non-SDA colleges. Rather our schools exist to teach the distinctive message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church!

    That guy is right on the mark.

    I wish that Dan Jackson could have fared half so well in those discussions. (Actually the incident raises some questions about just what Jackon’s agenda really is).

    in Christ,

    Bo

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  7. Lou&#032Westphal&#032M&#046D&#046: It seems there is some legal recourse called “constructive discharge” in which an employee, forced to resign by suspect circumstances, can still file a wrongful termination suit.

    I’m sure you’re right, Lou. I wasn’t actually being disagreeable, as I usually am, but simply stating that he was not officially “fired” but did “resign.”

    Probably some way anybody can sue his ex-empoyer, no matter how one is terminated!

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  8. BobRyan: Obivously the Inside Higher Education article did a more “complete” job of explaining the problem to the world. You on the other hand – are predictably devoted to “spin doctoring”.

    Neither Inside Higher Education nor you listened to the conversation. I did. I’m speaking from facts that formed my personal opinion, and you accuse me of “spin doctoring.” So what is the basis of your “spin?”

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  9. BobRyan: People – this is an act of God in having this behind-closed doors unveiling of the true issues at LSU come to light in the way that it did such that the wolves only have themselves to blame in what even Bradley calls a “three stooges” scenario.Those who suggest that CA is prone to “file law suit no matter your culpability” may be right about the culture out there – but the facts being what they are… this whole thing is amazing!in Christ,Bob

    I agree Bob. Those whom I have spoken with so far, regarding this specific detail, all agree that this may be “Divine Intervention” in an ironic way.

    Those at LSU will of course deny this, but looking at the scenario, it’s hard to not see it. When Man fails to act, sometimes God does, in a way in which we just have to be amazed!

    God IS great, even though we, as humans, all of us included, fail to live up to His standards.

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  10. BobRyan: No one (but Kent) has claimed that all of LSU is on board with evolution.

    Lets get facts straight. Bob Ryan once wrote

    In this board action LSU has found “air cover” for continuing down their present course — awaiting for a “proposed committee” to gain time resources funding and authority “by somebody else” – before they would ever to cease and desist their “sacrifice all for evolutionism” policy in place today.

    Where has Professor Kent accused the university of a sacrifice all for evolutionism policy?

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  11. BobRyan: While we are on the subject of someone doing the right thing. Larry Blackmer comes out like a shining hero in this event. That guy has risen to new heights in my estimation. The “bad guys” in this case are furious with him for his strong stand in favor of the church, our doctrines and the correct mission of SDA schools.Larry is the man!Larry’s chief crime according to these guys is that he insists that the SDA mission is NOT to be “the best public university that SDA tithe, offering, gift and tuition dollars can buy”!Larry said that we are not out to just be “a better Harvard” or to just preach a basic minimalist Gospel like some non-SDA colleges. Rather our schools exist to teach the distinctive message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church!That guy is right on the mark.I wish that Dan Jackson could have fared half so well in those discussions. (Actually the incident raises some questions about just what Jackon’s agenda really is).in Christ,Bo

    Bob, Graham comes out pretty great, too. He has been virtually absent from any real control over LSU, but gets to be the “hero” by firing these guys (some of which may be “fall guys’).

    I also agree about Jackson. He doesn’t impress much at all,so far.

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  12. BobRyan: Obivously the Inside Higher Education article did a more “complete” job of explaining the problem to the world. You on the other hand – are predictably devoted to “spin doctoring”.

    Professor&#032Kent:

    Neither Inside Higher Education nor you listened to the conversation. I did. I’m speaking from facts that formed my personal opinion, and you accuse me of “spin doctoring.” So what is the basis of your “spin?”

    I am always facinated by the things you think I do not know or have not done.

    Do you really enjoy just making stuff up to that extent? On what basis are you making such wild claims?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  13. This commentary posted at Spectrum reflects the Christianity and Spirit of Christ that motivates me:

    Patti Cottrell Grant – Wed, 06/15/2011 – 09:44

    Once again it appears that vengeful and short-sighted GC leadership has carelessly squandered a priceless opportunity to present to the world a true picture of how God deals lovingly with his all-too-human children. Instead of offering these men the opportunity for forgiveness and redemption they were blindsided and backed into a corner and threatened with shame if they did not resign immediately. No chance to repent, no chance to learn from this Kafkaesque play, no chance to salvage decades of sacrificial service lovingly given to the gospel of Christ. Just Wham! Off With Their Heads! Is this what Jesus would do?

    What incalculable damage has been done to the Gospel of Christ. Not by the four friends who were inadvertently recorded and exposed against their will but by men in positions of power who chose to execute those dedicated servants with the harshest, most draconian punishment available.

    What possible glimpse of the Savior does this slap down present to the world?” Where is the invitation to others to seek forgiveness and redemption, and inclusion in the family of God? The summary execution of these men has done incalculable damage to a church that ironically claims to be chosen of God but that offered no opportunity whatsoever for change and growth.

    It is time for truly courageous GC leadership–there must be some somewhere–to begin to repair the very public damage to the world church that it has wrought. Work with these men, extend to them the forgiveness and opportunity for redemption that God has promised each of us, and allow them to go back to the work they love. It is never too late to do the Right Thing.

    Patti Cottrell Grant

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  14. Judging by the reaction of the four to the recording being made public to the board, I think it’s safe to assume that what was on the recording was more incriminating than the alcohol.

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  15. Greg&#032W: If professor kent is correct (I cannot know with certainty) then it seems to me the conversation was used as a threat to force the resignations and, the alcohol rather than the conversation provided the substance for the firings. This is consistent with what Spectrum is reporting.

    I listened to the conversation, and Greg’s interpretation is EXACTLY my take on the matter.

    My hearing is not what it used to be, and the conversation was difficult to follow at times, but I did not hear anything that struck me as a “smoking gun” to justify either a firing or a resignation. I have the humility to concede that I might have missed something, whereas others here have the assuredness that they know that which they have not heard for themselves.

    In my personal opinion, the negative comments made toward other individuals were no worse, on the whole, than those made routinely here by Bob Ryan and Ron Stone. The former foursome made their comments in private, whereas the latter twosome make their comments in public.

    And let’s make one more thing clear: I didn’t hear anything remotely resembling drunkeness. I have never been drunk in my life, but I have been around it enough to recognize it.

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  16. New story up at Spectrum says that one of the four recorded a meeting with his cell phone, then left the recorder running at a private after-meeting at someone’s house where alcohol was served. The conversation included foul language, derogatory comments, and jokes about drinking.

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  17. It seems there is some legal recourse called “constructive discharge” in which an employee, forced to resign by suspect circumstances, can still file a wrongful termination suit.

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  18. @BobRyan:

    BobRyan: I believe that some of our “progressive” friends are so bent on compromise with the world that they have totally missed the point of view that most SDA parents are considering when deciding where to send their students.

    I’ve got news for you: parents don’t decide which college their kids go to. Our of my graduating class of roughly 60 students from an Adventist college, I don’t know of a single student who didn’t make his or her own choice on where to go to college. Parents are irrelevant, its the student who decides whether to go to an Adventist college or not, and which specific college to go to. Nice try though.

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  19. Faith: Anyone interested in the subject of fermented vs unfermented wine in Bible times needs to read Samuele Bacchiocci’s (hope I spelled that correctly) book on Wine in the Bible. Absolutely marvelous! He makes it crystal clear that God disapproved of fermented wine and approved of unfermented wine (grapejuice). He demonstrates the Hebrew and Greek words used for each and correlates them to God’s judgment on each.A must read for all Christians–especially SDAs.

    Faith, Where can we buy this book? On Amazon? ABC store? Thank you!

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  20. david: It’s amazing how otherwise educated adults give in to, and actually believe in the false promises and other BS they are fed at church and through these websites. A pure fabrication.
    Has anyone here attempted verification of any of these religious claims?

    Lots of pulpit-pounding in your statement – but no actual fact is disproved or even mentioned in your post.

    At some point you need to say something – at the very least – quote something and then complain or affirm it.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  21. Colin&#032Maunder: Re the Greenland planes. How quick the pseudo SDAs are to find an explanation that defends the evolutionary view, yet how quickly they belittle real SDAs that find explanations that defend the Bible view.

    Indeed their actions reveal their true colors in the matter.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  22. To read the entire text of the “terminated” La Sierra faculty lawsuit against the church leaders go to the website of the law firm.

    http://www.mccunewright.com

    The press release is there as well as the complete text of the filed complaint.

    I was unaware till I read it that they had formally withdrawn their resignations prior to the board meeting to discuss the “firings”.

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  23. Hi Holly

    The ABC used to sell it, but when Samuele died, his wife apparently took all his books off the market(from what I was told). It is such a shame as Samuele had authored several really good books. I haven’t read all of them, but the one on wine in the Bible and the one on The Christian and Rock Music (I think it was called) are both terrific! I think you may find them on the second hand SDA book site LNFbooks.com. If not, you just have to watch for anyone wanting to sell their copy or put an ad in your local SDA papers. I have been very tempted to write to his widow and ask her if I can get more copies of these books. Anyway, hope you find the book. You will like it, I am sure.

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  24. Colin&#032Maunder: Re the Greenland planes. How quick the pseudo SDAs are to find an explanation that defends the evolutionary view, yet how quickly they belittle real SDAs that find explanations that defend the Bible view.

    As Kent pointed out when asked about his own work in that regard — he had “no time” or interest in any effort thinking about answers in support of the Bible account.

    Oh well – at least he was transparent on that point.

    in

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  25. Anyone interested in the subject of fermented vs unfermented wine in Bible times needs to read Samuele Bacchiocci’s (hope I spelled that correctly) book on Wine in the Bible. Absolutely marvelous! He makes it crystal clear that God disapproved of fermented wine and approved of unfermented wine (grapejuice). He demonstrates the Hebrew and Greek words used for each and correlates them to God’s judgment on each.

    A must read for all Christians–especially SDAs.

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  26. Shane&#032Hilde: @David Bee: Except it wasn’t a felony. It was released by the person who recorded it. So if anyone should get in trouble legally it would be the guy who recorded.

    People – this is an act of God in having this behind-closed doors unveiling of the true issues at LSU come to light in the way that it did such that the wolves only have themselves to blame in what even Bradley calls a “three stooges” scenario.

    Those who suggest that CA is prone to “file law suit no matter your culpability” may be right about the culture out there – but the facts being what they are… this whole thing is amazing!

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  27. Kevin: If you do have such evidence, please present it to us, or explain why you can’t.

    I have listened to the “evidence” so I am presenting it to you right now. The most objectionable material in the recording was some negative comments about certain individuals–but these were no more malicious than many of the comments posted here by Educate Truth supporters.

    If it’s okay for the defenders of conservative Adventism to make negative comments about others here, in a very public format, then why should employees be fired for doing so in the privacy of their own home.

    Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy.

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  28. Please try to apply logic to this, rather than emotion.

    First, Professor Kent quoted me out of context. I was asking for evidence which allowed Casey to “know for a fact” (as claimed) that the biology conflict is the root cause of the resignations, in spite of the school’s own statements.

    Let’s remember that the source of the so-called “reason” or “evidence” for resignation is the one resigning, as LSU itself is not at liberty to divulge the information.

    Everyone who is claiming that the evolution/creation controversy is actually the reason, is taking the word of an individual who signed his own resignation letter, over the words of the leadership of the institution.

    This logically means that those making such claims are presuming the statements made by the institution are lies.

    Furthermore, if the board were actually acting surreptitiously toward an underlying purpose somehow in-line with the efforts to remove supporters of teaching evolution from the university, it would not be logical for them to claim otherwise after these particular resignations.

    Why? Because some of these individuals are apparently not involved in the controversy, and the ones who could be considered “primary targets” are still employed.

    The most presumption that can be logically made is that the individual resigning is less likely to be a reliable source of the real reason.

    Finally, it is interesting to note that one commentator here who seems to be supporting the resigned professor has referred to individuals who believe creation as “ignorant people”.

    ———–

    There is a constant stream of unfounded attacks on the belief in literal creation and it’s scientific accuracy, stating it cannot belong in any scientific discussion.

    Would those of you who support this view please explain away all or perhaps some of what Professor Walter J. Veith (PhD, biologist, physiologist, scientist) teaches in support of literal creation and against evolution?

    If you don’t want to watch, listen to or read Professor Veith’s presentations, or if you presume in advance that he can’t be right because you already know what’s right, then you are intentionally choosing a decidedly unscientific mindset (science is the examination of all available evidence), and are essentially burying your heads in the sand.

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  29. Kevin: Furthermore, if the board were actually acting surreptitiously toward an underlying purpose somehow in-line with the efforts to remove supporters of teaching evolution from the university, it would not be logical for them to claim otherwise after these particular resignations.
    Why? Because some of these individuals are apparently not involved in the controversy, and the ones who could be considered “primary targets” are still employed.

    Based on the context for the recording (a prior meeting about evolution-creation controversy at LSU held with Dan Jackson and Blackmer) there is no question that this recording included segments on the pro-evolution agenda at LSU and their views of the supposedly wrong-headed thinking of the SDA church in not changing FB#6 to save Genesis 1 in the light of “evolution as fact”.

    It is obvious that LSU does not present a case where 4 or 5 professors are acting without support of the Admin (and the support of more than a few of their peers).

    No one (but Kent) has claimed that all of LSU is on board with evolution. Yet even so we cannot indulge in the fantasy that only those people actively pushing this with the students in science and religion classes, are acting behind the scenes to promote evolution at LSU.

    That infrastructure of support from faculty and Admin at LSU would eventually have to be addressed if the SDA denomination had any hope of fixing the problem in harmony with the AAA decision. (No doubt the four guys in that meeting figured that out for themselves since they represented both groups and could see the problem clearly.)

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  30. Professor&#032Kent: I have listened to the “evidence” so I am presenting it to you right now. The most objectionable material in the recording was some negative comments about certain individuals–…Hypocrisy.

    Insightful as usual Kent.

    Thanks for sharing that with us “right now”.

    Obivously the Inside Higher Education article did a more “complete” job of explaining the problem to the world. You on the other hand – are predictably devoted to “spin doctoring”.

    At some point Kent – it pays to throw away the shovel. This case where they voluntarily shot themselves in the foot even by their own admission is an act of God in leaving the Church “without excuse” if they should choose to delude themselves about the far reaching level of the problem at LSU.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  31. Casey: This is total GARBAGE! LSU is on it’s way to being an unaccredited bible school. It’s very sad because I love LSU. And it’s obvious that this IS because of the evolution controversy. I don’t care what anyone says. Shame on you Shane Hilde and everyone else at “educate truth” for being so shallow and unloving towards your fellow human beings. You are completely wrong in what you are doing beyond what you can understand. You’re so threatened by the theory of evolution and your faith is so weak that you are willing to get people fired from jobs they love just because evolution makes YOU feel uncomfortable. I hope you someday feel guilt and regret this terrible deed you have done.

    What a total distortion!!

    No Church administrator has said “we need to find a solution that Shane will like”.

    no Church adminsitrator has said “we will take action here so that whatever preferences Shane Hilde has are fully met”.

    No one has claimed that Shane is the source of massive gift or grant funds to LSU.

    The ONLY impact Educate Truth has is the extent to which REAL issues are revealed and then OTHERS decide if they really like what is going on at LSU (as you apparently do) or if they want to bury their head in the sand for more decades of this circus, or if they are ready to take a stand and actually do something about it.

    In your post you make it appear that Shane is the doctrinal authority of the SDA church. Hint – Shane was not at the GC 2010 session that voted the more explicit versioning of FB#6 – the entire world church was through its representatives!

    Why is it so hard for a tiny few to see this glaringly obvious point by now??

    You admit that LSU all-for-evolution program in their biology and religion departments is opposed to SDA doctrine – but then you want to “blame Shane” for letting that news out?

    Or did you just want to blame him for having an opinion that differs?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  32. I attended LSU several years ago as a biology major, and had the pleasure of having Dr. Gary Bradley as one of my teachers. He was one of the best. Intelligent, energetic, and passionate about teaching students. What a sad day for La Sierra University biology students. A strong believer, who was not afraid to question and discuss the “big” issues that were confusing to many students. This is just tragic.

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  33. David&#032Bee: @Ron Stone M.D.: Will be intersting to see who the district attorney interviews. CA law is quite strict and its’ employment lawyers are talented.

    I agree. But who is going to sue whom, and for what? Are the disgraced ex-employees going to go after each other, LSU, Pacific Union Conference,GC?

    I still say nothing will actually be done legally to solve this alleged crime.

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  34. Adventist&#032kid: @Ron Stone M.D.:Continue to believe that if you want. Not a scientific sample to say the least, but I just asked roughly 80 high school graduates from this year whether they chose which school they were going to or if their parents did. I didn’t even get ten who said their parents limited their choices or prevented them from going to their first choice.

    I’ll continue to believe what I actually see and hear, not some biased opinion from you.

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  35. Professor&#032Kent: I socialize with many SDAs, non-SDA Christians, and non-Christians, and I have to say the conversation closely resembled a very normal conversation among very ordinary (albeit frustrated) SDAs.

    That statement says a lot about Prof Kent.

    I can’t believe he said that out loud given that even Inside Higher Ed admits to the vulgar content on the tape (in the context of supposedly Christian college).

    Astounding!

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  36. An interesting addition to the note above –

    Mark&#032Bruno: I see that they were told that if they did not resign, their comments would be shared with the board. What’s so bad about that? If these comments were actually harmless and trivial, why would they care if the board heard them. I suspect that the comments were probably quite damaging and perhaps actionable. It was their choice to resign. In the end, they have reaped what they have sown.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  37. @Ron Stone M.D.:

    Fair enough. Care to explain why most of the sites to help select colleges are aimed at students, not parents? Do parents go set up profiles at Zinch or any of the other sites?

    I just graduated from high school, got courted by a huge number of colleges thanks to scoring in the top 3% on the SAT, a great GPA and extensive extracurriculars. Note that they courted me not parents.

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