Baylor University in Waco, Texas, claims to have a vision to become “the foremost university in the world committed to excellence in Christian higher education.”
Maybe the university means it is “for most,” but not all who qualify.
In an amazing and shameful bait-and-switch enrollment scam, the largest Baptist university in the world accepted home-school applicants for September admission, even awarded some scholarships, then turned them away because they must be 18 years of age or get a government-sanctioned General Education Development certificate before they can attend.
The story, broken yesterday in WorldNetDaily, shows many families have been heartbroken by the discriminatory, worldly, insensitive, money-driven and, dare I say, un-Christian decision.
“We paid the deposit for enrollment, registered for orientation week and (my daughter) has already been assigned a roommate,” explained Connie Miller, whose daughter Jennifer has dreamed about attending Baylor since she was 6. But at 16, Baylor has decided she’s too young for college. She is ineligible for a GED test because the state government of Texas mandates you must be 17 to take it.
Some of the students accepted by Baylor turned down opportunities at other schools in the meantime.
What’s the reason for this crazy reversal?
Here’s how Baylor explains it: “We’re a Baptist school with a Christian heritage, but we follow Caesar’s rules; we render unto Caesar,” says Charlie Beckenhauer, associate general counsel for Baylor. “We’re applying federal law. This isn’t Baylor’s policy.”
According to Baylor, Title IV of the Higher Education Act and its amendments require students:
- to have a high school diploma or equivalency;
- to be beyond the age of “compulsory school attendance in the state in which the institution is physically located.”
Beckenhauer says the university risks losing its institutional eligibility for federal funding by ignoring those rules – admitting, as some of the parents contend, that the decision by Baylor is, at the core, a money issue.
Some might be quick to point a finger at the insanity of the federal and state rules that prompted this new victimization of home-schoolers at Baylor. Of course the government rules are unjust, unconstitutional, immoral, nonsensical, overly broad in scope, without any cause and evil. That’s the way the government always operates.
But, I’ll tell you what: I blame Baylor. I blame the so-called Christians who betray their own promises to fellow Christians because it might cost them some money. I blame Christian lawyers who misapply Jesus’ teaching about rendering unto Caesar. I blame a university with a “Christian heritage” but no Christian operating philosophy to guide it. I blame gutless, cowardly cultural Christians who have “a form of godliness” but deny the power thereof, as Paul warned in II Timothy.
“It’s the law that discriminates,” says Beckenhauer. “We’re just enforcing the law.”
Gee, where have we heard that excuse before?
Don’t Baylor officials understand the sacrifices home-schoolers and their parents make for the sake of education today? Don’t they understand the way this constituency of 2 million and growing is victimized by the world’s rules? Don’t they understand that a little backbone shown by a once-prestigious Christian university over a matter of principle might just result in the changing or dropping of bad laws?
Or is Baylor more interested in conforming to the world’s standards than in doing what’s right?
Perhaps the university’s choice of speakers for the fall semester help provide some insight into these questions.
On Sept. 13, while qualified home-schoolers will be turned away from the doors of Baylor, guess who will be paid to speak at the Waco campus?
That’s right. Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno will address the students on “ethics in public policy.” Yes, that Janet Reno – the one who had no problems incinerating children younger than Jennifer in the very same town in which Baylor resides.
Read the story for yourself on Baylor’s own website. Of course, you won’t see any reference to the Waco atrocity. You’ll only read about Reno’s sterling accomplishments as attorney general.
It raises the question of why knowledgeable home-school students would even want to attend Baylor.
2 great home-schooling resources: Patriotic, inspiring books on America’s heritage of freedom are available in WorldNetDaily’s online store.