A Response to Tony Pittarese

“All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only
willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of
devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.”
— Thomas J. Watson

“Why should freedom of speech and freedom of the press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?”
— Nikolai Lenin

“To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit the reading of
certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or
slaves.”
— Claude-Adrien Helvetius

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which, makes thousands, perhaps millions,think.”
— Lord Byron

Below is text from the page of Tony Pittarese regarding The Student Voice.
Following this text is a Response from Leibniz of The Student Voice:

What about StudentV?
(Site last updated: October 21, 1996)

Several times in the last month I have been asked by people both in person and through email [sic], “What about this StudentV? What do you know about him/them? What do you think about what he is doing?” Although no one has asked about this, some have probably noticed that the origin of much of the work at this web site occurred during the same timeframe [sic] when StudentV began his “work.” Some have also noticed that StudentV’s WWW page links to this site. Can’t anything be done about that? Well, in answer to many of the above questions, let me respond:

WHO IS THIS STUDENTV OF WHICH YOU SPEAK?

StudentV claims to be a former student at PCC who publishes an “underground newsletter.” The author(s) choose to hind [sic] behind a cloak of anonymity. The newletter [sic] is published in a pseudo-intellectual style and dispenses more errant than correct factual information.

HAVE YOU SEEN STUDENTV’S WORK?

Yes, I am acquainted with the work of StudentV. Within a short time of his “popping up” I was informed of his work by 3 friends.

DO YOU KNOW WHO STUDENTV IS?

No, I don’t know who StudentV is. I have a very strong suspicion due to some email [sic] I received from some people about the time StudentV’s work began. It is nothing more than a suspicion however.

AM I IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH STUDENTV?

No, I am not in any way connected with StudentV. (Apart from the fact that we both seem be [sic] have a mutual connection with PCC.) This web page and his work are totally unconnected.

DOES STUDENTV GET NAMES FROM THIS WEB PAGE?

I suspect that he does get some email [sic] addresses from this web page. If you do receive email [sic] from StudentV after having you [sic] name added to this list, please contact me so that I can pursue that in accordance with the policy of this page. It is a copyright violation for anyone to use this page for the purpose of mailing a newsletter or other related solicitation. If he does send you unsolicited email, ask him to stop. If he refuses, send a copy of your second request to “postmaster@aol.com”. Sending unsolicited email [sic] is bad netiquette [sic] and generally considered grounds for removal of
service.

IS STUDENTV A CURRENT PCC STUDENT?

It stands to reason that if I don’t know who it is, I can’t really answer that question. Personally, I believe that he probably is a recent graduate. (Specifically a person who graduated within the past two years.) I believe he does however have people “helping” him that are current students.

BUT STUDENTV SAID FOR CERTAIN HE WAS AN ALUMNUS!

Well, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s so! StudentV’s credibility is lacking. In fact, early publications of his “work” indicated that he was a current PCC student. Now, he claims to be an alumnus. Although there is a circumstance where both of these statements could be true, I am doubtful of that. StudentV plays games with the truth on this issue. This is not unusual – StudentV plays with the truth on many, many issues.

ISN’T STUDENTV’S CAUSE “JUST”?

Let’s set aside for a moment the legitimacy or illegitimacy of his claims. What is the Biblical pattern given for seeking correction in situations like StudentV is crusading? I’m aware of no Biblical directive admonishing anonymous rabble-rousing as an acceptable remedy. For all of his pretence [sic] of godliness, StudentV’s cloak of anonymity is his biggest betraying characteristic. A true man of honor would gladly sign his name to his beliefs (a la Martin Luther). (He would also follow the Biblical pattern for
correction of a brother, which this person obviously has not.) One should legitimately question the motives of an anonymous individual publishing a newsletter replete with half-truths and outright falsities.

WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE TO STUDENTV BE?

That’s an issue for each of you to decide. I do know that he has received many emails [sic] in praise of PCC and its work. Apparently those get lost in his inbox. Personally, I’ve asked StudentV to not send me anymore of his junkmail. A speaker without an audience soon gives up the desire to speak. StudentV has proven that he is capable of twisting words with the best of them. His lies cause me to doubt anything he says. I’d recommend that you take the time you might spend writing to him and pray for him instead.

CAN YOU GET RID OF HIS WWW PAGE? CAN YOU REMOVE HIS LINK TO THIS PAGE FROM IT?

Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no. Part of the concept of free speech on the Internet is that unless someone says something that falls outside the realm of protected speech (libel, etc.), nothing can be done The content of his page is totally his to control, just as the content of this page is totally mine.

BUT WHAT HE SAYS MAKES ME MAD!

That’s what he desires. If you find yourself getting mad, just stop and refuse to – don’t give him that satisfaction. It should be of no surprise to anyone that PCC has “enemies.” Anyone who appeals to the lowest common denominator will certainly find ample fodder for publication.

ARE THE THINGS THAT STUDENTV SAYS TRUE?

I suppose some of it may be, but the last “edition” of his “newsletter” was full of outright lies about policies and misstatements about past events. StudentV apparently does not believe in fact-checking of any sort and simply assumes that information sent to him is correct. As with all things, consider the source. An anonymous individual with the track record of “factual reporting” as demonstrated by StudentV should be accorded the respect due to anyone in that position.

P.S. Keep in mind that this web page is a private work of its author and is in no way officially connected with Pensacola Christian College and its related ministries. The author of this page is expressing his own personal views which may or may not happen to coincide with the above named entity.
Copyright 1996 by Tony Pittarese. This document may not be quoted or copied without the express consent of Tony Pittarese. Failure to comply with this directive is a violation of Federal copyright law. Quotation requests for the purpose of review or fair comment should be directed to Tony Pittarese.

Dear Mr. Pittarese:

We checked out your page a few days ago in response to some information we received from one of our readers. We were told that there was a “PCC page” with some information about The Student Voice. We sent a message to this person asking what the page was because they didn’t say anything about where it was or whose it was. We received no response for a few days, so an announcement went into the next issue of The Student Voice requesting information about the page. The announcement indicated that we had not seen
the page and therefore did not know what it contained. A day or two after the issue went out, we received a message from the same person who had originally informed us of this “PCC page.” The writer asked why we had lied about not seeing the page, indicating it was yours. At the time, none of us here at The Voice recalled having seen the page, only sending an e-mail to you requesting a list of alumni.

This past week we finally got some time to check out the page, and once we pulled it up, I, Leibniz, remembered having looked at it briefly back in the middle of the summer sometime. We then immediately sent a message clarifying the mistake to the person who gave us the original message, and we are informing you of this mistake publicly.

We are really trying to figure out why this is such a big deal, whether we saw the page once or not. But a friend of yours obviously thinks it is a big deal, and there is a possibility that you do as well. Therefore, in our attempt to maintain the highest level of accuracy and honesty, we readily admit the mistake.

For those of you who have no idea what this is about, simply put, we told one person in a private e-mail that we had never seen Tony’s page, but when we were able to take a look at it this past week, I, Leibniz, realized that I had briefly seen it once back in the middle of the summer. I had not
remembered seeing it; it was an honest mistake. It is irrelevant to either Mr. Pittarese’s page or our newsletter.

THE CONTENT OF THE PAGE.

In all of this page’s ceremonious degradation of what was on our original page, you have not pointed out one single thing that is wrong with what we have said, nor have you pointed out one single error of fact. (The error we were just referring to was made in a private transmission to one individual. It was never made public via a page or an issue of The Voice, neither was it pointed out to us by you.) The space and attention you have given us with this page has raised a substantial interest in what we have had
to say, and it has thus increased our readership. However, to state our general objection to the content, we feel it is an extreme mischaracterization and nothing but character assassination. The legal ramifications will be addressed at the end of this Response.

We would, though, ask that if you are going to criticize us, please be more specific. You level a good many charges at us on this page, yet you fail to give us one single example of the things of which you complain. We do not at all mind criticism. We do, on the other hand, mind character assassination.

Now, about the substance of your page. . . .

You write, “Although no one has asked about this, some have probably noticed that the origin of much of the work at this web site occurred during the same timeframe [sic] when StudentV began his ‘work.'”

Please do not flatter yourself, Mr. Pittarese. We learned of your page through our own readers and on a completely independent basis. We created our original page and the newsletter with no help from you or your page, just for the record. If you recall, at the time our page began, you did not have a list of alumni available on the page itself; in fact, the list we requested in early August via e-mail was rejected by you.

You write, “The author(s) choose to hind [sic] behind a cloak of anonymity. The newletter [sic] is published in a pseudo-intellectual style and dispenses more errant than correct factual information.”

First, for the record let it be noted that this is the FIRST assertion or implication on your page saying that we are liars. This will be addressed separately in the Legal Ramifications section.

Second, we do not “hind” [sic] behind anything. Our anonymity is for a very specific purpose, and we will address this later when your statements bring the subject of anonymity up again.

Third, you characterize our “style” as “pseudo-intellectual.” By characterizing our style as “pseudo-intellectual,” you apparently are saying that our STYLE is not intellectual. The style is “fake” or “false” intellectualism. Now, as far as the style goes, a style cannot be “pseudo” anything. It either is or it is not. Whether the SUBSTANCE is intellectual is another matter, for this is essentially what you are getting at. Whether or not something is “intellectual” in its content is purely a matter of
opinion. In your opinion, what we write is not intellectual. That is fine. We welcome differences of opinion. We do appreciate you reading our material, though, in order to come to this conclusion. However, there are plenty of other readers who DO consider our material intellectual in content.

Who is right, Mr. Pittarese? You, or numerous others who disagree with you? If it is you, perhaps you would like to explain to these individuals, and us, why we are all wrong in thinking The Voice is an intellectual publication.

As for the “more errant than correct factual information,” would you please let us know what it is that is incorrect? These broad charges are difficult to address and change if we do not know what they are. As far as we know, we have stated nothing that is factually incorrect. We readily admit that procedures and policies change, and therefore, they may have changed since we were there or since we were last told they existed. But this is precisely one of the purposes of our newsletter – to see some much
needed change. We would love to hear that various policies we have criticized have been changed.

A common trait of those of you who disagree with us, though, is to claim that we make factually incorrect statements, yet you never state which statements those might be. As we do with most, if not all people who make this charge, we request that out of fairness to us you publicly state what the factual inconsistencies are. It is one thing to say that we are factually incorrect; it is quite another thing to specifically point out what those errors are.

You write, “No, I don’t know who StudentV is. I have a very strong suspicion due to some email [sic] I received from some people about the time StudentV’s work began. It is nothing more than a suspicion however.”

We recognize that you very well may have a suspicion as to who the editors of The Voice are, but we would like to assure you that you do not know who we are.

You write, “I suspect that he does get some email [sic] addresses from this web page. . . . It is a copyright violation for anyone to use this page for the purpose of mailing a newsletter or other related solicitation.”

First, copyright as it relates to this page. Copying your page into this issue of The Voice IS NOT a violation of federal copyright law since the reason it has been copied is so that The Voice may make a fair criticism. We realize that at the bottom of your page you state that if anyone would like to make a “fair comment” they must check with you first. This is not true under the federal copyright laws. In order to be completely fair (because we are often said to “twist” people’s words), we have included the entire relevant portion of your page out of fairness to you, Mr. Pittarese.

In copyright law there is what is known as the “fair use doctrine.” This doctrine is derived from Title 17 of the United States Code, Section 107. It states:

[Section] 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A [defining exclusive
rights], the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by
reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by
that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or
research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the
use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be
considered shall include –
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a
commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the
copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the
copyrighted work. . . .
(Emphasis added.)

We will not insult your intelligence by explaining what this statute means, but if this is not clear enough, there are cases which explicitly support our position. We would be more than happy to supply you with them if you so desired. Since we are copying this page in order to make a fair criticism, we are violating no federal copyright law.

Second, copyright as it relates to the list of names and e-mail addresses for “solicitation” purposes. First, up until two days ago, we did not use your page one time to acquire names, primarily because the only time we saw the page was in the summer when it contained no list. Since our attention, however, has been drawn to your page due to your comments about us, we have decided to use the list to send this letter and a complimentary issue of The Voice to every member on your list. We will let them decide if they want to be on our permanent list or not themselves.

Using a list of names for solicitation IS NOT a violation of federal copyright law. Again, there are several cases which explicitly make it clear that the use of name and address lists in copyrighted materials IS NOT protected by federal copyright laws. This is primarily because name lists, while not in their compilation form, are publicly available and not original creations of the author of the copyrighted work. The purpose of copyright law is to prevent the theft of someone’s original work at the originator’s
expense. First, even if we were “stealing” either of these two components, as far as we can tell, this would result in no monetary loss to you. In fact, if anything it would increase the number of visitors to your page, hardly something the copyright laws were created to prevent. Second, the list of names is public information, not your own creative work (as previously mentioned). Therefore, your statement of copyright law is factually incorrect.

So, if you are going to criticize us for factually incorrect information which you have not specifically pointed out, please correct your own factually incorrect information which we HAVE specifically pointed out.

You write, “Sending unsolicited email [sic] is bad netiquette [sic] and generally considered grounds for removal of service.”

This, too, is not entirely correct. Much of the e-mail people send back and forth is “unsolicited.” If unsolicited e-mail was in fact “bad netiquette [sic]” and “generally considered grounds for removal,” then no one who found your list would be able to e-mail anyone else on that list because it would, in fact, be “unsolicited.”

We think what you meant is that it is bad etiquette and generally considered grounds for removal if you continue to sent people e-mail AFTER they have explicitly requested that the mail not be sent. This is, and has been, a policy of The Voice since the very beginning. We find it interesting that you are so concerned about people not reading The Voice, yet even after you requested that we send you no more “junkmail,” you still continue to read our newsletter! For the benefit of everyone reading this, and to refresh your memory, your request for us to discontinue sending you information was made way before we ever sent out our first issue. Yet you refer to issues and information that is contained in them, and we assume that since you are concerned about us not putting anything in our newsletter that we haven’t verified ourselves, you must be doing the same thing as well. If you would like to receive our newsletter yourself instead of through friends, please let us know.

You write, “StudentV’s credibility is lacking.”

This is the SECOND time which you have either explicitly or implicitly called us liars. We will deal with this in the Legal Ramifications section below.

You write, “StudentV plays games with the truth on this issue. This is not unusual – StudentV plays with the truth on many, many issues.”

This is the THIRD time which you have either explicitly or implicitly called us liars. We will deal with this in the Legal Ramifications section below.

You write, “I’m aware of no Biblical directive admonishing anonymous rabble-rousing as an acceptable remedy.”
We are likewise aware of no Biblical directive admonishing the treatment of adults like little children and placing a Biblical stamp of approval on it. But what is it about our ideas that are to be considered “anonymous rabble-rousing”? Is any position that is in disagreement with yours “anonymous rabble-rousing”? We think it is simply an indication of how intellectually immature and blind you must be to consider legitimat criticism as “anonymous rabble-rousing.” No one – not you, not us – has a corner on the truth; and the worst possible way to discover truth is to censor opposing opinions and ideas. As a teacher, how can you honestly sa you are for education when you are likewise apparently against allowing any other views but your own to be heard? No, legitimate ideas and criticisms are not “anonymous rabble-rousing;” character assassination, on the other hand, is.

You write, “For all of his pretence [sic] of godliness, StudentV’s cloak of anonymity is his biggest betraying characteristic. A true man of honor would gladly sign his name to his beliefs (a la Martin Luther).”

The reason we are anonymous is because we do not want these views to be seen as nothing more than the views of a couple of “lone crusaders,” because they just simply are not. The views we express are those held by hundreds of current students and thousands of alumni. The views we express are held by many of your own students no doubt. If you want to know who we are, look around you the next time you are on campus. Look at some old yearbooks. Then you will know who The Student Voice is.

And as for your assertion that if a man was a man of honor he would gladly place his name to his views, perhaps you might want to read some early American history, say, the years surrounding the infancy of this country. We hope you would not refer to men like John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson (to name a few) who published various views and opinions under anonymous pseudonyms as dishonorable. For instance, much of the Federalist Papers – some of the most important articles to America’s system of government – were published anonymously. These are the men who risked their lives, their fortunes and their families so that you and I could have the right to say what we want to say. Now, we certainly don’t claim to be anywhere close to being on par with these great men, nor do we believe that our cause is quite as important, but we feel that if anonymity was ok for them, it is likewise ok for us.

You write, “(He would also follow the Biblical pattern for correction of a brother, which this person obviously has not.)”

You are actually right on this point – we have NOT followed the Biblical pattern for correction of a brother. Why? Two reasons. First, because we do not have a problem with a “brother.” There are no particular people wehave problems with; rather, it is a philosophy and a way of thinking that we would like to see changed. Our problem is with a “system,” not a “brother.” Second, you might want to study this New Testament passage of Scripture. Paul is speaking to a specific church, and he is giving instructions for the procedure CHURCHES are to follow. So, if we were to follow your advice, which church would we take the matter to if the “brother” were unwilling to reconcile? My church? lupos’s church? Your church? The Campus Church? No, we have not followed this pattern because it is absolutely not applicable to our situation.

Third, if you are going to be consistent, why don’t you insist that PCC follow this “Biblical pattern for correction of a brother?” How does the demerit system fit into what you perceive to be the correct pattern of reconciliation? When was the last time this procedure was conducted at PCC? To even suggest that we are somehow in error for not following this pattern while you work at PCC is so outrageously hypocritical of you that it is no doubt so obvious to everyone who is reading this right now, that we will not even insult their intelligence by explaining it.

You write, “One should legitimately question the motives of an anonymous individual publishing a newsletter replete with half-truths and outright falsities.”

This is the FOURTH assertion that we are liars, and it will be dealt with in the Legal Ramifications section below. As for the motives (and we apologize to those of you who have heard this over and over again), our motives are completely irrelevant to the issues we discuss. Our motive is to make PCC a better place by making public what is normally a secret dialogue among students, and by seeing the administration begin treating its students with the respect they deserve.

But assuming our motives were as evil as could be, the issues remain the same. They don’t somehow ebb and flow on the sea of legitimacy by force of our motives. This is really quite ridiculous to constantly pound our motives, but we realize that this is likely the only thing you feel you can adequately address. Fine. Go ahead and criticize our motives all you want, and encourage others to do the same. It really makes no difference to us. We remind you, however, that the issues are still pending, and they remain unchanged.

You write, “I do know that he has received many emails [sic] in praise of PCC and its work. Apparently those get lost in his inbox.”

Yes, we have received many e-mails in praise of PCC and its work, but no, they have not been “lost in [our] inbox.” Virtually every single message we have received in opposition to our views have been publicly displayed. In fact, a much higher percentage of opposing messages we receive are posted publicly than the percentage of those messages in support of our views. Besides, how do you know what our volume of messages is? The fact of the matter is that yes, we receive “many” messages in support of PCC’s philosophy. However, we receive vastly more messages in support of our position than we do from any other. That is a fact.

You write, “His lies cause me to doubt anything he says.”

This is the FIFTH assertion you make indicating that we are liars. This
will be dealt with in the Legal Ramifications section below.

You write, “CAN YOU GET RID OF HIS WWW PAGE? CAN YOU REMOVE HIS LINK TO
THIS PAGE FROM IT? Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no.”

As far as removing the link on our page to your page, all you have to do is ask. Just for the record, neither you, nor anyone else has ever asked that your link be removed from our page. In fact, several people have suggested that we put it on. That is how we originally found out about your page. Far from the assertion that we were mooching off your page to get names is the fact that we were actually trying to help you out. We have no vendetta against you, we don’t even know you. Someone told us about your page so we put the link there in order for you to have more visitors. And this is the thanks we get. . . .

As for removing our page, are we to assume from this that you wish our page could be removed simply because you disagree with its content? And if this is the case, are we to also assume that you wish EVERY page that contains information to your disliking removed? We will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this is not what you want, but this still leaves the question open as to why you want our page removed. If, on the other hand, you should not be getting the benefit of the doubt, we are relieved that you cannot remove every page to your disliking, because this would certainly result in a dry and boring Internet.

You write, “BUT WHAT HE SAYS MAKES ME MAD! That’s what he desires.”

Again, how you have become privy to our “desires” is beyond us. We don’t desire to make anyone “mad.” We, again, are trying to provide a forum for discussion of the issues. It is strange to us that those in opposition to our views are often using descriptions such as “mad,” “hatred,” “bitterness” and “anger.” We have none of these characteristics. We find what you have written offensive, yes, but we are not “mad” about it. We understand that people will disagree with our views, but we do not see any
reason to get “mad.” Perhaps you and those who bring up these descriptions ought to look in the mirror and see if that is where the “hate” and “anger” resides. We harbor none of these sentiments.

You write, “It should be of no surprise to anyone that PCC has “enemies.” Anyone who appeals to the lowest common denominator will certainly find ample fodder for publication.”

Not to belabor the point, but we are not “enemies.” We want to see a better, more reasonable PCC. How does this and differences of opinion constitute one being an “enemy”? So, we are the “lowest common denominator”? Is that what you are saying? Perhaps the reason that we, or whoever is the “lowest common
denominator” can find ample fodder for publication is because THERE IS ample fodder for publication. Maybe that is the whole point of The Voice. Maybe if there wasn’t “ample fodder” there wouldn’t be a “StudentV.” You would be happy, we would be happy, and most importantly, the students would be happy.
We want to see the “fodder” become a little less “ample.”

You write, “the last “edition” of his “newsletter” was full of outright lies about policies and misstatements about past events.”

This is the SIXTH assertion you have made calling us liars. Please refer to the Legal Ramifications section below.

LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS.

Mr. Pittarese, you have made a statement to many people that StudentV is a liar without having ever pointed to one single instance of where this is true. I have pointed this out to you. In the State of Florida this is called DEFAMATION, and one who has been defamed has recourse to file suit against the one who has defamed him. At this point in time, I do not intend to file suit because I think after reading this letter, you will realize your error. But I want you to know that I have every right and justification to do so, and the statute of limitations allows the cause to run for one year.

Now, what I think ought to be done is for you to (1) explain to us what it is that we are so egregiously in error about, (2) remove the portions of the page that refer to us as liars, AND (3) send an apology to every one of the people on your list. We do not mind disagreement or opposition. We do mind being portrayed as liars. We do mind being defamed in front of the world.

What about the fact that these statements are your opinion, which is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution? The Constitution does protect opinion, but when you use factual instances (i.e., that we lie in our newsletter) to back up your opinion, the Constitutional protection is lost.

What about the fact that we are anonymous? We are not anonymous to everyone. There are quite a few people who know our identities, and when you refer to StudentV as a liar, many people know who you are referring to. Bottom line: this shouldn’t be matter for the Florida judicial system. Don’t make it one.

Sincerely,

THE STUDENT VOICE

More Musings From Lupos

Rolling along…more musings by Lupos.

As I perused the third issue of The Student Voice, I was struck by a few things. Leibniz received many responses to the essay on the Discipline Comittee, and good points were made; however, I thought the underlying mistrust of the student was apparent from those supporting the system. One respondent thought giving the student forewarning of his alleged infractions would simply give them time to fabricate a better story. That is a terrible attitude. Every PCC student is a professing Christian, and it should be absolutely ASSUMED that they are honest. Now, of course, there will be liars, but that simply must be left for God to deal with. We can’t foster a system of mistrust.

Many times when I had valid answers as to why I didn’t deserve the demerits, they accepted that, but made me to feel as though I was lying. The whole situation is no way for Christians to deal with each other. A college student shouldn’t be made to continually answer to nameless accusations, constantly put on the defensive for, what in the most part amounts to pettiness. Shades open? Who cares! Walked on the grass? What’s it for? the Bible admonishes us to not provoke our children to anger – don’t exasperate them as PCC does with those placed under it.

As The Student Voice grows, it is taking shape. Good comments were made on making sure our responses were “in the right spirit” (a favorite cliche of PCC), and that is valid. We want to make The Voice more accessible to people of any opinion, but do keep in mind these are in many cases heated topics. “Be angry, but sin not.” Unfortunately, the methodology of PCC is to avoid all internal discussion and to defer to the administration. While a student, that was my only option or I would ultimately be removed from school. Why not allow a dissenting viewpoint? They want harmony and good attitudes, but wouldn’t it be easier to provide an environment where there wasn’t much to complain about. No, of course not perfect; but really, the constant control, the “men students may meet their dates at the Dale Horton no sooner than a 1/2 hour before the service. . . .” It’s just embarrassing to be treated like that. We are men, not children.

Rules help control the externals, but they are completely ineffective in showing the heart, which is what God is concerned with. Does PCC think its policies create a good image of the way God disciplines and forgives? Dr. Mullenix stated in a Bible class that he was out of school ten yearsbefore he grasped the unconditional love our Heavenly Father has for us,and that He wasn’t “out to get him” or clobber him when he messed up. No wonder he had that view if he attended a school like this, which blindly doles out punishment after punishment for the smallest thing.

I hope this endeavor becomes something that the administration can look at and realize the hardship and burden they are placing on students who want to simply live life, enjoy friends, learn about God and gain a good education. They may not be aware of how miserable a floor leader can make life for a student, or what it’s like to have no place to go where you can simply be yourself. They haven’t allowed for the students to speak up, so it must be done by those who are aware of what it’s like – hence, the alumni. My question to faculty, staff and administration is: Are you able to change? If you are presented with sin or maybe simply an unnecessary annoyance that you’ve put in the lives of those under you, are you
willing to say “I’m wrong -no problem – let’s do it differently now.”

Ask yourself if this is the way you see Jesus treating his pupils. Now, obviously this is an odd source for you to receive correction from, and pride would make it quite hard to take, but with the
censored environment you have, what other method is there? Several people responded that they were praying for us and that is truly invaluable. As we get the feel for this newsletter it is apparent that good change will only come through the Holy Spirit, whether it be in individuals or the PCC system. We ought not neglect this, regardless of our feelings on the issues presented.

UnderTheMercy,

Lupos

Have You Heard the One About. . .Pegged Pants?

This is the segment in which we pass along interesting “PCC stories,”
stories you just can’t get, or appreciate, anywhere else on earth!

Story from K—.

One day back when, I hate to admit, pegged pants were the “in” thing, PCC had a rule against wearing pegged pants. Well, one day I was walking from Coberly South to the Administration building, and out of one of the second story windows I saw a Dean (no longer there) staring at me from the
window.

I proceeded to walk into the Administration building, and before I even got through the doors I noticed this Dean running, yes, running towards me. He came up to me, out of breath, and asked me if my pants were pegged. I said yes and that I would fix them. He refused this idea and sent me back to
my dorm room to change plus he wrote me up a demerit.

Yes, I was wrong (the merits of this rule notwithstanding). But is such earnestness warranted to write someone up for such a petty offense?

Well, this is a good question. Earnestness to write someone up for a petty offense simply should never occur in a civilized society of adults. ~ The Voice.

Understanding PCC Ideology: A Comparison

A. Reason for the change in topics.
At the outset of these comments, we would like to clarify why we decided to change the topic from “inconsistencies in beach policy” as specified in last week’s issue. It has come to our attention that a tragic and unfortunate event has occurred within the PCC community and that this tragedy occurred at the beach. We feel that out of respect to the student, the student’s family and the student’s friends we should refrain from discussing beach policy for the time being. The issues we intend to address and will address at a future time, however, have nothing to do with what we understand to be the circumstances surrounding this event, although it should be noted that we know very little of the surrounding circumstances. Be that as it may, there is never a shortage of things to write about . . .

B. Introduction.
Take a step back for a moment. Take a step out of the daily events and circumstances that make up the living environment on campus. Try to focus on the underlying premises and philosophies which control the policy-making by the administration. When you do this, it will be much easier to understand the problems we are trying to point out, and it will also help you to see beyond the petty differences that often characterize on-campus discussions about what should be changed. We believe very strongly that once the fundamental “why” is understood, the subsequent “how” and “to what extent” will naturally follow. In other words, nothing will be changed until the fundamental structure of why something is there in the first place is properly understood. Granted, we are making some fairly large assumptions, i.e., that there actually IS something that needs to be changed at PCC, but that is precisely one of the things we are trying to address, one issue at a time . . .

Consider this within the context of a logical syllogism. Everyone normally agrees with the major premise we explicitly set forth. However, the differences in opinion are in regards to the minor premises. PCC provides you with one, and we provide you with an alternative minor premise. Of course, this results in two opposing conclusions, and what we are trying to do is to get you, the administration and anyone else who is willing to listen to us to step back and stop looking at the conclusions, but rather focus on the minor premise. This is where the debate lies. For instance, consider this illustrative syllogism:

Mistrust is generally evidenced by extreme control

PCC exercises extreme control over its students

Therefore, there is a high degree of probability that PCC doesn’t trust its students

Now, there are variables that come into play here, which is why we are simply using it as an example. Virtually everyone agrees with the major premise – mistrust is generally evidenced by extreme control, and this is the case with most of our arguments. However, the disagreement comes when we provide the minor premise (PCC exercises extreme control over its students) and the conclusion
(therefore, there is a high probability that PCC doesn’t trust its students). We can talk all we want to about the conclusion, but the problem is never really solved unless we come to an agreement about the minor premise. PCC’s minor premise would be that it doesn’t exercise “extreme control” over its students; therefore, based on the facts of this syllogism, there would be a very low probability that PCC mistrusts its students. The Student Voice, on the other hand, provides the alternative premise, that PCC DOES exercise “Extreme control,” and so the conclusion changes.

Understand where we are coming from, for the official policy of PCC is also coming from the same place. All of these things that, as students, we feel are ridiculous, don’t simply come into being out of nowhere (although we do wonder about that sometimes. . .). They are based on premises that are often subtle and difficult to understand. Well, we said all of that for two reasons. First, understand the debate. Not every issue will address the problem in as concise a manner as we have just done, so in order to best understand how to focus on the issue, try to break each argument on both sides down to its fundamental parts. Second, consider how the issue of motives fits in – IT DOESN’T. Regardless of the motives of the one presenting the argument, the elements remain the
same. Go back through the previous syllogism picturing us, the presenter of the argument, as possessing the worst possible motives we could be capable of. . . .Now go through it again with us having the purest of motives. . ..It is the same either way, isn’t it? We still receive the occasional message berating our motives, and we continue to reply, “Ok. Fine, so what?” Again, like a broken record, motives are irrelevant.

[By the way, this lesson in logic was free. We bet you would be hard pressed to get this at PCC, even if you paid for it (which you undoubtedly would!). … .]

C. Set up of the issue.

With the upcoming elections fast approaching, one of the aspects of campus life is an emphasis by the administration and various student body organizations to “get involved.” Voter drives, campaign work and possible visits by elected officials are events that characterize the campus of PCC during the fall of an election year. This is good, and it is surely the way things ought to be.
While the administration does a good job, as we recall, of maintaining the line between support for particular candidates (which is illegal) and support for the process and general statements of principle (which is perfectly legal), there is no question as to which side of the ideological spectrum PCC falls on. In the latest PCC UPDATE, there was a full page devoted to encouraging you to vote. And the clear implication was that you should vote for those with conservative beliefs. Phrases used such as “Christian and family values,” “Check. . . regarding. . . conservative
issues,” and “Information is available through organizations such as pro-life, etc.” leave no doubt but that PCC supports political conservatism However, it is interesting to observe that the way in which PCC operates internally and the ideology that characterizes the relationship between administration and student is an amazing parallel to political LIBERALISM, not political CONSERVATISM.

We are not trying to say that one side of the political spectrum is good or bad or that one is better than the other. They are all legitimate positions to hold. We do not believe that only “conservative” ideas should prevail or that no “liberal” should hold office. We are maintaining a neutral position on this issue (oddly enough. . .). We are simply pointing out that while PCC “talks the talk” of conservatism, they “walk the walk” of liberalism. In other words, there seems to be some hypocrisy going on here. Let us explain, and you be the judge. . . .

In American culture, what is it that characterizes someone as a “liberal”? What are the factors we would point out to say that this individual is a liberal, but that person is a conservative?

There are three basic characteristics of liberalism:

1.) The government is often more capable of making decisions about your life than you are;
2.) More rules, rather than fewer rules, are needed to ensure that you fit into the state’s overall plan; and
3.) There is a deviation from the fundamental philosophy.

D. A Comparison.

1.) Making decisions.

The governing bodies of our society obviously have an interest and a responsibility to make certain decision about our lives. No one, except for perhaps a few militia organizations, would disagree with this. The disagreement is over the extent to which our governing bodies take over our decision-making process. The liberal philosophy holds, at least implicitly, that some people are ordained by certain means to exert control over their fellow citizens. There is a belief that this ordained “elite” is smarter and wiser than the average person on
the street, and so while the “man on the street” may decide that what is best for him is to help out those in need by donating to a particular private charity organization, for example, the liberal idea will say no, the man on the street ought to pay a percentage of his earnings to the government, and the government will then decide who is in most need of these funds. Or this person may decide for himself that he, in fact, doesn’t want to help out the needy at all. Whether right or wrong, liberalism will tell this person that his decision is not good, and so it must be preempted by the elite’s better judgment.

A conservative will say that each individual is more capable of determining where and how his money should be spent. They would say that you should have the freedom to choose for yourself. Now, this is obviously over-simplifying what is in reality considerably more complex, but we think the point is clear. Conservative ideology maintains that individuals should have more freedom and more latitude to make more decisions for themselves. Liberalism maintains that the more educated, ordained elite should be the ones who make many of these decisions instead of the average citizen.

Now, while PCC supports conservative ideology in politics, it acts in a way that is more closely synonymous with liberalism. The student’s decision-making process is greatly reduced because the administration, for some reason, thinks itself more capable of making the student’s decisions for them. For the same reason that liberalism will curb the choices for the general population – for what is perceived by them to be the greater good of society over the individual’s interest, PCC likewise curbs the choices students can make for themselves – for the greater good of the “society” over that of the individual student. Again, we do not mean to make a value judgment on these decisions, we are simply pointing out the ironic parallel.

The next time a professor praises America for its freedoms, ask him/her why, if it’s so great, does the administration operate on the complete opposite premise. We guarantee you an interesting class discussion. . . .

2.) More rules v. fewer rules.

A natural result of liberalism’s rescue from our own judgment is the influx of rules, rules and more rules. Taking away a group’s ability to decide for itself requires the imposition of rules
to govern those who do make those decisions and rules defining and limiting the scope of your choices. Take for example something like the issue of gun control. Prior to the state’s denial of a citizen’s choice of weapons, there were no rules governing this area. Why? Because a citizen had the freedom to choose for himself which firearms he would and how many of these firearms he wanted to have. Once gun control was introduced into our policy structure, many new rules were required to govern the citizen’s choices and to define his parameters.

So it is with PCC. The more areas of student’s lives that they preempt to themselves, the more rules you have to live with. It’s a natural flow. The more conservative this country is, the fewer rules we will have to live by. For PCC to support conservative ideas means that it must likewise accept the premise that our society will have fewer rules. Yet the more liberal America is, the more rules we will have to live by. If PCC is going to continually add more and more rules to its student’s lives, it must at least accept the premise that this closely parallels the ideology of political liberalism.

3.) Deviation from fundamental philosophy.

This is an extremely detailed corollary of what we are discussing, and so we apologize for giving it only a sketchy treatment. Perhaps in a later issue we can explore this more fully. The fundamental philosophy that this country was founded on was that people should be free to live as they see fit, within the bounds of as little restriction as could be imposed while still maintaining a civil society. Whatever the merits or flaws are to this idea, it is our fundamental philosophy. Conservatism maintains that we should adhere as much as we can to these traditional principles. Liberalism on the other hand, sees our society as a continuous process of evolution, and therefore, our foundation must also evolve. Again, regardless of whether or not this is right or wrong, liberalism is essentially the process of deviating from the traditional foundation. That is precisely what defines the distinction between a conservative and a liberal, in any context.

The fundamental philosophy of PCC, supposedly, is Christianity and the gospel. It takes only an elementary understanding of Scripture to recognize that New Testament Christianity is about freedom in Christ. Not freedom to do whatever we want, of course, but freedom to be who God has made us, and freedom to serve God through the influence of the Holy Spirit. This is what separates Christianity from, say, Islam. Islam imposes many rules on its followers. Why? Because of a misunderstanding of who Christ was and what He came to offer us.

To impose a ridiculous amount of rules and burdens for students to follow in the name of a “Christian environment” simply misunderstands what a “Christian environment” should be. Christ said that people will know that you are His disciples if you show love one towards another. He didn’t say that people would know that you are His because everyone adheres to a certain set of man-made rules. The Pharisees would have loved PCC. They would have loved all of the rules and regulations and the heavy focus on the outward image. But remember, this is precisely what Christ continually rebuked them for. What type of Christian image do you think is portrayed to the outside community by PCC? The Christianity of Christ? Or the Christianity of the Pharisees?

The point, though, is that like liberalism, PCC has deviated from its fundamental philosophy – Christ. Now, we don’t for a second doubt the sincerity and good intentions of the administration, just as if we were ardent conservatives we shouldn’t doubt the sincerity and good intentions of liberals. We just want to recognize the parallel.

E. Conclusion.
So what is the bottom line? What is the purpose of these comments? It is simply this: during this season of elections when the school is fervently portraying its patriotic spirit, understand the paradox. Understand that while PCC “talks” one way, it often “walks” another. Also understand that perhaps there ought to be a re-thinking of what it is that PCC appreciates about this country and why. Is it to have the freedom to impose Pharisaical Christianity on its students? We certainly hope not.

Leibniz

Have You Heard the One About…Chapel Seating?

This is the segment in which we pass along interesting “PCC stories,”
stories you just can’t get, or appreciate, anywhere else on earth!

Story from P—

Toward the end of my senior year at PCC, I recall a few days when my father and brother came to visit. They had never been to PCC before, and so I was eager for them to be impressed, but anxious at not knowing what bizarre thing might happen.

During one of the days they both came to the chapel service. I sat on the very last row that students sat in up in the balcony. There were two or three empty rows behind me, and so I told them they could just sit up there. The row monitor sat right next to me, and when we arrived in the auditorium, I told her that I would sit in the row immediately behind where we sat because of my father and brother being there. I obviously wanted to sit with them. She said it was fine (I was relieved to have her permission, this girl who was younger than me. . .).

So, I sat with my father and brother right behind my normal seat. Well, one of the residence managers came up to me afterwards and asked to speak to me alone. I said sure. He gave me demerits for not sitting in my assigned seat! Keep in mind that I was 23 years old, sitting ONE seat behind my assigned one, with the row monitor’s permission and with my father and brother. I guess there is no such thing as “spirit of the law”???

Well, if there is, it sure has a funny way of being shown! — ed.