Stranger in a Strange Land
An Ivy-leaguer from Brown goes undercover at “christianist” Liberty University and learns that, hey, Christians are people too!
[Kevin Roose] arrived at the Lynchburg campus prepared for “hostile ideologues who spent all their time plotting abortion clinic protests and sewing Hillary Clinton voodoo dolls.”
Instead, he found that “not only are they not that, but they’re rigorously normal.”
He met students who use Bible class to score dates, apply to top law schools and fret about their futures, and who enjoy gossip, hip-hop and R-rated movies — albeit in a locked dorm room.
A roommate he depicts as aggressively anti-gay — all names are changed in the book — is an outcast on the hall, not a role model….
Roose said his Liberty experience transformed him in surprising ways.
When he first returned to Brown, he’d be shocked by the sight of a gay couple holding hands — then be shocked at his own reaction. He remains stridently opposed to Falwell’s worldview, but he also came to understand Falwell’s appeal.
Once ambivalent about faith, Roose now prays to God regularly — for his own well-being and on behalf of others. He said he owns several translations of the Bible and has recently been rereading meditations from the letters of John on using love and compassion to solve cultural conflicts.
He’s even considering joining a church.
A liberal Ivy-league school and religiously conservative institution like Liberty are about as polar opposite as you can get and Roose is to be commended for his initiative. This is the sort of truly open-minded educational exposure that all college kids should be getting on the campus (at both Brown and Liberty).