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Faith-Based College Diplomaas?

by DON MUNKERUD

Despite massive budget cuts in many federal social programs, President Bush today unveiled a new budget and a set of faith-based proposals to boost college education in the United States.

Surrounded by such prominent supporters as Prayer is the Only Answer Evangelical Center, the Baptist Prayer Kneepad Foundation, Holier than Thou University, and Token Women Inc., the president proposed $5.6 billion in resources for faith-based education. Even more important are changes in requirements for a college diploma.

“As some of you guessed, I barely got through college,” said the president. “And I was thinking. Why should good Christian students have to study their butts off just for a college diploma? I drank beer, screwed around, and graduated and nowadays students can’t. It’s not fair. Under my proposal, students will be allowed to pray for their diplomas. If it was good enough for generations of Texans, it’s good enough for the rest of you all.”

The new proposals would allow any Christian to graduate from college strictly based on the prayer. “Please God let me graduate.” Critics pointed out that anyone could call themselves a Christian and bypass taking required college courses. Christians point out that it could lower the standard for moral behavior. Lastly, a number religions such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, would not qualify. “Oh we can probably work out something like bipartisanship for these lesser type religions,” said the President. Pausing he thought for a moment. “But Unitarianism, no way.”

Reports of students being forced to give scientific answers to college science tests lead to the new proposals. In a recent case, a professor in Bush’s home state of Texas failed a number of students because they didn’t know which came first the Cambrian and Jurassic ages and they couldn’t explain the theory of evolution. They simply answered “God only knows” on their test, and the professor flunked them.

“I carefully explained that students who expect to enter medical school or graduate school in biomedical sciences have to learn science,” said Phillip Upright, science professor at Dinko State in Plano, Texas. “Attributing everything to God just doesn’t cut it.”

Bush’s religious supporters have long contended that scientific questions on college tests discriminate against Christians who interpret the Bible literally. “God created the earth in six days, period,” says Joe Snooze, Baptist Theologian in residence at Southeastern Junior Peewee College in Podunk, Texas. “The Bible don’t say seven days or seven million years. And it don’t even mention some guy named Darwin. The Bible says six days. End of story.”

Insiders claim the revolutionary new concept could catch on, especially with college-age young people. Recent polls indicate that students are taking longer to graduate and college costs are rising. Substituting prayer for college tests will appreciably reduce the time it takes for students to compete the usual four-year college degree program, shortening it for some to less than ten minutes.

“Hot damn . . . I mean, darn,” says Billy Ray-Bob Jones, a drop-out last year from Chugalug College in Chico, Calif. “I sure could use a college degree but it’s too much work. If I could get a degree faster, then I might think about it. I could apply for a job right away and . . . wait a minute! Does that mean I have to go to work?”

This new approach will fit with Bush’s budget proposals, dovetailing nicely with the generous tax cuts for those in higher income brackets. So that students don’t get their hopes up, Bush pointed out that God doesn’t smile on slackers. Only students from homes with more than $200,000 yearly income will be eligible for new faith-based diplomas.

Don Monkerud lives in Aptos, California. He can be reached at: monkerud@cruzio.com

 

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