Three levels for denying Reformed thought

The Scarlet Pimpernel-Staff Writer

Levels are usually reserved for the most heinous offenses at Dordt College, such as riding bicycles on the roof of the Rec center, having sex in the prayer room or plugging extension cords into electrical outlets not contained in the Hulst Library. Now, the list of crimes covered in the level system has expanded to include claiming that Reformed theology and its traditions are not the best way to seek shalom.

As of March 27, students can receive levels by denying, renouncing or otherwise belittling the Calvinistic, Kuyperian, Dooyeweerdian and Jamie-Smithian heritage of Dordt College. Speaking up in class, the Commons or at any Dordt-sponsored event held off-campus will immediately earn students between three to 75 levels that will culminate until expulsion.

At 8:01 a.m. the day the policy was instituted, senior engineering major Mark Brauning became the first casualty of the new policy change when he received three levels for subliminally inferring that religion didn’t affect the way he completed his multivariable calculus project.

“I would have thought that after three years, he would have learned to keep his head down and accept that there is a distinctly Christian way to take a quintuple derivative and move on with his life,” said fellow classmate Daniel Lucht.

The Zircon caught up with Brauning and found out that his comments are nothing new. In fact, he has been tempted to utter anti-Kuyperian slurs on at least three separate occasions.

“I usually mutter complaints under my breath to my friends in a safe place with no possibility of public shaming,” Brauning said. “But I guess it just slipped out.”

Brauning went on to say he takes nothing back and he offered no words of warning to other Dordt students.

“Hey you’ve got to do some wild and crazy things while you’re young,” Brauning said.

This is the first blatant disregard of theological concepts and traditions built up over hundreds of years on Dordt’s campus. Starting as freshmen, Dordt students understand the unspoken expectation to blindly swallow all Reformed theological components that their professors integrate into classes. Professors may only receive a position at Dordt under the oath that they will persistently infiltrate curriculum and class discussions with Reformed thought.

“We do a good job of catching students early,” said Dean of Students Robert Taylor. “It speaks to our mission of raising up kingdom citizens. Learning to live within a vibrant reformed church after graduation is a valuable skill.”

Taylor explained that after taking Core 100, students usually learn that disagreeing with the “written, spoken and God-breathed words of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Dooyeweerd is just not what we do here.”

Dordt’s Student Handbook details that, before this latest correction to the current level system, the punishment used to address anti-Reformed comments entailed a student being publicly beaten with the 400th anniversary edition of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.


Editor’s Note: All Zircon articles are the Dordt Diamond’s semi-annual homage to the time-honored, First Amendment-protected, great American tradition of satire. The literal truths of these articles are not to be taken at face value, but we hope the hidden truths allude to the absurdities of some of the realities we face in society today.

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