Max Londberg of the Kansas City Star made it nearly all the way through an article on patriotism at the College of the Ozarks snark-free before his inner-PC policeman stood up and cried “homophobe.”
The last sentence of the article, which had absolutely nothing to do with the 17 sentences that preceded it, reads as follows, “The College of the Ozarks was named the most unfriendly school for LGBT students in a Princeton Review survey released in August.” If the Pulitzers gave an award for most gratuitous final sentence, Londberg’s would be a nominee.
Up until that point in the article Londberg betrayed no obvious bias. The college is now requiring all freshmen to enroll in a program called “Patriotic Education and Fitness.” The goal of the class is to educate students on modern military customs, American politics, and flag protocol and procedures. The program is very much hands-on in the College of the Ozarks tradition. It includes map reading, marksmanship, land navigation, rope knotting, and physical education.
“I really think that if you give a person the tools of an education, the patriotic yearnings inside of themselves, and the leadership tools that can be taught — they will be leaders,” said Terrence Dake, a retired Marine general and a member of the college’s board of trustees.
The school made the news a month ago when president Jerry C. Davis announced its “No Pledge, No Play” policy. The college’s teams will not play against teams whose players refuse to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
“We want to make it clear that we are not going to participate in a game where we think disrespect for the national anthem or the flag is being displayed,” Davis told The Star. “I don’t think it’s a partisan issue. It’s an American issue, how we feel about our country.” Blair Kerkhoff reported on the story for the Star, this time without any gratuitous asides.
The Star could not give this small Christian college a pass on two consecutive articles, thus the tacked on LGBT remark. Londberg, in fact, had written an article about the designation by Princeton University in August. “The school handbook outlines harsh repercussions for those at the school who do not confirm to a heteronormative, cisnormative worldview,” Londberg wrote, showing just how fully fluent he was in hip PC patois.
Londberg used the word “harsh” twice in one short article to describe the college environment. The school also proscribes heterosexual sex outside of marriage, pornography, and gender expression “inconsistent with sex assigned at birth.” The public relations director told Londberg, “We are pretty transparent about it. That is who we are. We are a religious institution that adheres to a Christian worldview.”
For all the Star’s enthusiasm for “diversity,” College of the Ozarks represents a little more diversity than the Star can handle.