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Fundies in Professional Careers


Meeka

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Are there any fundies that were raised in the lifestyle that went on to professional careers? I'm thinking about careers that legally require state or provincial licensing and a minimum of a 4 year degree such as a doctor, engineer, nurse? From the families that I read about, most do not seem to go to college or if they do they go to unaccredited colleges that would not qualify for licensing in professional careers but instead take degrees in theology, art etc. They seems to particularly be short of people going in STEM careers. I wondered why this would be the case and if maybe the lack or emphasis on math and science is the reason.

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1 hour ago, Meeka said:

Are there any fundies that were raised in the lifestyle that went on to professional careers? I'm thinking about careers that legally require state or provincial licensing and a minimum of a 4 year degree such as a doctor, engineer, nurse? From the families that I read about, most do not seem to go to college or if they do they go to unaccredited colleges that would not qualify for licensing in professional careers but instead take degrees in theology, art etc. They seems to particularly be short of people going in STEM careers. I wondered why this would be the case and if maybe the lack or emphasis on math and science is the reason.

Charles Stockdale (brother of Jacob who murdered his mother and younger brother) is working on a PhD in organic chemistry at Temple University. It sticks in my mind that there was someone else prominent enough (for positive reasons) to have a national story about him but I can't remember enough details to google.

There are plenty of homeschooled kids completing advanced degrees at young ages but those students were mostly homeschooled because their parents recognized their academic precocity and not for religious reasons.

I am personally acquainted with some homeschool families whose children's math and science education is woefully inadequate if not nonexistent, and it would be very difficult for such students to overcome the barriers to a STEM field. If you're 19 and just now being exposed to Algebra I, you would have to be highly motivated indeed to get the prerequisites necessary to complete an engineering, physics, or math advanced degree before your 30s are over. You'd likely be in your mid-20s before completing a four-year degree in such fields and that's if you waste no time and have enough support to be a fulltime student.

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Alex Harris (the Rebolution and Josh Harris's younger brother) is a Harvard Law graduate and is clerking for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at the moment.

Some Fundies are much better at home schooling than others and not all are averse to accredited university education. 

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My brother's serious fundie girlfriend and her family are all brainiacs. All the girls are teachers and the boys are into engineering. Their parents made them go to college. Not optional. 

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Homeschoolers in general tend to be more liberal arts oriented. I am from a very progressive area here in the US and my family always integrated in the general homeschool community and socialized a lot with athiest/agnostic families in the scene. My parents are highly educated, but my brother and I coincidentally are both going the tech school route after being super burnt out from doing our Associates. I know our parents would prefer we go further in higher ed but we are much happier with the direction we are headed (we started college at the same time at 17 and 19). I have noticed many homeschoolers around me, Christian or not, tend to get degrees that don't seem profitable in the end, and I personally only see getting a degree being worthwhile myself if it was in a STEM field. 

 

The main issue I have seen in my more immediate circle is not so much people forgoing higher education, but forgoing productivity in general. I have been working the for DSHS since my 18th birthday and have paid for my own school/car/etc and have a certification to maintain. Many homeshool grads (not specifically fundie) around me do not hold down regular jobs, and do not have specific training for anything. 

 

I hope that the next generation is able find a productive path, whether that includes higher education or not. 

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1 hour ago, dripcurl said:

and I personally only see getting a degree being worthwhile myself if it was in a STEM field.

Fortunately many employers don't agree with you; there are many articles and studies demonstrating that the knowledge and skills gained in a liberal arts education translate extremely well to the larger world. Philosophy majors frequently end up in law school. I don't have an issue with anyone, homeschooled or otherwise, majoring in a non-STEM field; what I have an issue with is limiting young people's math and science education at the high school level so that they are not even qualified for the entry level classes in STEM fields at the college level. You can't find out you love engineering if you don't have the prerequisites for the first semester classes.

On a personal note, my two music performance degrees did a good job setting me up for a solid career and a decent income.

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6 hours ago, Meeka said:

Are there any fundies that were raised in the lifestyle that went on to professional careers? I'm thinking about careers that legally require state or provincial licensing and a minimum of a 4 year degree such as a doctor, engineer, nurse? From the families that I read about, most do not seem to go to college or if they do they go to unaccredited colleges that would not qualify for licensing in professional careers but instead take degrees in theology, art etc. They seems to particularly be short of people going in STEM careers. I wondered why this would be the case and if maybe the lack or emphasis on math and science is the reason.

I worked with a nurse who was raised by an ATI loving family  As a matter of fact, her father, who is a vet, gave a lot of money to Bill Gothard and she told me that she remembers Gothard being at their house for dinner a good bit.  She disowned her parents (and vice versa) and went to nursing school.  She's fundie lite now, but you can tell she drank the kool-aid.  

And keep in mind:  BJU does have a nursing program (and amazingly enough, those who graduate are good nurses).  Some of them were forced to go to BJU by their parents (that's typical, not just for nurses) and nursing is considered a respectable profession for women.  BTW:  BJU is not accredited either, and it can be hard to transfer that nursing license without jumping through hoops.

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17 minutes ago, CelticGoddess said:

And keep in mind:  BJU does have a nursing program (and amazingly enough, those who graduate are good nurses).  Some of them were forced to go to BJU by their parents (that's typical, not just for nurses) and nursing is considered a respectable profession for women.  BTW:  BJU is not accredited either, and it can be hard to transfer that nursing license without jumping through hoops.

I've noticed this as well. Just like being a midwife is ok in some fundie circles, so is nursing. But not at some big state school. It's often a christian university. I wouldn't be surprised if the parents of these women pushed them into the labor and delivery and NICU for work because it's very unlikely you will see a naked man in hat job. 

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6 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

Some Fundies are much better at home schooling than others and not all are averse to accredited university education. 

It always seems strange that some are opposed to even their sons attending Christian colleges, especially considering how strict many of them can be. You'd think that the emphasis on financial independence and one-income households would logically result in more parents encouraging their sons to get professional degrees. Maybe, like others have suggested, the SOTDRT limits opportunities in enough cases that college isn't an option. 

3 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Just like being a midwife is ok in some fundie circles, so is nursing.

Yeah, most fundie-ish women I know have worked in "traditional" women's jobs like nurse, teacher, secretary (or close variations of these) until they got married or had children. 

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45 minutes ago, December said:

It always seems strange that some are opposed to even their sons attending Christian colleges, especially considering how strict many of them can be. You'd think that the emphasis on financial independence and one-income households would logically result in more parents encouraging their sons to get professional degrees. Maybe, like others have suggested, the SOTDRT limits opportunities in enough cases that college isn't an option. 

I think it often has to do with two things: 

1) college is expensive and so many fundies are anti debt.

2) many conservatives think that the majority of colleges are liberal indoctrination centers. That's why the only option is often just a fundie approved Christian school with as many rules as at home. Plus why would a girl need a college degree if she's just going to get married by 21 and sAH for the rest of her life. 

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PCC has an engineering program that is ABET certified (in other words, an engineering degree from PCC is actually worth something in the real world). 

All 5 of my pastor's kids were homeschooled and every last one of them has at least a bachelor's degree...it wasn't optional for them. 

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Jasmine Baucham was teaching a few years before she had her son. Her parents now live in Africa and appears that the entire clan are taking martial arts lessons. Jasmine has said that both her parents attended traditional colleges. I think most of her college education was online. But I don't remember her book encouraging girls "outside" the home. But hey, people change...a little.  Now she is wearing pants more often and has cut her hair. Has a nose ring and loves bright red lipstick. She is just a hip fundie now. Don't think she will ever be fundie lite with Voddie Baucham being her dad.

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There was a fundie lite homeschooling family that lived in the same neighborhood where I grew up. They had three sons- their middle son is an electrical engineer and their youngest plans to be a computer engineer. Their oldest son attended college for awhile, then opted to attend trade school to become a plumber.

Last year, I worked with a guy that was consulting for my employer. He told me about how his stepdaughter and her husband became fundie and joined ATI. The stepdaughter's oldest kid has been working to save up for college. But, he isn't holding breath because he believes his stepdaughter or her husband will somehow changed the girl's mind.

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2 hours ago, Tangy Bee said:

Jasmine Baucham was teaching a few years before she had her son. Her parents now live in Africa and appears that the entire clan are taking martial arts lessons. Jasmine has said that both her parents attended traditional colleges. I think most of her college education was online. But I don't remember her book encouraging girls "outside" the home. But hey, people change...a little.  Now she is wearing pants more often and has cut her hair. Has a nose ring and loves bright red lipstick. She is just a hip fundie now. Don't think she will ever be fundie lite with Voddie Baucham being her dad.

She went back to work after the baby. 

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I think the extent to which fundies choose to have professional careers depends on how much they decide to separate from the world. In some fundie subcultures, law is an acceptable career (for men, anyway) because of the avenues available to changing the culture via the legal process. In the Westboro Baptist Church, almost all of the Phelps are lawyers for this reason. However, given how often the Phelps run afoul of the law , I think this plan is also for self-preservation.

Engineering is also acceptable for some fundie men perhaps because it involves building practical things and doesn’t involve the speculative nature of biology or physics. Harold Camping, the guy who insisted that the world was going to end some years back was an engineer. Osama bin Laden and a number of the 9/11 hijackers had backgrounds in various kinds of engineering. Then there are people like Lionel Dahmer, father of Jeffrey Dahmer, who was a chemist by profession and became a born again Christian later in life. His influence would convince his son to become a creationist and a fundie before he was murdered in prison.

The professions are very big among Mormon men because of their social cachet and earning potential, but Mormon culture tends not to be very interested in the arts or the sciences. The fact that the LDS Church has stated that intellectuals are one of the three main enemies of the church (along with feminists and lgbt people) doesn’t help.

However, if you decide you want to renounce the world while having as many children as possible and having a stay at home wife, that limits the man’s career options and those of his children. This is why in subcultures like ATI and Haredi Judaism, almost all of the boys and men aspire to being religious professionals (eg ministers, rabbis, missionaries, religious bookstore owners, religious scholars). The problem is that there are only so many religious professionals any community can absorb, especially if it’s small and insular.   

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Don’t forget the ones who become OB/GYNs or pharmacists and deny BC to women.

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16 hours ago, December said:

It always seems strange that some are opposed to even their sons attending Christian colleges, especially considering how strict many of them can be. You'd think that the emphasis on financial independence and one-income households would logically result in more parents encouraging their sons to get professional degrees. Maybe, like others have suggested, the SOTDRT limits opportunities in enough cases that college isn't an option. 

 

Well allowing them to go to a college, even a Christian college, lets their son out of their orbit of complete control which is unacceptable to many fundie families. 

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4 hours ago, Cleopatra7 said:

The professions are very big among Mormon men because of their social cachet and earning potential, but Mormon culture tends not to be very interested in the arts or the sciences.

I have to somewhat disagree about Mormon culture not being interested in the arts. There are actually quite a few extremely accomplished classical musicians from a Mormon background, and some of the most well-respected Suzuki violin teachers in the U.S. live and work in Utah. It may be true that this is more acceptable among Mormon women than Mormon men, but that's a different topic.

I've mentioned my fundie, home-made cult member family members on other threads. One of the saddest things to me as an outside observer is how they have stunted their own children's education. The oldest daughter thinks she has a college degree. Technically that may be true but it qualifies her for nothing. She did the homeschool, College Plus route of clepping out of half her college credits and taking the rest at local community colleges, transferring the credits to Edison State or whatever the school is that caters to such people. Ironically this family thinks of themselves as experts in childhood education, which they emphatically are not.

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I've been homeschooling and involved in conservative/fundamentalist Christian home schooling groups for 18 yrs and the vast majority of parents intend for their kids to go to college and into professional careers. STEM is pushed especially for the boys, and I'm always surprised when I hear someone is majoring in some sort of liberal arts, even women. But I also live in a very tech heavy area and most of the families have at least one parent involved in the tech industry. 

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22 hours ago, VVV said:

Fortunately many employers don't agree with you; there are many articles and studies demonstrating that the knowledge and skills gained in a liberal arts education translate extremely well to the larger world. Philosophy majors frequently end up in law school. I don't have an issue with anyone, homeschooled or otherwise, majoring in a non-STEM field; what I have an issue with is limiting young people's math and science education at the high school level so that they are not even qualified for the entry level classes in STEM fields at the college level. You can't find out you love engineering if you don't have the prerequisites for the first semester classes.

On a personal note, my two music performance degrees did a good job setting me up for a solid career and a decent income.

I see where you are coming from, but I am going to guess you at 35 or older.  This sounds like what we were pushing during the liberal arts boom of the 90's. 

The most lucrative openings for bachelors level jobs are in stem careers such as programming, engineering, and nursing.  Sure, you can get a job with your liberal arts communications degree, but you are going to be competing with more people for fewer positions and you are going to start off making significantly less money.   Yes, take your philosophy degree and go to law school and you have a different story, but if we are only talking about bachelors level jobs, you are in a much better place employment wise if you have a marketable degree.  And a standard liberal arts degree is not it.  

Personally, with college as expensive as it is now compared to 15-20 years ago (let alone before that) I am pushing my kids toward degrees that will get them the biggest return on their (and my) investment.  I am not paying 20,000 a year for an art degree that wont guarantee a decent paying job.  

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4 hours ago, VVV said:

I have to somewhat disagree about Mormon culture not being interested in the arts. There are actually quite a few extremely accomplished classical musicians from a Mormon background, and some of the most well-respected Suzuki violin teachers in the U.S. live and work in Utah. It may be true that this is more acceptable among Mormon women than Mormon men, but that's a different topic.

When I mentioned the arts with regard to Mormons, I was thinking more in terms of creating original works. The two most noted Mormon authors are Orson Scott Card and Stephanie Meyers. The literary quality is Twilight is debatable, but it has sold a lot copies, which a lot of authors can’t say. Orson Scott Card also does genre fiction, but he’s very good at his craft and a number of his works weave in aspects of Mormonism in interesting ways. However, he went off the rails and become obsessed with opposing same sex marriage to the point where he alienated many of his former fans, me included. I’ve heard that the movie Napoleon Dynamite is very Mormon, but I think you have to actually be familiar with Western Mormon culture to pick up on it, because I couldn’t see it.

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I grew up in fundie-dom(probably still am to some extent), and I've known folks from that background who have gone in all kinds of directions. In terms of professionals, there are plenty of fundie and fundie-lite people in engineering in my area. I know Patrick Henry has also aggressively pushed students into the professions, particularly law and information security.

While there are definitely those neglect education for themselves and their children, I've also known plenty of people in fundie circles who are very well read. Some of these people have degrees and some do not.

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3 hours ago, LaLele said:

I see where you are coming from, but I am going to guess you at 35 or older.  This sounds like what we were pushing during the liberal arts boom of the 90's.

[snip]

Personally, with college as expensive as it is now compared to 15-20 years ago (let alone before that) I am pushing my kids toward degrees that will get them the biggest return on their (and my) investment.  I am not paying 20,000 a year for an art degree that wont guarantee a decent paying job.  

I am 56 but I assure you that at the time I was in college and graduate school, my violin performance degree was also seen as a gigantic risk--particularly since I was talented at mathematics (which I also have a degree in, hardly used). Thankfully my parents paid for a degree they did not believe in at a school they did not approve of, because nearly everything good in my adult life stems from the improvement in my playing due to the particular teacher at the particular college I attended.

I'm not pushing my kids into anything, although thanks in large part to my 100% music-related income, we are in a position to pay for university at the in-state public level. Students who are majoring in a hard science or engineering not because they want to but because of parental expectations are students who are not likely to excel. My oldest has a degree in philosophy and mathematics and is looking to law school. My middle child is a junior engineering major and is doing extremely well--he chose engineering; it's his calling and he is happy. My youngest is thinking about music. I am not giving her a pie in the sky outlook but the truth is that it is possible to study music and still do well in life, whether in a musical career or in something else.

http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/liberal-arts-degrees-critics/

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1 hour ago, Cleopatra7 said:

When I mentioned the arts with regard to Mormons, I was thinking more in terms of creating original works. The two most noted Mormon authors are Orson Scott Card and Stephanie Meyers. The literary quality is Twilight is debatable, but it has sold a lot copies, which a lot of authors can’t say. Orson Scott Card also does genre fiction, but he’s very good at his craft and a number of his works weave in aspects of Mormonism in interesting ways. However, he went off the rails and become obsessed with opposing same sex marriage to the point where he alienated many of his former fans, me included. I’ve heard that the movie Napoleon Dynamite is very Mormon, but I think you have to actually be familiar with Western Mormon culture to pick up on it, because I couldn’t see it.

I have a very different experience with Mormons. I live outside D.C. and there is a large base of "Crystal City Mormons," as they're called, who live here. They move from other parts of the U.S. because of an interest in politics, get married later (many wait until their thirties), and law degrees are common. It is also very common to do choir, classical music, dance, or creative writing as a hobby or part time job. To the extent that if I meet an adult from that area who mentions playing violin at a recital or taking ballroom dance, I can safely bet they are LDS.

The LDS church may have stated that intellectuals are an enemy of the church, but as with Catholicism and most other religions, what the church says and what the people do within their culture are very different. 

And yes, Napoleon Dynamite is very Mormon. From the dance team to the scrunchies and the style of humor. The directors, producers, and lead actor are all Mormon.

3 hours ago, LaLele said:

I see where you are coming from, but I am going to guess you at 35 or older.  This sounds like what we were pushing during the liberal arts boom of the 90's. 
...

Personally, with college as expensive as it is now compared to 15-20 years ago (let alone before that) I am pushing my kids toward degrees that will get them the biggest return on their (and my) investment.  I am not paying 20,000 a year for an art degree that wont guarantee a decent paying job.  

I am 32 with a degree in English. I have a fairly lucrative job in technical writing. And my friends who got degrees in communications and commercial art are also doing well for themselves. Hard work and initiative seemed to determine success far more than one's major. I know several people my age who were pushed into STEM fields they weren't interested in by their parents and then petered out after a few years of work.

You do understand if everyone begins to only get STEM degrees, the field will become much more competitive, right? 

And-- crazy talk here--  there are things to consider in life other than money. 

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1 hour ago, nausicaa said:

I have a very different experience with Mormons. I live outside D.C. and there is a large base of "Crystal City Mormons," as they're called, who live here. They move from other parts of the U.S. because of an interest in politics, get married later (many wait until their thirties), and law degrees are common. It is also very common to do choir, classical music, dance, or creative writing as a hobby or part time job. To the extent that if I meet an adult from that area who mentions playing violin at a recital or taking ballroom dance, I can safely bet they are LDS.

The LDS church may have stated that intellectuals are an enemy of the church, but as with Catholicism and most other religions, what the church says and what the people do within their culture are very different. 

The impression that I get from listening to ex Mormon podcasts and reading ex Mormon blogs is that being Mormon in Utah or Idaho is very different than being Mormon in another religion of the US where some version of Protestantism or Catholicism is the default religion. I would imagine that it’s much easier to peer pressure members into conforming to the dictates of the LDS hierarchy in Salt Lake City than, say, DC, simply because the overall culture supports the plausibility structures that make Mormonism appear to be the objectively correct religion.

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