HERE'S THE WART
|While this story is a sad statement of one of the darker sides of
Life at Feller, I feel that in the interest of historical accuracy that
it needs to be told, as well as the positive stories. This occurred
in either my 9th or 10th year and has affected me for the last 40 plus
years. It has left me with a complete distrust of all things religious.
While I have met over the years a few ministers whom I respect, I always
regard churches and all their trappings with a jaundiced eye. It would
also appear that perhaps my mistrust is not totally misguided when we read
about the revelations of
abuse of children and natives by members of religious orders.
In the interest of privacy and respect for some my fellow student's
feelings, I shall not name anyone directly.
A group of students were assembled and advised that they had been
chosen to go into Montreal to represent Feller at a service being held
at (I believe, the First Baptist Church). Naturally and rightly so we were
admonished to be on our best behavior as there would be a lot of people
there to whom Feller wished to show a good face. I was among those so chosen.
It was to Feller's great credit that they used to accept students
whom were of a financial situation wherein they couldn't pay all or part
of the yearly tuition. These students were received at Feller along with
the rest of the students and were treated as equals. A truly charitable
act. As the evening of the Montreal trip approached, several of the students
chosen to go were called into the office and were handed pieces of paper.
These pages contained a written declaration that the speaker had found
God and that this transformation was mainly due to the teachings of
the staff at Feller College. These students (all of whom were at
Feller on charity) were directed in no uncertain terms that they were to
memorize these statements. When the minister at the service asked the congregation
if there were any people in attendance who had "found God" these unfortunate
students were to arise and so declare. They would then be summoned to the
pulpit one after the other to allow them to regurgitate their memorized
lines. Failure to comply with these orders (could they be considered less?)
would result in their eligibility to remain at Feller being re-evaluated.
Regrettably, the above scenario played out as orchestrated.
One of these unfortunates happened to be one of my close buddies
and he confided the background of his "declaration" to me. He had not been
"saved" any more than I had, but had rather been used by Feller to impress
prospective financial donors.
A sad but true story that has left me forever questioning anything
emanating from a religious institution.
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