The story opens with this chilling paragraph:
The title of the course was Constitutional Law, but the subject was sin. Before any casebooks were opened, a student led his classmates in a 10-minute devotional talk, completed with "amens," about the need to preserve their Christian values.Monica Goodling, a Regent graduate and until last week top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, recently resigned. She was one of a handful of officials who oversaw the firings of U.S. attorneys in what has become another Bush scandal.
She recently refused to testify to Congress, citing the Fifth Amendment.
Regent University's 21-year history is that of a school that has turned out a high number of graduates unable to pass the bar exam. It was accredited by the American Bar Association in 1996.
"It used to be that high-level DOJ jobs were generally reserved for the best of the legal profession," wrote a contributor to The New Republic website. "...[T]hat a recent graduate of one of the very worst (and sketchiest) law schools with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the DOJ."
Monica Goodling's undergraduate work was done at Messiah College, a Christian school "committed to an embracing evangelical spirit." Her entire higher education has been steeped in evangelical tradition and beliefs.
Shortly after Bush became president, he picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James, to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management, and she has since packed the upper echelons of the Dept. of Justice with attorneys with Regent degrees.
"We've had great placement," said Jay Sekulow, who heads a non profit law firm based at Regent that files lawsuits aimed at lowering barriers between church and state. "We've had a lot of people in key positions," the Globe reports.
Regent University is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place.
Sixty percent of the graduates in Goodling's 1999 class failed the bar exam on the first attempt. It has improved, according to the Princeton Review, to a 67% pass rate today.
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft is the university's newest instructor. He co-teaches a course called "Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and National Security."
Creeping theocracy, or just typical of Washington politics?
UPDATE, Wed., April 25: The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday 32-6 to authorize a grant of immunity for former Justice Department official Monica Goodling.
Image: Karl Rove and Monica Goodling
Theocracy | Politics | Evangelical | Regent University | Monica Goodling | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com