PUC to host mass burning of Ryan Bell-era yearbooks

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Ryan Bell studied at Pacific Union College, transferring to Weimar in 1991.
Ryan Bell studied at Pacific Union College, transferring to Weimar in 1991.
ANGWIN, Calif. — Administrators at Pacific Union College have invited anyone in possession of PUC yearbooks from the 1989/1990 and 1990/1991 school years, to throw them on a Halloween bonfire scheduled for this Saturday night.

Administration has scheduled the event in a special effort to erase “unnecessary memories” of former Adventist pastor-turned-humanist, Ryan Bell’s days as a student at the institution. Bell was senior pastor of Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church before spending 2014 blogging about a decision to live as an atheist.

All library archive copies of yearbooks featuring Bell will be burned and event organizers are confident alumni within driving distance of Angwin can contribute enough of their own copies to build a bonfire and roast some marshmallows.

Earlier this week, Bell who transferred from PUC to Weimar College after his 1990/1991 Sophomore year at PUC, was disinvited from a lecture he was to deliver at PUC. Administration cited a need to abide by the school’s mission as the reason to disinvite the former pastor.

“We see Adventist college education as our last chance to insulate our kids from any ideas not expressed in our 28 fundamental denominational beliefs,” said PUC spokesperson, Kim Jong-un, elaborating on the rationale for the decision.

“We all know that the best way to strengthen faith is to avoid all exposure to alternate worldviews,” added Kim. “An unexamined faith is the best preparation we can give to young Seventh-day Adventists before they are released into the world.”



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  1. OldSchool

    It is good to read that the liberal bastion of Adventist education north of San Francisco is finally getting back to “true” education. How much more insular does Kim Jong-un want them to become? Maybe a wall at the bottom of the hill?

  2. Ray Kraft

    This is satire?

    A few years ago I ran into a guy whose face I remembered, but his name I didn’t. He recognized me. “I used to know you, at Rio Lindo and PUC,” he said, and we caught up a bit. “You were always a rabble rouser.”

    Huh? Me? I never got arrested or expelled. “Whaddya mean, a rabble rouser?” I said.

    “You were always asking questions they didn’t want to talk about,” he said. I never thought about it like that, but he did.

  3. Ray Kraft

    Once upon a time (long ago and faraway, in a distant galaxy) I signed up to take a geology course at PUC, from a professor who I am sure is retired now, or dead, dating myself.

    On the first day of class, he said, “Pick up your textbook, and go to pages 1 through 5, and tear them out,” and we did, and we went through the book and tore out every page that talked about the geological evolution of a 4.5 billion year old earth, which was about half the book.

    Another day, one of my theology professors was talking about Karl Jaspers, the Swiss physician / philosopher, who was on the cover of Time that week, telling us that Jaspers was a bad guy cuz he advocated suicide. I looked at Time and thought, If Jaspers advocates suicide, why is he still teaching and writing at 85?

    So I went to the PUC bookstore and ordered Karl Jaspers’ “Philosophie,” three volumes, and read it all, a bit of a slog, and found that what he had really said about that is that in extremis, in intractable pain, to save another, suicide can in some situations be a moral choice, the right thing to do. Hardly advocating that we all go out and hang ourselves, like Judas.

    Then when I read the Catholic Catechism I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that Adventist theology is about 99% derived from Catholic theology, with a handful of doctrines to differentiate it, basically the Sabbath vs. Sunday question, the state of the dead, the intercession of the saints, infant baptism, and not a lot else.

    And then when I read the Koran I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that Muslim theology is about 99% derived from the Book of Leviticus.

    And then when I read Buddha I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that the teachings of Jesus and Buddha are so much alike that Jesus might have been a Buddhist, and Buddha might have been a Christian.

  4. Fay

    When my first daughter was very small, her staunch Adventist aunt gave her a large gorgeous book of nursery rhymes. I sanctimoniously burned that lovely book. I knew Ellen White would have been proud of me of not allowing fiction near that impressionable young mind.

  5. Joy Kiger

    History…has history not taught us anything? The Catholic Church did not gain anything from burning the books of all the members the decided were “Heretical” and neither will the SDA Church. They can’t erase the mistakes of the past, no matter how much they would like to. The one theme that remains constant is a close mindedness toward other beliefs, but they can’t seem to be constant in what they do believe. The excuse is made, “the church is evolving.” One moment Ellen White was a Prophetess, then she is a Plagiarist, now she’s a Prophetess again. I stay constantly confused. I’m grateful for my Adventist Education, but they would do well to be open to a diversity of beliefs, which leads us to a collaboration of learning. My question is what are you afraid of? http://mentalfloss.com/article/50038/11-book-burning-stories-will-break-your-heart

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