Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Hammer's adventures at my alma mater

Bill says, in a comment on yesterday's post:
Not sure if you're taking votes or not, but I'd love to hear more about smarmy Tom DeLay getting the boot from your school!

I'm all about keeping my readers happy. So, I'll tell what I know. Which, sad to say, isn't much. To begin, though, consider the difference in these two sentences, the first from his official website, the other from a biography posted on the website for Bill Moyer's Now:

DeLay graduated from the University of Houston in 1970 with a degree in biology.

After starting his education at Baylor University, DeLay graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Biology in 1970.

The absence of Baylor in his official biography isn't really that curious: after all, what matters is where you get your degree, not where you started it. (And, actually, Baylor is mentioned on the more commercial Tom DeLay site. It only makes sense, doesn't it? Some donors might be Baylor alum. Give the man a break.) But start at Baylor he did, and asked to leave he was. (Why I'm writing like Yoda, I can't say.)

One version of the story says he "played some pranks" at Texas A & M while a student at Baylor. Bizarrely, some forty years later, the now born-again DeLay denounced both schools as not adequately Christian. (I'm not sure why he thought A & M was supposed to be upholding Christian values. When I was there, the Aggie Corps would shout their usual "Beat the hell out of Baylor" during football games, and worried Baylor students would mutter that they really shouldn't do that. Not at Baylor.) Why not adequately Christian? Because they don't teach creationism, of course. (It's true, folks. They don't teach creationism at Baylor. Where do they get those professors? I remember the stir that was caused in my own biology class there when evolution was mentioned. I overheard one of my classmates describe the professor as a "peacenik evolutionist." I don't think he meant it as a complement.)

Anyway, back in the day, Mr. DeLay apparently was not adequately Christian in his behavior and so was asked to leave Baylor. According to some sources, these pranks involved "drinking and carousing."

But like our president, he's put those drinking and carousing days behind him and now considers himself poised to lead us all into a new Christian world order. Remember, he helped fell our previous president:

Speaking to about 300 people at the First Baptist Church of Pearland, Tex., on April 12,[2002,] DeLay said that God is using him to promote "a biblical worldview" in American politics, and that he pursued Bill Clinton's impeachment in part because the Democratic president held "the wrong worldview."

"Ladies and gentlemen, Christianity offers the only viable, reasonable, definitive answer to the questions of 'Where did I come from?' 'Why am I here?' 'Where am I going?' 'Does life have any meaningful purpose?' " DeLay said. "Only Christianity offers a way to understand that physical and moral border. Only Christianity offers a comprehensive worldview that covers all areas of life and thought, every aspect of creation. Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world -- only Christianity."

Now if only he can get that pesky indictment behind him. Getting arrested is such a drag when you're trying to perfect the world. And we all know the ends justify the means. Right?

(And give the man some credit: apparently he later apologized for casting aspersion on Baylor's Christian credentials. Good Lord. Let's not forget all those well-healed alum . . .)

Oh, and some ask how he avoided the draft while he was taking a rest from Baylor:
The Washington Post reported that he had received student deferments while at Baylor, gotten a high lottery number in 1969 and then gotten married prior to his 1970 graduation from Houston.

However, he had been asked to withdraw from Baylor for a semester and managed to keep his student deferement during that time, which has never been explained.

But anyone who asks that sort of question must hate freedom.

1 comment:

Nels said...
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