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Posted on May 11 at 12:29 p.m.
I graduated from Cold Spring in 1996. I have wonderful memories of the student, faculty, staff, and community of Cold Spring. I'm a proud Dolphin.
Looking back I realize how privileged I was being able to attend such a great public school however I did have a few problems while I was there and they all revolved around with religion (Christianity in particular) on campus.
For all seven years of my attendance I went to the after-school day care program, Dolphin Center. If memory serves me right, the people who ran it at the time had close ties with The Covenant Church and almost all of the staff were Westmont students. At some point in my first few years we had a serious conflict with them when I came home from school crying "Mommy! They told me that you are going to leave me alone when Jesus comes and I am going to go to hell." I knew I wasn't supposed to go anywhere with strangers and it was terrifying to be told that I was going to be left behind if I didn't go with this person I knew nothing about. I know that my parents had a serious talk with the heads of Dolphin Center about the incident and I assume that it was communicated to counselors not to use the program to tell bible stories. Around the same time one of my friends asked me if I loved Jesus. I only vaguely knew who Jesus was, who was mostly as a historic figure to me, so I said no. She informed me that we could no longer be friends and I was confused and saddened by the loss of a friendship.
You cannot separate Cold Spring from the heavily Christian Community around it. Many kids spend their summers at camp or the pool at Westmont and many families are connected to the college as well. I remember that the Covenant Church was The Place To Be for week night Ice Cream Socials but for those of us that didn't want to participate in bible study or group prayer it was an uncomfortable environment.
What is happening at Cold Spring today isn't something entirely new and it isn't something unique. Just go watch Jesus Camp and see some of the ways that modern Evangelism functions. Then come back to this article and realize that Santa Barbara isn't as far away from the Bible belt as you thought.
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