Falisha McCauley – Chief Copy Editor
Roanoke College welcomes University of Zilina and Lutheran Bible School professors Michal Valco and Katarina ValcovÄ for the fall 2010 semester. The couple arrived from northern Slovakia on Aug. 8 and will be co-teaching classes entitled “Europe Twenty Years After Communism: Historical, Political and Religious Perspectives” and “Christian Faith and Life.”
The University of Zilina is an accredited, secular state university of 12,000 students. UZ offers Bachelors and Masters in all fields through seven colleges. Likewise, Lutheran Bible School is a church affiliated, private school which targets religious studies and offers classes for returning students or further education students during six hour classes on Saturdays.
Michal Valco has taught at the Lutheran Bible School since 2001. He instructs in “Basics of Christian Doctrine”, “General Church History”, “Missiology” (mission of the church), and “Apologetics” (defense of Christian teaching). Katarina ValcovÄ also teaches at LBS; her classes include “Christian Education”, “Liturgy”, and “Pastoral Care” (communication skills based on pastoral concern).
The LBS is not a typical American Bible school. The school upholds teachings which further the understanding of Christian doctrine and the meaning of being a Christian. Their mission statement, taken from John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,” reaches beyond the church.
“[The mission statement] has more meanings than just religious and spiritual ones, such as political, social, and economic,” Valco said.
Utilizing this mission statement, the Valco’s came to America with one primary hope: to inform American students about the dark truth of Communism in Europe and the aftermath it created.
“Our main hope was to tell American students, and any faculty and staff who were interested, the truth about Communism and its evil.” Valco said.
Through their classes, they want to illustrate how Communism inflated economic positions by facilitating false production plans, always promoting achievement of unobtainable goals.
“Made up numbers. There were always plans to fulfill,” ValcovÄ said.
“Those numbers were propaganda.” Valco said.
They show how Communist propaganda separated people and nations into Communism and the enemies. Communist ideology stated it was the best economical, social, and political system and Capitalism as exploiting people. And Communism boosted it was peaceful while Capitalism was war promoting.
The Valco’s also point out how both Christian and non Christian people were affected by Communism. Illustrating how Christianity can learn a lesson from Communism. Religious people are not in opposition to non religious people
“Christians should not march with their Bibles and force people to believe. They need to learn their beliefs should help society. Explain [their] faith in a coherent way.” Valco said.
The public and Christians should not be separated, because Christians are normal people as well, who can offer society many talents and intellectual input. They believe Christianity should not follow Communism, which posed everyone non Communist as an enemy.
“The meaning of Christianity in public life is to live as responsible citizens,” Valco and ValcovÄ said.