Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Q-and-A with Daisy - Volume Three

Left: Mr Natural by R. Crumb


A defender of Bob Jones University writes me, blood a-boilin, and wants to know WHY I dislike the school. Seriously, he wants to know WHY!! What, dear God, can one say to that?

My reply:

Did you bother to read my posts? Isn't it CLEAR? If not, I can't help you.

My question: How could you NOT hate a backward, reactionary, disgusting, repressive, anachronistic, warmongering, heretical, duplicitous, power-hungry, racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist organization like that, unless you are unAmerican and think repression is GOOD?

The USSR is history. Hopefully, BJU will be next.


That answer didn't set too well with BJU-defender. He replied and I pseudo-fisked his reply, most of which is included below for your amusement, edification and as a cautionary tale. Names and details left out to protect actual BJU students. [I will say: I don't know anyone NOW attending Bob Jones University, at this moment. Thus, what I have said below applies only to past students and alumni I have known. BJU ANTI SEX LEAGUE: Please do not use what I have written below to start a witch hunt against anyone NOW attending BJU. Thank you.]


Mr BJU-Man replies:
Of course it's not clear, Daisy. All I see is a bunch of raw emotion and no facts.
One fact, just one of 12,000 of any "facts" I could randomly provide: gay people are denied the right to marry, a right that heterosexual couples enjoy and that confers the rights of adoption, automatic parental rights, inheritance, tax deductions, insurance, and so forth... and BJU financially backs politicians (proudly!) who avidly work to continue to deny these rights.

Do you deny that this is so?

There's a fact for ya.
Great catch phrases in your description--those self righteous terms are typical of folks that are unwittingly narrow minded. U are simply another simpleton with no understanding of the school, just what U choose to believe.
I've known gay students at BJU who have to slink around and arrange to meet their girl/boyfriends off campus, lest the BJU Anti-Sex-League (SEE: Orwell's 1984) catch them. I've also known AA and NA members, BJU students, who likewise had to lie and sneak around. Why? Why is it the business of the school what individuals do in their personal lives? It has been personally described to me many times as an intrusive, damaging cult environment.

I doubt you have met those particular BJU students, because they would NOT TRUST someone like you, who defends the fascist rules of the school.

Why does what a student does in their off hours matter? That's FASCISM, sorry.
It's so much easier to spout off endless ranting of hate and stereotype than to dig a little deeper and actually educate yourself, right? Hey, the world's a complicated place and it takes a little effort to gain new perspectives.
I've been to the Bob Jones University campus to hear various right-wing speakers, such as Pat Buchanan. It is one of the few times the campus IS open to the public [with the exception of the Art Gallery, a somewhat separate entity].

The students were ordered to attend. I saw and heard for myself their political engagements, the employment of the student body for political ends, the expectation that the students would automatically share the politics of Pat Buchanan and Bob Jones III.

And when BJ III started to talk, BANG, I never saw a buncha kids jump into shape so fast in my life--SHUUUUUSH. Like, right now. Nobody talked over him, or dared say anything while he was speaking. He commanded an almost-cultlike respect, in my humble opinion. Of course you would not agree with me, since I speak as an outsider. You are completely accustomed to the adulation. However, I considered it spooky and Stepford Wives-ish, like a bunch of androids, all dressed alike, all abruptly silenced on cue.

Yes, I do my homework, as I think my posts make clear. Although if you want more posts explaining even further why I dislike BJU, I can certainly provide that.

How about another fact: BJU party hacks monopolize the Republican Party in this area, they pack every local district/precinct meeting and in a block, elect each other as delegates to the state and national conventions. (What EXACTLY does this politicking have to do with the Lord? Render under Caesar, etc.)
[Here in] the USA, unlike the USSR, we celebrate diversity and tolerance.
Does BJU allow openly gay students to attend? No. That is discrimination, not diversity... certainly, it has no resemblance to tolerance. What a joke.
BJU would be glad to support your right to think incorrectly and choose to believe anyway U wrongly desire, because that group of people actually understand the US Constitution and what America is all about. If U ever want to visit the school and learn for yourself what this place is all about, I'd be happy to give U a tour.
I've been many times, XXXX, as stated above. I love the painting of St Francis receiving the stigmata in the art museum, although I find the Catholic-hating theology, cheek-by-jowl with the Catholic art, more examples of the same repugnant, disgusting hypocrisy always present at Bob Jones University.

But hey, I will try not to take it personally, right?
Like I said, I have many gripes about BJU myself, but that doesn't mean I just lump them into a boiling pot of emotion without educating myself first.
I got plenty more where the above examples came from. So I think I am the one educating YOU.
Happy thinking and enjoying your first amendment.
First Amendment is properly capitalized, but probably not at BJU. [Note, this was after he implied I didn't know what certain words meant, so I was being petty and correcting his punctuation. Yes, I know, I know...]

Same backatcha, Mr BJU-Man!


Edit: Another timely plug for the Carnival for Progressive Christians - First Edition
Listening to: The Pogues - Transmetropolitan
via FoxyTunes


redraider said...

Daisy, Daisy open up. Don't be so shy. Why don't you tell him what you really think? Damn...Go for it D.

white rabbit said...

They have been heard of even over here - total bunch of idiots. I like the idea of the BJU ANTI-SEX LEAGUE though - sounds like some sort of sporting competition...

Whoever has the least sex wins???

They could publish league tables...

Hiram J. Crudbucket III goes top of the league after keeping it in his pants for 26 consecutive years...

Bryce said...

they makes me SICK!

Kristin said...

Great post, Daisy. The last thing I heard about Bob Jones University was that they didn't allow interracial dating or marriages. Do they still do that? Also, I know that they have a terrible dominionist homeschool curriculum that lots of the fundies use.

I'm with you. Why *would* anyone defend that place?

Ah, okay, just found this on the wiki site:

Although BJU admitted Asians and other minorities from its inception, it refused to enroll black students until 1971, eight years after the University of South Carolina and Clemson University had been integrated by court order. From 1971 to 1975, BJU admitted only married blacks, although the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had already determined in 1970 that "private schools with racially discriminatory admissions policies" were not entitled to federal tax exemption. Late in 1971, BJU filed suit to prevent the IRS from taking its tax exemption, but in 1974, in Bob Jones University v. Simon, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the University did not have standing to sue until the IRS actually assessed taxes. Four months later, on May 29, 1975, the University Board of Trustees authorized a change in policy to admit "students of any race," a move that occurred shortly before the announcement of the Supreme Court decision in Runyon v. McCrary (427 U.S. 160 [1976]), which prohibited racial exclusion in private schools.[92]

In May 1975, as it prepared to allow unmarried blacks to enroll, BJU adopted more detailed rules prohibiting interracial dating and marriage—threatening expulsion for any student who dated or married interracially, who advocated interracial marriage, who was "affiliated with any group or organization which holds as one of its goals or advocates interracial marriage," or "who espouse, promote, or encourage others to violate the University's dating rules and regulations." [93] In a 2000 interview, the then-president, Bob Jones III, said that interracial dating had been prohibited since 1950s and that the policy had originated in a complaint by parents of a male Asian student who believed that their son had "nearly married" a white girl.[94]

On January 19, 1976, the Internal Revenue Service notified the University that its tax exemption had been revoked retroactively to December 1, 1970. The school appealed the IRS decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the University met all other criteria for tax-exempt status and that the school's racial discrimination was based on sincerely held religious beliefs, that "God intended segregation of the races and that the Scriptures forbid interracial marriage." [95] The University was not challenged about the origin of its interracial dating policy, and the District Court accepted "on the basis of a full evidentiary record" BJU's argument that the rule was a sincerely held religious conviction, a finding affirmed by all subsequent courts.[96] In December 1978, the federal district court ruled in the University's favor; two years later, that decision was overturned by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On January 8, 1982, just before the case was to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, President Ronald Reagan authorized his Treasury and Justice Departments to ask that the BJU case be dropped and that the previous court decisions be vacated. Political pressure quickly brought the Reagan administration to reverse itself and to ask the Court to reinstate the case. Then, in a virtually unprecedented move, the Court invited William T. Coleman, Jr. to argue the government's position in an amicus curiae brief, thus ensuring that the prosecution's position would be the one the Court wished to hear. [97] The case was heard on October 12, 1982, and on May 24, 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Bob Jones University in Bob Jones University v. United States (461 U.S. 574). The University refused to reverse its interracial dating policy and (with difficulty) paid a million dollars in back taxes. Also, in the year following the Court decision, contributions to the University declined by 13 percent.

In 2000, following a media uproar prompted by the visit of presidential candidate George W. Bush to the University, Bob Jones III abruptly dropped the interracial dating rule, announcing the change on CNN's "Larry King Live."[98] Five years later when asked for his view of the rule change, the current president, Stephen Jones, replied, "I've never been more proud of my dad than the night he...lifted that policy."[99]

By 2005, the University had established two 501(c)(3) charitable organizations to provide scholarship assistance solely for minority students.[100] Although BJU never reapplied for federal tax-exempt status, and it continues to pay federal taxes, a number of its ancillaries, including Bob Jones Elementary School, Bob Jones Academy, and the BJU Museum & Gallery are tax-exempt entities.[101]

Kristin said...

Also, just wondering... Do you know much about Patrick Henry College in VA?

It's a bit like BJU, but is fairly new--and has a much more explicit goal of graduating right-wing students (with a history of homeschooling) to sit on judicial benches and make rulings against abortion, gays, and public schools. It's run by Michael Farris (incidentally one of Heart's old friends), and has beem pretty influential thus far (Bush loves to appoint the school's folks to federal positions, it's shameful.).

CrackerLilo said...

The interracial dating stance was changed in 2000, shortly after the controversy about it blew up during GWB's first campaign. It was actually pretty cool--not many things got more progressive because of him, but BJU's collective heart grew a size that day.

The "BJU Anti-Sex League" was a very nice touch. I'm sure there is one, even if it's not by that name.

I didn't know what a force they were in your local politics. No wonder you hate them so much!

Also, I laugh and get sickened all at once when one of these creeps gets to talking about "diversity and tolerance."

CrackerLilo said...

RE Patrick Henry College: I recommend the book "God's Harvard," by Hanna Rosin. A search will turn up excerpts online, and you can probably find it in a good-sized library.

Also, the founder, Michael Farris, is mentioned in an allegedly "cute" story in Joshua Harris' book about Christian courtship, "Boy Meets Girl." (This is the sequel to "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." My cousin showed me these books to show me the crap she had to deal with in her church.) Farris forbade his then 17-year-old daughter to see a boy her age because--gasp!--they wrote love letters and kissed! But eventually, the boy asked for and received Farris' permission to see her once they were safely in college. They got engaged and married--again, with involvement from Michael Farris every step of the way. This was held up as a *good* thing and a *great* story about love!

Kristin said...

Crackerlilo--Yeah, I'm familiar with the courtship/Josh Harris thing. That was gaining popularity among fundie teenagers when I was in high school. One of the major tenets of courtship is that the people who are "courting" don't spend any time alone together and take the family everywhere. Alone time is seen as a "recipe for temptation," and... Yeah, it boggles. I can't believe people *do* that.

Thanks for the tip on the PHC book. I'll check it out.

Daisy said...

Yeah, check my old posts... particularly the one about pro-GLBT Christian group Soulforce, here, and another one that gets a fair number of Google hits, the background of Bob Jones and Billy Graham. Unfortunately, the weekly Upstate Beat (where I cribbed that article from!) is now defunct, so that quote is all that is left.

No one but the principles know the exact reasons/juicy details around the famous falling-out between Bob Jones II and Billy Graham. I expect the details to come out only after Graham and Bob Jones III have passed on.

Some of us hold out the hope that after BJ III passes, the place will attempt to modernize. Already,
Bob Jones VI has been passed over for little brother (Stephen Jones will be taking over*), so the Bubba Papacy is messing up the Apostolic Succession already! :P

*Bob Jones VI had a hushed-up DWI that I only remember from local gossip and talk radio... good luck finding a record of that one, and I've tried, too!... I believe it happened in suburban DC, maybe around 1994-96, while he was writing for Marvin Olasky's WORLD magazine. Interestingly, BJ VI also attended grad school at (((gasp))) Notre Dame, so I'd say there is NO chance
he'd be in line for the Pope Bubba throne. But when BJU announced that younger brother Stephen Jones would be next in line, NOT BJU VI, the tongues commenced a-waggin around here! :D

belledame222 said...

Wait--you're, sorry, U R intolerant and narrow because you -don't- favor BJU?


well--"bless his heart." poor little turnip.

belledame222 said...

It's run by Michael Farris (incidentally one of Heart's old friends)


yeah, PHC gives me the wig, even more so than BJU, for precisely the reasons you mention.