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Pay No Attention To the Phelps Behind The Curtain

_BJU Review_, Spring 1989

Ah, so Bob Jones III is back in the media spotlight again. Sigh. . . . He promised he was done with this back in 2005. Guess our 6-year reprieve is over.

We who have grown up in Bob Jones Inc. know how this media courtship works for the Bobs. We know how they use distractions to their advantage. Bob can’t resist the attention from journalists. He craves it. Just like his dad and just like his granddad. His sons, however, resist it. There is that.

So Bob doesn’t think Obama’s a Christian. No surprise there since Obama’s not a Republican!! Romney, on the other hand, Bob did endorse during the last campaign cycle. Orthodoxy is not much of a concern for Bob. Just politics.

25 May 1927, _Kingsport News_, Kingsport, Tennessee

You do know, Gentle Reader, that it’s always been politics for Bob Jones Inc. Don’t kid yourself. It’s never been about religion or any particular separated expression of religion no matter how earnestly we graduates cling to the sentimentality of fundamentalism’s Golden Age. It’s always been about the most violent politics hooded in religious robes. Always.

In 1909, shortly after his second marriage to a wealthy Stollenwerck, Bob Jones Sr. was a “Law and Order League” hired speaker in Alabama, raising funds for detectives to “spot” those who were not complying with the temperance laws. Later he was a Klan lecturer all over the state of Alabama. He attended the Klan Bake of 1924 the largest gathering of KKK members in history. Historians haven’t gathered all those facts together . . . yet. They do, however, affirm that in the 1928 presidential campaign no person spoke more violent political words than Bob Jones Sr. That, my friends, is his legacy.

Then there’s his son, Bob Jones, Jr., whom we graduates have called “The Owner” or just “Junior.” Junior loved to stir the political pot. His buddies are more familiar to us–that is, familiar to those who remember the American Nazi Party a la the American Mercury, post 1952. While the official BJU story on Junior is that he loved art and drama, he also couldn’t resist damning presidential cabinet members to hell. Charming, yes?

Junior, 1948, In His Newly Minted Presidential Office

It was on Junior’s watch that BJU gave Governor George Wallace an honorary doctorate in 1964. Upon conferring the degree, Junior read this statement:

Men who have fought for truth and righteousness have always been slandered, maligned, and misrepresented. The American Press in its attacks upon Governor Wallace has demonstrated that it is no longer free, American, or honest. But you, Mr. Governor, have demonstrated not only by the overwhelming victories in the recent elections in your own state of Alabama but also in the showing which you have made in states long dominated by cheap demagogues and selfish radicals that there is still in America love for freedom, hard common sense, and at least some hope for the preservation of our Constitutional liberties

Junior invited C-Street’s “The Family” founder Abraham Vereide to speak to the BJU student body in 1952. Strom ThurmondEdwin Walker, James Parker Dees, William F. Buckley, Jr.–do you sense trend here?

Bill Moyers knows Junior, too. Sometime I’d like to ask Moyers about the “carbon of hate” he received from Junior in 1963. Moyers was the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps and received Junior’s rant to Shriver calling the Corps “a gathering place for misfits, failures, ‘beatniks,’ and ‘eggheads.’ Such being the case,” Junior continued, “the moral standards can hardly be very high; and under the circumstances, how can it represent American life and philosophy very well in foreign countries?” Moyers took it personally. And the Owner kept going:

Your letter is exactly the kind I would expect to receive from a ‘Baptist minister‘ who would betray his Lord for a soft Government job with an organization that tells its employees they cannot propagate their religion. If you ever had a call to the ministry, you must set very little value upon that ‘high Calling of God,’ which is, in fact, a definite Call to proselytize or to make converts. . . . I take it for granted from your affiliation and the venomous frustrated tone of your letter that you are hardly likely to be a Bible-believing Christian with a real zeal to win souls to Christ. The person who would write the sort of letter you write would obviously have no spiritual understanding. I would not expect you, therefore, to understand that a Christian has an obligation to seek to win men to Christ.

It is time some of you arrogant, highhanded, and radical bullies got it through your thick heads that you are the servants of the people, even of those who protest having their tax money used to provide you with nice, easy, lazy jobs at big salaries. The complex your letter manifests is exactly that which characterizes this Administration from the top down and which has turned the stomachs of good Americans who have had about all they can take of this sort of thing.

So Bill Moyers got the same treatment in 1963 that Obama gets in 2011! And some alumni insist that things have changed. . . .

On all these Moyers letters, Junior CCed his buddy William Worrilow from the “Organized Minorities Association” calling Moyers “Genius Boy” and “Billy Boy.” Stay classy, Dr. Bob!

_Lebanon Daily News_, 15 January 1965

They didn’t just attack the political “liberals” either. They had words for that great Republican saint, Ronald Reagan. The Joneses were petulant when their lark with the Supremes failed. And so the Owner wrote the President of the United States in December 1983:

I write this letter with great heaviness of heart. It is never easy for a man to face up to the fact that he has been betrayed, deceived, and used by a man in whom he put his confidence; but there are hundreds of thousands–indeed, millions–of Americans who recognize, some with bitterness and all with sadness, that you have broken your promises to them and treated them with contempt.

You are not in the White House, Mr. President, as the result of some great Republican landslide or strong party victory. You are there because millions of Americans believed your promises to protect religious freedom and assure the Constitutional rights of Christian schools and the preservation of the Bill of Rights. . . . What protection has been extended to independent Fundamental Bible-believing churches? . . . Surely the President, by reason of his ofice, can exercise influence; but where have you lifted your hand to help God’s people who under attack? Where have you picked up a telephone to make a call in behalf of righteousness, fairness, and freedom?

Sounds familiar, yes?

Bob Jones III or “Third” or “Triple Sticks” has quite the CV of political tirades. Every BJU student knows his chapel rants. But before the alumni fall into a dissociative state at my mere mention of Third’s speaking in chapel (Seriously, try it some time. Watch what happens.), let me quote one letter from Third to Reagan in 1983:

I am sorry that once again the White House has shown itself totally insensitive to the interests of Fundamental Christians who put Mr. Reagan there. Mr. Mondale could not have treated us with greater indifference and disdain than has Mr. Reagan whom we believed to be our friend.

See–here’s the deal: the Bobs attack anyone who stands in their way. Anyone! Presidents, Governors, Senators, Deputy Directors. And I don’t blame every single political official who’s been on the opposite end of one of these Jones’ rants over the last 100 years. I don’t blame you all for just chucking the whole ream of paper in the shredder. Who wants to read that? You’ve got work to do and a family that loves you. Why bother with some pompous fool in South Carolina? Greenville locals know how it feels when everyone is numb from a Jones fight.

But I’ll tell you why you should bother–all of you. They don’t just attack the powerful. They attack the weak and the poor and the powerless. They have attacked this woman right here: Tina Andersona 15yo girl who was raped twice and impregnated by a prominent church member and who was made to stand up and endure “church discipline” at the hands of a Bob Jones University alumnus and current Bob Jones University Board Member, Chuck Phelps.

Tina Anderson Holding Her Newborn Baby, 1997

Let me connect the dots more clearly. The man who humiliated 15yo Tina publicly, who hid her from the police, who shipped her off to Colorado away from the only people she knew so that she could, in secret, birth a baby conceived in violence, THAT MAN? Bob Jones III himself has called that man “honorable and just.” Chuck Phelps is the kind of person that Bob Jones III not only knows, but he embraces. He invites that person to give him advice and asks him to send him students. He has that man teach Church Administration to his “Preacher Boys.” He stands with that kind of person, arm-in-arm.

And because of that, no one in Bob Jones Inc’s care is safe. No one. Not a German grocer in 1909, not a Catholic in 1928, not an African-American in 1954 or 1983, not a gay man in 1989.

Nor are they safe right now. Not a child, not a teenage girl from a broken home, not a struggling college student in his senior year, not an elderly retiree who can’t pay her “rent” on campus. Just like his granddad hired thugs to harass soft drink vendors on the streets of Montgomery, so Bob Jones III is aligning with the likes of Chuck Phelps to perpetuate their kingdoms at the expense of souls.

And this is just one case. One that’s public knowledge proven under oath in a court of law. It’s just one of thousands.

So that is the nature of their credibility they’ve been hocking for 100 years. You can string all those political quotations together and come up with a pretty good story of a smug family who uses extremist political propaganda to finance a pretty cushy life. That’s exactly what Bob Jones III wants you to see in your google search. He wants you to see how important he is and how successful he is and how his questioning of Obama’s salvation should matter. And even if you do think he’s a jerk, at least you leave him alone as you walk away. . . .

And as you walk away, you miss that picture of Tina Anderson holding her newborn baby, standing with strangers, her face swollen from the sobbing. Don’t look at that. Don’t listen to what Jones’ buddy, the “honorable and just” Chuck Phelps admitted in court:

[Prosecuting Attorney] Wayne: Ok, let me give you a hypothetical. Let’s say that a 14-year-old girl who goes to your school gets kidnapped by a guy who rapes her then beats her up and leaves her out in the woods. She comes to you and tells she is pregnant. Would you expel her from your school?

[BJU Board Member and Pastor Chuck] Phelps: It would depend on the situation. I don’t know.

(After Phelps said this, the jury and many of the people in the courtroom shook their heads or stared at him in shock.)

Bob Jones III doesn’t want you to peek behind the curtain. That’s why he did the National Journal interview. He wants to distract you.

But we have to look. We must. We have to look and we have to do something about it.

Sign this petition today to remove Chuck Phelps from the Bob Jones University Board of Trustees. 

Pay No Attention To the Phelps Behind The Curtain

53 thoughts on “Pay No Attention To the Phelps Behind The Curtain

  • November 14, 2011 at 2:39 am
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    Brava, Dr. Lewis. Excellent research, writing and analysis. Just reading over on the SFL forums and thinking Matt Olesen should come under fire as well. His behavior was as horrific as Phelps’ and no accountability for him either up at BJNorth.

    • November 14, 2011 at 2:46 am
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      I agree. I’d sign a Matt Olson petition too.

  • November 14, 2011 at 7:50 am
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    Thank-you!

  • November 14, 2011 at 10:38 am
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    Wow! I shake my head. It wasn’t so long ago that I thought these rantings by the Joneses were right because they were standing up against the wickedness of the world.

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:18 am
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    WOW…This page is evidence that you have stooped to the level that you claim that BJU is on. Ranting and bashing is never the correct solution to a problem, and whether you are Christian or not I would argue that you are imperfect just like all other humans. BJU is trying to stand for what is right which means supporting those who uphold the same Christian standards and beliefs as the University. All, I can ask is: What good do you really think this page is doing? Giving opportunity for the devil to further tear down a Christian organization? It seems absolutely pointless for me to have read this page because it is based on your personal biases against the school. I agree there are many things not run the way i think they should at BJ, but I also realize that I have not been in the position of running the school and therefore cannot make an accurate judgment call on how it should be run. I don’t know if you have experienced what the BJU administrators do or the pressure of leading in the capacity of our presidents, but if you haven’t then you have absolutely no right to judge them. It goes back to the beam and the moat idea. So, I said all that to say this: Do what you do in a spirit of love toward your kinsmen in Christ if you are a Christian, because these petty rants are what destroy the Christian brotherhood we are supposed to share. The more we tear down each other the more we tear down our testimonies before the rest of the world. So, think and pray before acting rashly and remember that charity covers a multitude of sins. Food for thought. Have an awesome day all! =)

    • November 14, 2011 at 11:33 am
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      Your post gave me a little chuckle. Do you know what the “beam and moat idea” is? After reading your post, I don’t think you do.

    • November 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm
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      So, Jonathan, you call for Dr. Lewis to act in a Biblical and Christian manner … I find that odd seeing as Mr. Phelps did not do that many years ago during the original “incidents” with Tina, nor did he do that this past Spring during the trial when you compare his SWORN TESTIMONY vs. the drivel he continues to spout on his website.

      Phelps was approached many times in the “proper way” before it escalated to this. His refusal to consider the welfare of a minor over his own system of justice and reputation.

      I’m quite sure Dr. Lewis will embrace Phelps and cease this activity (as will I) once Phelps publicly repents of what he as done. The Bible requires a level of repentance and accountability that matches the level of the action … and this is ALL a matter of public record.

      You feel free to have an “awesome day” while you chew on that food for thought, OK?

      C.P. Traveler
      Member of the Chuckles Travels Blog Editorial Board

    • November 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm
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      Young man, your youthful idealism is admirable. as you gain more life experience, however I hope you’ll learn a few things.

      1) There is no point in engaging rancorously in a forum such as this one. You will not change anyone’s mind and will only become a humorous anecdote. If you have thoughtful input, let your emotions rest, then respond in a reasoned fashion. Better yet, don’t engage. It will lead no where. Many of us choose the same path with BJU. There’s no point trying to engage.

      2) Defending institutions is dangerous. To unfailingly defend an institution is to ask for disillusionment. Many people on this page fell into the same trap. This is why the anger is so intense. They were hornswaggled, as Yosemite Sam would say. Institutions are made up of humans. Humans are replaced by other humans. No two humans are the same. Humans, in fact are born sinful. This doesn’t only apply to religion, but also to politics, sports teams and any other organization you might hold sacred. Take it from a weathered traveler through life. People are who matter. Institutions, in the end – decay, but don’t even have the courtesy to go to dust.

      3) When you do decide to speak, I’d recommend avoiding the practice of nullifying your own opinions (in the middle of your paragraph, you suggest that you’re unqualified to ring in with how the school should be run).

      With all that aside, perhaps you have a career as an entertainer. Until you learn not to troll the internet for blogs that anger you, then reply half-cocked, we’ll read your posts with amusement. Happily, it’s one of the few things in life that’s free.

    • November 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm
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      Jonathan, BJU ‘has’ no credibility or reputation ‘left’ to tear down or ‘be’ destroyed. The 3 Bobs have been eroding their testimony , and destroying BJU’s credibility , being the three religious stooges pathetic human counter signs to the Gospel that they have been, for over eighty years, as well as whatever the H this poor excuse of a University was ‘ever’ supposed to have been started for in the first place. And if you had taken the time to read any of Camille’s Ebenezers, you would have known she had every reason to base her personal observations and conclusions on actual personal historical fact. When someone does the same to you as has been done to her, to Grant and to others, who have been similarly betrayed by fundamentalist ‘Juduses’, come on over and join the rest of us, we will have compassion on you and wash your wounds,come on over here on the side of the real and honest ‘refugees’ from the most hateful environments of past spiritual abuse, places like BJU’s misrepresentation of American Christianity where anyone could ever have had the misfortune to experience what people in such places actually do to you when they no longer have any convenient use for you. Believe me, if you trust people like these gullibly, it can easily happen to you too. No one is immune, no one that is, until they get out, heal, and then learn how to be immunized by Gods Grace and real love, from this most awful toxic form of false religion. Have a humble day, and remember to put on your ‘honesty glasses’ the next time you open your Bible to read it. Proverbs Good News Version: “Are you stupid? Learn to be intelligent.”

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:30 am
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    Gee, how much courage does it take to stand up for justice in 2011?

    • November 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm
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      Hey Dan, it sure does’nt take much courage to follow bullies! Just let them intimidate you, play the yes man, which by the way includes, parking your brains in the vestibule, and run down the same ‘wrong tracks’ that they are on. Who needs courage, when it’s easier to be ‘a chump’ and let the ‘chump goons’ tell you what to do, and then look like a goody goody two shoes, mr amd mrs Polly Perfect clones, just like them! Wheee. Look at meeee. I keep all these ruuuuuuules, sp perfectlyyyyyy and just look at how God is soooooo pleeeeeeased with MEEEE! EEEEEH! My God when did these people ‘stop thinking!?’Sorry for the rant. Every good person who takes a stand , add these all up and together I believe we can be a strong voice for good.

      • November 15, 2011 at 12:11 am
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        I’m in ministry. I know about bullies. At my last job, the church treasurer was a bully. I stood up to him. He backed down. It will take some time, but they will back down. You can’t stop social media and they can’t stop the truth. The students are learning.

        Jonathan and any other current BJU students reading this: Leave. If you have to start over, start over. At much cheaper state university, you’ll find all kinds of Christians from conservatives to liberals. You’ll be able to wear your earbuds when you listen to your iPod. You’ll be able to wear jeans. You’ll be able to communicate with people of the opposite sex in an unchaperoned environment. If you’re gay, you can come out of the closet and find a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You’ll be free. Free to worship however you wish. Free from silly rules that have nothing to do with life when you graduate. Free to pursue graduate education without the restraints of some bottom drawer funky “accreditation.” Free to take the CPA exam in every state. Free to get a teacher’s license in every state. Free to grow in Christ.

        • November 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm
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          Dan, when you’re free to really be and become the wonderful person whom this wonderful God created you to be, that’s freedom that is as sweet as the ‘honey in the rock’ we pilgrims find in the wilderness with Jesus. My husband and I are dealing with a serious spiritual abuse ‘bully issue ‘, ‘an issue of leaders’ turning a renewal program into something it was not created to be, and two insensitive ‘leaders’ who are not listening. I have been encouraging the victim to share everything over the phone, and now she is writing a detailed account, with name not in for privacy’s sake, for the head pastor to read in a few weeks when my husband meets with him. She’s so well on her way to healing from what happened to her,in our community that it’s now the two impossible people who won’t listen, who need to be dealt with now, who actually ‘need healing.’ I’m so proud of this person who was hurt. I told her she’s something of a miracle to me. God is going to have to take these leaders’ ‘bag of marbles’ away from them, of thinking they can do whatever they want to, and never be called to account for that. Years ago I was rather intimidated by bullies in the Church,I took a stand nevertheless, but I did leave such a group, a most wounded and devastated christian. God pushed those leaders out four years later. What goes around comes around. But God set me free from intimidation one evening, seven years ago, and Ive never been the same since. These healing events really do happen. Money seems to be a power thing to people in the church. The other area is musicians. My God what pastors have to go through when they don’t know how to relate to the musicians! I remember —, the former secretary of a most beautiful church fellowship church years ago, sharing with me in exasperation over the phone, how she had been fielding numerous phone call complaints to the pastor, that the choir was going to go on strke because someone did’nt do or say something the right way on Sunday or did’nt make an announcement about the choir in the right way,and they all got mad about it! And a similar thing happened in a similar very nice church a few miles away at another time. Someone rang the music bells at the wrong time,in the sunday service, the choir got mad and threatened to quit. Actually both churches are Anglican, which is my backgrond. And I do love them. But are’nt humans the most curious creatures on Earth? And don’t you love being free and telling others they can be free too? I sure do. And I’ll never stop telling this wonderful story. Good for you for standing up to that bully treasurer. You probably empowered him to change in a way that he needed to by not letting him get away with his behaviour. I think bullies continue ‘being’ bullies, because nobody tells them to stop. The bully in question mentioned above, does’nt know what to make of me. I indirectly confronted her in a summer email without directly referring to the incident needing to be exposed. Her husband must have heard a stranger than fiction version of reality from her, because now ‘he’ does’nt kow what to do about it. And I really don’t care. I developed a wonderful relationship with a group member in the renewal sharing group time, along with my patrtner leader husband, over a few months last winter. And nobody’ treats a friend of mine like that and gets away with it. The two insensitive leaders want her to shut up about it because they want to protect the reputation of the renewal community group that they lead, and they won’t do anything about the bully who they will be keeping on prayer team! I call what people like that do on prayer team, ‘preying team’. They ‘prey on people’. They don’t help them at all. I think is scandelous! We are both committed to avoiding unecessary scandal to avoid any damage being done to the community, many of whom are unaware of what has happened, while responsibly exposing this serious sin and irresponsible behaviour to the head pastor. A very delicate balance requiring wisdom and common sense. I know God is with both of us. And when people resent us for gping to the head pastor, we really don’t need to protect any reputation of our’s. We have God’s grace. But we will probably be getting some not nice icy stares from people who don’t understand. Ad it doesnlt mtter. I kow what God thinks of me. And it really does’nt matter that some people don’t agree with Him. Have a great day.

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:40 am
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    @Jonathan –

    BJU is a South Carolina corporation. It’s owned and controlled by a family that has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars of net worth through the operation of it. Why do you call it a Christian organization? It’s not a church. It doesn’t submit to any church authority. And yet, you defend it as if it were. Would you defend Wal Mart with so much enthusiasm if they allowed people on their board who didn’t follow up when a child got raped?

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:59 am
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    “WOW…This page is evidence that you have stooped to the level that you claim that BJU is on.”

    So Jonathan you are asserting that Camille is like a racist, KKK-supporting, gay-basher with pedophile-protectors on her board. Except, Camille IN THIS POST provides documentary evidence of everything she asserts. You, however, simply post your opinion claiming that it’s self-evidence from HER post when no reasonable person could possibly reach that conclusion.

    Good only happens in this world when people like Camille step up, call out injustice and brace for the inevitable attacks from the weak-minded and ill-intentioned. Which category are you?

  • November 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm
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    1) I agree that Phelps should not be on the board for any reason. I emailed BJU as such, and have yet to hear back from them. Not overly surprised.
    2) I agree that anti-IFB pages are not the place to try and defend them. It’s a waste of time.
    3) I agree with some of J.E.’s comments; however, as I have noticed with any current anti-IFB articles, blogs, websites, etc., there is no common ground. Sadly, one is determined to either be “for” the victims or “against” the victims and any semblance of middle ground is automatically “against” the victims. One cannot make any kind of a positive comment about any of the most well-known colleges or churches without inflammatory results. I think this is sad.
    4) Much as I might hope otherwise, I disagree with the idea that any of these rants will ever cease, regardless of who and which organizations, churches, or colleges apologize. I think many of the people who have legitimate disagreements with such entities will only stop when the entity or person is gone entirely. Although, even that may not be true as the article here goes back to things done in the early 1900’s, which I find almost irrelevant (though I do understand the writer is trying to establish a history). I had family members as recent as the 1970’s that were highly racist; yet I am not racist. What my ancestors believed has little bearing on my current beliefs. In fact, one of the reasons I never attended BJ was because I have no problem with inter-racial marriages. Personally, I think the article would have been as articulate if it had stuck with just the current admins comments and positions.

    • November 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm
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      So Camille’s not allowed to discuss actual details of history if it’s at all negative? And the bad fruit displayed by BJU’s historical records means ‘nothing’? It’s just ‘bad talk’ about good people who never did anything wrong? So people like the 3 Bobs can do as much damage to the witness of the Gospel as they have done for over eighty years, and that does’nt count as being any direct cause for BJU being the most embarassing religious insitution in America? The best common ground at BJU is good people students and faculty controlled by bad people, administration controlled by Bob the pope of BJU, whose resl god is his own ego which happens to be a mile wide and expanding at a great rate!!! Admin goons, and Bob the pope, who ‘use good people’ for their own greedy and selfish ends. Then throw them out like so much road kill. The common ground on this side of bloggers on this Web Page is, we are honest about Grace ,true Grace being the only answer to this false form of religion with all of its lies and selfish greed and outrageously arrogant control of people’s lives. If you ‘forget’ your history you’re doomed to repeat your past mistakes. If you ‘never knew’ your history you probably also never knew you ever made any mistakes. So you lose on both counts. If you don’t even ‘recognze’ the history Camille just posted on this post after serious research and careful attention to details, you ‘need to get a prescription for glases!’ Two kinds. Physical ones and spiritual ones.

    • November 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm
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      Gail, in response to your 4 points, as far as your opinions and observations are concerned, which are valid and need to be expressed, and as you are basically a good and honest person, this is a blog where you have the right and the freedom to freely express them, without coming under attack for having them or for expressing them. Something that no ex-fundy ‘ever’ who blogs on this blog and other ex fundy blogs have ever had in their previous church or BJU type college experience. True freedom for ‘them’ in their former fundy land was a pipe dream they were brainwashed into dis beieving even existed, as well as being poisoned with the lie that God Himself probably did’nt even want them to have,such as ‘any’freedom in their minds, as if the irrational paranoidism of ‘don’t think’, because you might sin in the process! This is only the tip of the ice berg in describing what these ex fundy refugees from the craziness and crazy time of fundamentalism of their former fundy experience has been. As you can already see, ‘no one attacked you’ or pulled you down,or tried to humiliate you, when they didn’t agree with your opinions. Simply because some may have disagreed with was not an excuse for any of them to react by trying to ‘cut you down’ with mean words.’That’s’ what makes blogs like Camille’s so unique to the people who ‘never’ had the freedom to speak up about anything before! To comment on your point one,you probably ‘won’t’ hear back from them, because the ‘they’ who are the blind deaf guides of ignorance over there who are the kinds of people who can be described by the following phrase….”You can’t tell them anything,”…. Their minds are already made up about ‘everything.’ They’re right, everybody else is wrong.They’ve got the truth, the final word about everything. They are the most blatant example of gnostic ignorance in christianity in existence today. If they bumped into real truth in a corridor they
      would not recognize it. Truth to them is whatever is convenient for them to believe and practice. Any human suffering that has been directly caused by their outrageous practices, means nothing to them. Tina’s pain and suffering mean nothing to them. Mainly because the people they do these things to, mean nothing to them. They are a people really don’t care about people. People are not seen by them as persons, created in the image of God, but as objects / possessions, to be used like a greedy means to an end. As far as these pulpit power goons are concerned, people under their influence are nothing but religous ‘pew fodder.’ Isaiah so well described them, as God inspired him to write these words, “They are false shepherds who eat my people like bread.” Those of us who have been damaged by the sin of religious / spiritual abuse in the church, know what it’s like for religious power brokers, to feed on us to get power from us, to try to drain us of the power of free rights, freedom of being ourselves, and free will,that God gave us to make our own decisions and follow Him as He created us to. We know what it’s like to have been dehumanized , by being ‘fed upon’ as pew fodder, demeaned by mean words that we would not have heard from the lips of good people in the world who are’nt even christian! Sub cultures like BJU feed on people like greedy religious vultures. The late Dennis Bennet once said at a renewal Conference, “There are good people in the world, and evil people in the Church.” Point 2. Anti IFB pages are pages where people ‘expose’ sin, ‘stop making excuses’ about it, and express how they are recovering from the damage done to their lives. They are ‘not sites’ where anyone is being tried and defended or needs to be. But they are sites where people can share freely without having to defend themselves, as when they were in fundy land, they really had only ‘one friend’ who would stand up for them and defend them, but whom noody else would listen to. Jesus. So when they voted with their feet, and left, Jesus their only real friend left with them. The ‘try and defend’ description of ex fundy sites, is really superficial, as there is so much more going on these sites than you have been able to observe and see. When you look beneath the surface of people’s words, you begin to see what people are ‘really talking about’ on such sites. BJU does not need to be tried or defended. BJU needs to be ‘exposed’. IFB controllers don’t even ‘know’ what sin is anymore. Because they basically ‘practice’ it so blatantly,something like in a free for all epidemic of blatant sin and selfishness, with such an absence of conscience or the remotest evidence of any normal human remorse, that their sinful practices have practically become a virtue to them!’ When sin is no longer sin,in the minds and belief systems of those who practice it, such as the cruel mean people who revictimized Tina, and gathered like minded loveless people around them who would agree with them, and reinforce them in their sin,such people can make life so impossible for those who follow them, that the followers really can never do ‘anything right’. The written rules are impossible to follow, and are usually all man made and the traditions of men anyway. The unwritten rules are’nt even ‘known’ by the followers, who only discover there ‘are any’ when they break them and get ‘punished’ by these patriarchal authoritarian false pastors. The changing rules are the sudden switching Jecky and Hyde moods and personalities of the people who lead such carnal lives, that ‘driving’ the sheep is as normal as breathing to them. So the ‘trying and defending’ IFB’s is’nt what these sites are about at all. “Exposing wrong pracices, and the sinful abuse of people” is what these sites are about. When churches do bad things and the authorites’ hands are ‘tied’ , because sinful practices of these bad churches are hidden away from the authorities, good people have to take matters in their own hands, and “go to the newspapers and the tv media.” ‘Evil’ churches exposed by ‘good’ secular organizations. So much for the evils of anything secular eh! And expose specials like 20 / 20 go on air to ‘expose’ the sins that the evil christians who practice them, refuse to repent of. It’s never a waste of time for people to pour out their hearts in a safe place, on sites where no one will hurt them. Especially for those who have left the curch, they can still talk to someone about their pain and do so without fear of being attacked. Sites such as these may have been the ‘first and only place’ even time, in their entire life, that they have even been able to do that. So never underestimate such sites, or broad brush them as solely anti IFB simply because of the content of the posts. Remember, that behind each of the posts , is a real person whose sharing may be the very means for them to be able to learn to find and trust people again as well as find and trust a nicer church again where they can be be and feel safe in church , maybe for the first time in a long time. I just realized that my response to your point 2 seems to have drifted into response for point three. The common ground on these sites is good people who have been abused by bad people who are trying to find some meaning to what happened to them and how they can get past this and truly heal. And it’s not at all a matter of being for or against ‘anyone’. This being either for or against kind of thinking, and beieving, is actually one of the very things these people have been trying to get away from, whether tey know this or not, and heal from. Especially the false concept of people being either their friends or their enemies. It’s a matter of becoming free and healed of having been the human target of those who were ‘against them’, in their former toxic churches. I do not agree with the statement that, on these sites, “sadly one is determined to be ‘either for’ the victims or ‘against’ the victims.” There is a distinct difference between the two kinds of sites. Sharper Iron for instance, spiritualizes things a lot, muddies the waters about what’s being shared, and is rather anti-intellectual. They are a pro fundy site and their approach is not at all friendly towards ex fundies. People like Tina are described in an almost ‘forensic terminology’ as if she was merely relegated and reduced to ‘a police specimen to be examined as to whether or not she had any human rights to be listened to, believed, helped in any way or even comforted. like, if she was really a ‘very bad person’ then she should be blamed. And if she was a really good person then how do they get out of ‘not’ condemning Phelps and Willis’s terrible behaviour? If you have a need to agree with JE, is that maybe because, you are still used to ‘not really doing your own thinking for yourself’ yet? Do you perhaps find it safer to follow someone else’s opinions, than forming your own opinions and expressing them? It takes courage to stand up and express your own opinions. But to just agree with JE’s comments like you have with some, , without thinking through to where agreeing with him actually takes you in a direction where you re really not thinking for yourself, and that you are choosing to beieve things that are actually contrary to the actual relevance of history, and the actual deplorably anti christian practices at BJU today. Such a casual following of JE’s opinions, is not using your own free will and intellect to think for yourself. JE’s entire post is riddled with so much denial that’s it’s like a neon sign flashing on and off saying, “you’re wrong and I’m right! You’re wrong, and I’m right, “you’re wrong and I’m right!”” Exactly the very same arrogant things the BJU pope’s have been saying for over eighty years. Which is what Camille’s BJU’s amazingly detailed ‘down BJU memory lane’s’ embarassing truths of where that institution has come from, is all about. There’s no fiction in Camille’s historical research. She doesnt ‘need’ to invent fiction, distort history, sanitize history or try to establish nonsensical revisionist history to make her case. She has no games to play and no childish need to play them. She has no ‘false position’ to try to defend with nonsensical anti-intellectual ignorance type arguments or circular reasoning. She gets the facts, puts them together logically, and ‘shoots from the hip.” No fiction in her research and meticulous research at all. Which is why people like JE find it necessary to take such a polemical position of againstness of total denial abo any posts like this! Because people like him ‘don’t want’ the truth, don’t want the history, and actually hate the very histiry that they can’t get away from.And why they try to deny it. true history just wont go away. They hate the truth, especially the truth about themselves, and places like BJU which they agree with. They equate their goody goody agreement with places like BJU with “defending the truth.” Not realizing that BJU type religious places, have such a distorted version ‘of’ the truth, and such a distorted version of reality, that it’s like darkness pretending to be light. And it’s scary! BJU ‘does not defend the truth’. BJU defends its licentious ungodly illegal rights to do whatever they want to do, with the Gospel message, with people’s lives,, and with their greedy political agenda.My response to part of point 4, is, two Bobs have already died, and the third one is no better than the first two. There seems to be some awful ancestral bondage or generational inheritance of ungodly hatred, racism and sectarianism, like,ONE BIG UGLY RELIGIOUS SPIRIT, that has gotten worse with each of its inheritors. Such can hardly be called a legacy of love, grace or authentic christianity. As BJU and the third Bob is probably one of the worst, if not ‘the’ worst, negative and counter sign of the gospel examples of an so UN christian legacy in Greenville that has ever existed in America. Once Bob the 3 rd is gone, BJU will have to be cleansed of all the negative religious toxicity that has been left behind by the three of them. Imagine the power struggles for who will try to gain total control of the place after Bob 3 is gone! There is nothing irrelevant in BJU’s past history, nor unnecessary in its being so articulatetly revisited. Its obvious influence can be seen in the dreadful negative fruit manifested today by Bob 3 and his religious goons who follow him like monkey- see monkey- do mafia lieutenants! Bob 3’s mind set and beliefs are completely controlled by both the legacy he inherited from Bob’s 1 and 2, and fed from his childhood. Like father like son! Wanting to be just like dad is a fine and good thing, ‘if’ the things ‘dad’ believed in,said and did, were ‘good’ to begin with. Camille does not ‘need’ to establish a history, that has already been established by the past practices of three BJU presidents. When it’s all right there there on the pages of history, in outrageous chapel statements, in newspapers, in recorded public speeches or ‘religious screetches’ by the 3 Bobs, no one would ever need to ‘establish’ the history about what has already been written down in the records. All people need to do is dig in the archives, and put it all together. For people to read and see that ‘where’ these 3 men have come from, and where the third one and this institution is right now, is so awful racist, and mean,as well as political and unchristian, that the only direction it can possibly go in, without a major conversion of good change, is in a direction that can only remain as bad as it has always been, and maybe even get worse. When bad christians never repent of their sins, they do ‘not get better’. They get worse. Looking at history as ‘irrelevant’ is why people repeat all their old foolish mistakes over and over again. And why these same people also’make’ the same mistakes over and over again, is because they ‘don’t learn’ anyting ‘from’ their past mistakes. One sign of intelligence is for people to learn from their mistakes. The three Bobs really never believed that it was even possible for them to ‘make any mistakes.’ That’s how arrogant they all were. And could any of us pretend to believe such a fantasy that Bob 3 is ‘any different’ from the previous 2? As long as people perceive history as irrelevant, people will never understand ‘where’ they have come from, or ‘where’ they are going. This disdain for history is a most dangerous mind set and attitude all too common and widespread within evangelicalism and fundamentalism. Any disdain for history only reinforces the already systemic condition of anti-intellectualism also widespread in evangelicalism and fundamentalism. “Current administration and comments”…. none of them have even one time ‘commented’ on the Phelps being back on the board scandal yet. Mainly because they all could care less. So how on earth could nonexistent comments possibly contribute to any more of an articulate post by Camille, when accurate history tells the real story, and the blind and dumb don’t care culture of BJU have’nt said BOO about ‘anybody’s’ strong disagreements re Phelps being back on the BJU board? If people don’t bother to take a stand for anything, they will end up standing for nothing. When christians do that, is it anwonder that so many people out there want nothing to do with God?

      • November 16, 2011 at 10:22 am
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        Barbara, I appreciate your polite and heartfelt reply. I could name several places where I’ve simply asked a question or made a statement, and my comments have either been deleted or attacked.

        Again, I do not defend Phelps. I do not defend BJU where they are wrong.

        One prominent anti-IFB facebooker/blogger removed my posts and called me a troll, which at the time I didn’t even know what was. Now I do, and I wasn’t. So I emailed her directly several times and was ignored all times. I gave up her.

        And as for no one making fun, that’s simply not true regarding this particular post. You said “this is a blog where you have the right and the freedom to freely express them, without coming under attack for having them or for expressing them.” Did you see Ms.Lewis’s facebook page? She copied and pasted some of the comments, including JE’s comments, and several people poked fun at him. (One guy did admit JE was a nice guy and he probably shouldn’t have said what he did. I appreciated that comment.) When I replied on here and said her fb page was illustrating my point, she replied on her fb thread, “Gail’s mad. How can she see these comments?” And then later deleted the entire thread so no one can see it.

        But her assumption was incorrect. I was not mad. I don’t get mad at these things. I get disappointed because I think the anti-IFB movement in general would get more supporters from folks like me if we were allowed to engage in a dialogue and allowed to ask questions and get real responses, instead of receiving diatribes and reproofs.

        Thankfully, there are a couple people I know who don’t mind engaging me in discussions. Just wish there were more. I appreciate being able to post my comments here. At least they aren’t being deleted.

        • November 16, 2011 at 11:45 am
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          And as for no one making fun, that’s simply not true regarding this particular post. You said “this is a blog where you have the right and the freedom to freely express them, without coming under attack for having them or for expressing them.” Did you see Ms.Lewis’s facebook page? She copied and pasted some of the comments, including JE’s comments, and several people poked fun at him. (One guy did admit JE was a nice guy and he probably shouldn’t have said what he did. I appreciated that comment.) When I replied on here and said her fb page was illustrating my point, she replied on her fb thread, “Gail’s mad. How can she see these comments?” And then later deleted the entire thread so no one can see it.

          I deleted nothing. I double-checked and changed my privacy settings which Facebook does not make secure enough.

          I’m not sure who the antecedents to your pronouns are above. And I know you feel vindicated because of the negative motives you assigned.

          That wasn’t making fun though, Gail. It was venting. It hurts, okay? It hurts. I get this a lot. I get it from drive-bys like you, people I don’t know and have never met. I get it from my former friends in fundamentalism. I get it from little punk kids who don’t have the decency to talk to me with any respect whatsoever. You come here with the hug-slugs “a person of your caliber and intelligence” to basically tell me to shut up and hit me. So yeah, I’m gonna go to my friends and get comfort.

          You don’t like that? You’re gonna ride in on your high horse? Fine. Do it. I don’t have to pay attention to you, and I don’t have to listen.

          Good riddance.

          • November 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm
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            Camille, I so admire your patience. I can see that Gail’s hurting and just can’t get past that. But she has no right to use your blog to take that out on you by lumping you with blogs that ignore and delete posts. I think she finds you as a safer authority figure to do that to, than anyone else. I agree with your response.if you let her get away with what she was trying to do, she would have us all running aroungd the ‘ Gail’s stubborn mountain’ with her, and she would end up driving us ‘nuts!’ The condescencion and subtle put downs are really so offensive. I’m relieved that you decided that enough is enough. I shant respond any further to her either. There’s nothing more that I could say anyway that I have not already said. And by the way, that google theme Emotional Intelligence” is simply amazing. I’m not saying that because I think you ‘need’ it. It’s just a great study read! Download and print and read to your heart’s content when you have some free time. My husband and I have decided to ‘not serve’ with some very high horse characters this season in our church. The freedom in knowing that is almost intoxicating. Thank you Jesus! Peace. Barbara.

        • November 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm
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          Gail, I appreciate your honesty. And I sympathize with your agrravation at not only being completely ignored by people on blogs who refuse to reply to you, but that these same people would just ignorantly delete your posts simply because ‘they don’t like what you said! BE honest about your anger about that. Don’t take it out on us because we don’t agree with you. lack of respect is so rampant in evangelical / fundamentalist christianity today, that it practically is ‘a forgotten virtue.’ Camille is up front, honest, and ‘does not engage’ in childish passive-aggressive behaviour of ignoring posts or deleting them. She doesn’t play mind games with people. And because she or any of the the rest of us on this blog, do not agree with you, that does not mean that wer’e making fun of you, rejecting you, or turning our reply to your post into a joke about you. We are simply not agreeing with you on your opinions and position taken on the post theme. I know it’s hard to not take it personally when someone disagrees with us. But we need to get past this ‘poor me’ tendency, of being touchy, easily offended, and feeling personally rejected, as if people are against us simply because they disagree with us on something. We all need to better learn how to agree to disagree without taking it ‘ as a personal affront, deliberate rejection, joke or attack’ about or against us. Playing mind games with people is what has gotten BJU into just about ‘every problem’ its dreadful agendas have gotten it into for its entire existence.The founder, and descendants along with accomplice administration personel, have treated good people like crap for too long. And lots of good people are plain sick and tired of it.
          That’s’ why were ‘so angry’. Camille , like many of the rest of us, who post on this blog, have been similarly hurt very badly by betrayal, ostracization , and such ingratitude for ‘anything’ meaningful that we have ever contributed to our former associates in former environment, as sincere, caring believers. We’ve all felt and experienced the awful feelings and emotions of being treated like crap. But we have made a decision that, we are not going to do the same mean things to others. We have decided to ‘not respond in kind.’ We have decided to ‘not let’ what people did to us, ‘destroy us.’ Remember there ‘are’ victims of BJU and like minded awful insitutions that have ruined the faith of young adults, who have stopped believing in God. That’s sin! To be the cause of someone losing their faith! That’s evil! We’re ‘not attacking’ or making fun’ of anyone who disgrees with our position or opinions. Wer’e just not going to go along with accepting someone else’s position when it is, in part or in whole, a denial or blatant contradiction of most of the awful reality of what’s so wrong over at BJU. We’re angry about evil that those who blatantly practice it, such as at BJU, simpy don’t recognize evil from good, wrong from right, error from truth at all anymore. They can’t see what they’re doing that is so wrong, not even when it is right there in front of their noses. Expressing our frustrations with sarcasm and silly sense of humor jokes, is a healthy and appropriate way for us to ‘vent’ our frustrations and anger about these ‘fundy crazies’. Mainly because they drive us crazy and we are trying to remain sane. We are ‘not’ trying to play the pretense of cool as a cucumber nice christian men and women who ‘never get angry’ about anything because wer’e such pious people. We don’t want that kind of religious goody goody stuff in our lives. We want to be real. And we are learning how to be. Supressing all of our feelings, pretending that nothing’s bothering us, isn’t being real, is actually ‘very’ unhealthy and is not being honest. I think that wer’e more able to be more honest than you are at this point. But simply because we can vent a little more honestly than you, or, that we can express our anger, and you can believe you’re ‘not’ angry, does’nt mean that anybody’s against you’! We just don’t agree with you! You say you’re not angry just disappointed. Disappointment leads into anger if not honestly dealt with. So does frustration. Frustration is a form of anger. So is resentment. Those who don’t understand where we are coming from, really don’t want to understand. Nobody likes being treated like you have been treated Gail, by having your posts on other blogs ignored or deleted. Camille did not delete your posts. And she did not ignore them either. Those of us who post on ‘safe place’ bogs like this one, are’nt treated like that. Camille is above that sort of thing. She won’t lower herself to the disrespectful level of that kind of thing. One of the reasons why we have so much respect for her. If you ever want to try to move more towards where we are as on the same page, you do need to ‘stop making excuses’ for places like BJU and the religious numskulls who do the kinds of things that this very post theme is all about. Stop making excuses for them! They themselves need to start taking responsibiity for their behaviour, they need to stop making excuses for themselves, and they need to GROW UP. They never will do any of that, as long as other christians feel sorry for them, play along with their pathetic games, of they themselves playing the false martyrs and poor victims of delusional imaginary persecution. They think and act like ‘clue-less unbelievers.” Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.” Gail it’s not fair or even reasonable, for you to take your frustrations about other blogs, out on Camille or this blog. Camille is’nt responsible for what other blog managers do or don’t do when you post something. I think you have been projectiong or transferring anger about othernegative blog experiences onto this blog and onto Camille. And that’s not fair Gail. If you’re angry abut another blog, say that without implying that this one is making you mad in the same way. And I really think you would do better in your efforts to communicate more reasonably and objectively, if you adjusted your terms ‘anti-iFB blogs’ to -ex-fundy’ or something like that. You see, if you’re still half way in and out of fundamentalism, and don’t know which way you want to go, you’re going to have a hard time nderstanding where we have been able to come and move, regarding healing from our past bad experiences etc. You’re at a completely different place on your journey. Nothing for you or anyone else to ever be judged about. But don’t come out of that space that you are in, as an excuse to judge us for being wrong or misguided about the space that we are in or for how we express ourselves. Try to be a little more honest, like you don’t understand why you feel the way that you do, and you’re frustrated about that. Find a blog where you can share at the same level on the same page that others are on. Then you won’t get so frustrated. I’m really sorry that youre hurting, but you are the only one with God’s help, who can allow change to take place in your life. Google “Emotional Intelligence” on the net and do some self-study research on human feelings and emotions. You will be surprised at how such personal learning can benefit your personal life and journey. Keep growing. Keep learning. keep on keeping on. God Bless.

  • November 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm
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    I didn’t tell you not to write history, I simply said I thought you could make your point just as well without it. I’ve read alot of your stuff and you are a gifted writer. I just didn’t see the point in dragging up stuff from 100 years ago. However, you and the folks on your facebook page do prove my point #3 – I can’t agree with you (get rid of Phelps, BJU needs to fix a lot of things, etc.) and agree with part of J.E.’s comments without being laughed at. And that’s fine, if that’s how you like things. I just think someone of your intelligence and caliber should be above that.

    • November 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm
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      Nobody’s laughing, believe me.

      This is the one thing I can bring to the table. It’s unique. Nobody’s talked about it before. I see connections. You don’t see those connections. You don’t have to. That’s fine. That’s neither here nor there really. But yeah, what I say is going to be different from what everyone else says. That’s true.

      • November 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm
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        Camille, you’ve taken the time to use history to connect the dots. There is a definite connection of cause and effect as well as increasingly negative effect on later generations. The only difference between Ted Mercer’s days and of late, is that seventy faculty members are not resigning in one year. Now they only purge a few faculty members at a time. But the damage done to people’s lives and to the reputation of the institution is no less bad. And the meanness and selfishness have never really lightened up or lessened. Just because bad people do their dirty deeds more subtly does not lessen the evil or the damage that they do. So keep up the history reminders. This is what people need to see right up there in bold letters.

      • November 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm
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        Camille, I wonder if Bob 3 would ‘don some white hooded KKK robes’ and stand in the pulpit speaking to the chapel people of how he has been defending the wonderful tradition of BJU, defending the truth like dad and gramps all these years? Imagine the man wearing the robes of KKK men his own grandfather approved of! HE may as well have, since not one of them has ever repebted of agreeing with such terrible evil men n their evil deeds! The thought is so mind boggling, that I find it unconscionable, that a professing chrostian man could politically and socially, publically PRAISE such terrible men, who used to lynch innocent men for the only reason that ‘they were black’! It’s so mind boggling that I can find no vocabulary to decsribe how rocked my soul feels. And for this, colorful language just doesn’t cut it. I have to stop writing now because the tears are coming to my eyes and I won’t be able to see what the H I’m doing. Anyway, keep up the good work Camille. We are all VERY proud of you. You are setting an exemplary example for the rest of us. Thank you.

  • November 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm
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    Signed. And I have to say, I’m like Kristin Rettger. Until pretty recently, I would have defended BJU to anyone. If you didn’t like them, you either didn’t “get it” or you were bitter.

    Camille, I argued with you a few years ago, certain that while we agreed on a lot, you were going about it all wrong. Now, I think you’re going about it the only way they might ever notice.

    Obviously all that “the alumni should hold this place accountable” talk from the pulpit was just that: talk. When someone goes to them the way I *thought* it should be done, they’re not taken seriously.

    (And of course the history of the school is relevant, since they pride themselves on staying true to the founder’s philosophy.)

    • November 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm
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      I don’t think they’ll listen to any moderate voices. As far as BJU is concerned they’re right and everyone else is wrong. Dr. Lewis’ impeccable scholarship is going to be a compelling story of racism, greed and deceit. I’ve got popcorn and can’t wait.

    • November 15, 2011 at 11:05 am
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      (((((((You)))))) I know it’s hard. My mind still spins.

  • November 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm
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    I have written letter after letter to Matt Olson and the board of Northland all to no avail. Matt Olson isn’t talking, except to say that he was very loving and kind.

    The truth is that Matt Olson when discovering that Tina Anderson was impregnated by a 38 year old man when she was only 15 did nothing. He did not believe her when she told him that she had been raped. Instead, he forced her to write a letter of apology to the rapist’s wife!

    Matt Olson needs to resign from Northland. The board of Northland needs to fire him. Since they aren’t responding, I have contacted the Green Bay Press Gazette to see if they will look into this story.

    Please, everyone, don’t let Matt Olson off of the hook. He is as culpable as Chuck Phelps.

    • November 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm
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      PD,
      Start a petition. I’ll sign.

  • November 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm
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    As the author of one book that has taken a stand against BJU and another yet-to-be-published one that uses it as a backdrop for a young person leaving fundamentalism, it is in my own personal interest for BJU to remain EXACTLY as it is forever, with Dr. Bob III saying and doing ridiculous things “in the name of God” in perpetuity. Nothing helps my book sales more and I love to be able to simply point to the news and say “SEE?!? See what I’ve been trying to say for 20 years and no one would listen?!?!”

    However, when I see Tina’s story, and others, I’m reminded that there is more at stake than my interest in having Dr. Bob keeping his school quasi-relevant. There are young lives (and not-so-young) constantly being destroyed by this man and his school. We can either “let it go” as I’ve been advised ad nauseum, or we can do something about it. And some of us have decided the latter is the better course.

    So, against my better interest, I hope that someday people read my memoir and remain convinced it is fiction, that a place like BJU certainly could not have existed, not in our modern, freedom-loving republic. Until then, we fight.

    • November 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm
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      Hey Rich, can you tell us any more about your book? I would sure love to hear more about it. There’s nothing wrong with telling people about it. It’s part of your story and if your story’s important to God, so that He would empower you to write it, it really needs to be important to the rest of us too. Thanks.

  • November 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm
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    Signed it.
    Again, thank you Camille for your courageous voice.

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm
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    Signed it.
    Camille, as you continue to write we will read your material. Keep on keepin’ on and let us see change for the glory of Christ and the correction of atrocities to those who can’t stand up to religious bullies. Together we are strong and united we stand.

  • November 15, 2011 at 12:46 am
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    Camille, thank you for sharing the power of your voice. Your careful research and brilliant use of words inspire me to continue to speak for justice and truth.

    After graduating from BJU in 1995, I have taken a beautiful path very far from here. And when I questioned myself on signing the petition, I initially thought: who cares what a gay graduate with no current connection to the school thinks? Who cares? And then I thought about how connected we all are to one another. I thought about how Tina had no one to stand up for her. I remembered when there was no one to stand up for me and I hid myself for many years.

    While it may take several lifetimes before my theology
    intersects with BJU, I believe a better BJU is a better world for all of us. And the corruption needs to be called out. So, thank you and I pray that your example will enable others to find their voice and make BJU a better place.

    There is a beautiful hymn in the Unitarian Universalist tradition that goes like this:

    We are a gentle, angry people and we are singing, singing for our lives.
    We are a justice-seeking people, and we are singing, singing for our lives.
    We are a land of many colors . . .
    We are gay and straight together . . .
    We are a gentle, loving people and we are singing, singing for our lives.

    • November 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm
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      God Bless you Nathan. You are my brother. And you are loved!

  • November 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm
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    I’ve signed it too! Pastor Phelps was my pastor while I was growing up and he had a lot of influence over the people who were members of that church. Anyway, I signed the petition to support Tina, not help change BJU – my hope is it someday disintegrates into nothing.

    • November 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm
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      I wish people would just boycott the place. Boycott BJU. Hit them where it really hurts. In their pocket book. But BJU is so good at manipulating good parents with the BS that ‘they’re children will be obeying God and spiritually better off by going there.’ How can anyone do anything to weaken and lessen the strong influence of BJU’s ‘propoganda machine? Their train has been ‘off the tracks’ of God’s will for so long now. Maybe it will eventually run head long into the nearest bottomless lake and completely sink! But then so many people could be badly abused when and after this happens. And when people are the main casualities, that’s always the biggest tragedy, isn’t it?

  • November 21, 2011 at 9:20 am
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    Ah, the BJU and “money” thing. I am always amazed at the monthly letters I get soliciting money for the school so they can build multi-million dollar complexes named after the bastions of the faith ( former teachers) while their students work two and three jobs they make you feel LUCKY to have “work scholarship” (a term used for a less than minimum wage job for back breaking labor—I know, I did it from the time I was fourteen until I graduated).
    But, I digress….when I was ten, my father was “called” to pack up our family and move to Greenville for him to become a “preacher boy”. That was in 1976. He is still there, on the pastoral staff of one of the largest IFB churches in the area. My formative years inside the fence were ones of heartache, abuse (by the school to some degree as I witness harsh physical punishment of my classmates with a huge wooden paddle with holes namely by a woman who recently attempted to friend me on Facebook (LOL), as well as by my parents who loved to keep a large 2×4 covered in DUCT TAPE handy to SHOW to people who came to the house and force me even has a high schooler to tell them it was my ‘silver friend’ )and emotional neglect as my parents threw themselves into “The work of the Lord”. We never did things based on “Thus sayeth the Lord”—we did things because the “school” or the “church” wouldn’t like it. We wore DRESSES snow skiing (and nearly had frostbite,literally)…It wasnt about christianity, it was about the subjegation of women, a constant reminder we are LESS than the men, expendable in THEIR arena, and exist only to do THEIR bidding… as small children in elementary school, playing at recess, I remember being uncomfortable that the boys on the playground could see up my dress when I was on the swing but since material covering the bottom part of your legs (pants) was a sin, boy they got an eyefull of little girl parts.
    One of the things I regret most growing up this way is the vivid displays of “church discipline” I witnessed. One instance a MARRIED couple was expecting their first baby. They were required to get in front of the church (she, a downcast creature with demure eyes, a large hat on her head and a long dress), and they CONFESSED HER SIN of SEDUCING HIM. HE was the victim, SHE used her womanly wiles against him and was the harlot, the villian…. and pastor ordered there would be NO celebration of this child, no baby showers, no gifts for this poor family who lived in a broken down hovel that was unfit in which to live. The husband NEVER accepted anything but the “prayers of God’s people” for the wickedness in his wife’s heart….. and as a young girl of thirteen or so, I was ashamed and learned I was evil, too. If I ’caused a man to sin’, it would be my eternal soul. So well into my adult years I felt guilt for being attractive, for coloring my hair, for wearing makeup..for driving a torch red Corvette..all things designed to ‘entice the carnal lust’ of Godly men who interestingly enough NEVER answer to anyone ( Phelps is a perfect example!) because they get a free pass in that they “Only answer to GOD” and are above “mans laws”.
    I used to wish as a child that I was a member of my fathers church and not just his daughter because then I would be as important as “the ministry”. This was poignantly made clear to me when my husband (also a BJU Grad) was killed violently in a work accident in 2007, leaving me a widow with seven children struggling to get by. The winter after he died, one of the children accidentally broke a window in our house. I called my mother and asked her if I bought the glass, if my father could replace the pane of glass before it snowed or rained in the boys bedroom. She informed me he was VERY BUSY at the church with their new building program and didn’t “have time for any extras” right then. Ah….. at age forty, widowed with children, I was STILL an EXTRA.
    The situation with this dear rape victim still stuns me but I know, in truth, it has happened countless times at BJU and in IFB churches. They don’t need mandatory reporting laws designed to protect victims….they ANSWER TO GOD. It is HIGH time they answer to MAN as well.
    I am not sure I will ever fully recover from my indoctrination at BJU, and to this day struggle with a remnant of guilt I feel at being DIFFERENT, in CHOOSING DIFFERENTLY for my family and my children, three of which are college age and attend a secular college and are thriving. I remind myself DAILY that my life is NO LONGER defined by BOB JONES UNIVERSITY but rather by a loving God whose forgiveness and love encompasses us all.

    Grace

    • November 22, 2011 at 2:21 am
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      Grace,I am so sorry for how your former years were denied the true Grace Jesus had always wanted to manifest in your life. Thank God that you and your own wonderful very own family have been drawn by His grace and love into the true grace of ‘the glorious light of the Gospel.’ I can’t imagine the sadness and loneliness of so suddenly becoming a single parent from such tragic circumstances. How wonderful that you gave your own children the freedom and right to ‘real life’ outside of that dreadful ‘deadness of religion’ that used to control you. I love the word of God and I know you do too. When you look at Roman 12:verses one and two, and read other related verses to their meaning, the wonderful renewing of the mind, by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, the washing and cleansing your mind, with His Living water, and The Living Word, you can eventually renew your mind, and become gloriously free from all that awful negative indoctrination that BJU poisoned yur mind with. Think of the word of God detoxing your mind of all that religious baggage from BJU. Imagine Jesus picking u a huge suitcase full of ‘all that crap’ and shipping it out of your life ‘permanently’ A glorious thought, eh! Believe me, it can happen. I know this is possible. I hope my words give you the courage and confidence to believe this. And I am so happy for your three eldest who are thriving in good, fine, liberal schools where young adults are treated like human beings. Thank God that you have given your children their freedom, and their generation will be a free one. You’re a very brave mom and christian. God Bless.

    • December 26, 2011 at 12:09 am
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      Grace, dear Sister ~

      Thank you for sharing these painful memories. I wish I could hug you and share a cup of tea with you right now. I think we would find something to laugh about,too. BJones was a trial, to be sure. Sounds like your dad and mom need their eyes opened, but we must seek before we find. Some children of God do not seek and do not wish to find, and that’s the truth of it.

      My heart is for you,
      River

  • November 21, 2011 at 10:21 am
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    Grace, your story breaks my heart. So glad you’ve found the God of love and grace instead of the harsh image presented to you.

  • November 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm
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    You are the chosen one, Dr. Lewis. You are the one to expose and dismantle the decades upon decades of abuse, cover-up, and hubris of this university.

    To you, I give a simple thank you.

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  • December 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm
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    OK Ms Lewis….by now Mr. Phelps has resigned. It’s over. So take your bleeding heart, feminist blog and carry the torch on to another issue. Please!

    • January 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm
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      Hey Rich, when ‘you’ need a friend to ‘help’ others carry a torch for freedom and healing for ‘you’, guess who one of those people just might ‘be’? Right! Dr. Lewis. The very people we might perceive in our denied blindness, to be our enemies, may just possibly turn out to be our real friends some day. Real friends are those who stick around when the chips are down. Fair weather friends are those who slip away into the ‘ this isn’t our problem’ shadows, when the storm clouds come. Dr. Lewis is a real friend, whom you just might ‘need’ some day, Rich. Something to think about, when you recommence the human practice of ‘thinking.’

  • December 29, 2011 at 12:06 am
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    So, Rich, since you’re so eager to be the arbiter of when issues are resolved and when folks should move on to something else, how about we leave this one up to you? Why don’t you be the one to choose which miscarriage of justice on BJU’s campus is addressed next?

    And by the way, my wife’s proper title is “Dr. Lewis.”

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