A Time To Laugh http://www.drslewis.org/camille He has made everything beautiful in His time. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:09:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/cropped-19149_10100125447658749_6858518_55885291_3376190_n-32x32.jpg A Time To Laugh http://www.drslewis.org/camille 32 32 “Integration with Dignity”: The Inside Story of How South Carolina [Convinced White America that it had] Kept the Peace http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2017/06/22/integration-dignity-inside-story-south-carolina-convinced-white-america-kept-peace/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:08:48 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=5206 The March 16, 1963 Saturday Evening Post edition featured Aiken County George McMillan’s perspective on Harvey Gantt’s enrollment in Clemson College. Gantt was the first publicized African-American to attend the all-white agricultural institution. McMillan gushed: When South Carolina’s turn came to

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The March 16, 1963 Saturday Evening Post edition featured Aiken County George McMillan’s perspective on Harvey Gantt’s enrollment in Clemson College. Gantt was the first publicized African-American to attend the all-white agricultural institution. McMillan gushed:

When South Carolina’s turn came to face the inevitable fact of racial change, its responsible people, its leadership group, its “power structure” took the initiative and handled the crisis with dignity, dignity for the Negro as well as for the white man. This is why the South Carolina story is one of the most significant –and reassuring– stories in the recent history of race relations in this country.

History Professor M. Ron Cox, Jr. identifies McMillan’s article in this national publication as the originator of the much-repeated mythology that South Carolina is the model integrator — peaceful and dignified. Cox proves how much McMillan gets wrong in his account as well as how prominent this myth became.

Clemson University features the images of the 1963 article here. Yet since white South Carolinians still repeat the myth that South Carolina is an exemplar of racial harmony, the text of the document should be public so that we can see how wrong we still get it and how persistently white supremacist our public memory remains.


At 1:30pm on January 28, 1963, a bright cold day at Clemson College in the Piedmont hills of South Carolina, some 160 TV, radio, magazine and newspaper reporters waited quietly for the first Negro students to enroll in a white school in South Carolina.

The Negro’s name was and is Harvey Gantt, and many people expected his imminent arrival to bring on one of the nation’s worst racial explosions. In fact, of course, it did nothing of the kind–as everyone who has followed the case is aware. But behind that amazing fact lies a complex and fascinating story that has never been told until now.

For the peace with which Harvey Gantt entered Clemson was no mere lucky happenstance. Violence did seem clearly in the cards. South Carolinians are notoriously passionate when it comes to defending the South or southern “customs.” The logic of South Carolina’s history and the force of her traditions argued that Clemson would be another Oxford, Mississippi.

South Carolina is the spiritual, cultural and financial center of the South when Mississippi was still Indian territory. the fact is that South Carolinians created the South as a politically self-conscious region, led it out of the Union, and then fired the first shot of the Civil War.

Elaborate security precautions have been made to protect Gantt at Clemson, and his routine for the day had been scheduled with the precision of an astronaut shot. He was to arrive at Tillman Hall, the old brick administration building, any minute now. He was to go inside and register, come out another door, walked 35 yards to his dormitory, visit his room briefly, and then walk another 750 yards to the architectural-school buildings to be interviewed by the dean. The press–more than waited for James Meredith at University of Mississippi–was ready.

At 1:33 PM, only three minutes behind schedule, a black 1959 Buick sedan came slowly up the drive, parked in front of Tillman, and Gantt stepped out.

There was a frantic jostle. Tripods clanged as they were hastily dragged into position. Cameras whirred and clicked. Voices began to be heard talking sententiously into microphones.

But that was the action, all of it. It was one of those moments when the paraphernalia of coverage overwhelms the event. It was excitement without substance.

The only sign of an “angry mob,” aside from the press, was an assemblage of about 200 students, standing with their jacket collars turned up against the wind, laughing at the antics of the reporters. Were still 100 or so of them around when Gantt came out of Tillman. But by the time Gantt emerged from his dormitory, only a handful were there to watch him start his walk to the architectural building. The reporters who had been following Gantt fell back, leaving him to the TV and radio men, who kept sticking microphones in front of the young Negro’s mouth, insisting, “Come on, Harvey, say something!” But he was silent, and the campus is now deserted.

For the press, the day was over. And nothing happened. Not one thing. South Carolina, emotionally the deepest Deep South state of them all, had met and peaceably passed its most serious racial crisis since the Civil War.

Why hadn’t something happened? What was the explanation for this astonishing turn of events? At South Carolina learned a lesson from Oxford? Or was it something else? The question was important: if South Carolina could keep the peace, so could any southern state.

The answer is this: when South Carolina’s turn came to face the inevitable fact of racial change, its responsible people, its leadership group, its “power structure” took the initiative and handled the crisis with dignity, dignity for the Negro as well as for the white man. This is why the South Carolina story is one of the most significant –and reassuring– stories in the recent history of race relations in this country.

The story begins on July 1, 1961, a day so hot that the Spanish moss seemed to be sweating. The annual Watermelon Festival in the small Black Belt county seat of Hampton, the biggest businessman in South Carolina stood up and delivered himself of these somewhat astonishing sentiments:

“The desegregation issue cannot continued to be hidden behind the door. This situation cannot satisfactorily be settled at the lunch counter and bust station. We have a definite obligation to increase the productivity of our Negro citizens, to provide them with good jobs and to continue to assure them of fair treatment. . . . By raising their education and economic status, we would raise the whole economy of the state.”

Charles Daniel, the speaker, new what he was doing even if his audience of stunned cotton planters and restless beauty queens did not. Tough, hard-boiled, self-made and ultraconservative, Daniel had hewn together in three decades the largest construction company in the Southeast. Now he had struck the opening blow in a carefully planned effort to save Clemson college. He joined the ranks of a handful of shrewd, influential and determined men who, in that summer of 1961, pledged themselves to see to it that Clemson stayed open and unharmed, even if it had to integrate.

The little group included besides Daniel: Robert Edwards, Clemson’s president, a hard-driving textile executive who had been brought to Clemson originally as vice president in charge of development; Edgar Brown, chairman of Clemson’s board of trustees, state senator from Barnwell County, president pro tempore of the State Senate and the Daddy Rabbit of South Carolina politics; John K. Cauthen, executive vice president of the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association and the most skillful lobbyists in the state; Ernest F. Hollings, a handsome young governor of the state, who was making new industry the focus of his administration effort; Wayne Freeman, editor of the Greenville News and one of the five nonlegislative members of the Gressett committee, the state’s clearinghouse for racial problems, named for state senator Marion Gressett.

It was a loose, informal coalition; the five men never met as a group. If there was an understanding between them, it was that each would do what he could in whatever way he thought best to fulfill  their common intention.

The seed of this understanding was planted in the spring of 1951 when Edwards called Cauthen about something else. Before having up, Edwards asked Cauthen if he thought the state’s businessmen would be willing to share some of the responsibility for the problems that would arise if Harvey Gantt, who had applied for admission to Clemson in January 1961, was finally admitted to the school on court order.

A monster to be stopped

Cauthen was sympathetic, and he went to work. South Carolina is a small, unusually cohesive state, and the lines of communication between its seats of political and economic power cross and recross at dozens of points. Cauthen sent feelers and messages along these interior lines, found support not only from businessmen but also from men like Hollings and Freedom and Brown, who are not.

But the end of the year, Cauthen, Daniel, Edwards and the others had, in “talking around, “let it be known that there was an important body of opinion in the state that firmly believed in law and order at all costs.

This was a solid achievement. But it was still an “inside” one. When Governor Hollings toured the state in the fall of 1961 he was shocked at the kind of talk he heard. He told me, “People thought I ought to have some magic to stop the monster that was about to gobble us up, or else they expected me to go to jail. It looked to me like it was hight time we started sobering people up before it turned out to be too late.”

Having been turned down on his first application, Gantt reapplied for admission to Clemson in January, 1962.

It was Holling’s custom to hold an off-the-record press briefing the week before the General Assembly convened, and he seized that moment to strike a blow.

“Before 1962 has passed,” he told the newsmen that January 9, “South Carolina’s legal defenses will fall like a house of cards. You might as well start preparing your readers for the inevitable. We are not going to secede.”

Not long after this the authoritative Columbia State began to give extensive, detailed coverage in Gantt, forcing by its example other newspapers in the state to treat the story as fully and as fairly. They did.

But there wasn’t much news about Gantt and Clemson during the spring and summer of 1962. Clemson during the spring and summer of 1961. It was election time in South Carolina. Hollings ran for the U. S. Senate, trying to unseat the wily old veteran, Olin D. Johnston, in the Democratic primary, and got clobbered. Donald Russell, a wealthy Spartanburg lawyer who had served in Washington as an assistant to James F. Byrnes governor to succeed Hollings, to take over in January, 1962. What this meant did not hit hard in South Carolina until September 30, when rioting broke out at Oxford, Mississippi.

Mississippi indirectly called for help, and there were South Carolinians—plenty of them—who felt that Governor Hollings should go at once to Governor Barnett’s side. A member of the state house of representative, A. W. Red Bethea, insisted that Hollings lead a motorcade of South Carolinians to Oxford. Hollings refused—and was rewarded with a batch of insulting telegrams.

Other South Carolinians began to back up Barnett. Russell praised Barnett’s “courage and resolution,” and said he was “hopeful that Barnett’s conduct may be invaluable to us in demonstrating the strength of Southern conviction.” State Senator Marion Gressette, Mister Segregation in South Carolina, the man who is chairman of the state committee set up to “discourage” integration, called on the South “to rally to the support of the great state of Mississippi.”

Hollings’ silence stood out and annoyed some South Carolinians. Farley Smith, longtime executive secretary of the Citizens Councils of South Carolina, remarked, “it is inconceivable to me that South Carolina, of all southern states, has not, through its governor, made its position crystal clear.”

A few days later, in the first week of October, a reporter cornered Hollings. Would Hollings, or would Hollings not, be willing to go to jail to prevent integration of a South Carolina school? “If it works out like Mississippi,” Hollings replied, “jail would certainly be the safest place.”

He was due to attend the Southern Governors Conference at Hollywood, Florida, the next week. “Faunus and Patterson [Governors Orville Faubus of Arkansas and John M. Patterson of Alabama] were waiting for me to head up a movement to wire and welcome Ross Barnett to the conference.” Holdings said. He refused.

If Hollings did nothing to “help’ Mississippi, he did something to help South Carolin meet its forthcoming crisis. He sent Pete Strom, head of S.L.E.D. (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division), to Oxford. He told him to study that situation and to come back home and work out with Harry Walker, his legal counsel, a security plan for Clemson.

He laid down three guidelines for Walker: (1) The plan must be foolproof; there should be no question of the need for U. S. marshals; (2) it should be designed to prevent even the possibility of allowing a crowd to gather, and (3) a carefully toughs-out schedule must be arranged for controlling the movement of the press.

Through the late summer and fall Gantt’s attorneys and South Carolina engaged in a series of legal maneuvers, but by November it was clear that Clemson sooner or later would have to admit Gantt. It was just a matter of time, and there was not much of that.

Meanwhile Cauthen had not been idle. He was “talking around” in those key places he knew so well. One day in the fall, for example, he and Clemson President Edwards went to Hartsville to see A. L. M. Wiggins, the elder statesman of South Carolina’s business community. A former railroad president and Under Secretary of the Treasury, Wiggins was head of the Governor’s Committee on Higher Education. “Mr. Wiggins was very strong on our side,” Cauthen says.

Up to now, none of the little group had taken a public stand on the case of Harvey Gantt, but the hour was obviously near when somebody must speak out clearly. The occasion arose at the end of December, when a Charleston newspaperman called Clemson board chairman Brown and put to him one of those have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife questions: “Now that it is pretty certain that the Clemson board is going to admit Harvey Gantt, what explanation would you give to the people who elected you, in the event of such a decision?”

Nobody had said that Clemson was going to admit Gantt, but Brown took down the reporter’s question in shorthand and promised to give him an answer later.

He called Cauthen in Columbia, Edwards at Clemson. Both agreed to meet Brown in Bardwell the next morning. They talked it over, then Cauthen drafted a statement. Brown released it that day to the Charleston newspaperman but at the same time sent it to the press associations.

“Your premise is false,” Brown’s statement noted. “If the ultimate decision of the Federal courts directs that Harvey Gantt should be admitted, my position its hat the board of trustees and the administration at Clemson College will not tolerate violence on the Clemson campus.”

Brown had set the strategy with Cauthen months ago, when he told Cathen not to hold an open meeting of businessmen, but rather to assemble his forces quietly. Now the strategy was about to pay off. Now the power structure of the state was agreed upon, if not yet openly committed to, a policy of admitting Gantt to Clemson and preserving law and order not he campus at the same time.

The newspapers of the state quickly joined behind Brown, and the opposition was caught flat-footed. The kind of people who might favor making a “protest” had taken it for granted that everyone in South Carolina would agree with them when the time came. They were not organized, not prepared. The Citizen’s Councils had been, as executive secretary Smith explained to me recently, “mainly a stand-by organization in South Carolina.” Present member ship is probably “less than 10,000” by Smith’s estimate, and these “are not very active.” This is not to say that the Citizens Councils favored violence; Smith insists that they did not. But in this sense nobody in the South plans violence. What some groups do is stalemate and neutralize local and state law-enforcement  agencies so that they relative handful of racists who will be violent can come in from the country, often from across state lines, and create chaos.

Half, maybe more, of the battle had been won without a word’s being fired in anger. It was not over, not by any means. But men as savvy in the ways of Palmetto politics as Brown and Cauthen were where their opposition lay.

The trouble might come from any one or all three of these powerful men:

  1. James F. Byrnes. Still, in his 80’s, the same dapper little man with gray felt hat whose picture was once frequently taken on the White House steps, Byrnes is today “a bitter man,” according to those show are close to him. When Byrnes returned to South Carolina in the 1950’s and became governor, he convinced the legislature that it ought to levy a sales tax, and he undertook an extensive program of school-building designed to create separate and equal school systems in South Carolina. “He thought the Supreme Court would recognize this,” I was told. “He had convinced himself the Court would rule five to four in favor of South Carolin in the Clarendon Case [concerning public-school segregation in Clarendon County]. When it voted nine to nothing against, he turned bitter,” As a member of Clemson’s board of trustees, Byrnes “wouldn’t say yes, and he wouldn’t say no,” about Gantt. His attitude in board meetings was such that some of the board felt that Byrnes might, if Gantt were admitted, make an independent statement that would, considering his prestige, do serious damage to law and order.
  2. State Senator Marion Gressette. Gressette was NO. 2 in seniority in the senate, a man whose sincerity and integrity have never been questioned in the legislature. Every bill that might affect or be affected by a change in the status quo in segregation went to the Gressette Committee. From Calhoun, a Black Belt county in the Low Country, Gressette announced to the press that he was praying every night over the Clemson situation, and it is significant than not even the worst cynic doubted his statement.It was almost solely their confidence in Gressette that cause groups like the Citizens Councils to stay dormant. For Gressette to go along with a plan that called for admitting a Negro to Clemson without some kind of protest would be a severe wrench for Gressette personally and for all the people who had had complete confidence in him as an anti-integration warrior. If Gressette came out publicly against admitting Gantt, all the hitherto latent forces of disorder in the state would come alive.
  3. A. W. Red Bethea. Bethea is the most forthright racist in South Carolina. If Bethea went to Clemson to lead a “protest,” as, in fact, he threatened to do, it would be hard to turn him away. He was both a member of the legislature and a Clemson alumnus.

Cauthen moved quickly to get business support on the line for a public announcement. Eighteen of the state’s top textile executives met for lunch on January 3, 1963. When they had finished their business, Cauthen passed out three-by-five file cards, read them a statement he had drawn up. It read in part: “The major business and industrial interests of the state strongly approve the announced [Note: it had not been announced then] determination of the board of trustees and the administration of Clemson College to maintain law and order at all times.” Cauthen asked the executives to vote Yes or No on the cards, and to hand them in without signing their names. He got 18 Yeses.

The next day the Chamber of Commerce followed suit. Polled by telephone, 70 South Carolina businessmen—52 were members of the Chamber’s board of directors, 12 were former presidents and six were officers—unanimously approved the statement. The state bankers’ association and the broadcasters’ association followed in quick order.

Nowhere in the South in the recent history of racial change had the business community taken such a strong stand in advance. Clemson President Edwards on January 3 had a “very serious” meeting with Gressette and some members of his committee. Without acrimony Edwards made it plain that if he was not supported in admitting Gantt and handling the whole situation with dignity, he would resign. He got down to brass tacks with Gressette about the effect of violence. One of the nation’s largest manufacturers had made overtures about building a multimillion-dollar plant in Gressette’s county.

The state makes its choice

“Senator, if there’s a ruckus at Clemson those people won’t even plant scrub oak in Calhoun County,” Edwards said passionately.

On January 9, Governor Hollings spoke out, in a farewell address to the state legislature.

“As we meet,” he said, “South Carolina is running out of courts. This General Assembly must make clear South Carolina’s choice, a government of laws rather than a government of men. We must move on with dignity. It must be done with law and order. The state’s institutions and all law-enforcement agencies have been charged with their responsibilities.”

When Hollings was halfway through, Bethea rose in his seat, took a step as if to leave, but then changed his mind and sat down. The rest of the join session gave Hollings an ovation. “They were impressed,” a legislative correspondent told me later.

The next night Hollings called Attorney General Robert Kennedy and outlined the security plan which by now had been worked out. He told Kennedy that U. S. marshals would not be needed. Kennedy promised not to send them.

On January 12 Hollings held a meeting in his office for a final review of the security plan. Donald Russell, Jr. son of and assistant to his father, the incoming governor, was present and took a copy for his father to see.

The plan is probably the most complete and carefully thought-out one eve drawn up in the United States to meet the threat of racial violence. None of its details have ever before been made public.

It warned all officers of the law: “The state of South Carolina had assumed responsibility of maintaining law and order as a state function, and the state is capable of carrying it out.” It told them to “tolerate verbal abuse or similar harassment . . . but, when faced with violation of the law, to perform duties with efficiency and dispatch. . . . If trouble occurs,” the instructions said, “remove troublemakers quickly to detention areas set aside for large numbers of persons.”

A S.L.E.D. aircraft was to patrol from the sky, police photographers were to be on the campus to take movies and photographs, the sherifs of adjoining counties were briefed; magistrates were put on duty so that they could issue warrants; fire-fighting and medical equipment was made ready; and a central command post was set up to coordinate all the activity.

An elaborate program of briefing was set up for the Clemson student body and faculty. The student body was to be policed by its own student government. Supervisors were given the right to send students to their individual dormitory rooms.

Students were warned that “gatherings which indicate unnecessary curiosity . . . will be avoided. Counseling, advising and frank discussion should solve most problems. Situations requiring more forthright actions will be dealt with firmly and effectively.”

The courts began to move quickly. On January 22 District Judge C. C. Wyche complied with the Appellate Court ruling and signed the order admitting Gantt to Clemson. That same day State Senator John D. Long of Union County rose in the upper chamber of the legislature on a point of personal order. It was “cowardly” of Clemson to admit Gantt without a fight, he said.

“I would prefer that my children be raised in ignorance—not knowing ‘B’ from Bullsfoot—than to see the cringing and bowing before tyranny,” he cried out.

Word of the debate reached the house, and Bethea and many of his colleagues came over to the senate, packed the galleries. Senator H. H. Jessen of Dorchester County joined in on Long’s side. “South Carolina should not lie down and let itself be walked over,” he said.

The time had come for Gressette to take his stand. He rose and began to speak slowly, sadly. “A lot of things happen in life,” he said. “We have disappointments. Sometimes I feel like making a speech like my two friends made. We have lost this battle but we are engaged in a war. But this war cannot be won by violence or by inflammatory speeches. I have preached peace and good order too long to change my thinking.”

If the legislature how felt that he had failed in his task, Gressette said, he would resign.

When he had finished, the legislature rose and game him an ovation. And Senator Long took the floor again, this time to propose that the members remain on their feet for a standing vote of confidence for Gressette.

Before the day was over Byrnes issues a statement. “Gantt has succeeded in forcing himself into Clemson,” Byrnes said, but he would not be welcomed at the college “by independent men and women of the student body. . . . Thank goodness,” said the former Supreme Court Justice, “not even the Supreme Court has ordered that be done—as yet!”

The Clemson board of trustees met with Governor Russell and the Gressette Committee during the morning to set the strategy for making the formal announcement. At noon word went out to reporters that press conferences would be held separately by Russell, by Gressette and by President Edwards—in quick successive order, at two P.M., at two-thirty and at three.

Promptly at two Russell came through a door into a paint-fresh new executive conference room, handed out a few copies of his statement and read quickly: “We shall meet and solve this problem peaceably, without violence.”

The reporters scampered across the street to the capitol and heard Gressette read: “Peace and good order must be maintained both on and off the college campus.”

Bethea was there, hunched deep down in an upholstered chair, an incongruous figure in the light bark-cloth-papered room. Reported did not have time to stop and ask him for a comment.

It was a short walk from the capitol to the studios of WIS-TV where Edwards was to read his statement before the cameras. A few seconds after the press corps arrived, Edwards emerged, took his position before a microphone and began to talk: The Trustees approved “complete and good-faith” compliance with the court order, and Gantt was to be admitted “exactly as any other transfer student.”

When Edwards finished, someone passed out copies of Cauthen’s statement—the endorsement of law and order by manufacturers, bankers, businessmen and broadcasters. It almost got passed by in the rush.

I had made the rounds with the rest of the newsmen, and, as I started to leave, I saw Brown and Cauthen sitting against a far wall. I went over and Senator Brown offered me a ride back to my hotel. The three of us walked out into the street again.

“Well, John,” said Brown, pulling himself erect, cocking his head on one side and then giving Cauthen a smile, “it’s been a long day, hasn’t it?”

“Yes, it has, senator,” said Cauthen, returning the smile, “but I think everything’s going to be all right now.”

And it was all right.

The post “Integration with Dignity”: The Inside Story of How South Carolina [Convinced White America that it had] Kept the Peace appeared first on A Time To Laugh.

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Here I Raise Another Ebenezer http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2016/10/17/raise-another-ebenezer/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2016/10/17/raise-another-ebenezer/#comments Mon, 17 Oct 2016 23:08:40 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=5146 Ten years. One decade. Ten years ago, my Bob Jones University dean Darren Lawson had called a meeting with me and my division chairman Lonnie Polson over “a student matter.” The two hours that afternoon ten years ago proved that

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ebenezer

Ten years. One decade.

Ten years ago, my Bob Jones University dean Darren Lawson had called a meeting with me and my division chairman Lonnie Polson over “a student matter.”

The two hours that afternoon ten years ago proved that their issues were not at all about a student, but completely and entirely about me.

My mothering was suspect because I had told the campus day care they were not allowed to hit my 2yo son and because I proposed publicly that “the Bible did not mandate spanking.” Think about it — I was saying that God never commanded me to hit my 2yo and 6mo, and Don Johnson, a BJU-orbit Pastor from Canada, was calling for my termination.

Violin
One week in the Fall of 2006, we Lewises talked about the letter “V.” So Sharon Gerber played her violin for us.

My teaching was suspect because I had given a Jeff VanVonderen book to a Board member’s son. The Board member was Bradley Smith, and he would be defrocked in 2010. I offered a devotional book because his son was “tired of trying to measure up.”

My scholarship was suspect. Lawson claimed that publishing my dissertation would “jeopardize” my “time there.” Neither Lawson nor Polson had read my dissertation, but they were willing to plainly threaten me over its publication. In sum, my acting as an autonomous scholar meant I could no longer work at BJU.

Looking back, I knew it was coming. Lawson had already made me the topic of the opening faculty meeting during Inservice. He was already shunning me in the hallways. He had already instructed my departmental friends, Erin Naler and Sharon Murry, to do the same. It was a very difficult year. I remember that feeling of isolation as more and more people refused to even speak to me.

But this October 17 meeting was the nexus of the trauma. It was the beginning of the rest. It was a psychological beating — the first one that would only continue by Gary Weier and Stephen Jones throughout the following months.

It all started with that day.

I would go cry to Erin and Sharon after this meeting. I was sobbing. I got in trouble for that too. I was “gossiping,” Lawson said in a later meeting. I said to him, “What does ‘bear ye one another’s burdens’ mean then?” He was perplexed by my question and said weakly, “I don’t know.”

I thought it was over when we had resigned. It wasn’t.

Danny Brooks would attempt to continue Darren’s project exactly one year later — nine years ago today.

Facebook Status

Under threat from Bob Jones University, I believe, Danny would begin to extract us from participating in the Heritage Bible Church music program. He instructed me to cease my scholarship. “There’s no example in Scripture of what you’re doing,” he falsely claimed. “The prophets?” I retorted in Starbucks as we talked. “There’s no example in Scripture of what you’re doing.” he flatly repeated.

It was his script.

Rather than follow Danny’s order to shut up, I went deeper. I heard Steve Brown’s podcast on Scandalous Freedom in which he proposed

a counterintuitive approach to dealing with pain (and the fear that it may come)… Don’t run away. Run toward it. Face it. Then embrace that demon and kiss it on the lips. If you do, Jesus will be there to set you free.

See that? The pain is a demon, a specter that haunts us and taunts us away from Jesus. Jesus is behind the pain though. Okay, Dr. Brown. I’ll try that. I’ll kiss the hurt on the lips.

And my historical research into Bob Jones University began in earnest. Danny told me to stop, to hide from the pain. And to convince me as much, he kept hitting while repeating “faithful are the wounds of a friend.

That’s not what the verse means, I would learn in time. Because Danny’s “wounds” weren’t faithful. They were sneaky.

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But Jesus was telling me to look the pain straight in the eye and embrace it.

And what did I find in that pain? I discovered what I never believed was possible. I found the Ku Klux Klan. I discovered that Bob Jones, Inc. was founded with Klan support. I read a text from Portland, Oregon — a set of meeting minutes from the Klavern “Sergeant at Arms.”

I broke out in hives.

It sounded just like faculty meetings at Bob Jones University. Exactly the same.

I realized that I had psychological triggers from all my years at BJU, but from especially the last 10 months. Thanks to Darren, walking down a hallway was a trigger. Thanks to Danny, receiving an email from an authority was a trigger.

I signed up for therapy with a licensed counselor in 2010, and she had me deeply *re*member all those events from my final months at BJU. That’s when I gathered all the documents from our exit. I assembled them in chronological order and combed through them all. I remembered what really happened.

You know what I found? God had been taking care of us all along. I had felt like I was drowning in a pool of threats, but He was there. He was always there.

For me, therapy was a confession of my fears and God’s care.

And I got better. I healed.

That experience with therapy, combing through the reasons for my triggers — kissing the pain and fear on the lips — has been the goal in my academic research. There are countless Bob Jones University alumni who have vague and fuzzy memories of what happened to them or of what they heard or of what the handbooks really said. I have determined to help us *re*member the details. Together. To see reality. To see what’s good and what’s bad. To see what’s God and what’s not.

That’s my motivation.

And just like Darren Lawson tried to stop me from acting as an autonomous scholar in 2006 and Danny Brooks tried to stop me from speaking as an authority in 2007, BJU is still trying to stop me.

In 2012, President Stephen Jones irrationally banned me from campus.

In 2013, BJU education faculty member and Greenville County Councilman Sid Cates would target my son.

In 2014, after BJU fired GRACE, BJU Public Relations Director Randy Page and his band of “anonymous callers” would contact North Greenville University to get me fired from my lower-than-the-janitor $1400/semester adjunct position. BJU threatened NGU with retaliation for my Wartburg Watch article and for my interview with the New York Times.

“We are operating at their mercy,” NGU’s EVP Randall Pannell stated.

I now believe what Pannell meant was that people at BJU knew that NGU’s president Jimmy Epting was cheating on his wife, and if they didn’t shut me up, they would go public about that knowledge.

That set of meetings at NGU were another Ebenezer. When Linwood Hagin said to me at the end of our February meeting, “Now I have something unfortunate to bring up.” I did not panic. I grinned. Broadly. I will never forget the confused look on Linwood’s face when I was smiling. He was trying to scare me into learned helplessness just like Darren and Danny. And I knew what was about to happen.

And you know what? God had prepared me. I wasn’t terrified. I felt strong because God had planned ahead.

After those familiar meetings with the NGU administration where I had agreed to “take a pause,” Randy Page — knowing full well what I had agreed to — would attempt to rattle me. He made an imposter Twitter account (the time stamps gave him away). He still does this kind of petty foolishness. Randy and his merry band of hoodlums have called my fellow church members to stir up trouble. They have contacted fellow scholars to persuade them to disinvite me from professional events.

They want me miserable, broken, and silent.

Guess what? They have failed.

But you gotta hear this one.

This past September 2, in the opening Faculty Meeting, Steve Pettit worried aloud with the BJU employees about Satanic attacks. Some attacks, he admitted, were from poorly-raised students. Some were from the ever-more-antagonistic world. But there was one other source. . . .

Guess who?

Some of our greatest assailants have been former staff members.

You betcha. Little ol’ me. I am their “greatest assailant.” I am an ally of Satan.

Greatest Assailants

The Klandamentalist university . . .

who has defined academic freedom as compliance to itself,

who has forced local pastors to wield punishment to students and employees,

who has shunned employees and forbidden them to act as scholars,

and whose employees have targeted that same former employee and her family. . . .

That university claims I am Satan’s tool in assailing them.

Still. Ten years later. They are talking to employees about me and calling me an ally of Satan.

Now — today — I finally understand why those Klavern meeting minutes sounded familiar. Now I get why I broke out in hives.

I sit here in the doctor’s waiting room while my 87.75yo mother has her doctor’s appointment. Her groceries are in the car, and I’ll drive her home and pick up some dinner for her on the way. I’ll unload my groceries and make tacos for my family tonight. I’ll get in a few more hours of work and then spend the remaining time writing a book chapter on the aftermath of Dylann Roof’s massacre. And I might edit some pre-planned posts on my archival site.

But to Bob Jones University, I am simply an ally of Satan himself. And nothing more.

Whatever you call Bob Jones University, it is not an institution of higher learning. Real universities don’t call a whistle-blower, a Christian sister, and a scholar an ally of Satan. There is no integrity in their communication. And academic freedom does not exist.

Nothing’s changed in the last decade at 29614.

But for those of us who have left, we’re doing very well, thank you.

Because God’s got us. Just like He did ten years ago. The Lord has helped us thus far.

And that is my ten-year Ebenezer.


UPDATE: On Saturday, January 28, 2017 a Greenville, South Carolina resident using a Windows Desktop landed on my blog from bing.com through AT&T. He had searched for one tag: “Randy Page.”

That led him to make this comment on this post under the pseudonym, Vlad Putin at RussianCounterIntelligence.Com.US:

“Vlad” has trouble with dates (it was 10 years ago, not 9), and his barb is ironic since his employer is “fixated” on events that happened 90 years ago, isn’t it? But such is the nature of projection.

Given that usually people search for their own names, it’s safe to conclude that Randy Page is now operating under the moniker “Vlad Putin.” First, he impersonates me (see above) and now he impersonates our President’s bestie.

Strange happenings at ol’ Bob Jones University. Perhaps our old friend Mr. Page was monitoring his online reputation because he will be on the job hunt soon. Best of luck to you, old classmate!

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Henry Leonard Kaminski, Rest in Peace, Rise in Glory http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2016/04/03/henry-leonard-kaminski-rest-peace-rise-glory/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2016/04/03/henry-leonard-kaminski-rest-peace-rise-glory/#comments Mon, 04 Apr 2016 01:00:53 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=5104 Henry Leonard Kaminski, 92, of Taylors, South Carolina, met his Savior face-to-face on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 after a long and fulfilling life. Born May 13, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan, he was the son of the late Konstanty and Wladyslawa

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Dad2015

Henry Leonard Kaminski, 92, of Taylors, South Carolina, met his Savior face-to-face on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 after a long and fulfilling life.

dad32 Born May 13, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan, he was the son of the late Konstanty and Wladyslawa (Zaczek) Kaminski.

dadcollege

Mr. Kaminski graduated with honors from Cass Technical High School, Detroit, in 1941. He received his Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1947 and a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University, East Lansing, in 1968. He served in the United States Army in World War II at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

dadfortsheridan
Kaminski is seated sixth from the left.

As a mechanical engineer, Mr. Kaminski was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, but he is best remembered for tirelessly and enthusiastically volunteering in his church and through many organizations such as Child Evangelism Fellowship and The Salvation Army. He served as Sunday School teacher, deacon, and AWANA Commander at Community Baptist Church in South Bend, Indiana; at Carbondale Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma; at Faith Baptist Church in Warren, Michigan; and at Calvary Baptist Church in Roseville, Michigan. Since moving to South Carolina to be near his family, Mr. Kaminski was an active member at Hampton Park Baptist Church in Greenville and Taylors First Baptist Church in Taylors.

daddraper

Mr. Kaminski dearly loved his family, lively conversations, and meeting new people. He spoke five languages: Polish, English, French, Spanish, and German. Even in the last week of his life, he spent time visiting others on his hall and sharing his story in Spanish with his doctor.dadchristmas

He was preceded in death by his brother, also named Henry Leonard Kaminski, his sister Irene Helen Solce, and his granddaughter Elise Alexandria Lewis. Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Lorraine Bernice (Chciuk) Kaminski; his son and daughter-in-law Steven Henry and Sarah Michelle (Lining) Kaminski; his daughter and son-in-law Camille Kaminski and Grant Allen Lewis; his grandchildren Molly Elizabeth Kaminski, Amelia Katherine Kaminski, Camille Anne Kaminski, Isaac Kaminski Lewis, and Gavin Christopher Lewis; all of Taylors, South Carolina. He is also survived by his nieces Laurie (Chrzanowski) Meek of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Camille (Chrzanowski) Wieder of Quakertown, Pennsylvania. We are all honored and blessed to know and love our husband, uncle, dad, and grandfather and will miss him greatly.

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A memorial service will be held at 2:30 P.M. on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at the Chapel of Taylors First Baptist Church at 200 West Main Street, Taylors, South Carolina with the Rev. Dwight Wagner officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorials to be made to The Salvation Army Greenville County, 417 Rutherford Street, Greenville, SC 29609 (www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/greenvillesc) or Child Evangelism Fellowship Greenville/Piedmont District, P.O. Box 575, Taylors, SC 29687 (www.cefgreenville.com).

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Hermes, the Patron of Businessmen, and the Best Policies of an Honest Babbo http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2016/02/17/hermes-and-an-honest-babbo/ Wed, 17 Feb 2016 19:30:37 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=5075 Well now I haven’t seen you in a coon’s age. How are ya? Come on in here. I was just getting ready for the Women on Mission luncheon. Makin’ my hummin’bird cake. Have you had that? Now do not tell

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Please welcome again our guest blogger, Daisy Lee Archibald, a story-teller from the Wiregrass. She asks that you judge her words as a work of fiction.
Please welcome again our guest blogger, Daisy Lee Archibald, a story-teller from the Wiregrass. She asks that you judge her words as a work of fiction.

Well now I haven’t seen you in a coon’s age. How are ya? Come on in here. I was just getting ready for the Women on Mission luncheon. Makin’ my hummin’bird cake. Have you had that? Now do not tell me you haven’t. No good Southern cook leaves that out of the repertoire. Surely your mama has made it. You can help me ice the layers.

Can you believe this weather? I thought tornados in the summer were bad enough, but an ice storm? It already nipped the forsythia.

I hope you’re not back for some of my strawberry preserves because I am tellin’ you it’s all gone. Every last jar. I tried to make more this summer than last but my arthritis was just a-flarin’ so bad.

How’s your mama? That’s good to hear. Old friends are the best friends, you know. And your sister? Has she got babies now? Do you have any pictures on your contraption there? Let me get my glasses . . . .

My grandson is always showin’ me things on his gizmo, and I tell you I can’t even focus on it proper. But I still like to see what I can.

I like pictures I can hold and pin to my ice box. Like those up there. From the regular old-fashioned mail. Isn’t she a lovely thing? Look at those curls! Just a princess.

It’s sure nice of Sal to send them to me even though we have no relation whatsoever. I guess he’s proud of his little family. He’s a kind man, I gather. Powerful, now. But kind, just the same. I think he’s happy.

He’s happy ’cause he’s honest. A little princess will do that to a man.

You know what I read about him in the paper last year? I kid you not — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy actually sent this little princess a leather-bound, pocket-size copy of the U.S. Constitution with her name embossed on it in 24k gold. Like it was the Holy Scriptures or somethin’. I declare. . . .

That’s right — you and I were talking about Sal last time, weren’t we? You need to come more often! Oh dear me, now isn’t that a coincidence? I remember now. Here I go tellin’ stories again. That is not what I want to be known for.

I guess, when you’re here in this big ol’ empty place and livin’ alone after having a house-full, I guess you do prattle on like I do.

That’s right — we were talking about brothers and turkeys last time. Mmm-mmm that was one good turkey that Christmas.

Two turkey brothers preenin’ and feudin’ . . . . Sal doesn’t really mention my friend anymore. I s’pose he has completely molted now after puffin’ up his feathers to his brother. But he’s at least got his health, I s’pose.

Theirs was supposed to be a dream, a family dream. Jet-settin’ and fine-dinin’ and antique-buyin’ — even if it was tee-totalin’. So they say. They were going to be “co-presidents.” Such fools, those boys. His sister is so sick. And his brother — the feudin’ brother — is just gone. Absent. Poof! Never to be found. Like the turkey got run over by a truck and the buzzards took over.

Vanished.

Here’s the second layer now. I cut it flat already. Help me set it straight.

My Great Uncle George told me a vanishin’ story when I was a girl. His bedtime stories never actually put me to sleep. They keyed me up. Grannie would scold him, but he never minded.

Once he told me about his encounter with the Alabama White Thang.

Alabama White Thang

Now stop your gigglin’. Don’t let all that fancy city learnin’ make you forget the country currency of a good story.

George Washington Davidson was as honest as his namesake, my Grannie Narcissa Jane used to say. So I guess I should believe this story as true as if it were embossed in gold and carried in my pocketbook.

My Uncle George and his kin were avid coon hunters and spent many a night in the woods. They had several close encounters with some kind of creature covered in white hair which stunk worse than a skunk, they say.

Some used to say that White Thang screeched like a woman, but George never heard the scream himself. He said the creature’s voice was low and stoney. Said it looked like a lion. Somewhere betwixt a lion and a dog. Bushy. All white with slick, long hair.

And yes, he got a good close look.

George had been huntin’ a coon one night right into the swamp.

Now I don’t recommend coon for eatin’, if you must know. Stick with biscuits and gravy. Coon is greazy and slimy and not worth the trouble. But hunger didn’t know better.

So George had been huntin’ that ol’ coon right into the swamp. So intent he was on gettin’ that dinner that he slipped and dropped his ol’ trusty huntin’ rifle right in the slimy water. George began this new hunt for the rifle in earnest, this time at the bottom of the swamp. With only the moonlight and his wits, he quickly lost track of time and his direction. And he panicked and cried out to the solitary darkness, “I can’t afford to buy another, and now my children will go hungry. What can I do?”

Only it wasn’t solitary out there. And it wasn’t altogether dark neither. George heard someone wade out behind him. He turned . . . expectin’ his kin.

Only it wasn’t his kin. It was Alabama White Thang. Right there. Tall and bushy. No eyes. No ears. At least none that you could see. Just a muscular 7-foot mound of white hair.

The creature ducked in the swamp, as if he were more comfortable in the deep than in the air, and pulled out a gun, glistering yellow in the moonlight. As sure as we’re standin’ here with this cake, Uncle George promised me that gun was gold! “Is this your gun?” the creature rumbled.

Now George, as honest as his namesake, replied, “No sir, it’s not. Mine is plain. With an old wooden stock.”

The creature disappeared into the water again and raised his arm above the water, holdin’ a different gun. This second swamp gun was the shiniest of silvers. Sterlin’, my uncle gathered. “Is this your gun?” the creature asked again.

“No sir, it’s not. My barrel is dull and made of steel.” George replied. Too honest to say different.

A third dunk in the water and this time George saw the creature darting back and forth like a giant white eel, slick and lithe. Finally he rose with the humdrum gun. “Is this your gun?”

“That’s the one! Thank you, sir.”

As White Thang stepped toward George to hand him the rifle, he handed him three — the ordinary rifle as well as the gold and silver ones.

The creature said as plain as day, “My friend, your honesty deserves a reward. Take all three guns home with you, and your children will never go hungry again!”

Uncle George was so thunderstruck he was numb. He leaned up against swamp tree cypress knees and fell asleep right there, clutchin’ his guns and vowin’ to himself to remember each event in stark detail.

The huntin’ party found him the next mornin’. There at that tree. Clutchin’ the gold, silver, and regular rifles. If he hadn’t had those guns, they would have ignored him entirely. But there was proof. Right there.

Now George had a brother, James Madison Davidson — another presidential namesake — who was powerful jealous of his brother’s fortune. Uncle Maddie wasn’t as honest as George, Grannie said. “Why should my foolish brother have better luck than me?” Maddie groused. “Tonight I’ll try the same trick and come home wealthy too!”

Maddie purposed to return to that swamp the next night and get his own golden rifle. And return he did. But he tossed his only rifle right from the bank and made a powerful fuss so that any creature of the deep could hear.

I always imagined that White Thang came to just get him to hush. The creature appeared and scoured the bottom of the swamp like a catfish. He brought up a glistering golden rifle, “Is this the gun you lost?” he growled.

“Yes! That’s it!! Uncle Maddie gushed.

And the creature plopped the rifle right back in the swamp. “For your dishonesty, you’ll have no rifle at all.” And he vanished just like the guns, leavin’ Uncle Maddie poorer than ever.

Maddie never hunted again.

Here’s the last layer now. Make sure you don’t get crumbs in the icin’.

Foolish story, isn’t it? I would lie awake after hearin’ it, thinkin’, “If you are so honest, Uncle George, why did you tell me such a tale? You are as poor as me.”

Grannie assured me that there was more truth in fables than in facts sometimes. I s’pose she’s right. The truth is in the lesson, not the details, she’d say. Repeatin’ a pretentious lie like Maddie will make the things you need the most — practical guns or mythical helpers — vanish altogether in the deep.

I think honesty is being friendly within your self. That sounds funny, don’t it? But that’s what I learned from Uncle George. The friendly thing that talks between your inside and your outside, that brings together the real you and the you you wish to be. That friendliness keeps the real you from vanishing.

Maddie wasn’t friendly with that thing. Uncle George was. Sal is, I’d surmise.

I’m happy for Sal and his new husband. He’s a handsome young thing. They are living a lovely dream with a beautiful princess in a castle down by the sea.

And they don’t get ice down there.

Daisy Lee Archibald lives in Castleberry, Alabama. Miss Daisy enjoys canning, crocheting, Bible reading, and getting ready for the Strawberry Festival.

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Andrew Cobb Erwin, Speech before the 1924 Democratic National Convention http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2015/11/24/andrew-cobb-erwin/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2015/11/24/andrew-cobb-erwin/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:08:05 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=5061 Andrew Cobb Erwin Delegate from Athens, Georgia Speech before the 1924 Democratic National Convention Ladies and gentlemen of the Convention: I am a delegate from Georgia. I am proud of it. To my mind, the Ku Klux issue is the

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Andrew Cobb Erwin
Delegate from Athens, Georgia
Speech before the 1924 Democratic National Convention

Andrew Cobb Erwin

Ladies and gentlemen of the Convention: I am a delegate from Georgia. I am proud of it. To my mind, the Ku Klux issue is the most vital one which the Democratic Party has to determine. You have two courses that you may follow. You can, by adopting the report of the majority, evade the issue, which would, in effect, give your approval to the activities of this organization. (Cries of “No, no.”) Follow this course and you may prepare for an ignominious defeat at the polls in November. (Applause,) Meet the issue squarely, as the people of this Country expect you to meet it, and a glorious victory will be yours. (Applause.)

I come from Georgia, and we have been trying for five years to get you Yankees to talk about this proposition. (Applause.)

You hear on every side, in the lobbies of the hotels, in the halls, and upon the floor of this Convention, ‘that we should take no action relating to the Klan any more than we should take action relating to the Masons or Elks or any other secret organization.’ I cannot bring myself to this view of it; I have not heard of the Masons or Elks moving from State Convention to State Convention, from National Convention to National Convention, regardless of party, a highly paid staff of officials, lobbyists and spying investigators, with a view of controlling the acts of the delegates chosen to represent the people of this Country. And just so soon as they do, then I favor a plank denouncing them, or any other secret society, in as strong words as a human hand can write. (Applause.)

As has been so ably pointed out by the distinguished speakers who have addressed you, the Constitution of the United States guarantees every person in America the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. It insures equal protection to all citizens, regardless of race or religion. The Constitution of every State in the Union preserves to each individual the right of freedom of conscience. The Ku Klux Klan makes a direct attack on these vital principles of our fundamental law. Its insidious activities have spread discord and distrust throughout this land of peace and harmony. However worthy the motives of its adherents may be, it constitutes the most destructive element in America today. The time has passed to temporize with these misguided people. They have challenged every citizen who cherishes and respects the Constitution. I, for one, am ready to accept that challenge. I am a Protestant; I adhere to the tenets of that faith; but it would ill become me to deny to others that for which my ancestors fought. I come from a State that was founded as a haven for the oppressed, where all men might be free to breathe the air of religious liberty. I say that those Georgians who do not take a stand against this hooded menace, which prowls, in the darkness, that dares not show its face, is not worthy of his ancestry; and I call upon you, my fellow-Georgians, in this Convention, to vote for the minority report of the Committee, I call upon you, my fellow-delegates from the South, in the name of that hallowed Roman Catholic priest, Father Ryan, the Poet Laureate of the Southern Confederacy, whose deathless verse you learned at your mother’s knee, I call upon you in the name of that loyal Jewish Patriarch, Judah P. Benjamin, who stood steadfast by his chieftain, Jefferson Davis, even as the star of the Southern Confederacy was declining, to purge from your hearts this senseless prejudice. To my fellow-delegates from the entire Country I invoke the memory of those Americans of other races than your own who died with your own kindred on the fields of France. I implore my fellow-delegates from Georgia to vote with other delegates in this Convention to erase the stigma that has been placed upon our State. Let us show the world that no American worthy of the name will bend his knee to this un-American and un-Christian thing.

Especially do I adjure you fellow-Georgians to speak out like the men and women I know you to be and to demonstrate that Georgia is still entitled to wear her ancient motto: “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation.”

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God’s Arrived http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2015/08/28/gods-arrived/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2015/08/28/gods-arrived/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 12:51:24 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=5035 When one of his clients showed up on my BJU Hall of Shame, local counselor Jonathan Hagan mansplained me with, “I get it. Roar.” No. No, you don’t get it. You don’t. Because it’s not about me or my speaking

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When one of his clients showed up on my BJU Hall of Shame, local counselor Jonathan Hagan mansplained me with, “I get it. Roar.”

No. No, you don’t get it. You don’t.

Because it’s not about me or my speaking up. At all. It’s about the hypocrisy of powerful evangelical “leaders” holding themselves to a “lower” standard that those under them.

If there’s anything we’ve seen in the last month, it’s that the Great and Powerful Evangelical Oz is just a con artist. Josh Duggar and the latest local scandal with Southern Baptist college (former) President Jimmy Epting prove that.

A friend pointed this out to me a couple days ago — Josh Duggar didn’t use a condom with the woman he paid for sex because … Duggar. You know what that means? The Quiverfull movement has nothing to do with God designing families or filling the earth with God’s army. That’s a con. The Quiverfull movement is about nothing but the uninhibited satisfaction of a powerful man’s pleasure.

I can’t work up the sympathy and faux-piety that fundagelicalism tells us rank-and-file we should have in the the Duggar and Epting situations. They tell us that to shut us up, you know that, right? They tell us that to create fear-uncertainty-and-dread. It’s a cosmic Damocles Sword hanging over our heads that makes us peons say, “Oh, I feel so sad. I must pray.”

Yes. Pray. Sad is okay. But don’t distract from what’s going on here — we got duped.

When Hagan said “I get it. Roar.” he was sarcastically attempting to put me in my place. He was trying to silence me. To shame me by claiming my autonomous action was the problem. He was trying to put the “agon” — the conflict — as between little me and a big and powerful god.

That’s the con. It’s not true.

It’s not little ol’ me vs. big ol’ god of thunder.

When Jesus saw that the Temple had been perverted into a den of thieves, He didn’t go around to each of the people trying to just buy a pigeon and mansplain them into silence. He did NOT say “I get it. You got cheated. Just pray.” He didn’t say, “Yeah, well, you sin too, you know!” He didn’t tell them, “Hush.”

No, He turned over tables. He got out whips. And they weren’t directed at the rank-and-file just trying to do worship.

They were directed at the con men.

God’s arrived, folks. But He’s got our back.

jesus-cleansing-temple

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Some say, “Let the Boss decide.” http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2015/08/27/some-say-let-the-boss-decide/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2015/08/27/some-say-let-the-boss-decide/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:55:33 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=5023 In February 2014, I was reprimanded by my North Greenville University supervisor (now) Dean Linwood Hagin for “comments” I “had made on social media” regarding Bob Jones University. He told me to “stay out of the controversy” and refused to

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In February 2014, I was reprimanded by my North Greenville University supervisor (now) Dean Linwood Hagin for “comments” I “had made on social media” regarding Bob Jones University. He told me to “stay out of the controversy” and refused to explain any further.

I spoke with (then) Executive VP Randall Pannell the next week. He did bring up my peer-reviewed Kenneth Burke Journal article from 2008 as proof of my problematic “social media” presence. But peer-reviewed journals are not a twitter feed and Dr. Pannell knows that. So this never made sense to me.

I covered all the details of these events in my series, Some Dark Corner in Our Land, in May 2014.

I audio-recorded that meeting with Pannell. And I listened to the recording again this afternoon.

After I heard the news this afternoon that Paul Epting had exposed his father (former) President Jimmy Epting’s affair with NGU Executive VP Keli Sewell (also here), I remembered Pannell’s words from March 2014. His comment comes in our conversation after he listed my 20/20 appearance and the American Prospect article about BJU’s sex abuse scandal as not really his concern.

Let me repeat that: 20/20 and the American Prospect were not his concern. His actual concern was my blog. The conversation continues like this:

Pannell: The things I’ve heard most about are the blog. And uh again . . .

Lewis: Now see, I haven’t posted on my own blog in . . . in weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks . . . months. So that’s kind of mysterious.

Pannell: This is in the realm of hearsay [since] I haven’t seen it myself. But I do remember one thing is like . . . I think it was in the conversation with the President . . . I think it was about one of the Joneses having an affair.

Pannell was being exceptionally cautious with me in that statement. But let me translate the Southern code into Detroit truth:

President Jimmy Epting was especially concerned, among all the things you have written, that you publicly stated that Bob Jones Jr. had an affair with his employee. 

You can see the entire article here. The exact words were these:

Ruth Flood

Then there’s Ruth Flood, a willowy and pretty speech teacher whose elocutionary talent caught Bob Jones Sr’s eye. Freshly graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Taylor, she joined the Bob Jones College speech faculty and often played opposite Bob Jones Jr. in his lead Shakespearean roles. In 1935, Bob Jones Jr. invited her to join him on an overseas trip to England to “study” with Fanny Bradshaw at her “Shakespeare Fortnight Hostelry.” It was less a study trip than a “drama camp” for bored rich kids whose daddies could afford the luxury ocean cruise overseas during the Great Depression. The next school year, according to BJU’s official history, Ms. Flood was suddenly struck with a “more than nine-month” “physical and emotional breakdown” that drove her back home to Ohio. She did return to BJC, spoke in Chapel, and was honored in a 1938 yearbook dedication, only to leave behind all things related to BJC that May. Bob Jones, Jr. would marry Fannie Mae Holmes within a few weeks. Ruth never married, and, unless a person born in the last half of 1936 has something more to tell us, Ruth’s story died with her in 2002.

I have evidence for every last bit of that. The sentence that bothered Jimmy Epting I gleaned from Bob Jones University’s own official history.

I am proud of that article, and it’s just a hint of the manuscript to come.

As the recorded March 2014 conversation continues with Pannell, I defend myself. Rather than being concerned with the hearsay that people were asserting about me and my husband, Pannell was clearly more concerned about the conclusions people might make about powerful administrators of local Greenville county universities.

And now it seems we understand exactly why.

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Bob Jones University Rewrites Recent History to Avoid Federal Investigation, Part 2 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2014/12/10/bob-jones-university-rewrites-recent-history-avoid-federal-investigation-part-2/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2014/12/10/bob-jones-university-rewrites-recent-history-avoid-federal-investigation-part-2/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:30:17 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=4927 In sum, BJU hired GRACE because the Feds have put colleges “on notice” for their handing of sexual assault. That is the initial fact accidentally revealed in BJU’s revision of the timeline. What other facts does Bob Jones University fudge? Below

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0614_coverIn sum, BJU hired GRACE because the Feds have put colleges “on notice” for their handing of sexual assault. That is the initial fact accidentally revealed in BJU’s revision of the timeline.

What other facts does Bob Jones University fudge? Below I will present each fact that BJU states, and then prove the actual truth about that event. I will add other relevant facts within the timeline to give the context. You may view a google docs version of this timeline here or a PDF document here.

Originally published November 12, 2014

UPDATE: 10 Dec 2014, GRACE announced that its 300-page report on their comprehensive investigation of Bob Jones University will be released at 11:00AM EST on December 11. They include a trigger warning for those reading. BJU, on the other hand and just like they have done for 100 years, minimizes any offense they “may” have caused.

Timeline of Events The following is a timeline of events related to BJU’s proactive initiatives to review its policies and responses regarding abuse and neglect. Future events will include revision of outreach policies, a Spring 2014 Child Safety Workshop, the publication of an ombudsman report, and a number of other initiatives.
The Date Their Statement The Truth
2011 02 04 Gary Weier announces severe cuts in BJU employees and programs.
2011 05 00 Ernie Willis Trial in New Hampshire where prominent BJU pastor and Board member Chuck Phelps testifies. BJU Chancellor Bob Jones III would defend Chuck Phelps’ actions since the forcible rape of a minor was actually “consensual rape.”
2011 07 01 Marshall Franklin is hired as BJU’s Chief Operations Officer.
2011 09 01 Abuse on College Campuses
In the fall of 2011 when the national news seemed filled with reports of the mishandling of sexual abuse, especially on college campuses, Bob Jones University leadership wanted to make certain that BJU’s policies and procedures for handling reports of sexual abuse both comply with every aspect of the law and ensure a loving, scripturally based response to those involved.
A survey of Google news in that time period and other newspaper archives reveals no such news stories. There is one story, however, that explains the date. The Christian Science Monitor reported on Sept 2 that “The Obama administration is holding colleges’ feet to the fire when it comes to how they handle reports of sexual violence and harassment.” This is what is on BJU’s mind, and their timeline reveals the motivation for the GRACE investigation and their maniacal control of the timeline. The Monitor reports that “all colleges are now on notice that they must ensure they’re responding promptly and fairly to reports of sexual misconduct. Federal officials have launched investigations based on information that concerns them about certain campuses.”
2011 09 20 In September, 2011 several of us discovered that BJU’s employee handbook‘s statement on reporting sexual abuse did not comply with South Carolina law. It put “first contact” and investigation in the hands of the BJU employees instead of in the hands of the legal system.
2011 09 22 Several alumni wrote elected officials in the South Carolina and BJU administrators pointing out the lack of compliance.
2011 09 28 On September 28, 2011, Bob Jones University’s Carol Keirstead emailed all the BJU employees with the following statement from Marshall Franklin and Gary Weier, attaching the newly revised, 6-page sexual abuse reporting policy:>>> Communications (Carol Keirstead) 9/28/2011
>>>Faculty and Staff,
Attached is BJU’s revised Sexual Abuse Policy and Procedures. The original policy, including the section on the policy in the 2011-2012 Faculty/Staff Handbook, was written in consultation with legal counsel and met state reporting requirements. Within the last two weeks, some of our constituents pointed out weaknesses in the wording. When we receive input such as this, we evaluate to see what we can learn and/or how we can make something better. We now have clarified this policy so that it not only meets legal requirements but also is a best practices policy. It is important that we verify that each employee has received and read the policy. Please print the two forms at the end of the policy—-Statement of Life Practices and Child Abuse Policy and Procedures Acknowledgment—-complete the forms and send them to the Human Resources office by October 7, 2011.
We suggest you retain a copy of the signed forms as well as a copy of the policy for your records.Marshall Franklin, Executive Vice President for Operations
Gary Weier, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
2011 11 01 On November 1, 2011, Camille Lewis pointed out that the infamous Chuck Phelps, defender of convicted rapist Ernie Willis and punisher of a minor rape victim, had been put back on the Bob Jones University Cooperating Board of Trustees in December 2010. There was some doubling-down about when exactly Chuck had been appointed, but nonetheless by November 4th, Laurie Moody had drafted a petition to get Phelps removed from the BJU Board. 1222 people signed that petition — over twice as many as signed the Please Reconcile petition.
2011 11 05 On November 5, 2011 Jerry Sandusky was arrested on multiple counts of child sex abuse.
2011 11 15 Bob Jones III preached about the Penn State case in Chapel, assuring the “University Family” that Bob Jones University does not sweep such matters under the rug.
2011 11 16 Christopher Peterman started Do Right BJU, a student-led effort to speak up for the victims of sexual abuse at Bob Jones University and to push toward Chuck Phelps’ resignation. Camille Lewis pointed out a Clery violation.
2011 12 01 Lyn Riddle of the Greenville Journal reported that Chuck Phelps had resigned from the Board. December 2 was the semi-annual board meeting.
2011 12 03 BJU announced that it was pursuing SACS accreditation.
2011 12 12 Do Right BJU successfully accomplished the first protest on the campus of Bob Jones University ever. Several alumni joined those very few and very brave students.
2011 12 23 Appointment of External Committee
An external committee consisting of a local medical doctor and at least three people from the community experienced in counseling sexual abuse victims was formed in early 2012. As a result of the review and recommendations by this committee, in the summer of 2012, BJU instituted a new Abuse and Neglect Policy, simplifying the language and clarifying the process for reporting abuse. The committee recommended the University appoint a full-time counselor to work with students who have been abused, and that counselor was put in place. In addition, the committee recommended that the University appoint an independent ombudsman to review past instances in in which it was alleged that the University did not serve a victim well or did not comply with the law in handling reports of abuse in the past.
The statement that BJU instituted a “new Abuse and Neglect Policy” in the summer of 2012 is inaccurate. The initial revision came in September 2011 as admitted by CCO Carol Keirstead’s own email (see above).The date BJU lists in its timeline for this committee formation was the Friday before Christmas break in 2011, but the text accompanying the date describes the committee as forming in “early 2012.” This is a small oversight.BJU has never explicitly named the members of this powerful “external committee.” The listing of the speakers for Jim Berg’s “Sexual Abuse and the Church” conference in November 2012 might be a clue as to the identities of this “external committee,” but this is only a guess.

  • BJU alum (’91) and Bible Faculty Member Ken Casillas
  • BJU alum (’67) Bob Crawford
  • BJU alum (’92) local lawyer, and registered agent for many of BJU’s corporations Daniel K. Hicks
  • Greenville County Police Sex Crimes Investigator Sergeant Ty Bracken Miller
  • Self-published expert on abuse, Debi Pryde asserts that divorce is never an option for the believing woman.
  • BJU alum (’93 and ‘96) and former Bible Faculty David Shumate.
  • BJU Alum (’94) and Political Communications Consultant Pamela Snyder
2012 05 25 External Committee Findings Posted
View the findings originally published as a news item on the BJU website.
In this “findings” document, the “external committee” recommends that BJU “will communicate publicly the University’s philosophical position on abuse.” BJU finally publishes this public document on July 6, 2014 (not May 25, 2012).
2012 08 01 Full-time abuse counselor added to staff
As recommended by the external committee, a full-time counselor was added to our counseling staff specifically to work with students who have been abused.
Ms. Colleen Reilly, BJU ‘03, is this featured counselor. One student has offered the notes taken under Ms. Reilly’s counseling. Reilly is neither qualified nor licensed.
2012 08 06 New Abuse and Neglect Policy Posted
A new Abuse and Neglect Policy with clarified wording was posted to BJU intranet. South Carolina’s reporting requirements and reporting and prevention best practices helped shape this document. It is readily accessible to the entire University community via BJU’s intranet.
This new policy document provided to the employees can be viewed here. The paragraph before their “abuse and neglect policy,” however, directly contradicts the values expressed in the reporting policy:“University HarmonyA primary goal for the work environment at BJU is harmony among employees. Constructive criticism is welcome, but destructive criticism hinders the goal of internal harmony. Employees should address issues of concern with the appropriate management and leadership team member. Employees are not to discuss internal matters or share BJU-originated documents with anyone outside BJU. If an employee does not agree with a decision concerning a specific issue, he or she should graciously agree to abide by the decision or, if this is not possible, resign from his or her position with BJU.”
2012 08 17 The Greenville Journal adopted a different tact than its previous “watchdog” approach. They featured Stephen Jones as the new and improved president, rising from the “ashes.” In that article, Stephen Jones describes the Tina Anderson case as “really old news.”
2012 09 00 Intercollegiate Sports begins.
2012 09 28 WSPA’s Chris Cato reported that Bob Jones University had the worst Clery report statistics in the UpstateCarol Keirstead tried to mollify the report by saying that it was just one perpetrator of the nine “forcible sex offenses” on campus. Keirstead “reassures” us, however, that the young man will be allowed to return to campus in January 2013 — a real bonus for all the other alleged sexual assault perpetrators in fundamentalism.
2012 10 01 Chancellor and Board Chairman Bob Jones III alerts the Board of Trustees to the media story as an attack from “the devil” (also available here). He expresses BJU’s desire to protect the identity of the (alleged) perpetrator. He claims the student simply “brushed up against nine female students” and that he spent the night in jail.
2012 11 06 “Sexual Abuse and the Church” Conference
A Bob Jones University Seminary conference to help pastors, church leaders and seminarians recognize, prevent and appropriately respond to sexual abuse and minister to its victims. Special outside speakers included an investigator who advocates for physically and sexually abused children, a licensed attorney, a staff member of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, among several others.
The presentations from that Sexual Abuse conference are available here.
2012 11 08 Ombudsman Announced
Dr. Jones briefed the Board of Trustees and entered into an agreement with GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to begin a comprehensive, independent investigation of any complaints concerning BJU’s response to individuals who reported they had been abused. The stated purpose of the GRACE investigation is to identify instances in which BJU may need to ask forgiveness of those it underserved and to provide recommendations for improving BJU procedures to ensure an appropriate response that complies to S.C. law going forward. The president’s charge was also published on the BJU website.On Jan. 10, 2013, both GRACE and BJU posted a link to a survey on their websites. Individuals who felt they had been underserved when they reported to a BJU representative they had been abused could use the survey to inform GRACE of their complaint. Others could use it to provide information they wanted to communicate to GRACE. In addition to posting the link to the survey on the BJU website, BJU included an article about the GRACE survey in the Winter 2012/2013 issue of BJU Magazine. The article encouraged recipients to access the link on the website to fill out the survey. In addition, BJU sent emails and/or letters to former students, faculty, staff and alumni for whom BJU has contact information informing them of the survey. The survey was to be open until April 30, 2013, although GRACE indicated it would review survey input received after that date.
This same day the Greenville News‘s Ron Barnett remembered the past year’s conflicts in his article announcing GRACE’s appointment.Please note that BJU, too, is still using the weasel word “underserved.”
2012 11 16 Greenville Journal‘s Cindy Landrum reports on G.R.A.C.E.’s investigation, describing the Chuck Phelps resignation as a catalyst.
2012 11 23 Two weeks later, the Journal‘s Cindy Landrum reprints Carol Keirstead’s latest statement, unchecked and unvetted. The first statement is plainly inaccurate:The Penn State University sex abuse scandal prompted Bob Jones University to rewrite its sexual abuse policy and hire an independent ombudsman to review the university’s handling of reports of abuse not connected to the school.I compare all of Carol Keirstead’s mis-statements here.
2012 12 06 Joseph Bartosch is promoted to Chief Branding Officer.
2013 01 00 G.R.A.C.E. investigation begins.
2013 02 07 ABWE fires G.R.A.C.E. after firing its president and saying that they’ve already done everything that needs to be done.
2013 02 08 BJU hires South Carolina GOP darling, Randy Page, has its Public Relations Director.
2013 02 18 BJU Alum Stu Epperson (Salem Communications) buys BJU’s radio station, WMUU.
2013 03 12 Joseph Bartosch plans Gold Rush Daze Faculty Body ending with students chanting, “We Love You, Dr. Stephen.”
2013 03 22 Joseph Bartosch suspended (and then eventually fired) for his prostitution conviction from 1991. Bob Jones III blasts “bloggers who ruin lives.”
2013 09 13 Larry Jackson is appointed to BJU’s CEO.
2013 09 20 Awareness Training Announced
In September of 2013, BJU engaged the services of Ministry Safe.
2013 09 27 Required Training & Certification for Student Outreach Begins
We provided Sexual Abuse Awareness Training to all students involved in Outreach Ministries and in Education, Nursing and Ministerial majors. Training was held on Sept. 27 & 28.
2013 11 06 Stephen Jones initially blogs on Google+ about “lust.”
2013 11 11 Stephen Jones begins a special topics “Homosexuality and the Bible” chapel week.
2013 11 11 Required Training & Certification for Employees and Student Body begins
We provided 19 sexual abuse awareness training sessions for all 3,950 faculty, staff and students and will continue to provide sexual abuse awareness training to all students and employees in subsequent semesters. Training was held Nov. 11-13 and Dec. 3-4.
2013 11 13 Gary Weier goes on the Janet Mefferd show and insists that “BJU is safe for families.”
2013 11 14 Al Jazeera America reports on sexual assault at Bob Jones University.
2013 11 25 BJU announces that it is closing its campus hospital and selling its medical clinic.
2013 12 04 Stephen Jones initially blogs that “marriage isn’t the answer to a habit of lusting.”
2013 12 13 BJU Board of Trustees requires Stephen Jones to resign citing “health issues.” His medical leave will begin 6 months in the future.
2014 01 24 Stephen Jones and Larry Jackson terminated the GRACE contract.
2014 01 27 Termination of contract
BJU provided GRACE a letter terminating the contract and requesting a meeting to renew discussion of areas of concern. This culminated in face-to-face meetings February 18-19 in Lynchburg, Va. to jointly determine if there was a way to resolve differences and move forward to complete the project.
GRACE receives the letter from BJU dated 1/24/2014 terminating the contract.
2014 02 06 GRACE announces that BJU terminated the contract on January 24.
2014 02 11 New York Times reports on BJU’s firing GRACE.
2014 02 18-19 This is the date BJU claims it met with GRACE in Lynchburg.
2014 02 20 Gary Weier and Marshall Franklin conduct a BJU Faculty-Staff Meeting in which Gary announces that he and Stephen Jones are about to leave for China “within an hour” after the meeting. Korean churches report the next Sunday, however, that Stephen is actually at their churches. The Faculty-Staff meeting minutes are changed to reflect that fact.
2014 02 25 Reinstatement of contract After face-to-face meetings February 18-19 discussing BJU’s concerns, BJU provided GRACE a letter reinstating the contract and looks forward to completing the project.
2014 02 26 New York Times reports on BJU’s re-hiring GRACE.
2014 02 26 BJU PR Director Randy Page calls whistle-blowers’ employers to intimidate them into silence.
2014 03 07 Marshall Franklin explains the “confusion” over BJU’s firing and re-hiring GRACE to BJU employees.
2014 05 05 American Prospect reports on the “next sex abuse scandal” at Bob Jones University. Randy Page refuses to make an official statement.
2014 05 09 Steve Pettit becomes the fifth President of Bob Jones University.
2014 06 00 Steve Pettit announces that GRACE will finish its investigation by August 31st. GRACE frames it as follows:
“Assuming that no unanticipated interruptions occur, the GRACE Team currently expects to complete and release the Final Report no later than August 31st.”
2014 06 26 BJU publishes this timeline of events and then moved the information to this URL.
2014 07 06 BJU finally adds additional reports promised on May 25, 2012.
2014 08 13 GRACE delays final report until December.
2014 10 02 BJU submits their 14,000-page SACS application.
2014 10 24 GRACE announces report will be delivered to BJU near the end of November and will be released to the public in the middle of December.
2014 12 10 BJU offers its apologies to the mere 40 victims who “may” have been offended by their insensitivity. GRACE announces that the report will be released on December 11 and includes a trigger warning for its readers.

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Bob Jones University Rewrites Recent History to Ward Off Federal Investigation http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2014/11/10/bob-jones-university-rewrites-recent-history-ward-federal-investigation/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2014/11/10/bob-jones-university-rewrites-recent-history-ward-federal-investigation/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:30:28 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=4886 So I have spent a month establishing the pattern from 1933: when the going gets tough, BJU adds more deflecting glitter to their Show Window. But BJU didn’t just try this hard-sell, diversionary tactic 80 years ago. They did it on Larry

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20141016PettitSo I have spent a month establishing the pattern from 1933: when the going gets tough, BJU adds more deflecting glitter to their Show Window.

But BJU didn’t just try this hard-sell, diversionary tactic 80 years ago. They did it on Larry King in 2000. They did it with race in 2008. They did it with race in 2014. They did it with the reporting of sexual assault in 2012. They did it in 2013. This is their habit — their current habit.

What does this have to do with now?

In January 2013, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) began its comprehensive investigation into Bob Jones University’s handling of sexual assault. In June 2014, BJU President Pettit and GRACE confirmed an August 31st deadline for the final report. That deadline would be delayed until this December due to a death in the family for a member of the GRACE team.

But think about it — in June, BJU assumed that August 31st would be GRACE’s final report. So what was their move? Their preemptive strike?

On June 26, 2014, under the authority of President Pettit, BJU’s current revision of history appeared. You can go check it out for yourself. But they had it all prepared to beat GRACE to the punch — to show they they were already doing what they anticipated GRACE would recommend.

We alumni have wondered since BJU announced the investigation why they hired GRACE. This was so completely out-of-character for Bob Jones Inc. What could prompt this? Many wondered if alumni outcry was enough to convince BJU to hire GRACE. We all remember the Please Reconcile effort from 2008 where BJU outright insisted (lied) that the alumni petition had nothing to do with their “Statement on/about Race.” Alumni and students got a little more traction in 2011 and persuaded BJU to remove Chuck Phelps from the BJU Board of Trustees. Yet BJU predictably insisted that neither they nor Chuck Phelps were at fault but the lies on the internet about Phelps were the problem. In March 2013, alumni discovered that BJU administrator Joseph Bartosch had been convicted of soliciting a prostitute in 1991. Our efforts got him removed from that position. Scalawags all of us!

In each instance, however, BJU was reacting (never acting) and was consistently projecting blame on anyone but themselves. What would convince them to pay for a comprehensive investigation of themselves?

Something had changed.

Rumors flew that Stephen Jones flattered particularly vulnerable alumni and granted them singular credit for the hire. I got two letters (here and here) around that time, too, which I surmise were initial attempts to flatter me into compliance. You always have to doubt their flattery, however. When BJU tells you that you alone are special, beware! It’s a love bomb.

We don’t have to wonder now. BJU itself admits why they hired GRACE. In twisting the facts with their timeline in June 2014, you see, BJU accidentally told the truth. That’s how it happened in 1933, and that’s still how we can discover their motives. Using the same historical detective skills we used to drill down to the probable truth from 1933, we can discover the truth for 2014.

BJU lists the date for the catalyst for eventually hiring GRACE as September 1, 2011. Their explanation is as follows:

Abuse on College Campuses

In the fall of 2011 when the national news seemed filled with reports of the mishandling of sexual abuse, especially on college campuses, Bob Jones University leadership wanted to make certain that BJU’s policies and procedures for handling reports of sexual abuse both comply with every aspect of the law and ensure a loving, scripturally based response to those involved.

Go look. Go look at the news from that time. There’s nothing. The national news was not “filled with reports of the mishandling of sexual abuse, especially on college campuses.” It just wasn’t. BJU’s PR department wants you to think that they are proactive. They are responsive. They are the morally superior heroes to every story they tell.

But the facts don’t bear that out.

There is one story, however, that explains the date. The Christian Science Monitor reported on Sept 2 that “The Obama administration is holding colleges’ feet to the fire when it comes to how they handle reports of sexual violence and harassment.” There are not news stories flooding the feeds about college campuses at all. It was one announcement from the federal government. This is what is on BJU’s mind, and comparing their timeline to outside sources reveals the motivation for the GRACE investigation.

The Monitor reports:

All colleges are now on notice that they must ensure they’re responding promptly and fairly to reports of sexual misconduct. Federal officials have launched investigations based on information that concerns them about certain campuses.

“All colleges are now on notice” in the Fall of 2011 especially those “certain campuses” that cause federal concern.

And there we have it. There’s their motivation for hiring GRACE. They were on notice from the Feds, and instead of a federal investigation they initially chose an “internal audit.” And we wouldn’t have found it if the BJU PR Department wasn’t working so hard to revise the facts.

BJU is deathly afraid of a federal investigation. Nothing strikes terror in the heart of a Southern fundamentalist more than modern Northern carpetbaggers coming in with their thumb drives and legal pads. BJU hates the Feds. And surely, BJU thought it could schmooze a fellow conservative evangelical into going soft on them in order to skirt any more federal scrutiny, right? They could find a good ol’ boy to join them in throwing the Feds off the scent, right? It’s worked before!

Last month The Washington Post reported that the number of federal investigations into campus sexual assaults has jumped 50%. The chances of a federal investigation of BJU are increasing post-GRACE, not decreasing. But perhaps BJU can throw the Feds off the scent even further by fudging recent history enough that the Feds will move on. Nothing to see here, folks!

In sum, even near the conclusion of the GRACE investigation, BJU desperately constructs a false timeline in order to buy themselves some time to prove to already-scrutinizing federal investigators that they are above reproach.

No matter what we read in the GRACE report in December, the investigating has only just begun.

In my next post, I’ll lay out BJU’s timeline claims alongside the proven facts.

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Now what? http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2014/11/07/now-what-2/ http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2014/11/07/now-what-2/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:30:54 +0000 http://www.drslewis.org/camille/?p=4859 So that’s a lot of history and it’s taken me awhile to comb through it. A review is in order. Everything was just fine in 1932 for Bay County, Florida and for its jewel of a school, Bob Jones College,

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Robert Lee McKenzie's Living Room, Panama City, Florida. Where, according to legend, the idea for Bob Jones College was born.
Robert Lee McKenzie’s Living Room, Panama City, Florida. Where, according to legend, the idea for Bob Jones College was born.

So that’s a lot of history and it’s taken me awhile to comb through it. A review is in order.

They were reaping what they had sown.

And even though in January, 1933, Jones insisted they would never leave Panama City because that was their beloved home, that promise wouldn’t be kept. Robert Lee McKenzie was Panama City’s mayor and BJC’s biggest booster and a long-time board member.

Mr. McKenzie installed two porch swing on either side of this house so that his daughters, Ellen and Anne, wouldn't fight over them. They did anyway.
Mr. McKenzie installed two porch swing on either side of his house so that his daughters, Ellen and Anne, wouldn’t fight over them. They did anyway.

Many alumni would remember McKenzie as piano faculty Anne McKenzie Morton’s dad. A few old-timers might remember his other daughter Ellen McKenzie Tutte teaching Home Economics.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 7.52.48 PM
Anne and Ellen McKenzie

Robert Lee McKenzie was to Bob Jones Sr. what Bob Wood is to Bob Jones III. And Senior was pretty worried about their exodus out of Florida. He was worried he would anger McKenzie. Here’s a glimpse at that guilt:

19330410Letter01

Why does all this matter? Why have I taken weeks to comb through minuscule details in the account from eighty years ago?

To reveal the pattern.

Bob Jones University is again in a crisis, but you wouldn’t know it from their own words. They are re-writing history right before our eyes. And if we aren’t vigilant, they may just get away with it like they did in 1933.

Stay tuned. . . .

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