For whatever reason, Dan Olinger’s sermon from yesterday’s chapel is not posted online. They posted Third’s uninformed rant from the day before, but not Olinger’s. The current students were thrilled by it, so they posted notes all over social media. So we know what he said. . . . BJUAccreditation has one outline for you to see.
Honestly? There’s nothing new here. I think the kids like it because it’s a relief after Third’s irrationality. The whole If-you-don’t-like-it-LEAVE argument is old news. I heard it in faculty meeting from Third in the mid-90s when he was defending the interracial dating prohibition. “If you don’t agree with us on this, then you need to leave!” I looked at the people around me in the Concert Center when he said that. I didn’t know anybody among my peers who “agreed” with that rule. We all thought it was terrible. And we just chalked up Third’s words to a crazed rant. And we ignored him. As usual.
But still this argument gets paraded out. If you don’t like something, leave? What if you can’t? What if you’re six credits from graduation? What if you or your kids are sick and you need the health insurance? What if your unaccredited counseling degree has left you unqualified for anything outside the gates? What if you really don’t know life outside of BJU? Just leave. POOF! Like that?
So if you have no other options, you must sear your conscience? Really?
Another time they used that argument was in 1957. The campus “crime” then was not disagreeing with white supremacy or objecting to sexual crimes against minors. The crime in 1957 was praying. . . . for Billy Graham’s NYC Crusade. The evidence of the conditions at BJU in 1957 is overwhelming, so I’ll just offer one example from a BJU Senior, James Kilgore.
Kilgore was shipped in the middle of his last semester simply for standing up to the abuse he was getting from the entire administration. Here’s his account as he told L. Nelson Bell, Billy Graham’s father-in-law and PR contact. You can read it all here.
Does it sound familiar? Have things changed at all in the last 55 years under “new” management?
Here’s why this matters:
There are a very brave group of students who, on their own accord, are doing something none of us who have attended Bob Jones University have ever had the courage to do (we middle-aged alumni need to be honest with ourselves about our cowardice and conformity). They are planning a quiet and peaceful statement on Monday, December 12th. Their cause is Do Right BJU, and their act will be to simply wear red next Monday in order to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse in BJU fundamentalism. That’s it. Wearing red. As controversial as praying. While PR Rep Brian Scoles has publicly stated that there are “no plans” to discipline these students for speaking out, the threats come–veiled and otherwise.
I guess the stars have fallen, BJU, eh?