I am currently a Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. I have a Ph.D. from Indiana University in Rhetorical Studies with a minor in American Studies. My book, Romancing the Difference: Kenneth Burke, Bob Jones University, and the Rhetoric of Religious Fundamentalism, is a scholarly attempt to stretch the boundaries of both Kenneth Burke’s rhetorical theory on tragedy and comedy as well as stretch conservative evangelical’s separatist frames. The story of that publication is available at The KB Journal. I am currently working on a manuscript entitled, Klandamentalism: Dysfunction and Violence in America’s Most Romantic Religious Movements, and an anthology called One-Hundred-Percenters: Statements and Counter-Statements.
42 thoughts on “About”
I’ve so enjoyed reading your grace-themed posts lately. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
I am also a BJU grad (94). I wanted to thank you for your recent posts. They have been a great encouragement to me. If only more graduates could grasp the importance of God’s grace.
Hi, Camille! Marius gave me your family’s website. I’m so glad to find you here. I know you guys have been through a lot recently, so I just wanted to say how thankful I am for you. You probably don’t realize how big an influence you were in my own reformation. We’ll be praying for you, and I’d love to get in touch sometime. Send an email or stop by the blog.
Hi my friend! I think about you so often, and I’m sorry for not writing sooner…but I’m sure you understand…life has been incessantly busy since about July 14th. Freshman speech is a new experience, but I’m loving my Public Speaking class. I have some bright students who enjoy thinking and thinking outside the proverbial box. I need to send you my syllabus because I had a blast writing it for that class. It’s a blending of APA (Dr. J’s Amer. Public Add), Public Speaking, and your rhetorical criticism. It’s very fun. Well, I just wanted to say hi. I probably should have written to you on facebook, but I was on this site and just decided to write! I’d love to hear back from you.
I just came here via Tulipgirl. My second baby, my first daughter, was stillborn at 38 weeks gestation, just over a month ago (Feb. 7, 2008). So many things about Elyse’s birth story were familiar to me. Thank you for writing such a detailed, honest account.
I was a communication major while you and Grant were at BJU. I thought you were a joke then. Now, you are doing damage to the Gospel of Christ and you are still a joke. Woopty doo! “You have a voice” now. congratulations, now quit trying to ease your conscience by spouting so much hatred towards BJU. No one is perfect esp. the leadership at BJU; that’s why we are all in need of the grace message you claim to focus on so much. You are the definition of hypocrite. Tearing others down accomplishes nothing for Christ. Why don’t you have posts about your getting fired from North Greenville for being so vitriolic? You might think you are “bringing truth” to others, but we all see you as “a time to laugh.”
You offer a perfect example of how people are treated — especially women — when they speak out against a powerful organization.
You have every right to your opinion, Jim. About me or about BJU. However, I need to correct your mis-statements about my departure. I was not fired from North Greenville. I have not been fired from any job I have ever held. You can go ahead and check on that. I fulfilled my contract in full. I have the student evaluations and my evaluations from my superiors. My attitude was never a problem, nor was the word “vitriolic” ever mentioned. My evaluations were quite good. I have discussed my departure from NGU at length. I see that you have not read it yet, nor really much at all on this blog. Here is the link:
It is easier to dehumanize me as a “joke.” I understand that. But you are incorrect in your uninformed conclusions.
God bless you.
Wow, Jim. You’re such a good and holy Christian. Where can I learn to be as hateful as you? Where can I learn to ignore the findings of the GRACE report and pretend everything is OK while my brothers and sisters in Christ are being destroyed? You’re so holy in your hatred. You must give policy to God.
In other words, get lost.
quit hiding behind anonymous internet names and post your real first and last name as I have. If you would like to chat with me, please see my bottom post with phone #.
LMcC is not anonymous to friends. You’re not a friend.
I’m not anonymous at all. All the good people know who I am… which is why you don’t. After all, you think people exposing sin are harming the Gospel of Christ instead of the ones who are actually sinning against the most vulnerable. I wouldn’t want to know you!
In any event, I don’t bow to hatemongers.
wow. you really are off the reservation. You are correct that I have not spent much time on this blog nor will I in the future. I just popped in after reading a G’ville News article with your name in it since I remembered you from my days at BJU. Seems that mass media is great at seeking out the babblers. I was not surprised to see yet another ignorant BJ alum who needs to grind an axe with the institution that has done so much for the Lord. Are they perfect? Of course not. Do I agree with BJU all of the time? Not a chance. Instead of attacking BJU, perhaps you might consider influencing the lost and dying world around you in a positive way? Your attacks only give the lost more excuses for not repenting and following Christ. The more you can attack Christians and discredit them, the less likely unbelievers will desire to accept Christ. Way to go, Camille!
I have wasted enough time here. BJ grads like you are a dime a dozen, and I have heard all the complaints before. I have plenty of disagreements with BJU myself, but it doesn’t do anyone any good to harbor bitterness. Live your life. Move on. Forget about the wrongs at an imperfect college that drag you down and prevent you from being Christlike. You metaphorically fulfill 2nd Thess. 2:3-4. Goodbye.
If informing you makes me “off the reservation,” so be it. Enjoy your uninformed conclusions.
Here’s the beauty part, Jim. I wasn’t on campus when you attended between 1996-2000. I was on leave of absence to get my Ph.D. at Indiana University during those years. You were an undergrad then, Class of 2000, as I prove here:
So you imply that we were classmates. No, I was 10 years your senior and had already been in BJU’s employ ten years by the time you graduated. So your conclusion that I am “a joke” as a BJU Faculty Member says nothing about me whatsoever, and everything about the usual disrespect that so many students show female faculty. As well as the fact that we never intersected once in any capacity — as peers or as teacher-and-student.
You’re proving the problem, Jim. You’re proving that everything I’ve said is exactly correct.
Here you are with your wife at your ten year reunion:
And Mr. Gaston attended Heritage Bible at the same time we did. That must have been where I was such an object of derision for him.
Again, this is BJU.
And if we all forget about the wrongs and move on, what then, Jim? By what means then does God call wrongdoers to account if we all turn a blind eye of false charity?
Hard to believe that someone would feel the need to research a nobody like me for posting a few comments… I am flattered. Thanks for the link to that reunion picture. Brought back good memories. I will give you your due on your research–I was indeed mistaken on the time period that we had crossed paths. It was actually during our time together at HBC as you have said.
Look, no one is saying turn a blind eye to wrong doing at BJU or anywhere else, but why cast so many stones when all of us fail so often in life? BJU will never be a perfect place, but I do find huge fault with your belligerence and public hatred towards them. It damages the Gospel of Christ. Why do you feel the need to become a mouthpiece for their reckoning when they themselves agree that mistakes have been made? Is it insecurity or the urgency to educate others so that they become like you in their thought process? Or the petty reasons why you would research someone who disagreed with you so that you could- aha! prove them wrong? Is it for the same reasons so many Americans love to build their ego on facebook? Hey,all of us are sinful, fallible humans. You only make matters worse for BJU alumni and non-believers who might be considering the Gospel by constantly attacking an organization that has largely done more good than harm. Call out sin and turn from it, but what about the realization that all of our righteousness is filthy rags? Were you surprised that BJU made mistakes through the years? How is your beating a dead horse accomplishing anything for the Lord? Learn from the mistakes and sins of yourself and others and move on with your life. I disagree with BJU on many things, but I am not seeking out news media to trash them and posting hateful words all over the internet. The ones who read your blog here would probably in large sympathize with you, but what of the so many others out there that you are hurting? Surely as a Christian you realize and understand deep down this very simple fact?
You may assign all the negative intent you like, Jim. I don’t have to answer your unproven accusations.
I wish you the best.
If you ever are in western NC, give me a call and I will buy you a cup of coffee. I’d be happy to talk some common sense to you while explaining the horrible damage you are doing to the Gospel. 828.369.6279
Wow Jim, I’m ashamed to have been in the same society as you were (we overlapped by two years or so). Sounds like you’re the same aloof prick now that you were back then. “I’d be happy to talk some common sense to you…” Seriously? What an horrible tone to take with anyone, let alone to a lady 10 years your superior.
I hope someday you revisit this and realize how badly your talk differs from your walk.
Camille has been far kinder to you here than you deserve.
Have you read the #GRACEReport, “Jeby1”? Did I cause that? Is that my doing?
Too many BJU loyalists have concocted this weird mythology around me, that I’m much more powerful than I am. I’m just one person documenting the actions of a religious institution that has hurt hundreds of people for a century. One person. I didn’t cause the recent BJU scrutiny at all. BJU did.
Jeby1, there are a lot more alum who want the school to clean up its act than you realize. And to make you look even dumber, many of us are still devout Christians in spite of the toxic mishmash served up as “Fundamentalism” at BJU.
If what you call “Christianity” depends on covering up sexual abuse on campus, blaming underage victims for their abuse, and having a complete fraud running the counseling department, then that’s one sorry religion to follow. Thankfully, many of us have retained faith in Christ and escaped the toxic moral perversion of Fundyland.
You might be well-served to follow Camille’s example.
I have never deemed “more information” a negative thing. The more we learn about an institution, the better. Transparency, honesty, and humility make such endeavor to uncover this information excellent. I’m astounded reading of all that took place the many years in the past and even after my graduation (1989). Camille has done a great service for those who were unable to speak up or who hadn’t found their voice. Jesus says that what happens in a corner will ultimately be revealed in the light. Much has occurred, and much has been exposed. Since when is such revelation a bad thing?
Thanks, Ron! You’re a gentleman and a friend. I appreciate it.
@Jeby1- *Dr.* Lewis has an earned PhD from an accredited university. Perhaps you were not aware of this. In any case, regardless of what your respect for her is, or how you feel about her actions, she is due the respect of her earned title. I highly doubt one would derisively call a man in the same position, “Mr.”.
John: Correction: What you call “Christian” circles are more properly called “Fundamentalist”. Fundamentalism is characterized not by proper adherence to orthodox Christian doctrine, but by overzealous obsession on pet issues and other minutiae at the expense of true orthodoxy. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that Fundamentalism has become a hotbed for abuse of women and children, which the GRACE report and others have been exposing in recent years. I can’t speak for Camille, but I wouldn’t consider being ostracized by that bunch a bad thing. Among Christians who take orthodox doctrine and practice seriously, she’s fine. Not go play in someone else’s sandbox.
You’re a clown. An anonymous visitor with a fake email address posting from a library in Franklin, NC, lobbing your verbal turds over the fence under cover of darkness. If you want to engage in sincere and honest dialog, then scrape together a little integrity and use your real name.
We worked there seventeen years, Mr. Anon. We’ve had plenty of face-to-face conversations. You’re obviously new to the conversation. We’ll wait while you catch up. You may also join the ongoing discussion here:
If you don’t know her personally and aren’t affiliated with BJU, what in blue blazes are you doing here? If you don’t know her personally, then you don’t know she’s a “nut case”. If you’re not affiliated with BJU, then who she is and what she says has nothing to do with you. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
BTW, I’m a Christian in Greenville (graduate of BJU, to boot) and I don’t think she’s evil. In fact, I don’t know her well enough one way or the other to tell. She’s only a Facebook friend. However, what I’ve seen of her there has definitely not put her in my “evil” category.
Since her reputation as “evil” means so much to you, I have to wonder if you are lying about not being associated with BJU. Your subterfuge with your IP address–as pointed out by Grant–leads me to believe this is so.
PS: I didn’t use my real name, but it can be found with a little Google-fu. Can I say the same for you, Mr. “Jenkins”?
Well, it’s good to know that the most judgment and greatest inaccuracies comes from the anonymous.
Dear Dr. Lewis,
I just wanted to thank you so much for your blog. I attended BJU from the fall of 1990 until I was shipped in the fall of 1991 for having music in my dorm that did not “check”. I left that school believing that God hated me, and to be honest still struggle at times 24 years later with feeling “just not quite good enough” to be a “real” Christian. Your words have soothed my soul. I believe you are a champion of grace.
May God Bless You,
R. Victor Gray
I attended BJU from 1985 to 1989, and I didn’t know the Lewises very well, but I was somewhat acquainted with them when I was outgoing and their were there for a little while. Grant had a wonderful voice–I immediately purchased a tape he’d had made–and I didn’t know much about Camille until I saw her writing on Facebook. Long story very short–until one day I can write more:
I was a bit angry about the specific things she was writing about the school, and I was not a BoJo by any stretch. I just didn’t think the approach was right. As I began to research some of the issues she had taken on, a pattern emerged. And I eventually found that what she’s been writing was well-documented, quite measured, laser-focused, and grace-centered. (It takes a lot to surrender a formerly structured, legalistic life to grace without missing a step, but as one who has been undergoing that process for a number of years, maybe decades, it is very refreshing.) Though I myself came to understand–and I won’t call it a struggle–that fundamentalism was not canonized and that the Scriptures were all I really needed. I knew this when I was at BJU, but it took awhile for it to work its way out through my research, my philosophy, and my behavior.
Stop the struggle and yield to God’s grace. When the dust falls and the paper walls crumbled, God’s grace stands tall, my friend. And it is so life-giving.
Thanks, Camille, for your small, patient exchanges with me earlier that injected a little reason into my journey. I have more room to grow, and he’s still working on me.
Ron Harrison, Jr.
Class of ’89
Thank you for your posting about BJU hidden history, particularly the “Is Segregation Scriptural?” pamphlet glorifying white supremacy. As a Wheaton College graduate, I’m especially fascinated by the Bob Jones Sr and Billy Graham interactions. As Louis Brandeis said, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”
On a personal note, my parents met in the dating parlor at BJU in 1968, married, and divorced after 24 years of marriage. I’ve often wondered how the history of civil rights overlap with fundamentalist history.
Much of what you’re writing is extraordinarily healing, and I wish you and your family every grace. If you need any assistance with research, let me know..
Thank you for your comments on BJU, regrettably my alma mater. I entered it as a naive new Christian, wanting a Biblical education instead of the secularism which rules most institutions of higher learning. What I got was a mixed bag, mostly bad, but there were occasional bright spots along the way. I found a few good teachers in that corrupt place who had been duped into it like me and no doubt like you were. Like you, none of them lasted very long. I can very well empathize with the psychological pressures you endured. Your blog does bring back bad memories that still haunt me, even in my dreams at night, but I would rather grapple with these things than try to bury them. God still works remarkable things. I matriculated as a semi-liberal Methodist and graduated as a Reformed Presbyterian in my own theological point of view, having never entered a Presbyterian church until after escaping that chain link and barbed wire enclosed compound. It happened because I took seriously the assignment to read the Bible clear through during my first two years, opening my eyes to reformed or biblical, doctrine. I wonder how many other students really read their Bibles as assigned and as they pledged they had done. How could they have missed the great doctrine of God’s sovereign grace written all over that wonderful book? Of course, the Joneses and their hand-picked men constantly through up smoke screens to cloud our understanding of Scripture, but thankfully I saw through all of that. I know the dormitory book-checks must have turned up my copies of books by J. I. Packer, Lorraine Boettner, and others, but somehow I escaped “being shipped,” or expulsion. I miss my old college friends and cannot find any of them even on the internet, because sometimes I would still like to commiserate with people who shared the same trials. Thank you for helping to fill a void for me with your blogs.
Hope we’ll someday soon see a book on the hidden history of BJU, documented so that the die-hards can’t fight it. That school has so much to answer for, and it’s time they stopped being allowed to sweep things under the rug.
I cannot believe how BJU has changed for the better! I graduated in 73 and I never thought I would see integration, accreditation, intercollegiate sports, and girls wearing slacks! I was told by a faculty member when I was there that none of this would ever happen.
Camille, I’m amazed to find your blog! I’m pretty sure I sat between you and Grant in EN 102 (my last name started with La). I’m not in touch with anyone from BJU, but I’m delighted to see that you and Grant are happily married. I went on to work as a writer and an editor. I’ve mostly been homeschooling my kids but have recently returned to writing. If you have time to send an email, I’d love to hear from you!
Just discovered your blog–really like it! I’m a friend of Virginia Ramey Mollenkott. I found your blog while looking for more information about Bob Jones University.
I just posted an obituary about Virginia on my blog, http://www.marthaymaria.blogspot.com.
Peace and grace to you.
Hi Ms. Lewis. Thanks for show all this resources! It was a blessings for me. I left the fundamentalism 18 years ago and I am stills strugling with the consecuences of this toxic ideas. I want to know more about: keswick-theology-aka-chaferianism.