What we know about Bob Jones University is that it is one of the scariest evangelical Christian colleges out there. Located in Greenville, South Carolina, it’s had an inordinate political influence over the decades and, in 1980, former chancellor Bob Jone III wished publicly we’d return to stoning homosexuals, like in the Bible.
He made that claim on the steps of the White House, FYI.
What we’re not sure of, is whether the press release we got from a new nonprofit group comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning and straight affirming alumni and students is on the level.
It’s not that we don’t think such a group exists—most Christian colleges have unofficial gay groups, that meet in secret like the Underground Railroad.
But the group at Bob Jones, allegedly formed in January, is called BJUnity (pronounced “B.J. Unity” we were informed in an email.)
Seriously? We know you guys are Protestants, but you didn’t pick up on that?
Well assuming it is legit, a contingent of LGBT and allied BJU alumni will walk in the New York Pride March on Sunday.
Um, so you stayed in the closet in South Carolina but you’re out and proud in New York?
The goal is to raise awareness about a petition asking the chancellor to apologize for his mean-old stoning comment and “subsequent extreme rhetoric and the systematic mistreatment by university administrators of LGBT+ students and alumni,” according to a statement we received from BJUnity’s Jeffrey Hoffman:
On the steps of the White House, the current chancellor of the school, Bob Jones III, notoriously proclaimed ‘I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted but it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.’
He has never apologized nor disavowed that statement and the university continues a long-standing tradition of anti-gay rhetoric and policies, including expelling gay students and banning gay alumni from its campus.
You know what? Just walk away.
BJUnity, and LGBT groups at Brigham Young and other oppressive schools, should spend their time and resources helping students start a new life somewhere else. Sure, it’s hard to walk away from your community and family, especially if they’re paying for school. But 18, 19 and 20-year-olds start lives of their own every day.
Because the days of nicely asking our abusers to apologize are gone. And that’s what is it—abuse.