I have blogged before about Bob Jones University‘s racist history, the current chancellor’s support for stoning gay people (comments made in 1980 to an AP reporter when Jones was president of the institution), and that institution’s persistent subjugation of women.
- Thinking About Attending Bob Jones University? (focused more on misogyny and racism)
- Homophobia & Religious Fundamentalism: The Real Issue Extremists Don’t Want You To Know
Those two posts have and continue to receive a significant amount of web traffic—literally thousands of hits.
At the time of that writing I was unaware of a 1960 sermon from the University founder, Bob Jones, Sr. He delivered it on Easter Sunday as a position paper as much as a sermon. He points out, with significant emphasis, how important this sermon was. Just the fact that he chose to deliver it on Easter Sunday, the most holy day in the Christian church calendar, speaks to how important this message was to the man—apparently more important than the resurrection, which he didn’t even mention that Sunday?!
As I mentioned, I was completely unaware of this sermon’s existence*. I dare say that the university wished it never saw the light of day. But see the light of day it must.
I appreciate Dr. Lewis making the entire sermon text available on her site. Here is the link to the post. I encourage everyone to read it. The truth of this man’s thinking must be known and understood. Patterns of thinking are very telling, showing the heart of a person and the motivations for the things they do.
I bring this up because the university, along with numerous other cells of the Christian Taliban, released a statement this week about the SCOTUS rulings related to DOMA and Prop 8. The school uses the same logic to defend their indefensible positions in both matters of race and marriage equality.
Their thinking on both** matters goes like this:
- The Bible is the ultimate authority on everything.
- The Bible is against this (or that or whatever). [or so we say, and that’s what matters because of #3 …]
- We stand with God.
- Everyone else is against the “divine order.” [are evil, wicked, apostates, blah, blah, blah…]
In his 1960 Easter morning sermon, Bob Jones, Sr. uses the expression: “God’s established order” seven times. And how convenient was God’s established order for him? He mentions that his wife’s grandmother owned hundreds of slaves but was delighted when they were freed because she was afraid some of them were not Christians and God would hold her accountable for that. How sick and twisted does this rabbit hole get exactly?!
He uses the expression “agitation” 11 times to describe equality efforts for black people. He described agitation as “outside,” “Satanic,” even “Communistic.” Clearly God, in this man’s mind, is against this agitation designed to undermine what Jones defines as “God’s established order.” He stands with God. What twisted logic.
Not to worry though, until all of the outside, Satanic, Communistic agitation started, he said he was going to build another Bob Jones University just for the black people. So, in his mind, he wasn’t an elitist racist that married into money.
Bob Jones University has followed the same course of action with the recent SCOTUS rulings. But honestly, making this statement below is just so far off the factual mark as to be nothing less than crazy talk!
When it comes to the matter of sexual expression, the Bible speaks with a clarity and consistency that spans both Old and New Testaments. The Bible advances a monogamous heterosexual marriage relationship as God’s intention from the beginning.”
Are you serious?! For real?!! (And just who did Caine and Abel marry using your twisted view of the Bible?!—lots of clarity and consistency)
I mean, even the King James version of the Bible talks about all the concubines, arranged marriages, forced marriages of rapists to their victims, polygamy, … on and on the “clarity and consistency” goes. In fact, the “clarity and consistency” gets so confusing, you might find this graphic, complete with Bible verses, helpful. (Click to enlarge it.)
Hello! Time to tune in to reality here, even if just for a moment.
Honesty about Clarity & Consistency
So, here’s how I see it: Matters of subjugation (racism, denying marriage equality while vigorously and viciously bullying gay people while attacking the authenticity of their love, restricting and abusing women) never have anything to do with “God’s established order” but have everything to do with protecting, promoting, and perpetuating a privileged position with a good cash flow and therefore power and influence. To suggest anything “holy” about it is carefully crafted yet vulgar deception.
I just had to get this off my chest!
* Just as I was unaware until last year of Bibb Graves, Bob Jone’s good friend and founding board member, having been the Grand Cyclops of the Montgomery chapter of the KKK.
** Actually on all three matters: racism, homophobia, and sexism