Bob Jones University Pulls an Emily Thorne and Shamefully Expels Abuse Protestor

“Revenge is always the weak pleasure of a little and narrow mind” Juvenal

Bob Jones III- Wikicommons


Breaking News on Tom White Suicide 11:06 PM EST :Wade Burleson has talked to the father of the victim. According to Wade, there is no question that abuse occurred. Please visit this link to read this amazing discussion. 

Today's Post on BJU starts here


Last December, TWW did a post about some students and alums who were protesting, of all places, at Bob Jones University. And they were protesting for a good cause.  We were try excited about this new breed of BJU students that were taking on a subject near and dear to our hearts: sexual abuse in the church. We were impressed with the moral and ethical clarity of these protestors and applauded their cause. You can read the full story here. Here are some excerpts to bring new readers up to speed.

"These students effectively used a combination of Facebook and Twitter to get their message out. They were protesting the presence of Chuck Phelps on the Board of Trustees at Bob Jones. Who is this Chuck Phelps? Christa Brown wrote about this sordid story at Stop Baptist Predators. This is a short excerpt from the article.

“After being raped and impregnated by a fellow churchgoer more than twice her age, a 15-year-old Concord girl was forced by Trinity Baptist Church leaders to stand before the congregation to apologize before they helped whisk her out of state, according to the police.follow

While her pastor, Chuck Phelps, reported the alleged rape in 1997 to state youth officials, Concord police detectives were never able to find the victim. The victim said she was sent to another church member's home in Colorado, where she was home-schooled and not allowed to have contact with others her age. It wasn't until this past February that the victim, who is now 28, decided to come forward after reading about other similar cases, realizing for the first time it wasn't her fault that she had been raped, she told the police.”

Later in the article we commended the response of BJU to the protestors. You can find the links to the news stories in the original article. From the Concord Monitor came this article, “Ex-pastor quits board of university: Church's handling of rape criticized”

“The petition describes Phelps's response to Anderson's rape accusation this way:(Phelps) gave comfort to the rapist. . . ; made the young girl apologize for her part in getting raped; sent her away with her mother's help . . . and allowed the rapist to remain in the church." The petition also provides links to news segments about the case.

School officials responded to the petition last month on the school's website, saying they had talked with Phelps and determined he had made some mistakes in handling Anderson's rape. But much of what had been reported was untrue and unfair, the post said.

"A teenage girl was raped – this is a tragedy," the post said. "A rapist is in jail – this is justice. A faithful pastor is being pummeled in social media and his family maligned – this is unjust. Our God is being grieved."

However, reading the writing on the wall, Chuck Phelps resigned from the board. In the same Concord Monitor article:

“In accepting Phelps's resignation from the cooperating board of Bob Jones University, board Chairman Dr. Bob Jones III thanked Phelps for his "many years of loyal service."

We believe that a Christian university with such a high moral calling would be proud of these students. They clearly understand the difference between right and wrong and called it clearly. But, it appears that BJU was none too  pleased about the moral clarity of these students. Imagine that?  We received some communication from concerned BJU students and/or alumnae asking us to consider doing a post on a travesty of justice. It appears that Bob Jones University decided to go after the young man, Christopher Peterman, who formed the original group "Do Right BJU." Here is a link to this young man's facebook.   

To this blogger,  it appears that  BJU  leadership is taking tips from the new hit television program, "Revenge." At least it appears that they used some heavy handed tactics to expel this fine young man 11 days before graduation! Shame on them! This story has been covered by Matthew Paul Turner here and The Daily Kos here .

We have embedded, at the end of this post, an 11 minute interview with Christopher. The following is my synopsis that you can verify by listening to his video.

For our new readers who might not be familiar with this institution, Bob Jones University is an Independent Fundalmentalist Baptist University. You can read more about it here. To better understand the various beliefs of the IFB, please check out a post that we did on this group here. Think about behavior rules on steroids and you might get the picture. And it is my opinion that BJU used their rule book to pull an "Emily Thorne" on Christopher. Emily Thorne is the lead fictional character on Revenge here. (BJU students: sneak out and watch the show. It's great.)

TWW is most impressed at the current group of students and some alumnae who appear to have become more proactive in changing the status quo at BJU. But, change, especially change that calls into question the morality of the decisions by BJU  leaders, is very, very difficult.

At BJU, a student is expelled after receiving 150 demerits (or points) for bad behavior. According to Christopher here is what happened to him. He started his last semester before graduation this year with 50 points.  The protest was pretty much finished with the resignation of Phelps before Christmas. According to Chris,  BJU publicly announced that they would not pursue those involved in this protest. But something went terrible wrong after Christmas. This is the account given by Chris in the video.

He was required to have regular meetings with the Dean of Students for Men because he was told he was not a good Christian and that he had trouble with authority.(I bet many of our readers know what's coming next).  He was told that the meetings were to assist him to conform his beliefs to the beliefs of the BJU leadership.

The administration moved an Residential Advisor into his room for the last semester, apparently to monitor his behavior and computer habits. (TWW calls this the Residential Nazi approach).

He then claims to have received another 70 demerits-50 of which were for viewing an episode of Glee. Although watching Glee is not on any punishment list, the BJU honchos said he should have known better. They pointed out the dancing, the short skirts and the discussion of homosexuality as the deciding factor. Chris now had 120 demerits.

According to Chris, the Dean then regularly pursued him to come to meetings, sometimes  with one hour of notice. These would occur during times he was needing to prepare for classroom speeches and tests. He finally was able to attend one meeting. At this time, he was given, 50 demerits for posting the lyrics to a Matthew West song. West is a Christian music artist and is not on the "banned" list. (BJU apparently has problems with some Christian artists).  He also got 25 demerits for posting a Facebook comment during a class session.  According to my calculations, this put him at 195 points and this meant he was expelled.

He appealed the decision and a meeting occurred that same afternoon. The leaders removed the 50 points for the Matthew West lyrics which left him at 145 points. Safe, right? Not!

He was expelled since he called the school's accrediting agencies and the media, asking for help. So, they threw him out anyway, 11 days before graduation.

So, we are left with a brave young man who stood up to authority and is now paying the price for it. Is this how the IFB treats those who follow Jesus in caring for the abused? Shame on Bob Jones University! BJU should admit their grievous error and give this man his diploma. In fact, they should give him an award at his graduation for standing up for the sake of righteousness. if they do not, BJU's name will become synonymous with the word "hypocrisy." 

Christopher, TWW commends your protest. Let us know if we can ever write you a letter of recommendation. We are proud of you. You give us hope for the next generation.

Lydia's Corner: Ezekiel 27:1-28:26 Hebrews 11:17-31 Psalm 111:1-10 Proverbs 27:15-16


Bob Jones University Pulls an Emily Thorne and Shamefully Expels Abuse Protestor — 119 Comments

  1. Want to go to a Christian University? Cross BJU off your list, because they do not practice Christianity, but fascism.

  2. This is a case of us’s against them’s.

    And when you join them’s, the us’s will attack you.

  3. It seems that shooting the messengers and stoning the prophets has a long and consistent religious history.

    I am trying to get my brain into a place that can comprehend how standing up against the authorities on moral grounds is a terrible sin, but overlooking rape and blaming the victim is just a little mistake. It’s making me dizzy to even try. The only thing I am sure of is that Jesus doesn’t recognise such behaviour.

    I don’t have a clue how the system works, but is there any possibility that another university could step up and award this young man his degree?

  4. Just another reason my kids (aka my money) won’t go to BJU, Liberty, Pensacola Christian College and a few others that are popular within the homeschool & fundie outlets.

  5. Puhleese people. Christian institutions have a long and honorable history of kicking out the dissidents.

    As I mentioned before, I was “invited” to not return to a fairly storied Christian institution.

    Oh I deserved to be tossed; just didn’t think they had the b*lls to do it. I was wrong.

    I got over, Chris will get over it.

    And nobody with an ounce of testosterone in the system should be caught watching GLEE. What was he thinking.

    It really is a non story;

    Young Male kicked out of Christian college.

  6. Lynne –

    This is an all too common happening in Christendom in the US today. CYA trumps righteousness often. I have seem it in other Christian organizations. I think Jesus would have strong words and in some cases whips would fly in the book stores.

  7. Jimmy –

    You missed the whole point of “why” he was kicked out. Glee was not the reason, nor was he kicked for the reasons you say you were kicked out. He was kicked out for standing up for a rape victim who was further abused by a pastor who made her apologize and then sent her away in shame. He was kicked out when he stood up for righteousness.

  8. Mot –

    Yes. Every once in a while I like to call him on it. Most of the time I ignore him. He wasn’t even comparing apples to oranges this time. It was more like grapes and asparagus!

  9. I know this is a little bit off topic, but I could not believe Justin Taylor’s blog today. He seems to at least be alluding to the SGM situation with a Doug Wilson book from 4 years ago. After people began to question the post he simply shut down the comments. In my opinion this is blogging without accountability and it really frustrated me today. It seems as though he sets himself up as the arbitrator of truth.

  10. “In fact, they should give him an award at his graduation for standing up for the sake of righteousness. if they do not, BJU’s name will become synonymous with the word “hypocrisy.” ”

    Sorry, but I believe that ship has already sailed, long, long ago. I don’t understand how they are even still in business with todays political and philosophical climate, but I really believe that we can expect to see either a change in orientation away from severe fundamentalism, or a rapid drastic drop in enrollment with that particular institution.

    And for pete’s sake, Jimmy, for someone who has such strict standards to label Glee as “inappropriate,” you are certainly much more lax when it comes to your vocabulary.

  11. Miguel –

    With Jimmy you forget that use of such language gets a pass if it promotes one’s masculinity.

  12. Theoblogue –

    You must have missed the latest news headlines. The Calvanistas ARE the arbitrators of all truth (according to them anyway). No dissension from their personal perspective is allowed. You are considered worse than the actual injustices that people are bringing up.

  13. It’s an interesting assessment of things Bridget. In some ways, I feel like lumping the “calvinistas” together under one banner is a cop-out for them. It bothers me that Justin Taylor, why is he an authority again?, can simply make blanket statements about issues and then hide behind the curtain of “calvinista”. When I use the word “calvinista” I am not using to refer to a system of belief, but more a system of behavior. In other words, an Arminian theologically could actually behave like a Calvinista. Oh the irony of it all!

    Haitch, thanks for passing that along!

  14. Chris was kicked out for being a dissident at a Christian college; plain and simple. They didn’t like what he did, they got rid of him. GLEE, of course, was just the excuse.

    But let’s not cry for Chris; being kicked out of a Christian college is hardly unique nor does it ruin your life. I’ll testify to that personally.

    Finally, I’m sure that EVERY college in the U.S. has kicked out students just because they made a stink. I don’t think Chris qualifies for TWW’s “Victim of the week” award.

    [ Apolgies for using the word “b*lls” – I should have used the word, “Cojones.”]

  15. BJU has been broken for years. Early on they had a problem with racism, so it doesn’t surprise me that they don’t like dissidents. There is always a price to pay for speaking out. The problems is most won’t pay it. God bless Chris.

    It seems to me that those who are angry about those who have spoken out, have something to hide. I wonder what else has/is going on behind the scenes?

    It’s never wrong to do the right thing, even when you stand alone.

  16. @ Jimmy:

    A “non-story”? The circumstances of this particular young male’s expulsion do NOT allow us to say “non-story” and ignore yet another instance of abuse. This is most definitely a different case than a student who gets his knickers in a wad over a “no booze” rule, gets drunk, and then is expelled, or an atheist who complains about studying Christian books when the word “Christian” is clearly printed on the sign. And just because Christian colleges have a “long and honorable history” of engaging in this behavior doesn’t make it right. Yet another reason I refuse to attend one. This would include BJU, PCC, Liberty, Patrick Henry, etc. I would have no problem attending a Catholic or Lutheran school, where freedom of expression is far more likely to be allowed.

  17. Jimmy
    Sometimes I don’t understand you. Wait… make that almost all of the time. This is a fascinating story of one young man who stood up against an administration that is mired in legalism. As Christians we speak to the truths we see. So go ahead and yawn and make potshots at the pain of others. This young man has done more to protest abuse then many of us. I, for one, admire him and would be proud of him if he were my son.

  18. Miguel
    I agree on the ship sailing. I guess hope springs eternal. When I read about the protest, I thought maybe change was coming. Wrongo!

  19. @ Dee @ 8:04 am

    They are legalistic, but they have violated the law by kicking him out with demerits based on activities that were not listed as taboo. No listing of Glee and no listing of a Christian artist as objectionable material. That is capricious, and unfair. And a good lawyer will get him the money to complete a degree at a most expensive university.

  20. Dee:

    You said to Jimmy:”Jimmy
    Sometimes I don’t understand you. Wait… make that almost all of the time. This is a fascinating story of one young man who stood up against an administration that is mired in legalism. As Christians we speak to the truths we see. So go ahead and yawn and make potshots at the pain of others. This young man has done more to protest abuse then many of us. I, for one, admire him and would be proud of him if he were my son.”

    Jimmy strikes me as having a much human feelings for others as a pencil. He is truly a sad person.

  21. Just curious….why are we still answering Jimmy’s comments? He’s either a troll or Mark Driscoll using a pseudonym 😉 and either way I don’t think he’s truly interested in what we have to say. I don’t think going back and forth with someone who doesn’t really care what you’re saying is the best use of our comments section.

    Not saying you can’t comment, Jimmy…..of course everyone can comment. Just saying that if comments are only meant to “stir up,” it’s probably not the best use of our time to answer them so….don’t be offended if I personally stop 🙂

  22. I am trying to get my brain into a place that can comprehend how standing up against the authorities on moral grounds is a terrible sin, but overlooking rape and blaming the victim is just a little mistake. — Lynne Tait

    Because “the (SECULAR) authorities” are Those Godless HEATHENS, that’s why! (One of THEM.)

    And the rapist is Born Again. (As well as being Male — just exercising his headship and the woman didn’t properly Submit?) Just like the Muslims who circled the wagons around al-Qaeda after 9/11 — “ONE OF US! ONE OF US! GOOBLE! GOBBLE! ONE OF US!”

    “Way down Carolina way,
    There’s a preacher called Bee Jay;
    Bee Jay got himself a school
    Founded on Caucasian Rule;
    Bumper sticker on his Ford —
    ‘Honkies if you Love the LORD!'”
    — Steve Taylor, “We Don’t Need No Color Code”

  23. sad observer
    I commend your comment about Jimmy. We are free to comment and free to ignore comments. Just remember, he gets to read what we think. Maybe one day it will sink in. We are a witness.

  24. Mot
    Many others believe that as well. Jimmy, you are not making a difference-maybe it is time to rethink your tactics.

  25. randall
    How right you are. “It’s never wrong to do the right thing, even when you stand alone.” So many people who visit this blog have stood along in combatting wrongs.

  26. I agree with Sad Observer. I have seen Jimmy’s name over at SGM survivors. It may not be him but that Jimmy antagonizes people there in the same way he does here. It would be in everyone’s best interest to ignore him. He writes two or three comments saying that whatever Dee or Deb writes about isn’t really that big of a deal and then waves it off. He probably is a troll. In fact, he may have no care at all about any of this. He may have no life and gets his kicks by pretending to be a calvinista:)

  27. I think Jimmy’s true identity is known.

    That said, it feels a bit like he’s lost some of his spiritedness. That last one felt kind of half-hearted to me.

  28. Peterman wasn’t kicked out for his protest. He was kicked for his immaturity that led to his violation of school policies. And they were willing to give him breaks on that, and did several times, by his own admission.

    What pushed him over the edge, most likely, is his calling news organizations. A news organization serves no purpose in mediating this issue. TRACS may, and the DoE may down the road. But the news orgs were an attempt to intimidate the school into keeping him so they wouldn’t get bad press.

    It was immature on his part. Had they wanted him gone, they wouldn’t have waited until just before graduation. No one who knows much about BJU would think that. They would have done it a long time ago.

  29. I applaud what the young man did with regard to the abuser’s protector. Good for him.

    And BJU did what it usually does.

    I will say that Chris should have been smarter. Maybe they would have found things to get him on anyway.

    But these were pretty easy ones.

    I finished college at a school that had a lot of rules like BJU. I grew up in a very liberal home, and I had complete freedom from age 16 on. So it was no problem for me to hunker down for 2 years.

    I actually had a good time and survived. But you have to be careful to play by the rules.

  30. I think what they did to Chris was underhanded. This is the problem with Christian organizations today . . . they often don’t respond to difficult situations in what we would call a Christian way.

    I have a son going off to college next Fall. I used to be concerned that he might not go to a “Christian” college. After reading how legalistic some Christian colleges can be, and after hearing (here and elsewhere) of young believers going off to these institutions and then walking away from the faith, I am happy he is going to a public college. I almost feel like I would be sending him to the wolves.

  31. Bob Jones U. has been synonymous with hypocrisy for decades. They are a for-profit outfit and the timing of Chris’s expulsion was to get the best bang for their buck (as well as raking in all of his bucks) that they could. He wasn’t getting enough demerits to expel him earlier — even with a RA in his room –so they had to find something to pile on the big numbers near the end. His demerit record is posted online.

  32. but I really believe that we can expect to see either a change in orientation away from severe fundamentalism, or a rapid drastic drop in enrollment with that particular institution.

    Fundamentalism and such institutions are a refuge for people who want change (or new knowledge) to go away. They will exist for a very long time.

  33. One of Chris’s egregious demerits— failure to shave!! Pontious Pilate would be welcome @ BJU — good at following orders and shaving! John the Baptist– not so much!

  34. Note
    I just saw his demerit record. You must be living in a different world than I am. His record was silly-late for class, leaving class early, etc. I have never seen such hogwash in my life. That is what constitutes immaturity in your mind?? He has more guts than most people I know. He stood up to legalistic insipidness and he is getting screwed. And most people viewing this situation can surmise what is going on.

    I am glad he called the news media. Bob Jones deserves the bad publicity. I hope that he gets a nice settlement out of this so he can get a degree from decent college. I would be proud to call him my son! I hope his parents are standing behind him. TWW would write him a letter of recommendation at the drop of a hat!

  35. Anonymous
    Anyone who stands up for the illogical response to a teen’s sexual abuse is a winner in my book. Christian singer demerits my foot!

  36. Bridget2
    I have a philosophy about education. You pick what seems right for each of your children. Every environment has it’s pluses and minuses. However, I must say, I am really, really opposed to some of these legalistic, rules based institutions. Taking a look at this kid’s demerit record is almost a joke.Such a school could manufacture just about anything if they decided they didn’t like your kid.

    Find Christians schools that emphasize grace and freedom or send your kids secular.The Christian world is very weird these days.

  37. Tikatu
    Thank you for the demerit record. If that was my son’s demerit record, I would be thrilled.What a bunch of rule Nazis.

  38. Dee,

    You apparently didn’t see Peterman’s demerit record. If you did, you would see that all the lates and absents have zeroes beside them, as in he got no demerits for those things. He got 20 demerits for failure to shave. So while that might be silly, it isn’t the reason he got expelled. He showed disrespect and insubordination to authority and he watched a show that he knew was in contradiction to the values he had promised to uphold (not to mention the show itself is stupid; watching it should be disqualification for graduating from any institution of higher learning). He violated rules for classroom behavior. (Some college profs not at BJU will not let students have laptops in the classroom because of what they do on them.)

    So he didn’t stand up to legalistic insipidness. Ten days from graduation he acted like an idiot. The Glee episode could have been watched on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. But he was immature and not willing to defer his satisfaction in order to graduate. He is the one who got ten days to graduation and acted stupid. Maturity means you make wise decisions; he didn’t.

    He won’t get a settlement. His 15 minutes of fame will be up shortly, and life will go on. But he won’t have a degree because of his choices.

  39. Arce
    Your earlier comment was well received by the friends of Chris and is being passed onto counsel.Thank you.

  40. Note: I grew up in a church that heavily supported BJU. Growing up we had BJU singers in our home overnight. Belonging to a small church at the time, some of our members were students at BJU. And it hasn’t changed much from that time, I am 56 years old. And if you do not think that those demerits were an excuse to railroad Chris out of there(which I do think you know), you know now. Any thinking person can correlate that.

    And to the one who said Chris could have been smarter, I disagree. BJU could have been smarter. The connection between the demerits and Chris’s brave stand against Phelps is just too obvious. BJU is known more for it’s regimen of rules than it is for anything else. We also know that BJU does not like to be exposed and year after year they have just remained more hidden, students and staff more silent of the goings on at BJU. I’m sure they don’t like the media coverage, but they loved it when it was in their favor. Bob Jones was a staple guest of CNN and Larry King. That is until things began to leak out that BJU was not the Christian nice, sweet, loving, college they claimed to be. Now is no exception.

  41. Note,

    You express your point of view clearly. My main concern is that you al,ost seem to delight in the fact that the young man got expelled. You also seem very condescending in your assessment of glee. Do you realize that the teaching of Jesus on lust was before television and the internet? In other words, insulating yourself from these mediums may be helpful to your soul, but you can still be displeasing to God in a hell deserving way without ever watching Glee. Jesus railed on self-righteousness far more than being unsubmissive to a religious authority or institution. Self righteousness is a far greater danger because even in my assessment of your apparent glibness about the students situation I may be tempted with thinking I am “better than you.” The truth is that we all DESPERATELY need the Lord’s grace mercy and faithfuness on our behalf.

  42. The demerits he received for not shaving were given to him at midnight as he was going to bed. Who does that? I can also guarantee that no other male on campus at BJU has been given demerits at midnight for not shaving. What a bunch of. . .

  43. Note: He WILL get a settlement at some point. At least, he will graduate with an accredidated degree while you graduate with a worthless piece of paper from unaccredidated BJU.

  44. Theoblogue. . .your last comment was spot on. The students at BJU have been nothing but vindictive of Chris since he was expelled. You can find their nasty, hate filled comments on facebook and twitter. They even threatened a radio personality in Greenville last weekend. It is amazing how unkind they can be all while defending a school that celebrates a man who covered up the rape of a child.

  45. Hannah
    I agree with you. There appears to be a real problem for BJU in this situation. I believe, in the end, Chris will turn out the victor-in more ways than one. I love those who stand against abuse and this young man did so. He is one the side of the angels.

  46. Commenter said,” He may have no life and gets his kicks by pretending to be a calvinista.”

    I hope that goes on my tombstone. I’m seriously impressed

  47. Failure to shave is a dumb demerit. And yes, I do agree that Glee is a dumb show, but that’s my personal preference. I have very intelligent friends who watch Glee all the time. And as for him not being “smart” about his behavior, I haven’t heard anything yet or seen anything on the posted record that sounds particularly mischievous. I also have to wonder as to what would qualify as “insubordination” at BJU, if they hand out demerits for not shaving.

    But it seems to me that this is really all beside the point. If the rules state that a student can be expelled only after earning 150 demerits, and Peterman only had 145, then, according to BJU’s own rules, he could not be expelled! The way I read this, the college broke their own rules. And at that point, one has to ask – what was so special about Chris Peterman that they had to do that?

    Please, someone tell me if I’m misunderstanding something.

  48. Also, just curious – how do I get a picture to show up in the upper right corner of my comment(s), like some other commenters have? Or is this a question to ask over email?

  49. Tikatu – you’re right about Bob Jones – and that list of demerits is unbelievable.

    Why do I get the impression that the people at this place monitor students as if they were prisoners instead of college kids? (That was a rhetorical question, btw.)

    If responsible adults were monitored that closely out here in the wider world, I have a feeling that our demerits lists would be almost endless!

  50. Hester: What was so special about Chris Peterman that the college had to break their own rules?

    Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people. Jn 18:14

    I’m not meaning by this that Chris is specially Christ-like but that BJU OFFICIALS, like Caiaphas and other officials throughout history, are not so special, and will stop at nothing in their service of expediency. (all on behalf of “the people” of course) They simply HAD to ensure that this one man not get their degree, by any possible means.

  51. Hester, I believe you need to register with either or Gravatar (or both) in order to be able to upload a pic (avatar).

  52. P.S.: I like Glee (mainly for the cast and music/dance) and I’m not a kid anymore… but I grew up watching musicals.

    Yes, sometimes it can be fairly inane, but when it’s good, it’s really good. I think their anti-bullying story arcs have been fantastic, and I hope that both kids and adults respond to that in a good way (by providing real help for kids who are bullied, contemplating suicide, etc.).

  53. @ Numo:

    I don’t know, I just could never get into stories about high school drama, probably because I was homeschooled. I never liked Grease either. But I won’t push to have you “expelled” from this site just because you like Glee. : )

  54. Hester – I think you can sign up for a blog and never use it, you know? That gets you an account and the basics frills (like being able to upload an avatar).

    Grease: can’t stand it; never could But Glee is a whole different ballgame, and not so much because of the HS drama. (Though their whole story arc with abusive behavior and speech really *is* excellent and might be a godsend for some kids who are going through that…)

  55. “In December of 1936, a depressed and dejected 18-year-old named Billy Graham sat chewing his fingernails in the office of his 56-year-old college president, Bob Jones Sr. The patriarch of fundamentalism had learned that Billy and a fellow classmate were planning to transfer from Bob Jones College (in Cleveland, Tennessee) to Florida Bible Institute (just outside of Tampa).

    Billy’s first semester had been marked by sickness, bad grades, and a “stack of demerits” for falling short of the school’s strict standards”……..

  56. I was raised in the BJU realm. It is all authority and no grace. This does not surprise me that this happened. There is an extremely autocratic environment where authority and opinion are supreme. They used excuses to expel this student. I cannot remember who but somebody said they have been like this for 50+ years, well they also would have been called the Inquisition, witch hunters, and Pharisees.

    I am glad he stood up for the victim and what is right.

  57. Jimmy
    And Billy got the heck out of Dodge and went to Wheaton where he met Ruth and brought Christ to the world! Good move. Bob Jones would have given him demerits for singing with his good buddy Johnny Cash.

  58. Dee:

    It’s funny you mention Christian singer demerits.

    I remember vividly how my friend and I had to submit lists of the music we were bringing to college. Lots and lots of Christian signers (this was 1980) were banned. It was surreal.

    But he had a similar upbringing to mine, so the denial for a couple of years was not too hard. I actually learned quite a bit about legalism from that experience. I have many fond memories, but also am more sensitive to legalism that many people might be because of that experience.

  59. So, the logical implication of the Billy Graham example is that people who earn mountains of demerits from BJU later become heroes of the faith. Am I right? : ) Looks like Jimmy supports Chris Peterman after all.

  60. Will Jesus give me demerits if I watch Glee? It hasn’t turned me gay yet or anything. — BeakerJ

    And will Jesus send me to Hell for witchcraft (TM) if I watch Harry Potter movies or My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

  61. BJU, sigh. I married one of their preacher boys from the 70’s. We stopped there when on our honeymoon. (Please, it was my idea. I wanted to see if the place was really the prison he had described.)

    We were confronted by security near the lake for holding hands. But then showed our rings and the guard eased up – a little. I also defrauded everyone on campus by wearing tight jeans – the only clean thing I had left after a week traveling/camping. Funny no one at the Greenville K-Mart stared at me like the Bob Jonesers did.

    I remember Beneath and BJ III arriving in a red Mercedes for some event and thinking that her dress was about as tight as my jeans. I was a little taken aback by the Mercedes too, after hearing stories of their poor profs.

    Went there to a homeschool convention some years later and dressed according to code. Both times I sensed that people were very uptight and on edge. Sometime later DH sent a letter to BJIII regarding restricting students to a BJU approved churches list. DH was just blown off. I wouldn’t send my cat there.

  62. Billy Graham, really?

    Come to think of it, they would have kicked out Jesus for that matter.

    On what grounds?

    First, he didn’t stick with his parents and went missing for three days.

    Second, he made alcoholic beverages.

    Third, he hung out with hookers and such.

    Fourth, he dressed like a hippy and wore dresses.

    Fifth, he was always provoking authority figures, in fact, he seemed to have issues with authority.

    Sixth, he has a criminal record.

    Must I go on….Jesus would have been told not to let the BJU door hit him in the backside on the way out.

    Of course, Jesus also would have the good sense to stay away from BJU in the first place.

    BJU, their name makes me think the wrong thing, the nerve of them.

  63. Theoblogue … I don’t delight in his expulsion. I am saddened by it, if for no other reason than he got that close and didn’t finish. I think the whole thing is silly. I have no self-righteousness about it. If I watched Glee, that would be the least of my problems. I have far greater issues than that. My greatest concern is whether or not there is any spiritual consideration and introspection going on. There is an almost triumphalistic attitude it seems, rather than one of sober, self-evaluation. And the temporary celebrity probably isn’t helping that. Sometimes, even if you are partially right, there is still need for humble self-consideration.

    My point about Glee is that, whatever else it might be, it is bad TV that contributes nothing to decent culture. I watched a few minutes of it and couldn’t stand it. It’s made up silly, sentimental drama with an inadequate handling of very serious issues. If someone disagrees, that’s fine. It won’t bother me, but I don’t think any serious argument can be made that it gives adequate consideration to the issues that it pretends to deal with.

    To Hannah, I am not a student. I am well past forty, and though I was at BJU, I have gone on to complete three other degrees. I don’t recommend BJU and wouldn’t send anyone there. But my degree wasn’t worthless. It got me into three graduate schools, two of which were regionally accredited, from which (all three schools combined with more than 150 hours of classes) I received 2 grades of B, and all the rest “A”s. Which is only to say that the academics at BJU weren’t substandard. I was well prepared for graduate school, and I was ahead of many other students in the classes I took. And no, I am not being self-righteous about that either. But the charge has been made that BJU has substandard academics. That was not my experience.

    One last thing: I imagine the shaving demerits at midnight weren’t for not shaving at midnight, but probably because he didn’t shave the day before (as in two days). Stupid? Probably … But pretty clear. And those twenty demerits weren’t what got him kicked out.

  64. BTW, I have long been of the opinion that BJU is way too heavy on rules and way too light on discipleship and heart issues. You guys are making a big deal about it now, but I was of that opinion twenty-five years ago. But I have gone on with my life. I appreciate much of what I got there, and I left the rest of it behind.

  65. DB,

    That is a great list! Jesus was a real troublemaker!

    May there be more rebels like Him among us who REJECT the status quo, whether it be legalism, cultural Christianity, or masculine Christianity.

  66. Hester
    Great comment. I didn’t think of it when I read it. Now, I do! I shall call it the Hester Principle.

  67. HUG

    When my son was little, he was massively into Pokemon cards. He traded them like baseball cards.I still have his notebooks filled with cards.They make me smile. I was told by some Christians that Pokemon was evil. I treated that the same way I have treated the Halloween question and Harry Potter, I laughed. I told them if they were really interested in what I thought, they should ask me, not lecture me. Needless to say, I had thought it out more deeply than the knee jerk “rules” crowd and it was obvious the moment I would start talking with them.

  68. Irish
    Wow! Thank you for your insider’s look at BJU, That’s the funny thing about “rules.” Everyone rallies around the latest rule, lets say tight jeans, and then their lives revolve around discussing tight jeans, comparing jeans, wondering about the “morality” of someone wearing tight jeans, etc. It is a trap and I am glad DH escaped.

    As regards to the mrs showing up in a tight red dress, you surely know that leaders get to break these rules, don’t you? Many of these rules are made to control others, to create a facade of morality. What they really create is a false assurance of doing the right thing. It sure is easier to buy a pair of loose jeans than to care about child molestation, isn’t it?

  69. DB
    Wonderful comment. Jesus might have made some statements about “white washed tombs” as well.

  70. cranston
    Double secret probation? Animal House?I will remember that. It will be fun to use in some of the whacko church discipline cases we have been reading about.

    Now, for a true story. As you know, this was based on a fraternity at Dartmouth-I have been challenged on this and a simple google search will prove my point. My husband went there are a freshman. He was a member of Bones Gate frat, the frat that was disenfranchised because of the events highlighted in Animal House. He became a Christian at the end of that year and needed to move out.Things were a little out of control.

  71. Note

    Every demerit contributed to what “kicked him out.” If those 20 weren’t there, he would have been at 125. But wait! It didn’t matter, did it? They would have found other demerits in their confounded book of rules. This stuff is a throwback to the Pharisees. “YOu can’t spit on the ground on Sunday because it might water a seedling and cause it to grow.”

    And now we must humbly self-consider because we think that BJU used some silly rules to hurt a young man that stood up for “do the right thing?” Hmmm, humbly self- considering…………………………………………………………………………………….. Nope, still stand by what I wrote.

  72. Note – nobdy has to like “Glee,” but… if you’ve only watched a few minutes of it, you haven’t actually had time to get to know the characters, let alone see story arcs develop.

    It’s a very hit-or-miss show in some ways (some episodes/scripts are very good, others are pretty lousy – imo), but the “good” material can be very good. (And fun, too.)

    There are some standout talents in the cast, which is one of the main things that’s kept me watching.

  73. Dee, My comments about humble self-consideration aren’t about what you think but about what God requires. Humble self-consideration does not require the passing over or ignoring of legitimate problems. But the bottom line is that if Peterman hadn’t tried the intimidation route by calling the news, he most likely has 145 and is still in school. But he made a bad choice. The news media served no purpose except hoping the possible bad publicity would intimidate BJU into not dismissing him. The idea that they shipped him over his role in Do Right BJU is patently absurd. Again, if you know anything about BJU, they wouldn’t have waited this long, wouldn’t have given him several reprieves to keep him under 150. I know that’s not quite as good of a story but it has the added benefit of being true, based on what we know.

    Numo, The issues with Glee aren’t about characters and cast. It’s about the cheapening and coarsening of public media and culture. The show has some serious themes (such as sexuality) but deals with them in a very inept and uninformed way that does more harm than good. So focusing on the talents of actors is a bit like focusing on the kindness and graciousness of some BJU faculty members while ignoring the whole parade of problems.

  74. Yes. But any sane and reasonable juridicial system makes clear rules prior to enforcement. So if Glee was bad, it should have been on a list PRIOR to watching for watching it to be an offense. Similarly with listening to Christian music that BJU leaders do not like. Make a list of the offensive artists or songs BEFORE enforcement through demerits. Ignorance of a published law is no defense but failure to publish a law prior to enforcing it is an offense.

  75. Note
    He is a young man and should be given a pass. And I disagree. I think this is about Do Right BJU. Any any school who gives demerits on foolish things is not a school I would trust.

  76. Arse said: . . . That is capricious, and unfair. And a good lawyer will get him the money to complete a degree at a most expensive university.

    And an accredited one at that, I’m sure. Going to an unaccredited school baffles my brain.

  77. Why is it unaccredited and why would people spend that kind if money for an unaccredited college education (head bang)!

  78. Rosy –

    Thanks for that information. It looks like they received that as of Nov. 2011 and it is good for ten years. Do you know if they were accredited before 2011? Just curious.

  79. Thank you for the correction, Rosy. It was not accredited when we were looking into it for my daughter around 2005 – apparently right before they became accredited.

  80. Rosy
    I believe it is a limited accreditation regionally and not a full accreditation. That has been a bit of a problem for the students who want to pursue graduate studies. Some websites for schools like this can present info that sounds good but don’t tell the whole story.

  81. Bridget2
    They spend their money to protect their kids from “evil.” They define evil to include a government accreditation.

  82. Note
    I frankly believe that there are few “pure” TV shows or movies. In fact, I bet if I got legalistic on you that I could find fault with Christian movies as well. So, tell me how you decide which one fits your standard unless you eschew all media.

  83. Dee
    I would have thought the same way at one time — long ago. Not any more. In light of how government institutions view child abuse issues compared to how some Christian institutions view child abuse issues, I think the government institutions have the upper hand in “protecting the least of these.” If the leaders in the church don’t think that God can and will bring about his purposes through a government, then those Christian leaders better do some advanced studies in the OT. This is from a person who believes in personal freedom, when that freedom doesn’t infringe on some elses personhood (a child especially).

  84. Accreditation is through an association of institutions, not the government! The larger the association and the more reputable the member institutions, the more weight is given to the accreditation. And some institutions will not accept graduates from the institutions accredited through the lower associations.

  85. Arce –

    Thanks for clarifying that.

    So are you saying that governments (state or federal) are not involved with any accreditation associations at all? Is a public college only public because it is supported by government funding? In do believe that public colleges get private as well as government funds? Do private schools get any government funding?

  86. My full sympathy for this young man. The whole episode again underlines the importance to choose a “real” university for yourself/your children, not some supposedly “safe, because Christian” institution that may choose to call itself a “university”.
    As to BJU:
    If you have no accreditation for a long time, you probably have every reason to not even try to get fully accredited. (And, please, don’t tell me that the government pr “secular” / “liberal” accreditation are evil, biased, ungodly, whatever.)

  87. There is funding at almost all universities and colleges, as well as trade schools and the techician schools like ATI, in the form of subsidized loans to the students and at many grants made to students, through the school, called Pell grants. Public colleges and universities are tax-supported by the state or municipality (or by the military e.g., West Point), and tax dollars go to the institution to pay some portion of the cost of operating the institution and to keep tuition down for taxpaying parents of students from that state. Research universities, typically with graduate school that award doctoral or medical or dental degrees, receive some funding when grants are obtained by the faculty to support research, of which the largest portion comes from the federal agencies like NIH, NSF, NOAA, NASA, CDC. Some states have research grant programs and private organizations like foundations also fund some research. Research grants support faculty and grad assistant salaries and benefits, materials and equipment, and “institutional overhead” for space, utilities, accounting and oversight, etc.

  88. The only government role in accreditation applies to for-profit trade/technical schools, where the issue is the extent to which students who complete the training get jobs in their field. It is a sort of consumer protection for the students who get federal loans to attend the school. Such schools can lose the ability to get those loans for their students if they do not perform.

  89. Pingback: Piper thorne | Jamierossphoto

  90. HUG

    When my son was little, he was massively into Pokemon cards. He traded them like baseball cards.I still have his notebooks filled with cards.They make me smile. I was told by some Christians that Pokemon was evil. — Dee

    I was heavily into Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons. (And was on the fringe of the Satanic Panic over the latter.) I’m also old enough to remember the knock-down-drag-out in the 1960s over whether Jesus had long or short hair.

    I have noticed that when the Kyle’s Moms (Christian or not) destroy one Enemy To Protect Our Children, they mill around for a while then find another Enemy and resume the Jihad.

    In the 1950s it was E.C. Comic books.

    In the 1960s it was Long Hair on Men.

    Around 1980 it was D&D.

    In the Nineties it was Harry Potter.

    These days I wonder if My Little Pony is next for the Witchfinders-General.

  91. The adage is true in this case: “No good deed will go unpunished”

    BJU has evolved into a microcosm of big business or big government–whistle blowers are punished.

    Christopher, you are now a martyr for truth and righteousness–you made waves, you made a difference–now accept the consequences.

    All is not lost–find a school that will accept the credits (there are many that do) and plow on–if BJU will not cooperate in providing transcripts etc, it will make yet another interesting debacle that they must deal with–if they provide a negative reference, they put themselves into a precarious legal position. Make contact with BJU alumni as they being financial supporters have substantial clout and may not let the issue rest–this thing is not going away…

  92. Duncan
    I believe that there might be some possibility of legal action. Chris might come out on top no matter which way this goes.