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