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Bob Jones University Apologizes for the Racist Past

Bob Jones University, the Bible university in Greenville, South Carolina, would not admit students that are black the 1970s. Then, for a period that is 30-year interracial relationship ended up being forbidden. Now the college has established that its polices had been incorrect.

Missing in the dazzling news reports associated with election of a black colored man as president regarding the united states of america is another event — this time around in advanced schooling — that appears as being a milestone in racial progress. In a eloquent declaration, Stephen Jones, great-grandson of this creator therefore the 4th president of Bob Jones University, has apologized for the institution’s racist past.

President Jones reported, “For very nearly two hundreds of years US Christianity, including BJU with its initial phases, had been described as the segregationist ethos of US tradition. Consequently, for much too very long, we permitted institutional policies race that is regarding be shaped more directly by that ethos than because of the axioms and precepts for the Scriptures. We conformed towards the tradition as opposed to give A christian that is clear counterpoint it.

“by doing this, we did not accurately express the father and also to match the commandment to love other people as ourselves. Of these problems we have been profoundly sorry. Though no understood antagonism toward minorities or expressions of racism for a level that is personal ever been tolerated on our campus, we permitted institutional policies to keep in position that have been racially hurtful.”

By means of back ground for this remarkable announcement let’s review the racial reputation for Bob Jones University.

The founder that is university’s Bob Jones, had been a fundamentalist evangelist whom thought that the idea of development was an abomination. He called the pope the anti-Christ and dismissed Catholicism as a “Satanic counterfeit.” He when stated, “I would personally instead notice a saloon on every part when compared to a Catholic into the White House.”

Jones Sr. ended up being for the view that twentieth-century blacks should always be grateful to whites for bringing their ancestors for this nation as slaves. If this hadn’t occurred, Jones had written in 1960,“they might still there be over within the jungles of Africa, unconverted.” Integrationists, in accordance with Jones, had been wrongfully wanting to expel normal boundaries that Jesus himself had founded.

With the aid of rich supporters, Bob Jones founded an university near Panama City, Florida, in 1926. Bibb Graves, that has simply been elected governor of Alabama because of the backing that is official of Ku Klux Klan, offered the keynote target during the groundbreaking ceremony. Whenever classes started in 1927, admission of pupils had been formally limited to people in the white competition, a policy that persisted until 1971.

Experiencing Depression-related financial hardships in 1933, Bob Jones was forced to offer the Florida land and go their university to Cleveland, Tennessee. In 1936 a new billy graham joined the newest Bob Jones university in Tennessee. But he quickly became disenchanted along with its strict doctrine that is religious social policies and utilized in Florida Bible Institute. In 1947 Bob Jones College moved yet again, this time around to its site that is present in, sc. Now financially seem, the school started to provide master’s and doctoral levels and assumed the designation of a university.

Whenever Bob Jones Jr., the son of this founder, became the institution’s president, the institution’s was continued by him policies of rabid bigotry. During their tenure he bestowed degrees that are honorary George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and Lester Maddox. Whenever Pope Paul VI died in 1978, Bob Jones Jr. called him the “archpriest of Satan, a deceiver, in which he has, like Judas, attended his very own place.”

Whenever Bob Jones III assumed the presidency of this institution in 1971, male pupils had been needed to wear coats and ties to classes. Ladies had been obliged to put on dresses or skirts. Rock music had been forbidden on campus. Pupils had been forbidden from attending films. Pupils are not allowed to take off-campus times without a chaperone. On campus, the university maintained two parlors that are“dating where pupils could fulfill to talk. Touching had not been permitted and kissing ended up being strictly forbidden just because the few had been engaged to be hitched. Male and students that are female perhaps not allowed to talk with one another after 7 p.m. The campus had been divided through the town of Greenville by an iron and barbed-wire fence.

Under government force, Bob Jones University finally started its doorways to unmarried black colored pupils. But strict laws had been founded by the college to avoid dating that is interracial. In 1976, throughout the management of Gerald Ford, the insurance policy on interracial relationship led to the Internal sales Service’s revoking the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University retroactive to 1970. The IRS demanded the repayment of $490,000 in straight back taxes. The college appealed the ruling. Fundamentally, in 1981, the Supreme Court associated with the usa heard the actual situation. The latest Reagan management initially supported the career regarding the college but, after having a general public outcry, switched edges. In 1983 the Supreme Court ruled against Bob Jones University and only the IRS by a vote of 8 to at least one. The dissenter that is lone belated Chief Justice associated with united states of america William Rehnquist.* On being encouraged associated with the choice for the Court, Bob Jones III ordered that the flags that are american campus be flown at half-staff.

In 1998 Jonathan Pait, a advertising spokesman for the college, explained the school’s prohibition against interracial dating: “God has divided individuals for their own purposes. He has got erected barriers between the countries, not merely land and ocean obstacles, but additionally cultural, social, and language obstacles. Jesus has made individuals distinct from the other person and intends those distinctions to stay. Bob Jones University is in opposition to intermarriage associated with events given that it stops working the barriers God has generated.”

In 2000 the college finished its prohibition that is official against relationship. Now eight years later on, the college has admitted that its policies had been incorrect.

This modification of heart at Bob Jones University comes from the heels of current very good news about black colored enrollments during the nation’s other Bible universities. JBHE’s database implies that in 1997 there have been only nine Bible colleges where blacks comprised 10 % or even more of total enrollments. Today you will find 29 schools that are such.

*William Rehnquist had a lengthy reputation for opposition to the development of blacks. He opposed the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and also as A gop that is young pollwatcher Arizona, Rehnquist ended up being active in challenging black voters’ skills.

To get more regarding the racism of Rehnquist, see “The Racial Views of this Chief Justice associated with united states of america,” JBHE, quantity 23, Spring 1999, p. 72.