Revenge

Unless they’ve been living under a rock, it’s unlikely that anyone in current or former fundamentalist circles has not heard of the expulsion of Christopher Peterman from Bob Jones University mere weeks before he was to graduate. Although his list of alleged crimes ranges from the inane to the obscure to the downright confusing, there is a deeper story here that is worth considering.

To fully appreciate the significance of this action it’s necessary to retrace the steps of a horrifying story that is all too familiar to many of us. It begins when a man named Ernie Willis raped a young girl named Tina Anderson. The pastor of Tina’s church at the time was Chuck Phelps, a man who by his own testimony not only failed to vigorously pursue justice for Tina but also required her to give a confession of her alleged sin before the church and then aided in removing her from the state and apparently out of the reach of local authorities.

Yet with the fact of his actions revealed both on national television and in a court of law, Chuck Phelps remained a person in good standing with several fundamentalist organizations such as The Wilds and Bob Jones University. Bob Jones not only continued to call him a friend of the college but after the conviction of Ernie Willis then went on to proactively show their support for him by placing him back on one of their own boards. This past December, a few alumni, students, and other concerned individuals attempted an on-campus protest in an institutional environment where protesting is almost unheard of. As may be expected in such an authoritarian environment, very few students joined in to the calls for BJU to “Do Right.” One student agitator, however, stuck to his guns and decided to take the risk. That man is now ex-student Christopher Peterman.

At that time, with the news cameras rolling and the social media spotlight shining on them, Bob Jones University took no disciplinary action against the protesting students. But they did take note of them. They always take note of those who do not come to heel and fit the “spirit” of the University and they wait their chance to exact revenge for this perceived disloyalty. Because Bob Jones University is not interested in justice, or freedom, or right, they are interested only in defending their own no matter what the cost in human misery.

So the when they had managed to gather together enough petty charges against this student, they summarily expelled him, mere weeks before he would have graduated. For those of us who have attended similar institutions this is hardly a new tale and hardly unexpected. The campus purges of “undesirables” who are considered unworthy to graduate are a commonly accepted fact. At my own alma mater we referred to this rash of sudden dismissals that would occur right after the spring deadline to withdraw as “spring cleaning.” First they take your money. Then they show you the door and tell you that you are no longer welcome here.

No doubt the headlines (such as they are) will be more concerned in the fact that a college student was punished for watching the television show Glee or not having a proper haircut. I find the focus on those details unfortunate, because beyond these imaginary infractions the real story here goes much deeper to a kind of institutional corruption that is so blatant and yet ignored by those who call themselves friends of the University. One wonders how many more rapes, how many more cover-ups, how many more countless wrongs must be inflicted by Bob Jones University before even the darkened souls of their fundamentalist supporters are too sickened to continue to be complicit in their commission.

I do not expect that this one student being expelled will bring about a sea change in the institutional policies of BJU. They have shown themselves to be all but immune to criticism and dismissive of correction. If there is any lesson to be learned here it is that current students should take care in squaring off against the behemoth that is the university. It is easy enough for those of us who no longer have skin in the game to encourage protest and outcry. It is quite another to put the time and money invested in your education on the line. While a student remains in their house the university has all the leverage and none can say unto them “what doest thou?”

I can, however, hope that perhaps a few potential students or pastors who have up until now been their allies will choose to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere. Perhaps even a few current students may decide that they cannot continue to consent to the present abuses of power by their silence and will choose a transfer to another school rather than live with the constant threat of being summarily expelled themselves for imaginary crimes. Perhaps if enough people vote with their feet, Bob Jones University will then at last be forced to grudgingly do right.

230 thoughts on “Revenge”

  1. I wish that I had had the same courage and moral outrage that Christopher Peterman possesses. I never spoke up when in a similar position but finally, perhaps inevitably, my life was touched by the moral corruption that infects the leaders of fundamentalism.

  2. Well written Darrell. It sickens me when I see this, but I also am not suprised. What’s worse is I bet folks still in the IFB who see this will find some way to write it off and disbelieve it all. 👿

    1. You’re right about that, exOBC. Students who “have talked to someone close to the problem” or who claim to have “known” Chris are going to blogs and tearing him down. Of course, alumni who know the truth about BJU and have seen this happen before (and who also know the situation with the DoRightBJU protest) are speaking out, but they’re characterized as “wicked former students” and “bitter”.

      Darrell, the Glee reference is the hook that’s bringing more people who are outside the situation to the realization that, yes, it happens. This will put more pressure on BJU — though, unfortunately, as you’ve said, they consider themselves immune to controversy and outside pressure. Especially from the “unsaved world”.

      There is one other possible lever here: BJU’s bid for regional accreditation. If they keep doing this crap, SACS could easily deny BJU’s application, forcing the Bob to continue with the sub-par “accreditation” of TRACS. More parents are waking up to the fact that BJU graduates are finding more and more doors slammed in their faces because of the accreditation issue. That might be the outside pressure that WILL cause change.

      As an alumna, I wouldn’t put my kids in BJU if they offered a four-year free ride AND they paid me cash. There’s no way I’m putting my kids through that for an almost worthless piece of paper.

    2. As Darrell pointed out in his final sentence, the best way to send BJU a message is to “vote with our feet” – let us not attend there, nor recommend it to anyone, nor send our children there (assuming that one disagrees with them – if you support them, by all means, attend and send your kids there).

      Freedom. One of the things that makes America great.

      1. And do not buy their homeschool materials…And if your church is a supporter talk with your pastor about breaking away.

        1. I had once thought highly of the homeschool materials from BJU. Then I found out some things about that made me resolve never to buy anything from them.

          In the meantime, I had worked in a ‘school’ that used Beka. My ex-pastor’s kids have gone/are going to PCC now. I bought Beka materials last year to homeschool my kids, but now that I know more about Beka/PCC, I will never buy anything from there again. I agree, money talks. And mine says ‘see ya’ to places like Beka and BJU.

        2. I used Abeka when I first started Homeschooling my 3 and I finally decided it was too hard after 2nd grade. Not only that, but it’s SO expensive. I too didn’t like giving them my money since they are SO legalistic.

          I now use Saxon Math and Sing Spell Read Write for language arts which my children actually enjoy.

          I like the Charlotte Mason approach to education. School is FUN in my house! 😛

      2. Guilt Ridden, I so wish “voting with or feet” would work as it should. One the one hand, some will never enter that school or schools like it (BJU is far too compromising for some fundamentalists). On the other hand, though, such protests will inevitably be viewed by some of the school’s hierarchy as evidence of the “corruption of the world” and they will wear their dwindling college rolls as badges of honor for their “Godly separation from the world”.

        This whole thing is a quilted tragedy of everything that is wrong in the fundamental church today. Thank God Chris got out from under it.

  3. Just a reminder that, by BJ standards, grudgingly doing right is not really doing right at all, and I actually tend to agree with that.

  4. Assuming the hypothesis that BJU is actually right in their actions: something is dreadfully wrong with your system if it takes years to realize a student doesn’t line up with your goals for them. Wait . . . I guess that nullifies the hypothesis.
    Hypothesis 2: BJU is not right in their actions.

  5. Please contact an attorney. This sounds like intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bob Jones must be held accountable for their actions.

    I would recommend you seek some sort of counseling. You need to prove that BJU’s conduct was intentional or reckless, that it was extreme and outrageous, that there was a causal connection between your distress and their actions, and that you suffered severe emotional distress.

    This can be difficult, but you can get through this! I went to small kjv “Bible College” there is life beyond! These places HURT people! I took a trip to a disciplinary committee for something as equally ridiculous. I made it through, and now I am in a great law school. As much as it seems like it does not exist, there is life beyond! God will provide grace even though BJU may not believe that.

    At the very least, meet with an attorney and tell him what happened.

    1. Of course it was intentionally vindictive. Anyone who has ever been to Fundy U has seen it.

      Surely he was not so naive to think they’d do nothing to him.

      Hopefully he was not so naive as to think they’d change their ways.

      He was cannon fodder in a greater struggle. Now it’s time for him to say hello to disillusionment.

    2. I’d sure love to see a court battle take place as a result of this. I’d like to see the student get something back in return for all that time and money wasted at that place.

      1. This. The day dreaming needs to stop.

        He repeatedly broke the rules of a religious institution he voluntarily attended. The administration nailed him for it because they know they’re safe both legally and with SACS for doing that.

        You fight a fundy tyrant on his home turf and you will lose every time.

        1. SACS? Uh, no. They are not affiliated with SACS. Not yet. They announced earlier this year that they were “looking into it” based on the number of alumni who were having various doors slammed in their faces due to their TRACS “accreditation”.

          SACS — if they actually try for it — will bring about big changes at the Bob.

        2. The idiots announced that they were looking into Sacs, and even mentioned it on their website, and then found out that Sacs guidelines stated that they were NOT allowed to claim that they were in any way pursuing Sacs accreditation. It was designed to stop universities trying to trick students into enrolling in a university while it was still unaccredited.

          I will be very surprised if they ever get Sacs. They don’t have a clue.

        3. I’m not sure this is legally accurate. Education (even fundy education) is considered a good faith agreement – in fact, signing up is actually considered an executory contract. I think this case could have merit if pursued in these terms.

    3. Jim is right, Chris needs to see an attorney. IMHO BJU was operating in Bad Faith since they made that public statement about not punishing those involved in the protest yet made him attend special counseling with the Dean of Men weekly and had him stalked all semester long. Chris was deprived of earned credits, tuition, and opportunity costs – not to mention emotional stress.

      Chris, please see an attorney.

    4. About taking BJU to court–
      My initial reaction to that proposal is that you are unlikely to prevail in a lawsuit. On the other hand, you do have grounds to sue, and it might be worthwhile just for the sake of giving BJU’s ways of operating some public exposure. If anything is ever going to make the college change, it isn’t students who have no power, and it isn’t calls for BJU to live by its own rules– it’s publicity, and the prospect of being held up to public ridicule and shame. That’s what eventually made the monstrous ban on interracial dating go away, for example.
      The outcome of the lawsuit (likely to favor BJU) might ultimately be less important than the light it would shed on BJU in the outside world (and there’s no F-ing way that’s going to favor BJU).

      1. I think the discovery process is what frightens institutions like BJU most about these sorts of lawsuits. Like you said, I believe the student would b e unlikely to prevail. I’m not even sure the media would be all that interested, unless the ABC woman got involved again (which she still can, even without a lawsuit). But discovery could blow the lid off a whole bunch of things. So depending on what they’ve got in the closet that is related to this, they may just come out and settle.

      2. Public/governmental pressure is what caused BJU to allow blacks in the 70s and to change their interracial dating policies in the late 90s. So it does work, but it takes an overwhelming amount.

        1. Irony: When BJU rebells against Governmental “Authority” it is declared Righteous.
          When a student questions BJU’s “authority” it is great sin and must be put out of the camp!

          Whatever BJU does is good and righteous therefore any hint of non-compliance or deviation from the path of “authority” will result in massive, calculated retalliation by the Ministry of Love in room 101.(or the Dean of Men’s office whichever is more convenient) Remember, we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    1. Just another reason I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in such a place. It’s a prison camp. They don’t allow you to breathe. What they did to this young man and others like him is unconscionable. They will answer for it at the judgment seat! 👿

      1. They will answer for it at the judgment seat, and
        they will pay for it in hell.

        For this, and all their other abuses unless they repent. God is not mocked. He is angry with the wicked every day.

        BJU and its ilk are far far worse than the evils we see in even the world’s academia.

    2. He was not expelled for watching Glee. He was expelled because he was a ringleader in the whole Do Right BJU on-campus demonstration. Glee and the SGM song he posted were just the grounds they used.

    3. Let’s be careful of what we say; Ricardo’s post is as twisted as anything Darrel has accused fundies of doing.

      He was NOT kicked out for watching Glee. He WAS given demerits for watching Glee. I’ve never seen Glee, but by Mr. Peterman’s own admission of it containing homosexuality, it seems reasonable to conclude it is not a wholesome Christian show.

      He was expelled because his demerits exceeded the limit. It seems clear (assuming Mr Peterman’s account is accurate) that the school was looking to find any occasion to give him demerits, and were hoping to give him enough to expel him.

      But statements like “he was expelled for watching Glee” are wrong, and a perversion of the truth.

      Reading the above, if it comes across as an attack on Ricardo, it is not; I don’t know him and have no animosity at all toward him. I would have written the response to anyone who posted that he was kicked out for watching Glee.

      1. No offense taken. When 50 demerits -1/3 of the demerits needed to be kicked out- are assigned to watching a TV program that was determined AFTER THE FACT to have been questionable…

        How they allow anybody to watch the news? Shouldn’t they be pre-screening every chapter of Little House on the Prairie to make sure?

        Yes, when push comes to shove my claiming he was kicked out for watching glee is just as devious as them claiming Mr. Peterman is not a True(c) Christian, so he is not worthy of graduating from a Christian College.

        1. He was watching Glee at Starbucks, someone reported it. Yes Glee has some gay characters, but it’s based on a public school show choir-not a fundy high school where the gay kids live in the closet.

          What is wrong with Matthew West?

        2. Let me be clear: I think that assigning demerits for watching a show that was on a television over which one has no control is ridiculous… UNLESS the school authorities can clearly show that (a) he went there on purpose to watch it, or (b) he lingered at the place to watch it… and it cannot just be what the authority “thinks” happened… there should be clear proof that the student did (a) or (b).

        3. Ricardo, they DON’T allow students to watch the news! At least, not on campus. They pre-screen CNN and edit out the commercials and anything that they find offensive. Also, they censor periodicals that students receive in the mail.

          One time I was sent an issue of Architectural Digest. Instead of the university mail system delivering it to my P.O. Box, they gave it to my dormitory supervisor. She then gave it to me and said, “We normally don’t allow students to subscribe to magazines, but I’ve looked through this one, and I’ll make and exception for you.”

        4. He was streaming the show on his computer. This has been clarified a few times already in various places.

      2. He was watching Glee off campus at Starbucks according to reports. This was not against the rules. He also only received 145 demerits, not the 150 required for expolsion.

        1. It appears there wasn’t even a rule against watching “Glee” until AFTER he watched the show.

        2. That’s right. He wasn’t even given enough demerits to be kicked out, but for good measure, they said he was trying “to intimidate” BJU or some guy at BJU so that’s what tipped the scale and they cut him lose.

      3. “I’ve never seen Glee, but by Mr. Peterman’s own admission of it containing homosexuality, it seems reasonable to conclude it is not a wholesome Christian show.”

        Um, Guilt, by that standard BJ should not allow anyone to read the Scriptures.

  6. May the light this incident will shine on BJU help to pierce the darkness that is in the Administration’s souls. Pay day, some day.

  7. The traditional way of silencing critics of BJU is to say that it’s like being in a military academy: they have a lot of rules against things that wouldn’t be a big deal anywhere else, but if you don’t like those rules, don’t go there. That’s not what this is about. At a service academy, if ANYONE, regardless of rank, were involved in a criminal coverup, anyone who knew about it would be honor-bound to report it to that person’s superiors, going up the chain of command until that person was held accountable. Anyone involved in a retaliatory dishonorable discharge would themselves be liable to the appropriate penalties. BJU’s position seems to be that they are not accountable to anyone, and that anyone who tries to hold them accountable should be punished. It was only because of the publicity he raised that they had to find some other ostensible excuse to expel him.

    Did he break the rules? Apparently, he was at Starbucks (not against the rules) and the TV was on (not in his control.) He was watching whatever was on before (not against the rules) when Glee came on (no written rule against it, but BJU claims a right to issue an arbitrary number of demerits for breaking any unwritten ex post facto rule.) Another student had to be there too, watching the same show, to report him. Apparently, you can break the rules and get away with it, provided you tattle on someone else breaking the rule, a sort of perverse honor code.

    Even with the arbitrary demerits, the administration did not have enough to expel him by their own rules. As they were preparing to find a way to expel him, he sought counsel. Even in a court martial, the accused may have counsel, but at BJU, seeking counsel is a sin of such wickedness and rebellion that it allows them to add as many demerits as necessary to force an expulsion.

    1. You said that he was watching TV in a Starbucks. There are no TV’s in Starbucks anywhere around Greenville. He was probably streaming it on his computer. Therefore it was under his control. Everything else, I agree with.

  8. I wonder, where are his parents on this issue of him being expelled? How much money did Chris and/or his parents fork over? I don’t know how much BJU tuition is a year.

    Are they standing by his side and demanding the school let him graduate? I hope so.

    I’ll never make my kids go to FundyU.

    1. I would never make my kids go to any post-secondary institution when they are adults.
      But I would certainly counsel them out of going to BJU and other Fundy colleges.

    2. Chris said that he earned and paid his own way to BJU. He even dropped out for a year and a half so he could work and have the money to pay his bill.

  9. Tuition plus room and board at BJU is around $18,000 per year. If he started there as a freshman that means they got $72,000 out of him before they decided he wasn’t worthy of being a BJU graduate.

    1. by the way- I think you’ve chosen a very appropriate title. “Revenge” is exactly the attitude here, although I think it gets buried psychologically under “Testimony” or whatever else lends a little righteous flair to the crazy.

  10. The first day of my senior year in 1985 they put me on “Spiritual Probation” (what a freaking subjective, judgmental joke) and threatened to ship me if I didn’t “conform” or “change my attitude” or whatever. I never had many demerits or “tangible” issues they could hold over me. Funny thing happened…the moniter who was supposed to be “counseling” (i.e., building a case against) me up and left to a non-fundy school in CA, and I never heard another peep from anyone. Since that time I’ve always wondered why no one would try a legal attack where a student was shipped for “bad attitude” but who had not tripped the published expulsion rules…

  11. BJU: Babysitting for Jesus Unlimited.

    Training “Christian” leaders in the techniques of group think, group control, and advanced cult practices since 1927.

    Located in Greenville, S.C., Bob Jones University is a biblically faithful, liberal arts university focused on educating the whole person to reflect and serve Christ. BJU offers a unique blend of rigorous academic programs, discipleship, and character and leadership development. We are committed to the truth of Scripture and to pursuing excellence in all we do.

    … and they say that with a straight face. *sigh* 🙄

  12. One consistent thread I’ve seen in a lot of fundamentalism is that the authorities resist correction right and left, doesn’t matter how it’s done. And then they wonder where we who grew up in it get it from.

  13. My son speaks often of “spring cleaning” at PCC. He describes it as cruel. Taking students money while knowingly planning on kicking them out right before the classes count for credit.

    1. To make it worst, I’ve actually heard someone try to defend the practice by saying that they wait so that the “those who make trouble have a grace period to shape up.” 🙄 🙄 🙄 Right…the end of the refund period has nothing to do with it…

  14. I want to offer this aside to Christopher Peterman, in case he reads this:

    First, I think that you are 100% right and BJU is 100% wrong in your disagreements with the school. BJU is obviously retaliating against you for criticizing its policies. Your parents, your family, and your friends should be proud of you for standing up for the truth as you see it.

    Second, as someone who has been through some PR wars in the past, I hope you won’t mind if I make a couple of friendly comments on your video posted here.
    First, you come across as quite well-spoken and the unidentified, off-camera interviewer asks relevant and well-phrased questions.
    If I may make a suggestion, though: Wear a different shirt whenever you’re on-camera. Orange clothing tends not to look good on camera, and orange and green clothing looks even worse. More importantly, the backwards letters and numbers on that shirt distracted me the whole time I was watching the video.

    1. Gary,

      Chris had to pack his stuff fast. He put his stuff in storage and took 3 shirts. So, he doesn’t have much of a choice when filming the videos.

    2. I LOVE that he’s wearing a “Hollister” shirt since the wearing of Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister is explicitly forbidden in the handbooks!

  15. I agree, by the way, with Darrell’s two major contentions here:
    Current students should not expect any justice from Bob Jones U, and everyone else should stay away from an institution with such unaccountable leadership and such petty and vindictive use of its disciplinary system.

    1. (I hit “Submit” too soon …)

      The inability to attract new students and monetary donations (not necessarily in that order) is probably the only thing that can force systematic changes in such an institution.

      1. The only hope I have for any kind of institutional change for the Fundy U’s is obsolescence, and cessation to exist as in institution.

  16. It seems sad, but inevitable, that mass media coverage of this story will focus on relatively minor details like the fact that student Peterman was punished for watching “Glee.”

    News media, especially television (because television works through pictures and sound bites), tend to emphasize the trivial. Without having much of the background story, it’s easier to understand and to conceptualize a foolish (in my view) policy against watching a popular TV show than the whole story about Chuck Phelps, Tina Anderson, Ernie Willis, and BJU students’ and alumni’s reactions to same.

    In the same way, there seems to have been more coverage of the story about Mitt Romney’s late dog than of his lying about his political record, and this week I think I’ve seen more stories about a woman spilling yogurt on President Obama than about the Obama administration’s foreign policy. It all boils down to which story is easier to get across in 30 seconds, and/or which one has better visuals.

    I don’t even know what should be, or can be, done about any of this. I’m just saying it’s the way it is. Maybe the take-away message is that to fight the BJU machine, Peterman and his allies need to figure out where the most powerful symbols are in this narrative, and how to harness them in short phrases and, most important, pictures.

  17. “Perhaps if enough people vote with their feet, Bob Jones University will then at last be forced to grudgingly do right.”

    I think this is probably the truest, and also the saddest statement about BJU and other fundamentalist colleges like it. How awful is it that, when it comes right down to it, the only thing that will force these places to change is money and numbers (no matter how much they deny it). These are the same colleges that claim to honor and follow the Bible, a book that tells us to listen to Godly wisdom and to heed correction, and yet they are the least likely to do so! It really is heart breaking.

    As long as enough people keep attending to keep them in business, the administration is going to keep thinking that money=God’s blessing. If taking that away is the ONLY way that they will listen to correction, so be it.

      1. Yeah, I think the definition of bitter is holding a grudge for months over valid criticism, and extracting a far steeper revenge than warranted at a time you clearly targeted to impact the individual the most harmful way you can and leave no room for anyone to benefit. Somehow these are the people that feel like everyone else is bitter?

    1. They had promised, on TV, that no one would be expelled or have any sort of retaliation for participating in the protest. So, they’d have to do the same thing to any other student as was done to Chris: a semester of hell with too many demerits all assigned at the last minute. Then expulsion or the “you can’t come back” letter over the summer. Possibly, they might extend it to next semester, with “spiritual probation” as soon as the targeted student hit campus.

    1. Apparently you have to “join” CNN’s website in order to vote.
      That’s the only reason I didn’t vote for the story to be on CNN.

  18. I’m not so upset that the Glee thing was mentioned. It shows what kind of lunatics are at the helm of the BJ ship. It actually brings the BJU crazy to a younger generation that screams “STAY AWAY” just like the flagrant racism did for some of us a few years ago. It’s also a great way to tie into the Chuck Phelps debacle. I mentioned it on one of the comments section of a news article and a BJU student actually told me “that has nothing to do with this issue. Please don’t bring that up again. And he did resign…” I was amazed. I think he was so used to being told what to say and what not to say that it’s not a stretch for him to feel he can tell anyone to be quiet and they will. 🙄

  19. In other news, Glee is so morally reprehensible that it was the inspiration for the last student body skit today. I’m confused–how is a parody of a TV show FUNNY if no one watches the basis for the parody? Hope someone taped it because students were tweeting #gleeatbobjones and #Allthesingleladies after it was over. Sounds like a massive double standard and a case in point for Chris’ belief that BJU was targeting him for the “Do Right BJU” student “protest.”

    1. Yeah, my daughter (current student) told me about that. I’m sure when they planned the student body program weeks ago, they had no idea how ironic their choice would become. I am surprised Triplestyx didn’t demand they cut it at the last minute. This is just another example of their hypocrisy–pretending to be “normal” on the surface, but operating in an entirely different way.

    2. VERY interesting!
      I don’t see how a “Glee” parody makes sense if you haven’t seen the show.
      For that matter, I don’t see how the Bob Jones overseers knew it contains “dancing, short skirts, and homosexuality” if THEY haven’t watched the show.
      So, 50 demerits to the entire student body, faculty, and staff, I guess.

      1. One baffling characteristic of BJU is its tacit understanding that nobody REALLY adheres to their rules. The campus is rife with (authority-sanctioned) pop culture references and parodies. It’s like a huge joke, but I’m not sure who’s playing it or who they’re playing it on. As one of the few students whose parents actually DID raise her in line with BJU’s official ascetic policies, I tended to think it was a joke on me.

        1. My former fundy church is of the BJU worship kind and it’s the same.. “the tacit understanding that no one follows their rules” hypocrisy at it’s finest. But they don’t have the cojones to just drop all the rules and get shunned from the IFB hirarchy (sp?) . Oh wait, they are not connected… nevermind… 🙄 🙄

  20. I hope he DOES take them to court. We all know it’s not about the rules, it how the vague rules are applied only where THEY want them applied. It seems like all Chris really needs to prove it that he was singled out. Surely there have been other BJU students who have watched GLEE!

  21. As a current BJU employee, I was saddened, but not surprised, by this turn of events. Anyone who thinks the University’s mindset is changing is seriously misled. Although on the surface they have given the impression they have loosened up and are more forgiving/accepting of differences in the brethren, don’t believe it for an instant. Yes, BJIII is still at the helm, and the most vocal of the bunch to express the “old paths” way of thinking. But the younger members of the admin are also of this same persuasion (whether by ignorance or coercion, I’m not always sure). The only positive thing I can see from this is that BJU will continue to get bad publicity, and when there are only 100 students enrolling for fall semester, they will finally have to close up shop. I continue to pray that they will see the light before then, but honestly, I don’t see that happening.

    1. I’d be curious to know what the numbers have been for incoming freshman. Have they been trending downward? Is overall enrollment down?

      1. Oh, yes, enrollment is on a steady decline. I don’t have projected numbers for the fall, but they are very concerned. But not enough to make changes that really matter.

        1. That’s because “changes that really matter” = “being compromising liberals” to a place like this. Having only 100 students enroll for a fall semester wouldn’t be because they were doing anything wrong, it would just be a further example of how “morally corrupt” America is. They’d close because they’re so spiritual and no one else is.

          Arrogance. No other word for it.

    2. As a former BJU employee, I agree with your post completely. Some readers will not realize the courage and risk you take by posting your frank comments. I still love and pray for my BJU colleagues who I believe are there for the reason I was, their personal ministries to God and the students. The administration, however, has much to account for. I encourage you to consider how attending BJU may affect your children. It took its toll on mine. But God’s grace is greater!

  22. I watch this and have a thousand regrets that I didn’t do the same as he’s doing at the ifb school I attended. Things going on, right in front of me and to me, that I just let go in the name of protecting God’s ministry. Stay strong, Christopher. You’re the voice for many of us!

  23. Just to put this out there to those encouraging Chris to sue. Doesn’t anyone see how unbiblical that advice is and how damamging it can be to the body of Christ? See I Corinthians 6:1-11 where Paul gives a very strong argument against suing fellow-brethren. I am not saying the administration at BJ was right, I am just pointing out that whether or not you agree with BJ, the fact remains that they are part of the body of Christ and so are you. There is true harm done to the whole body and risks taken when disputes among Christians are put before the unsaved. Incidentally, I feel that way not just about the matter of suing, but in the involvement of media, etc as a whole in trying to exact “justice” against a brother.

    1. One could argue that a university is not “a brother.” Unless you think a university has an individual, soul that is.

      1. That was funny! True, the school doesn’t have a soul, but is made up of people who do. The Church doesn’t have a soul either, but is called the bride of Christ because it, too, is made up of people. I am not saying anyone should be let off the hook just because they are Christians. Those who do wrong will get their punishment from God, it is not necessarily up to us. I am just saying that there is danger in bringing non-Christians into something between a Christian and this christian University. As for the Chuck Phelps situation, I am not personally familiar enough with tha situation (meaning I was not there nor do I personally know any of the persons involved, I only know what I have read from both sides of the story.) to address it with authority, but he did do some things wrong. He has since admitted where he was wrong…where does grace and forgiveness come in for him? Again, he was wrong, BJ has done some things wrong, Not a single one of us has made perfect decisions 100% of the time. Anyway, I have to stop now, it takes way too long to do this on my phone! 🙂 I have to get off here and get back to my family.

        1. “That was funny! True, the school doesn’t have a soul, but is made up of people who do.”

          I wonder sometimes, at least whether if any of them have a heart.

          Jim K.

        2. @what’s right? You’re possibly falling trap to the “shoot the messenger” mentality. The sin is not in telling people that BJU was perfectly fine to have a morally bankrupt man such as Phelps on its board. It’s the sin itself that is the problem, not Chris talking about it, or seeking justice through a law suit. If this organization cared one iota for rape victims, none of this would be happening today. Chris would never have had to contemplate a law suit. Don’t shoot the messenger. Make the leaders at BJU accountable.

    2. So what you are saying is that no matter what the university does, it gets carte blanc protection against legal proceedings because of this verse?

      If the world looks on Christ with contempt it is not because someone called out the actions of Bob Jones University.

      Yet, we can see the actions of this so-called “Christian” university being more in line with what the world even looks on with contempt. ie pettiness, retribution, revenge, and cult-like behavorial change tactics.

      1. The attitudes that fellow Christians should be somehow above reproach and/or that corrupt practices in Christian institutions should be kept in the dark are major reasons that many people in “the world” reject Christianity and think of Christians as hypocrites.

        1. Oh, one more thing, I am not saying anyone, Christian or not, who does wrong is above reproach. Nor do I think wrongdoing should be hidden, just that we need to trea those who do wrong, especially Christians, with the same love and respect that we would want to be treated if/when we do wrong.

        2. @what’s right? If i stole $72,000 dollars and 4 years of life from another Christian, I would want to be sued.

    3. The harm to the serious grave irrecoverable damage to the Body of Christ is what would happen if Chris sued. Not BJU’s reprehensible defending & promoting Chuck Phelps or pettily expelling a student in a way to maximize the personal damage to him & his family? This is where the major damage is?

    4. I am always reluctant for Christians to sue other Christians, but BJU and its supporters are quick to say, “This is a private college. If you don’t like it, leave.” This kind of attitude that says, “We can do whatever we want, and if you don’t like it, go away” is NOT a Christian spirit. To me, if they want the privileges of being treated as a brother in Christ, they need to follow Scriptural guidelines, especially in relationship with people who do not agree with them.

      They insist on ZERO questioning and complete compliance with “griping not tolerated”; they refuse to respond with humility when challenged. They lord it over the students as an unquestionable authority that denies any dissent. They do not act as equal parts of the same body. (I’m not saying they can’t have rules; I’m describing the spirit behind the implementation of these rules.)

      If they are primarily a business with the purpose of making money, then they shouldn’t be demanding other believers treat them as if they are a church.

      1. The entire premise of Christians not suing each other is based on the idea that there is some internal court of law to handle disputes within the church.

        But BJU and other such institutions acknowledge no authority or mediation. There is no Bishop or council or board to whom students can go to ask for justice.

    5. “the fact remains that they are part of the body of Christ and so are you. There is true harm done to the whole body and risks taken when disputes among Christians are put before the unsaved.”

      To this, I say: “if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your eye causes you offense, pluck it out.”

      In other words, BJU needs to change or else it needs to close. And if a public stink is the only thing that will bring about either change or closure, so be it.

    6. Bob Jones University is not a Christian and it is not a church. It is a business claiming to be run on Christian principles – but we know that is false.

      There is no biblical reason not to sue them to make them accountable for not behaving as an ethical business should.

    7. Your proposed method of dealing with BJU in this situation, ‘what’s right’, is actually the same one that BJU and other colleges would have anyone who disagrees with them use. “Don’t take any kind of action against us, legal or otherwise, no matter what we do to you or anyone else. Just trust God, no matter how ungodly and unchristian our actions become.” There is no justification for promoting inaction against corrupt leadership just because said leadership slaps the title “Christian” or “Bible-believing” onto itself. And as has been pointed out, BJU is an organization, not an individual, and so it doesn’t really fit the context of I Corinthians 6. The Bible does not excuse injustice just because it comes from an organization that claims to be Christian. God intended for human government (civil authorities) to restrain evil. Christian organizations don’t get a pass from that, even if it is other Christians their evil is directed against.

      No one is suggesting that Christopher Peterman sue the school for millions of dollars or something over the top like that (at least I don’t think they are). The point is that the school be held accountable for its actions, and BJU has proved time and time again that they are far too arrogant to accept correction from any church or Christian. The “Do Right BJU” campaign is a perfect example of that.

      1. In some countries of medieval Europe, a person could claim clerical privilege, which meant immunity from civil and criminal courts, if he (the clergy being all-male then) could read at least one sentence of Latin. Many scoundrels apparently got away with outrageous crimes that way.

        We’ve never had that system in the U.S., and I’m glad we don’t.

    8. In a way, what’s right, I agree. My church is going through some legal crap, and taking the issues to the courts just makes a huge mess. (Not that they shouldn’t be held accountable).

      But this is about a degree that he worked hard for. Not necessarily a dispute between Christians, but between a student and an organization.

  24. P.S. “Unless they’ve been living under a rock…” Never underestimate how many people in fundyland are living under rocks.

  25. The following language from the BJU catalog ought to give pause to any prospective student, parent, or pastor:

    “The University may request withdrawal of any student at any time, who, in the opinion of
    the University, does not fit the spirit of the institution, regardless of whether or not he conforms to specific rules and regulations of the University.”

    In other words, “We can dork you over any way we want, and you have no defense. Sucks to be you!”

    (source: http://www.bju.edu/academics/catalogs/ug06.pdf, bottom of Page 12)

    1. That IS a scary statement. When one considers human depravity and the corrupting nature of power, one ought to think twice before giving so much time and money to a place that seems to exercise so very much authority with so little accountability.

    2. I found out years after an incident that I was almost one of those people. I was almost shipped a couple of weeks before I graduated for an off campus incident that didn’t involve the University or its name in any way. Probably the only thing that kept that from happening was that I was a town student, and had three relatively trouble free years. Probably because I did all of my TV watching in my home with no BoJo neighbors.

      They don’t hide the fact that they can and will get rid of “undesirables”.

    3. Translation: We have covered our legal a**, so that we can kick you out if we don’t like you.

      Yup. That sums it up. Poor guy. I feel for the disillusionment he will face after the publicity is done. I hope he will cling to the knowledge of Christ as he discards the religious garbage he’s experienced.

    4. I doubt they are going to be aloud to keep that if they ever want real accreditation. That is really sad, though, not to mention exceptionally juvenile, to have a “We can do whatever we want and you can’t do anything about it” clause in their volumes of rules. 👿

  26. This is just devastating. The tactics employed by BJU are akin to a police state. This is exactly why I’m heading out of this movement. Religious and controlling spirts reign here.

  27. Just an FYI – Chris has all of his meetings with the Dean of Men and the dormitory supervisor recorded and those recordings will, at some time, be released. I’ve heard some of them and they are bone-chilling scary.

    1. Don’t wait too long to release them to the public. Interest in this story is at a high.

      I betcha there is a Dean who will pee his pants over this fact.

  28. Chris is better off without his BJU degree. Degrees from unaccredited bible colleges are worthless in the real world.

    The worst thing to me is the manipulation and mind games the university played all under the guise of “genuine concern”, “christian love”, and “spiritual guidance”. There is an evil there that is absolutely terrifying.

    1. He’s not necessarily better of without that $80,000 (give or take) that BJU was more than willing to take from him.

      1. I was about to protest that it couldn’t possibly be $80,000. Then I went on their website to check tuition costs–$18,000 a year? Holy smokes their tuition, room, and board has gone up! That’s a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a slightly accredited degree from a mediocre college.

    2. I think this was the best possible outcome since his degree’s value would be unlikely to be very high. The PR from this, and his DoRight campaign’s PR, should prove to be very valuable to an employer. Shows how much he overcame.

      Strong job candidate if he plays this out right.

    3. @rodalena-

      I have to disagree a bit with your assertion that a BJU diploma is worthless. I am wholeheartedly in agreement with today’s post and believe that their actions were reprehensible. But that being said, both my husband and I have recent BJU diplomas (within the last 7 years) and we both have been able to get jobs. I even went on to get a masters degree at another college. None of my close friends have been denied a job or continuing education because of their BJU degrees. (I’m sure there are some who have experienced this but I’m just speaking from personal experience. The problem I ran into was when I looked into transfering to another college as a sophomore, nowhere would except my credits so I was forced to stay or start over.) My husband and I both feel that the actual training we received in our specific fields of study was quality. After having gone to graduate school and having worked at several different colleges, I can say for certain that the educational standards at BJU are above average. However, I do not agree with the way they equate excellence with godliness. Or attitude with godliness. The list is long. I could go on and on.

      I too was subjected to the intimidation tactics of the administration. I just didn’t fit their cookie cutter mold. It was a very long 4 years there. But honestly God meant it for good because it was the beginning of a long road away from fundyism.

      1. May I ask what your majors were? I do know personally of friends in Education, nursing and Accounting who had to start over with degrees and go to accredited universities. These are recent graduates and graduates from 20+ years ago.

        I had trouble applying for my National Boards from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. You must have a regionally accredited undergrad degree to apply. I was finally allowed to do my portfolios and assessments but not without a lot of work trying to get them to accept me.

        I also have assessed for the NBPTS for 5 years. Every year you reapply to assess and the question asking if you attended an undergraduate regionally accredited university is always there. I have over 50 credits after my M.Ed degree from a regionally accredited school but they always ask about undergrad. There IS a definite problem with those 3 majors and it will co tinue to happen.

      2. I concur. As a history major I’m receiving awesome training. My teachers have their PhDs from places like Emory.

  29. Godspeed, Chris. I’m sorry for the harassment and bullying you’ve endured, but I’m so impressed with your courage to speak up. I know that I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what you have done when I was a student. May the next part of your journey be a place of great encouragement and support.

  30. I did catch the Single Ladies reference in that “student body.” I failed for some dumb reason to realize the whole thing was a Glee parody. I caught the musical thing, but not the Glee-specific thing. I did also get excited when the girl singing like Mercedes started belting it out and half the room started cheering.
    Back to the Single Ladies thing, I noticed that reference right away and realized that some bozo Bojo totally missed that in the “faculty check.” I was reminded by a classmate on some ministry team that his team’s performance had to be checked by faculty for appropriateness. Either “Student Body” is exempt or the faculty checker people are idiotic or two-faced.

      1. Ooh, sorry. I meant that I caught their overt reference to musicals. I didn’t record it unfortunately. I did however notice that a woman (probably not a student) sitting farther down to my left did have a camcorder out. Perhaps she can come forward and provide video footage.

    1. I hate this sneaky middle ground where certain people at BJU play games – “wink, wink” – with popular culture. It’s not honest or straightforward. BJU should either admit that popular culture is within the realms of Christian liberty and stop censuring other people when they have standards that differ from theirs or AVOID IT ALTOGETHER.

      I remember seeing a society poster at BJA that said, “Things that make you go Hmmmmmm”. (It was back in the early 90s.) Whoever made that poster was aware of music that was supposed to be off-limits to BJ students. I hated the hypocrisy of that. Either avoid it altogether (or at least use utmost caution in never mentioning it publicly) or allow it, but playing a double game where students could get shipped over listening to Casting Crowns but get away with inserting sly references to night club dance music in college productions — it’s ridiculous!

  31. “He’s not necessarily better of without that $80,000 (give or take) that BJU was more than willing to take from him.”
    Re: Chris is welcome to transfer to Liberty, and to transfer in many (if not most)of those credits. I am sure that Liberty would be glad to have him as a student. I have always been proud to be a 3 time graduate of LU.

  32. I knew Tina when she came to Colorado after her ordeal. I don’t know exactly what happened in New Hampshire as I wasn’t there, but here are a couple of observations:

    The 20/20 report makes it seem like her life was very isolated and lonely while she was in Colorado. I was quite a bit younger that she was, but from my perspective she seemed to have a number of friends and wasn’t shunned. My only thought about this is when it says “her friends weren’t allowed to contact her” it must have been referring to her old friends in New Hampshire and not her Colorado friends. Also, the family she stayed with were extremely generous with their time, love and resources to her (as were many in the Colorado church that she attended). She was home schooled, but did activities with the school I attended (I’m pretty sure I remember she participated in the school band but I certainly remember that we would carpool together when she attended special activities at the school). I did not get the impression that she was ostracized or sheltered away from people.

    The report also made it sound like she had no say in giving the baby up for adoption. I don’t know exactly how much pressure she received about this, but she did come to my house afterwards and showed us pictures of the baby and the adoption couple. She seemed genuinely thrilled about the new family and seemed happy that her baby was going to a good home. It was a long time ago, but that’s what I remember anyway.

    I’m no fan of the misogyny and male dominance of the IFB culture, but if you watch the ABC report objectively, you will notice a definite effort to paint every IFC church in the worst possible light so be aware that the information is definitely presented to support a particular viewpoint. Tina was a friend and I sympathize with her, but I was disappointed that my church in Colorado got dragged through the mud after lots of people tried to show true Christian love to her. There are some bad apples in the fundamental circle to be sure, but it isn’t fair to lump all the churches together (or all the people).

    As to BJU, there are legends about people being pulled out of the graduation line waiting to walk and being denied their degrees….but I don’t know if that’s true or not. One semester was plenty for me, but my parents and I compromised and I ended up staying a full year before attending a secular school. I feel badly for Chris, but to be fair, I only attended for one year but even I know that watching “Glee” in public in Greenville is a balsy move if you attend BJU as those things have a way of getting back to the administration (especially if you know you are being targeted). Even though I didn’t agree with the standards I was still familiar with the expectations of the school enough to know they would have issues with Glee. Maybe it’s because I witnessed people being punished for much less than Glee, but that doesn’t seem smart to me. If I knew I was on the watch list and there were only a few weeks left until graduation I would be laying low. But I don’t want to be too hard on Chris as it sounds like the school was looking for a reason. Anyway, there were some bad things about BJU, but also some good. However I’m very glad that I went a different route. Good luck to you Chris.

    1. There may be individual churches who are exceptions to the rule but it is the IFB network and the general overall movement that lends itself to, and promotes, authoritarian behavior.

      Tina may have been loved and cared for by your church in Colorado but you miss the point: Why was she there in the first place? Why didn’t her own church take her and love and care for her?
      That begs the question, “To what extent did the ones in Colorado know what really went on?” If they knew why didn’t they report her rape to authorities? How much did the pastor in Colorado know? If he knew, then why did he agree to participate?
      See, the mentality of the movement promotes “blame the victim” behavior. Was she shipped to Colorado for her benefit or to be out of site and out of mind in order to protect the rapist and the reputation of one man’s ministry? (all under the banner of “protecting the cause of Christ”… how much more damning have the results of the coverup been now that the story has been made public?)

      1. Those are fair questions and I wish I had more information on that myself. From what I know, it is well-established that Phelps did, in fact, contact the police while Tina was still in New Hampshire (more than once apparently?), so I wonder why the police did not launch a full investigation right away. Also, I think people in Colorado were acting with the understanding that the reason Tina was here was simply because her mother thought it would be best for her to get far away from the situation and Phelps simply set her up with living arrangements. So on the basis that authorities had already been contacted and it was Tina’s mother’s wishes that she was here (for Tina’s own benefit), I suppose most people felt that the only thing left to do was love her and include her in the church family, which they did. Was the whole congregation deceived about why Tina was here? It’s not impossible but in my opinion it is a stretch. I wish I could answer your question about what details my former pastor knew, but I don’t know that information unfortunately.

        Again, I was young (late elementary school I think) so most of my memories are just having fun with Tina in the car ride to school and I didn’t learn more about her until I got a bit older. I agree with you completely that Tina was wronged overall and I don’t wish to downplay that. Obviously the whole situation was mishandle because here we are still discussing it. My point was simply that some churchgoers in Colorado took heat that wasn’t necessarily deserved as they were sincerely trying to do their best for Tina with the information they had. I just remember something different than what ABC insinuated about Tina’s social life in Colorado and it makes me wonder if anything else was misrepresented. As with any situation, it’s very difficult to get an entire picture from a single source of information. Though I agree with you about the problem of authoritarian behavior and victim blaming in IFB culture I’m just trying to be as objective as I can about Tina’s situation (and Chris’s) and give credit where it is due.

    2. What’s really weird is that I watched some Glee episodes online ON CAMPUS via their special, God-Approved(C) Filtered Internet. Something about fox.com that still worked at the time. I think since then the site has been blocked, but it was working earlier this semester. But then for all I know the admins are biding their time to step on another student after he pays his bills in toto.

    3. What kind of loving person would have a rape victim write a letter of apology to her rapist’s wife?

      That happened in Colorado.

    4. My understanding of the story was that the blame for the cover up was on on Chuck Phelps, Ernie Willis, and a few others within that church (I personally find the fact that he called the police multiple times hard to believe, as the police don’t just ignore such things, that combined with the fact that he made Tina “confess” before the church that she had committed sexual immorality, rather then admitting that she was raped).

      Was the church in Colorado even aware that she had been raped? If they, like the majority of the church members back at Tina’s home church, were led to believe that she was pregnant because she and a boy around her own age had just gone too far then there would have been no reason to expect them to call the police. Her home church certainly wasn’t going to tell them, and Tina had been shamed into keeping silent about it.

      1. I don’t know how many people actually knew that Tina had been raped or just assumed (or led to believe) she had gotten in trouble with a boyfriend (again, I was too young to know what was going on). For all I know the circle that knew could have been extremely limited. All I know is that I personally remember Tina as happy and involved in the church and then I read and heard reports that she was isolated and lonely in Colorado and it doesn’t add up in my mind. She sang in the choir and volunteered in the nursery. She interacted with the teens in the church and from my school (I remember on a day she visited the school she dressed up for spirit week – it was pajama day.) If she was unhappy and lonely she did a good job of hiding it. Her mother came to visit her a few times to check up on her and make sure she was doing well. My overwhelming impression was that everyone (including Tina) was in agreement that it was a good thing for Tina that she was there and the church family was very accepting and loving to her. That’s all I’m going to say about it as that’s all I know and this blog is more about Chris’s story than Tina’s anyway.

      2. I know I said I wasn’t going to say any more, but I can’t stop thinking about it. Follow the logic with me:

        Fact – Chuck Phelps reported the matter to the police (documented). Lets say for arguments sake that it was only once.

        Fact – Tina was moved to Colorado.

        Fact – Tina was not isolated or hidden while in Colorado. She was out in the open and interacting with people. (Based on my own personal observations).

        Even if only reported once, why was an investigation not conducted? If the police were investigating, why would Tina’s move to Colorado have completely halted an investigation? Why would her presence in Colorado have prevented an investigation? I can only think of two explanations:

        The police couldn’t find Tina: Not an acceptable excuse in my mind on the basis that Tina was not isolated or hidden and both her mother and the person who made the report were available for contact in New Hampshire. Either they weren’t trying very hard or they are terrible investigators.

        Tina was now out of their jurisdiction: So nothing could be done? Basically the police said “not our problem”.

        Unless there is an explanation that I’m not considering, logically, the Concord police were either incompetent or otherwise chose not to investigate. Take your pick, either way they dropped the ball.

        So why does the media report that Tina was hidden in Colorado out of reach of the police? She wasn’t. They could have contacted her anytime.

        So what about the things like public confession and letter writing? I don’t know the details of those things. However, situations will almost always turn messy when law enforcement doesn’t step in and people start taking justice into their own hands.

        Chuck Phelps admits that he should have been more aggressive to have Willis arrested. However, I would argue that because he reported a sexual relationship between and adult and a minor (even once), justice for Tina was ultimately the responsibility of the Concord Police Department and to say Phelps covered it up is inaccurate. I’m not going to speculate as to the morality of what he did or did not do while the police were informed but not investigating.

        If anyone can answer my questions or has evidence to disprove anything I say, PLEASE share it as I have no interest in defending someone who has committed a crime. (Note: actual evidence and not media speculation). You may discredit my observations on the basis that I was only 9 at the time Tina was in Colorado (I did the math), but even if I wasn’t old enough to know the exact situation, I was old enough to remember Tina and the fact that she was not hidden. I don’t know every detail, but this is my conclusion based on what I know.

  33. Chris, thank you for standing up for what you believe in. You certainly are a brave soul with a strong conscience and moral character. I applaud you for your actions.

  34. It is so much easier to defend your point when you refuse to even consider what the other side of the story might be. Nobody on this entire blog(including me) has any idea about the whole story so all are commenting out of turn. Here are a few thoughts:
    1)Many people with educations from BJ are highly successful in all walks of life (Doctors, lawyers, accountants, nurses, engineers, law enforcement, teachers, government officials, military, etc.) To stay otherwise is to mislead.
    2)I would urge you to go to pluggedinonline.com and read reviews of individual shows of Glee. (this also shows how someone can know what a show is about without actually watching it . . . for the person who thought all the faculty should be given demerits for knowing what Gless is about) After you read the reviews, come back and tell me if you still think the demerits for watching Glee were inappropriate. No Christian has any place watching that trash. As someone said earlier, Chris should not have been surprised at all that he got demerits for this.
    3)Proverbs 18:13 – commenting on a situation as if you know the whole story before you have complete knowledge of the situation is foolish.
    4)For those who are employees of BJU and you are commenting negatively against BJU, your cowardice is very sad. Taking money from your Christian employer while trashing them behind the scenes is about as disloyal of a thing that you can do. If you don’t like your employer, either speak up and take the consequences or just quietly leave.

    1. One-sided: Should everyone at BJU who watches HGTV get slapped with 50 demerits too? That is a very pro-gay network. I have seen several shows featuring gay couples. How about the music/drama students and faculty that put on the Glee parody show? Will they get 50 demerits each? How about the audience?

      Or was Chris singled out because he pointed out the sin of BJU administration?

    2. @One-sided. No, you are kidding me? Do you really think that Chris’ expulsion had absolutely nothing to do with his protest of the presence of Chuck Phelps? Really?

      1. I’m looking back to where I said his protests had “nothing to do with it.” Can’t find where I said that.

  35. The long and short of it, unfortunately, is that this young man knew what he was getting into when he chose to pursue his education at BJU. Plenty of good people have come out of that school, DESPITE the inane regulations and rules. If the fine print says they can expel someone for no concrete reason, then all of this is a non-issue.

    1. Maybe it’s a non-issue to you, but probably not to someone out four years of room, board, and tuition, with credits that generally don’t transfer to state schools. It looks more like a license to steal a year’s tuition from students who might not follow every one of the rules, including the unwritten ones, to the administration’s satisfaction.

    2. No… God doesn’t reside in the fine-print.

      This issue is not just about one student and a TV show. It is about the institutionalized marketing of religion and the power brokers in charge. It is about claiming to be holier than thou on the one hand and hiding behind the mantra “that the cause of Christ will be harmed,” if anyone thinks/acts contrary to, or questions their authority. I know I harp on this over and over but it is so relevant: “When god is the only one you are accountable to, then you will soon become the that god.” At that point you can rationalize anything you do in the name of Christ. Just ask Tomas’ de Torquemada.

    3. No, it isn’t a non-issue. If BJU claimed to just be a secular college, then maybe it would be, because their actions would reflect on them alone and no one else. Unfortunately, when they do things like this and claim that they have every right to do it, they say that they are not just legally right in doing so but also right before God in doing it. That is simply not the case.

  36. Yes, Chris went there willingly, knew the rules, and knew he could get in trouble for watching Glee, etc etc.

    I do know for a personal fact (at my former FU), that the staff kids/relatives got out of anything. The younger brother of one of the teachers regularly had up to 200 demerits, which should have resulted in expulsion. Over and over in the three semesters I was there. He’s still there.

    However, one girl I know had her boyfriend stop by her (very public) office several times, and she was expelled because they were “off-campus dates.” I was thrilled she was out of there, don’t get me wrong.

    If Chris was one of their pets, he would have gotten away with a slap on the wrists for watching Glee or coming in late. That’s just how it works.

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