How to be a Sneaky Racist for Fun and Profit

It seems to be a week for West Coast Baptist College around here. Before I get into the new story, however, it’s necessary to give some background…

Way back in the day, Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status because it refused to change its policy on interracial (whatever that means) dating. A lot of other fundamentalist institutions beheld this debacle from afar off and were severely torn between the love of two different kinds of money: 1) money in tax savings and 2) money from the racist parents of students at their schools who didn’t want their little girl dating one of “those people.”

So somebody came up with a VERY CLEVER compromise called the “parental consent” rule which said that any dating relationship on campus has to have parental permission. This kicked responsibility up the road a bit so that the administration could claim “We’re not racists — we just follow the wishes of racists parents who pay us money!”

This is all rather strange because in no other area does the administration of a fundy college allow the whims of parents to set its policy. In fact, when I was at a very similar Fundy U I was told that my parents calling and complaining about the rules or asking for exceptions to policy would be seen as rebellion by ME and that I was to ask my parents not to call.

With that in mind, here’s a West Coast Baptist College memo from 2001 (PDF) in which Paul Chappell attempts to quash feelings of unease in his staff about a dating policy that is put in place specifically to cater to racism. The page numbers in the pages that follow indicate that the material is from some kind of official handbook.

There is a fully symphony of dog whistles here with references to words like “compatible”, “unequally yoked”, and “exotic relationship.” We’ve seen this kind of thing before and it stinks to high heaven.

237 thoughts on “How to be a Sneaky Racist for Fun and Profit”

  1. Being in a happy mixed-race marriage myself, I cannot fathom why anyone would object to two people who fancy each other rotten being married. What shocks me even more is that this was the policy of an institution in my home state of California. I’m saddened, I’m frustrated;

    But not altogether surprised.

    I still get asked from time to time from people in my own church– when they see me with my pallid skin and my wife with her stunning olive complexion, bright brown eyes, long wavy black hair, and her elegant figure– what my wife “is.” I.e., “what is her race?” One of these days, I’m going to lie and say “Arabic” just to watch them freak out.

    1. Or, one could just say “human”. It answers the question in a way that tells people (politely) to mind their own business.

    2. Besides, what is “interracial” anyways? What would’ve raised eyebrows (e.g. an English or W.A.S.P. type marrying an Irish or Italian type) during the 1800s or early 1900s wouldn’t draw any attention these days. Think of the fascination with those people once considered “exotic” — Russians, Scandanavians, Italians, Greeks, or Irish that now we’d just lump into the category “white” and move on. Think of shows like Star Trek with the character Chekkov or even Perfect Strangers in the 80s. It boils down to what a person thinks is “white” and what is “not-white”, or perhaps what is “American”, or maybe what is “foreign”. Basically a division of “Us” vs. “Them” or Jew vs. Greek, which could easily be handled with a little review of Galatians.

      1. My dad was born and raised Mennonite, from a VERY old German Mennonite family.He created a serious ruckus when he married my mother, who was at that time Baptist. Specifically, he was the first in his family to marry ‘an Inglisch’.

        My youngest brother and my sister both married Filipinos, and no one even blinked. Amazing what a single generation can do.

    3. Doesn’t matter what you say, in this world or any other. If she’s not 100% blonde haired. blue eyed, sweet, simpering WASP licking your shoes than she’s Not One Of Us, and nothing you can say or do will make a difference.

  2. The handbook update will define the “Mike Zachary Relationship.”

  3. Are you saying that Bob Jones University had a “parental consent” rule? What year did that start?

    1. I have heard about this. My understanding was it happened after BJIII appeared on Larry King Live.

    2. I’m fairly sure it’s still on the books. The parental rule is only in the case of “interracial dating”, though. Don’t have to get parents involved if you stay within the bounds of decency. It’s almost more fair to invoke that rule across the board if you’re gonna go that route…

  4. Under Missionary Relationships – “People jump through all kinds of religious hoops to keep a relationship going…” HAHAHAHA. I just cannot believe what I am reading. The fact that a place like this is actually open for business boggles my mind.

    1. I didn’t think that was what a missionary relationship was. Or is that ‘position’?

  5. A couple things:
    1. A majority of their staff are interracially married and or dating – which I am thankful for
    2. They still would side with the parents if they (the parents) were against the relationship
    3. The main reason I never dated while I was there, was the parental consent after three “dates”. My mother would have sent some poor sucker through the ringer before I even knew if I really wanted to date them…..
    4. After 3 of those so called “dates”, you have barely scratched the surface with someone. It’s why they developed that stupid phrase, “We aren’t dating, we are just talking”

    1. When I was a teenager at LBC (this was before WCBC), the teens were all given a copy of a book called “Christian Dating”. The last chapter was all about how God created separate races and so we should keep them that way. Imagine how that felt to me – my parents are different races. It was so ingrained in me, however, to never question anything I was told by an authority figure that I never once brought it up or asked about it.
      It was definitely one of the things that always sat at the back of my mind and helped me along when I finally got the nerve up to leave. My mother is one of the interracially married staff members there that you mention, and to this day I still can’t bring myself to ask her about it.

      1. That is one argument I’ve heard, but it is all human reasoning — it is hard to justify that attitude from the Bible.

        In fact, mixed marriages are easier to defend; after all, Moses was criticized by some for his mixed marriage, and those people got into trouble. Going by example, it would seem to argue that God had nothing against Moses’ marriage.

      2. Former LBC Staff, I know the book of which you speak. The author is Mike Ray, I have looking on line to find a copy of that book it must be out of print. Mike Ray and Cary Schmidt co-authored a more modern version. I have not read it and don’t intend to. As for inter-racial staff the only objection is to black and white. Asian, Hispanic, etc is tolerated.

      3. That so breaks my heart, because I was raised by parents who saw no problem with different races dating, but we went to a church that also preached against it. As a kid, I thought it was stupid to preach against something like that. And I’m not surprised that LBC at one time did the same thing. They have made some changes at least outwardly, but I still wonder about the depth of sincerity surrounding the changes. I truly cannot imagine what it was like for your mom to hear those words:/ Makes me mad. Especially since I probably know her

        1. I have no idea what my mom thought about it. She’s pretty good at toeing the party line, even at home. I can almost guarantee you know her – and my dad, too.

        2. If we all are so sure of these things, whether you have been to LBC or anyother church disected on this site, WHY don’t we all reveal our real names? Then no one would have to ask if they knew someone else.

        3. Calling the kettle black I see. Before you accuse someone of not having the guts to share their real name, make sure hypocrisy isn’t shining a light on you. Unless of course, your parents had absolutely no imagination and put “Fake Name ” on your birth certificate. Highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

      4. As a LBC staff member did you “die to your own dreams and adopt the Pastor’s dreams as your own?” That is a very ego/man centric line if I ever did see one. Unfortunately their claims of Christ-centeredness are greatly exaggerated.

    2. Beenthere wrote:
      “As for inter-racial staff the only objection is to black and white. Asian, Hispanic, etc is tolerated.”

      That is also my understanding of it. I once witnessed a staff member lament how difficult it must have been for this one kid (the sole black teen at the time) not to be able to date…and I was confused because I noticed Hispanic/White couples frequently at LBC. It took me a while to realize he was only talking about black/anyone else.

  6. Does anyone know if the last 3 pages are still actively taught or published at WCBC? I would never expect them to announce that they were repenting from such heresy. After all it’s a sign of weakness to admit you were/are wrong. Like other things they will just slowly and quietly back away from teaching it. (Which means they probably still believe it but its not “politically correct” to teach that way anymore.)

    I am sure there are some WCBC members who troll around here that could confirm or deny.

  7. I realize that IFBs will not respect Mother Theresa, but that document is certainly a peculiar attack on her ministry.

    1. Probably a result of the shame they feel that a weak woman forewent earthly glory for the sake of obedience. Beisdes, she never armoralled her tires.

  8. Okay I stopped reading halfway through the first page. I could get to the racism for all the blatant sexism!

  9. Lol…it’s funny to read the comments on any post relating to race. Everyone falls over each other to prove who’s the least “racist.” 😀

    1. Everybody’s racist to some extent. We just have different races we dislike/don’t trust. For example, I’d be much more comfortable trusting an Islamic-appearing young man for help than I would an average white young man. Am I racist? Probably.

      1. I don’t know, there is a difference between how our risk is calibrated relative to experience and actual racism. I would be more trusting of an Islamic young man as well – because most of the Muslims I have known have very strict ethics and a commitment to helping their neighbor. But I don’t think this is racist so much as natural biology kicking in to promote self survival.

        1. For me, the more interesting question is not so much about racism as it is discrimination. Perhaps that is simply mincing words.

          I find it easier to search my conscience about who I am likely to discriminate against when I remove race as a key determinant. It’s not so much about what heritage or country or language they speak. For me – just being honest – I find I struggle w/ discriminating against socio-economic barriers. It is more difficult for me to love and relate and help the homeless, the smelly unclean, the gap or fringe people (those underserved populations who may or may not qualify for services yet continue to make poor choices at the expense of their children…).

          I’m learning, stretching. I’m growing, expanding to decrease my negative socio-economic discrimination as compassion blossoms in parallel to my own experience – widening those horizons. Having lived for a very short time in a domestic violence shelter – declaring homelessness myself – helped lighten the burden of some of that discrimination, although it is not completely erased.

          And you have a point therein, that our personal experience can shape our discrimination or racism in ways otherwise unprompted. As previously mentioned, I had not considered myself racially biased…until I was sexually assaulted by a black man when I was 30yrs old. It took the hard work of grieving for me to understand that the unbidden negative reactions I was having toward all black men in general was a result of PTSD from the attempted rape. It has been a long journey of self-forgiveness to work past the self-loathing I felt for feeling the way I did toward a whole group of people who’d done nothing wrong to me. I hated myself for feeling that way. It has taken equally long to remove that racial bias.

        2. As a woman, I would feel very uncomfortable approaching a strange man who might be Muslim and initiating contact. I live in an area with a high concentration of Arabs, both Muslim and non. It is a regular occurrence to see women in the mall, the grocery store, the lake, or the playground in every variety of Muslim dress from a head scarf to full black from head to toe with only the eyes being seen.

        3. I should clarify though that I would tend to rely more on subconscious body signals than I would on making guesses about someone’s facial features.

        1. “Everybody’s racist to some extent.” Typical liberal lies.

          I am no liberal, but I believe that statement to be true. It is only natural to think more highly of your own race than another. The trick is to override those feelings with the help of the Lord. When I hear someone say they are not the least bit racist, I automatically think they are a liar.

          We should all treat each other the same and seek the Lord’s help with that.

        2. I don’t know who this Koolio chap is, but he is one of the more sane people on here.

          A lot of rednecks and blue-collar, uneducated folk are racist, although I highly disagree that “everyone” is racist. You’ve been drinking too long from the liberal fountain of multiculturalism that wants to make EVERY topic in life an issue over racism, and that’s just bunk.

        3. Stacy, I would beat the stupidity out of you, but it would take me a year, and I would end up breaking my own hands….

  10. I went to Tennessee Temple University from 83-85 and remember in the Student Handout stating “No Interracial Dating was allowed without the consent of the parents”.

    I’ve follow your blog and a lot of stuff you post hits close to home how the other students “judged” when others didn’t’ walk the line and felt they were helping you and the college. Ugh.

    Those of us that dared to step out of that realm were called “reprobates” while the “fundy students” were called “Billy Bible” and “Betsy Bible”.

    Notice I stated I only attended there for two years. Fundy burnout. lol

    1. “Billy and Betsy Bible?” 😯 😆 And they’re serious? You’re better off being a reprobate. 😎

    2. I was a TTU student from 97-2000 (graduated from there after a freshman year at Fairhaven). Compared to Fairhaven, TTU was awesome…and it has changed even more since then…to the point that many Fundy TTU grads sadly shake their heads and complain that it has gone worldly now and wish for the good old days. I have to say, coming from a Fundy, IFB background…TTU was a great stepping stone for me away from all that, since by the time I was there they had done away with some of the nonsensical rules and were at least loosening up with others.

  11. Its making me sick to read through that PDF. Krap like that I subscribed to when I was in the fundies sounds like such manipulative mind control tactics.

    Just sick…

  12. Like many of their “standards,” WCBC has carved out an aggressively idiosyncratic middle-of-the-road approach on interracial dating. On the one hand, as many posters here point out, they allow interracial dating between whites, Asians, and Hispanics. This is a byproduct of their southern California location, where such marriages are quite common. But they are death on black + white. This is not just hypocrisy, it is absurdity.

    Two of my sisters have gone to WCBC so far with another one on the way. The first sister also did a brief stint as assistant to the dean of women after she obtained her “diploma.” She dated a Hispanic young man and later married a guy with a Mennonite last name and family background but they all have very dark features, so his ethnic background includes something more than white American. My own parents did not object to either of these relationships. Although when my sister, who has always prattled on about her beautiful blond haired, blue-eyed kids she is going to have, gives birth to her first child this fall, I suspect she is in for a bit of a surprise, considering that daddy’s genes are likely dominant!

    My second sister dated an Asian guy whose parents were HAC grads (father was white, mother was Asian) who run a Christian school in an Asian country. Although my parents were okay with this relationship as well, the guy returned from a visit to his parents and broke up with my sister because his parents admonished him that they wanted him to marry an Asian girl. She hasn’t dated anyone else since.

    What I found most disturbing about WCBC’s “parental consent / right of first refusal” rule was how my first sister used it to manipulate guys. If a guy so much as talked to her and she didn’t like him, she would have MY FATHER give him a call and tell him off. Many of these young men were not interested in dating my sister in the least and were just trying to be friendly, but she’d sic my father on them anyway. By the time she left, the word at WCBC was that my sisters were essentially unavailable for dating at all because of my first sister’s bizarre behavior. (E.g., she once called my mother freaking out because a young man had taken to loitering on the steps of the building in which she worked and she just KNEW that he was stalking her and was going to ask her out even though, upon questioning by my mother, it was revealed that he had never actually spoken to my sister once.)

    The fact that no one ever seems to question what RIGHT parents have to oversee the dating relationships of their ADULT children is insane to me. This is an excellent article about whether parents should be involved in their children’s love lives:

    1. Too funny. I know the guy your second sister dated. There are several girls in his home church over here who are interested in him.
      It never ceases to amaze me how small the IFB world is.

      1. Yeah, I’m glad you put in a good word for the family when I asked you that time. It’s too easy for me to hate on people just because they are IFB. Sometimes that’s warranted, sometimes not. Although it is true that he told my sister that his parents objected to the relationship on the grounds of “compatibility” because how was he going to be successful taking over his father’s ministry if he didn’t have an Asian wife. It made me sad for him that his whole life has already been planned out for him and that he didn’t seem to have a choice.

      2. @formerHACgirl,

        Yeah, it can be pretty small. I’m not 100% certain, but maybe 95 to 99% percent sure that I remember both you and Seen Enough back from our time at HAC.

        Hope you’re doing well and all the best,


    2. I should add that my first sister’s first relationship ended because “Dr.” Rasmussen told her that her job offer as assistant to the dean of women was in jeopardy if she was dating him. (He worded it in a way to make it ambiguous as to whether he meant dating per se or dating a Hispanic, but I think we knew what he meant. Especially because he also told her that guys like that were bad with money.)

      1. His “PhD?” in history is from HA”C,” but he actually did study and write a thesis. Thing is, he really is a very bright, hard working guy. By comparison at least, he seemed laid back and easy going at HA”C.”

        To be honest, I liked him and if he’s really expressing racist sentiments these days, that’s genuinely sad.

        1. I know he has interrupted other inter-racial relationships in the past. I have no respect for him.

        2. The description “laid back and easy going” is not something I’d have ever thought to apply to Rasmussen from my experiences with him at HAC.

  13. You rarely see racism in plain sight in the IFB world, but I did. I was in Eddie Lapina’s office at First Baptist Church of Hammond when he told a young black man named Jeff from the Bahamas that he could not date a young lady “because she is white.” Heard it with my own two ears. Also . . . have to stick up for Mark Rasmussen, whom I have known for 30 years. His personal integrity from my perspective has been unimpeachable. Jerry Kaifetz (Author of “Profaned Pulpit — The Jack Schaap Story)

  14. Here’s something I was amused by, that I don’t see any comments on: It says that a “Sugar Daddy relationship” is not indecent, but just difficult to manage.

    Methinks they could do with some wording changes.

    1. That amused me as well. Considering how sexualized fundies make everything I’m shocked that no one noticed that turn of phrase. It’s rather loaded.

    1. Haven’t you read Chappell’s diatribe about why he will never, ever, ever seek accreditation? Has this been removed from WCBC’s site? He refuses to compromise, and in his mind accreditation = compromise. I also recall a sermon where he told us changing our (fundy) beliefs is wrong.

      I’ll believe it when I see it, Snowden.

        1. Update:
          West Coast Baptist College is still NOT listed as a candidate on TRACS’ site. So far WCBC accreditation is all meaningless words. I have heard a few college teachers are working toward completing advanced degrees with more legit schools.
          TRACS does not have the same acceptance as regional accreditation.

          So beware prospective students. As of now they remain unaccredited.

  15. First notice the sexism more than the racism. Apparently the male student is supposed to get permission from the girl’s father and then pass on this permission to the school.
    Then that stuff about David and Jonathon sounds like they are endorsing same sex dating.

  16. You know, expunging racism and xenophobia from my society is one of my huge passions in life. You’re right you know. I didn’t know THAT was what was behind some of THEIR RULES!!!!

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